Sunday, December 11, 2005

Stick a fork in me

I took Friday off from work, and since Gordon had the day off also we decided to go to Bay City and do some Christmas shopping. I charged him with going through what we already had and making a list of what we still needed. Well, ever since I got my new Saturn (December 2003) I have had a problem starting it on really cold mornings. I would go to start it and it would just click, I had to wait ten minutes (not nine and 1/2) and try again and it would start just fine. Not a huge problem but not one I like either. I considered taking it into the dealer but was sure I would hear "It starts just fine for us) which of course it would unless I was able to determine that the morning would be really cold and was willing to spend the night in the parking lot. So I just lived with it. Not working continually last winter helped, there wasn't that many really cold mornings that I needed to start the car. This year however not so much. It was really cold every morning last week. Tuesday I just did the cold morning ritua and it started just fine. Wednesday after my ten minutes it started and died, but then after a couple minutes started okay. I called Gordon and told him to make an appointment at the Saginaw Saturn dealer for Friday morning. Thursday, after my ten minutes it started and died and then started and died and then started and died, until finally after a 1/2 hour or so it started. Gordon had an appointment for 8:00am Friday. This is even earlier than I start work, and a much further drive. So much for a day off. Friday morning was of course not as cold and the car started just fine for Gordon. Doubling my doubt that the Saturn dealer would be able to help me. One of the reasons it was not as cold was because it was snowing and the roads were horrible. Schools that were in session that day (Megan was not it was a teacher in service and her Girl Scout leader was taking the girls to the mall in Saginaw to do their Christmas shopping) were closed due to snow. (this later factored into the crowds of teenagers hanging out at the malls) But we made the drive to the dealer and as I explained the problem he nodded his head like he had heard this before. So I said, "have you heard this before?" "Many times" was his reply, this was reassuring in that they could fix it, but disconcerting in that if they knew they had a problem why didn't they tell me so I wouldn't have dealt with it for so long. This disconcertion (is that a word?) was compounded when he said "Well, your factory warranty is up I'll have to check with your extended warranty to see if this is covered." I told him that I didn't understand those words, of course it was covered it was a full warranty, and what do you mean check with my extended warrantly is was a Saturn warranty. He explained that he would first have to determine what was wrong and even though I bought my warranty from Saturn at the time of purchase that does not make it a Saturn warranty and different warranties cover different things. I told him to do what he needed to do and let me know, I did need to fight the battle right then, I would wait to see what the result was. Luckily the problem was exactly what he thought it was and it was fully covered under my warranty. It took them about and hour to fix, and I guess I'll find out if it works the next really cold morning.

I had planned on filling up my gas tank in Saginaw since I had thought the gas would be cheaper than in West Branch but it was $2.35 a gallon, so I waited. We drove to Bay City and I saw a couple of places at $2.16 and then a few at $2.14 so I incorrectly assumed that in town would be cheaper when we got to Big Lots the gas station there (for the Kroger's that is also in the strip mall) was changing their sign to $2.35 so I drove back a couple of miles and filled up at $2.14. I'm hoping it will be cheaper by Mom's, so I am going to wait to fill up again until I get down there.

From that point forward we shopped until we dropped, and then got up and did some more. We found one thing for Megan that is going to have her completely nutty on Christmas morning, I have told her this and it is driving her crazy. And as soon as I finish this I am going to get some wrapping done while she is at a cookie booth. (poor baby it is freezing out) But I am so done with shopping, got some major wrapping to do. But I enjoy that part. Now I just have to wait for the stuff I ordered on line and shipped to Melody on accident. Oh, well everything can not go smoothly or I get confused.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Drastic Times Call For Drastic Measures

Daddy called today and is working on a plan to get the Lions into the SuperBowl as players and not visitors in there home field. The plan includes the Avian Flu, a couple of plane crashes, and possible Al-Queda. Even with all of that I do believe the Lions would find a way to lose.

Work is extremely busy, but I like that. I am guessing that it will slow down some after the new year, after I have had a chance to fix all of the old stuff and only have to keep up with the everyday stuff.

Thanksgiving was tons of fun, even the driving in the snow. I can't imagine doing that with any other group of people without tempers rising and fingers pointing, and everyone being completely miserable. The casino's were the icing on a very fine cake. Yes, we enjoy our casinos, but we can have just as much fun just about anywhere.

Plans are progressing for Christmas, I have some vacation time that I have to take or I lose (like that is ever a viable option.) So I am taking off the last two days of the year, that Monday (the 26th) is our Christmas holiday so I can bring the family down to help with the physical moving of Mommy (and me) into the new house and then we can come back to West Branch Wednesday night so Gordon can go back to work.

I have no idea of what is going on with this band thing and Megan, talking to her gets no further information than what is in her blog, so I guess I will have to wait t0 hear from the dreaded band teacher.

What happened to the time/date stamp on the bottom of where we edit the posts, I used to be able to change that?

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Has It Been A Week Already?

Boy how the time does fly. As you can tell from the picture it is that time of year again. Gordon started on November 1st, and everything was up and done when I came home on Friday. I love these decorations. Today was our Thanksgiving, as we are going to support the Indian side of the holiday on Thursday by leaving money at the casinos, we did the pilgrim thing today with ham instead of turkey. Why ham, when we have a perfectly good turkey in the freezer? Because I like ham leftovers better for the casino. The snacks are a crucial ingrediant in successful casino trips. We are so ready.

All is well on the job front. I am officially employed with bennies and a nice raise. I will send everyone an email from my work address so you will have it. I can get email I just can't go to any links sent for the internet. I have negotiated flex hours and instead of 8:30 to 5:30 M-F I work until 6:30 M-TH giving me 4 hours extra so I can come in two hours late on Monday and leave 2 hours early on Friday. There is no shortage of stuff to do so that is nice. When I think about trying to have done this at the construction company the thought of having to sit there until 6:30 makes me want to cry. My plan is too clean up everything with the two offices I have now and learn everything there is to know about Ohio government programs, and then switch to new offices and learn everything there.

There's nothing else new here, there was snow on the ground when I got here on Friday but it is gone now. The Lions were very disappointing today, but the Colts-Bengals game was a great game to watch. If KC wins tonight Gordon is guaranteed either first or second in the football pool, that would make 6 wins in 11 weeks. He's on a streak, good thing we're going to a casino!

More in a week or so.....

Monday, October 31, 2005

The Nitty Gritty

I now have SBC Yahoo DSL. It is $14.95/month which is cheaper than my internet service was before ($209 annually). It is billed monthly on my phone bill as an additional service such as caller ID, or call forwarding. I was also able to drop my second phone line as DSL is connected to a phone line but shares it, I am still able to make and receive calls while connected, in fact I think I am always connected. I paid $50 (which I have a rebate for and will get back) for the equipment needed to connect my computer, I would also have needed to purchase an ethernet card if I did not have the one Lyle gave me, but I have no idea what an ethernet card costs. I paid SBC $30 for the wireless adapter card for Megan's computer (which I am returning for a refund) and ended up paying about the same ($26.99) at Wal-Mart for the USB Wireless Adapter. I can have up to ten computers connected to the internet at the same time from any where in the house. My computer is the only one connected to the phone line, Megan's is a totally wireless connection. I have the basic service, they also have a high speed available, but even in the basic the speed is incredible compared to dial up. I merged my account with my existing Yahoo account and can view my mail through yahoo or when I am at home it pulls it into Outlook. I am still trying to figure out if I have web space like I did with voyager where I can load movies.

All in all I am pretty happy with it, but it has only been a weekend.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Jonathan Carter Kennedy

If a name is all it takes then this kid will be president someday. I'm sure he's have more going for him in that direction as time goes on, but for right now he has a lot of other stuff going for him. He is exactly the right size and weight for my arms. Holding him is an absolute delight. He hasn't opened his eyes all the way for me yet, but he hasn't cried or even wimpered either.

He helped me cook and even put the football scores into the computer (another card win for Gordon first if Pittsburgh wins on Monday second if they lose - this will be his fourth win this year 2 firsts and 1 second already. Second place gets a free play the following week ($5 value), first place gets the rest.) But dinner is done and I need to eat.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Do You Yahoo?

The installation CD warned that this could take up to 30 minutes to install. HA! Minutes, hours really what is the difference. The first problem arose when it came time to connect the DSL boxy thingy to the computer, on the phone they told me it was a USB connection, the installation cd gave me the option of Ethernet (recommended), USB, or wireless. I selected USB and got to some instructions that made no sense. I don't even remember what they were, but I took advantage of the 24/7 support offered. When I read the instructions to the tech he said, "oh, you don't have to worry about that" I then asked how I was supposed to connect the boxy thingy to my cpu, it said with the "Ethernet cable supplied." I asked what I was supposed to connect it to, and he replied "the ethernet card in your computer" I explained that would be great if I had an ethernet card, but since I didn't and I was told that it was a USB connection what was the plan. He said, "oh you can connect it through a USB port" with what I asked, "a USB cable" was the simple answer. "And where in this box of stuff you sent me would I find the USB cable?" "We don't supply those you need to get one on your own." Luckily, I remember that when Lyle gave us the computer he said, "I threw an Ethernet card in the box, just in case you go wireless someday" Yea right, was my thought....Thank you Lyle! So I installed the ethernet card, and had to restart the installation from the very beginning. The longest part is when the are copying the files, I thought this should go pretty fast the second time, wrong. Wrong again the third, fourth, fifth. But an hour in (about eleven) my computer was all connected and I was on DSL. Now all we had to do was Megan's. I had purchased from SBC a wireless adapter card to connect Megan's PC and while I was doing mine, I had her turn off and disconnect her pc. We dropped the card in, put the installation cd in and progressed. Until we got to the part about actually connecting, First they asked me how I was connecting and gave me three pictures none of which looked like what I had. There was one that said Wireless Adapter but it had a long thing sticking out of the back that mine did not have, I selected it anyway and went on. The cd then instructed me to go to section F of the installation guide, there was no Section F, there was no section, A, B, C, D, E, G,H, ... either. I hit next and pretended to have read Section F. It said sorry I cannot connect, is the power on on the boxy thingy - they didn't use the term, boxy thingy, but I knew what they meant anyway. The cd then told me I was going to have to connect manually and where to find the information on the boxy thingy. I got this and plugged the numbers in and they said "sorry I cannot connect, is the power on on the boxy thingy" I said yes, and was told where to find the numbers and how to plug them in. While getting the numbers off the boxy thingy Gordon found a stick that connected to the back of the card we had put in so we attached that and still no luck. I rebooted thinking maybe since we had just attached the stick maybe a reboot would help. Not so much. We had to start the installation all over and couldn't get past putting in the numbers. Back on the phone with tech support. I explained that I did not do whatever was in section F since the manual they had sent had no sections, nor any information other than drop the card in and follow the cd. Again I was told that I did not need to worry about that. Walking through it with support helped none so I was bumped up to second level. In their defense I was never on hold for more than 30 seconds, so I never had to wait for them not to tell me anything. Second level walked me through opening the device manager and attempting to load the driver. The computer however was not able to locate a driver, talking to me as if I had never seen a computer before the tech was getting very impatient when the driver was not found since it was apparent to him that I was not pointing the wizard to look on the CD. (Luckily for him not only have I seen a computer before, but have worked support and understand the average level of intelligence dealt with) The tech went up one level and came back and said that the driver for that particular card is not included on the CD and we would need to download it off of the internet. My patience level was not at a good point by then. Why would you sell me a card and not include the driver, why would you tell me it was a USB connection and send me an Ethernet cable, why, oh why, do I attempt to change things, why can't I ever just be happy with what I have, why I ask you why! Fortunately the last half went on only in my head. I came back to my newly connected PC and downloaded the driver and burned it onto a CD to take to Megan's computer. Opened the zip files on Megan's went to load the driver and nope, the device manager said no driver, the card software said no device, always blaming the other guy. Tech supported decided I had a bad slot on the computer and told me to move the card, and then it would work just fine. I said I doubted that, but I would move the card and call them back. So I took the modem out and switched places with the wireless adapter, I was able to dial into the internet with the modem in the slot just recently vacated by the adapter, and was still not able to connect the adapter in the modem's old home. Back to tech support, "probably a bad card, those cards are not real reliable" "probably why you don't include a driver for them, huh?" "we can send you a new card" "nope not interested, I want to return this card, just tell me what I need to buy at Best Buy to get this computer running" He suggested a USB wireless adapter and instructed me to call billing on Monday to arrange the return of the original card. So we were done for the night, it was only 2:00 in the morning, three hours of effort and Megan's computer was still not connected.

This morning after the laundrymat and the library we went to Wal-Mart and bought a USB wireless adapter. I was able to load the software that came with it and plug it in getting the computer to recognize it, however it did not recognize mycomputer. Back to tech support. I gave him my case number and he read all the notes, I explained that I had a USB connector and that the computer was recognizing it but I needed to tell it how to find the boxy thingy that they had sent me. He explained that since I had chose to go with a third party connector he might not be able to help me. Totally out of patience I explained that I hoped the call was being monitored and this not being my first, second, or third call to their technical support I was fully aware that the chances of him being able to help me were slim and none, that SBC had given me little option but to go with a third party vendor, and that he had better listen to what I was telling him since I understood the concepts but needed to know the particulars of where everything went. I explained that I was able to get into the software to where the profile needed to be loaded but that I did not know what information to put in where. Walking through it with him led absolutely no where. He kept saying "where it says WEP put in your serial number" It doesn't say WEP. Finally, he gave me the codes that I would need to call Belkin (the third party vendor) and hopefully they would be able to help me. And they were, it took a while, I was on hold for about 40 minutes waiting for the next available operator, finally I decided to take the phone into the office and play poker while I waited, sure enough that brought about the next available operator. Within minutes, I professed my undying love, and Megan's computer was on line on DSL.

My email is changing from to Voyager is still active until 11/17 when my contract is up. But I signed up for something called trueswitch which is supposed to notify all of you and forward mail for up to thirty days.

That's all the news that's fit to print.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Here is the promised more

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usBry's party was very loud. We counted 11 kids and 14 adults (Megan is in the adult category for this one.) For those of you who haven't been there Robin's house is pretty small. But everyone had fun. At one point Bryan couldn't get something he wanted and he said "Oh yeah, happy birthday to me" with just the right amount of sarcasm to confirm that he really is 7.

On the job front although they have told me that I would become a full time employee with benefits as of 11/10 they have not told me what those said benefits are. I did find out through talking with others that the day after Thanksgiving is not a holiday (and to think I listed that as my favorite day.) So I asked my manager and she told me that she would get HR to give me the packet explaining the benefits. When this did not happen I asked again. She then told me that HR had informed her that I would get this once I was an official employee. I told her that this was not okay, that it would be foolish to commit to an offer without knowing what the offer was. She went back to HR and was again told no. I then sweetened the pot by saying that I was expecting a job offer from a company that I had temped for last year within the next week, and that if I did not know what Arcadia had to offer I might have to assume the other offer was better. This brought about a flurry of activity, including me being called into the HR office. Where I was told that it was common practice to not divulge benefit information until after an employee had been hired. I explained that it was common practice for me to discuss this information in the interview, as it is a key component of compensation. HR would not budge stating that they could not treat me any differently than any other potential employee. I agreed that I did not expect preferential treatment but I would have to take that into consideration. My manager then called me into the office of the director of our department where the director gave me her benefit package explaining the different options available and the costs for each. She then told me that I would recieve 2 floating holidays that needed to be used by the end of the year and would have accrued just over 20 vacation hours based on the 90 days I will have worked prior to becoming an official employee (although I am not official until 11/10, my hire date will be 8/12.) She also told me that I would receive a $2/hour raise and should the offer from the other (phantom) company be more than that to let her know and she would see what she could do. Wow, this is alot like playing poker, I have the nuts and I want to get called, if I raise too little I won't get the best payout, if I raise too much I might not get called. Not sure yet how to play it.

I posted the "answers" to last week's post. This week the game is encore. As I am driving I often hear a word in a song that gets me to thinking what other songs have that word in it. This week I did a lot on "bottle" what can you guys come up with? Bonus points if you come up with the song that inspired this train of thought.

Until Later

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Happy Birthday Bryan

Image Hosted by Yes, those are glasses on his face, he needs them for reading, tv, and using the computer. Will post more later.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Chillin' on a Saturday

THEY WERE ROBBED. Now I don't profess to be a fan of baseball, and have nothing against those that have chosen (is it a choice or are you born that way?) that lifestyle, but I was flipping channels the other night and what I saw was nothing short of robbery. If the White Sox end up winning the series I am officially boycotting baseball. (As opposed to just not watching it.)

I WANT TO BE AN ENVIRONMENTALIST WHEN I GROW UP. Well not as soon as I grow up I'll wait until after I've already taken everything I want. Again flipping channels, I caught a city council show from Westland, someone is asking to reopen Nankin Tavern and build two additional restaurants on the property (a pizza shop and an unnamed fast food drive through.) This is the corner of Hines and Ann Arbor Trail. Many residents of the area were there to complain stating how that area is full of nature and one of the main reasons they chose to build their homes there was because of all the nature in the area. These homes have not been there since the beginning of time and most of them have gone up in the last few years. One guy actually said that he was a devout environmentalist and chose to build his home there last year because of all of the trees and animals in the area, and how the proposed development of the area would destroy such. Of course the development of his property was necessary and of no consequence to nature. If this doesn't go through I am officially boycotting nature.

OVER THE RIVER THE MIGHTY RIVER. Crossing the Zilwuakee bridge last night I wrote down all of the songs I heard on the radio for a trivia game for you guys. How can I write and drive you ask? Don't worry I did put my book down while I wrote down the songs. As you can see from the impressive list I was on the bridge for a loooong time. Apparently there was an overturned semi, however all I know was we went no where and then we did. There was a AAA report on while I was waiting but instead of traffic it gave an update on the leaves changing (the UP is at 75%, northern lower at 50% with peak to hit in two weeks in case you're interested.) So here is a random line from a song, what song is it? Answers will be posted in comments later in the week. Keep in mind I was listening to the "Great songs of yesteryear" station and flipping with "70's, 80's, 90's, whatever we want" station.

1. Roll me in designer sheets
2. Not much, how 'bout you
3. You know that's a game I hate to lose
4. Although I lose a friend, in the end you'll know
5. The beauty is there but the beast is in her heart
6. Just let it go, don't be afraid to lose control
7. You know it's just your foolish pride
8. Now you don't care a thing about me You're just using me
9. That kind of love is mythical She's anything but typical
10.But I'll be lonely without you
11. I only smile when I lie, then I tell them why
12. Buy me a ticket on the last train home tonight
13. They keep their boyfriends warm at night
14. Playing songs of hope, playing songs of peace.
15. Hoping you'll seeWhat your love means to me
16. You and me been finding each other for so long
17. When the skies of November turn gloomy
18. Well, we're scared, but we ain't shakin'
19. And talk is cheap when the story is good
20. young and sweet, only seventeen
21. Take my arms that I might reach you
22. You ain't seen the best of me yet

WE WOULD HAVE PUT IT IN THE FINE PRINT IF YOU KNEW YOU READ IT. My internet service is expiring in November and I received an email that they would be charging my credit card for another year of service if I did not respond that I know longer wanted it. I thought this would be a good time to explore other options. Fortutiously I received a brochure from SBC detailing their plans for bundling services. Phone, mobile phone (through Cingular), tv service (through Dish Network), and internet (through Yahoo DSL). I currently have SBC for phone, Dish for tv, and have thought many times about changing my cell phone. So I had Gordon make the preliminary call to check out all of this. Yes, DSL does not use a separate phone line so I can discontinue paying for a second line. Yes, I can connect more than one computer - even at the same time. No, I cannot bundle my Dish with it since I am a loyal customer and not a new customer. You have to call a different number to sign up for Cingular. By this time he had worked out for the customer service rep to call me on Saturday. So she did and I worked through what I needed to understand and everything was good. They were sending out the software and equipment I needed to set everything up, we scheduled the shut off of my additional phone line......and then the stopper. "I see you do not have SBC as your long distance carrier" "No, I do not have a long distance carrier, I use my cell for all long distance calls" "Well, as a requirement for the DSL service you must use SBC as your long distance carrier, this way you will have the ability to make long distance calls from your phone at a charge of ten cents per minute" "Is there any monthly charge?" "Just two dollars per month" reading as I am talking "so, what you're saying is the DSL will cost me $16.95/month instead of $14.95" still considerably cheaper than internet service and an additional phone line, "no, the DSL is $14.95, the long distance is $2.00" "come on, you've seemed intelligent don't go stupid on me" "well, I guess you could look at it that way, but it is still considerably cheaper than even just the additional phone line" "Yes, it is but I really hate this kind of thing thrown in at the end, I'm looking at your brochure and I do see on the bottom where it says I have to have SBC local service, but it does not mention anything about long distance service" "well, ma'am since you have a brochure and it does not mention it, I'll just go ahead and waive this long distance service." So it looks like it is going to happen, the new service starts on the 25th, I don't have an email address yet but I will let you know when I do. The old service (voyager) is still there until the 17th.

The time stamp on this post is 12:27 and the clock on my computer reads 2:48, so I guess I have spent enough time on this. I'll talk to you all soon.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Happy Birthday Melody

Hopefully your present got there by now, it's coming from probably addressed to me. Click on the video to see how much we miss you.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Another Embarrassment at Ford Field

Amazingly it wasn't the Lions who were embarrassed. It wasn't so much that the Lions won but the Ravens lost the game and their composure today. It was a great game to watch. Josh is quite a Lions fan and yells "Go Lions" (video attached the second part was a Lions Touchdown) with the best of us. (Us being me and Sean, the other people in the house took Baltimore to win - fools). The most amazing in all is that it is week 5 of the season and the Lions are in sole possession of first place in their division.

In other interesting news Patti (the office manager for the construction company I was working at until she hired someone with a little more knowledge than I) called me last week to offer me a job. Turns out she has been through 4 people (one of which was her daughter) since I left at the end of July. It was with great pleasure that I could tell her I had found a position that I am challenged at. Of course I first asked what they were offering and it was as I thought no medical benefits at all. I do miss wearing jeans and the drives around town but I really enjoy what I am doing now. The team I work with is improving as the two girls I least liked (one I could not stand, and one that was tolerable) are gone and I have moved to a much better desk position.

Since I have the boys here today we are celebrating Melody's birthday, it would be better if she was here too. But sometimes you just have to make do with what you have.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Cruisin' Home

Even though the leaves are slowly turning orange they have not pushed the orange barrels off of my ride home. Since I now work in Southfield east side of Detroit I am taking 75 up instead of 23 as I do from the west side of Detroit. Getting to 75 is a challenge all in itself, but then once I am on it becomes a whole new world. So today I'm on 475 going through downtown Flint to avoid the construction on actual 75 when I decide I need to stop and use the bathroom. Not familiar with with the exits on 475 and knowing pretty much only that it is downtown Flint I start to figure out where I will be when I merge back with 75 and what exits are the most potty friendly. I get back on at 124 and 126 isn't bad they have a BP with decent restrooms. Then I do something really stupid if I want to get out of the car. I put in the To Mom With Love CD. Earlier today I was talking about my sisters and someone asked how many siblings I have, what a tough question, then later the question of just how many kids did I have. So I was feeling pretty nostalgic. By the time It's a Small World came on I was balling missing those little kids just as much as I missed Karl and Matt. (There's one answere for the know ourselves poll) When I got to the exit for the restroom they were singing the bear song and there was no way I was getting out of the car. So I'm back to figuring out exits while singing and crying, good thing multi-tasking is one of my special talents. (There's another poll answer.) 131 sucks since you have to drive down to the first light on the main street and turn on to a service drive to get to the businesses, the rest area around 134 was closed last week due to the construction, the big exit at 136 is screwy with the construction, the next exit isn't till 144 and I don't really care for the restrooms theres, 149 is awful, 151 is pretty good I can probably make it till then. Except I forgot about the construction on the bridge that they decided to start this weekend (deer season starts tomorrow - opening day weekend yeah that's when I'd close a lane on 75 north) so I ditch 75 at 150 to take 675 which has no potty friendly exits. Now I'm trying to figure out how long the CD is, and where will I be when it ends. There are 27 tracks on the CD! Finally back on 75 at mile mark 159 I turn the cd player off after Honey so I get off at 160 and pee. What a coincidence, that's the exit with the Dunkin Donuts. Guess I could get Gordon a donut or 24.

Once the CD ends, I start scanning the radio I stop at a station playing Kiss' Beth. What a great song, and the great songs just keep coming...just like Bogie and Bacall...sundown you better take care....cracklin' rosie get on board....if you like pina coladas....hello darkness my old friend...I love you just the way you are...we're going hoppin' (hop)...born and raised in South Detroit...nothing but a heartache. Good solid music almost all the way home. Then they break for commercial and station identification. "You're listening to the Bay, great songs from yesteryear" What, isn't that just another way of saying "Oldies", Oldies are Beatles, Motown, Petula Clark for christ sake. What do they know about Oldies, oh well I programed their station in anyways even if they don't know classic from old.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

We're Number One

The Lions beat the Packers, the Bears and Vikings both lost. That means Detroit is all alone in the number one spot for their division. I don't think that has happened in my football watching history. WOOOHOOO.

In other, even better, news I have been offered a full time permanent position with Arcadia. My boss (Eman) has been making noises about hiring me, comments here and there but nothing definite. I had an appointment with Blue Cross on Thursday to test for an Administrative position that required me to take a long lunch. So I went in to talk to Eman and told her that I had an interview, and she said please no don't go. She explained that she wanted to hire me but that because I was a temp she had to wait 90 days (the usual period is 120 days but she had already talked them down to 90). She asked me not to go on the interview and said that she would go talk to HR about reducing the 90 days. Later that afternoon she brought me in with HR who explained that they had to stay with 90 days since I came from an Arcadia affiliate and they did not want the affiliate to lose their commission on me since that may discourage them from sending future temps. However, I will not have to wait 90 days from my actual hire date for benefits to kick in they will kick in immediately. So that means I will get paid for Thanksgiving!! A paid holiday, forgot what that felt like. I really like the work, it is complex and constant. I'm really happy about it.

That's about it, and it's past my Sunday night bedtime.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

A Job Well Done

This job just may be a keeper. I really enjoy the work, and they seem to like me. The first full week I was there did not go so well for me, on Monday I kept saying "now what do you need me to do?" the girls that work on the team I am with warned me that starting Tuesday it would get real busy since that is when Payroll starts. I worked on all of the matching and filing stuff looking forward to being busy on Tuesday. Well, Tuesday morning they bring in two new girls to help with the payroll. I can only assume it's because they were looking for medical billers and I am not a certified medical biller. Although the company I am working for is the same company I am temping for (Arcadia Services formally known as Somebody Sometime) the department I am working in is responsible for Health Aides and the billing is mostly through insurance agencies and government billing. So I continued with menial stuff, and saying "Okay what next" every 1/2 hour. Thursday they had me review the government billing, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The manager of the department stopped by and told me they were very impressed with me. On Friday she came by to sign my timecard and said she would have to let me know if I was to come back on Monday. That they were very pleased with my work but that she had to get it approved. At 5:30 I got the word to come back on Monday. Tuesday morning one of the new girls was gone, and the other was moved to a different department. I took over the Cleveland and Akron offices with a $3.00/hour raise. WooHoo. The work is great, the managers great, the team young. It's great practice for my poker face if I should ever play in a live game. Some of the things they come out with - thank god I am over the need to educate every one I meet. But hopefully I am in it for the long haul, they gave me my own sign on to the computer and email address, and they are ordering me a mouse pad. The dress code is business casual with jeans on Friday, but I guess I can live with that, I do need some shoes though that I can wear with socks. The hours are 8:30 to 5:30 but I think if I'm here long enough I can work out a flex time.

Not much else is going on. I am giving a talk for Nar-Anon in early October that I need to start working on soon. Megan is back in school. Gordon is working long weeks but that will cut back some after Labor Day. The kids are great, Josh is counting now he's real good up to five and Megan started doing up to ten with him this weekend.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Heigh Ho Heigh Ho

I got a call Thursday to start a new job on Friday. I wasn't wild about driving down for one day, but Jackson was going to be there so that doubled the value. The job is actually working for the temp company. It's kind of amazing since it seemed that everyone in the area I was working was a temp, although I was the only one from Arcadia. From what I see from one day the job could be very interesting. I spent the day comparing timesheets with printouts and invoices which wasn't as mindless as it seems. The person in charge of the department appears to be very bright and on the ball, however the girl I was working with spent most of the time saying "Oh, I'm sorry I forgot to tell you first you have to..." I'm not too concerned about that though since I am pretty confident that once I understand their process that I will be able to figure out what I first need to do.

Megan gets home tonight from her Mall of America trip so look for a blog from her in the next couple of days.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Home Again Home Again Jiggity Jig

With Megan gone for a week and Gordon having Sunday and Monday off we decided to take an impromptu trip up to Kewadin. I called on Saturday and got us a room for Sunday night. I woke up Saturday morning at 10:30 to take Gordon to work, napped for about 45 minutes in the chair in the afternoon, picked up Gordon from work at 12:30 (14 hours later not 2), we had dinner and watched our Saturday shows (BB and Trading Spaces) then went to bed, I could not sleep and so I got back up and played poker until 5:30 when it was time to take Megan to the bus for her trip to Mall of America. I got Gordon up too and we headed from there up north. After a stop in Gaylord for breakfast we were in the casino at St. Ignace by 8:30. I took notes, but they are in the car and I am not. We played a few penny and 2 cent machines, each putting in $5 and at least one of us pulling out $5 or more. We played a lot of Bonus Games but Gordon sucks at them as much as I do. Any real stuff we got was on the actual spins. I remember we played Bewitched/Bowser, and Gophers/Ducks, and then we played American Bandstand. We both hit stuff pretty early on in AB, and soon I noticed that I had over 900 credits and Gordon had over 700, I mentioned that I thought we were playing Nickels, after much examination it was determined that we were playing nickels. We both took out $30 from our machines and moved on. When we got to the Soo we went downtown for the shopping portion of the trip since check in was not until 3:00, we walked the strip and picked up a few things and then walked back along the locks. About 1/2 down the strip the most important purchase was made a 75 cent clearancing stretchy kids bracelet that served just fine as ponytail ring. Boy, was it hot. We went into each and every store just to soak up some airconditioning. The walk back was sort of through a shaded park so it was not nearly as bad. We got to the hotel about 2:45 and was told that the room was not available come back at three. So went into the casino for a while. Back out at 3:30 only to be told that our room was still not ready, it may not be until 4:00, by then I was exhausted and my tailbone was killing me, but being a trooper went back into the casino until 5:00. Our room was finally ready and we went up to nap $44.00 up for the day (gaming day, not shopping, eating, or driving day). Back up at 7:30 we cashed in our promotional coupons for gold coins, before the bus tours got done with dinner and headed off to Brimley. We started in Brimley with 279 points on Gordon's card and if you got 50 points in one day you got a beach towel, Gordon really wanted the beach towel since we had not brought any warm clothes and the King of the Grill that Mom mentioned by a draft was playing real nice but the draft was an artic breeze, he figured if we got the towel we could use it as a blanket at the machine. We would have gotten there except Gordon didn't understand that the day ended at midnight and we only had 45 points, which is still a lot for us. We played alot less machines on this trip and stayed at each one for over a 1/2 hour, which did not help my tailbone at all. We also may have gotten our points if Gordon didn't love the TV show/Movie based games and have to watch all of the animation involved. Drove me crazy I kept saying "just press spin he'll stop" to which he would reply "why would I want him to stop?", OMG whole scenes from the Munsters! I've spent most of my life avoiding scenes from the Munsters. He also likes the "dark" machines the unicorns, or haunted stuff, thankfully there was usually a bright one next to it. I can't tell the difference in the pictures on those dark ones. Although even the corn and apple pie on King of the Grill was starting to look the same to me. About 10:45 we headed to Kings Club to have dinner at Chums but they were closed when we got there. We played until the Casino closed at midnight and Gordon tried to get a towel any way but it was a no. We went back to Brimley and they have a very nice bar/grill on the other end of the hotel that was still open and had the chicken fingers. We got a ten piece to split and a single order of fries which was more than plenty. They had a poker match playing on the large screen, one that I had decided not to tape since it came on at midnight and sometime my tv updates at midnight and I would have been very upset to have an hour of "press select to continue" I figured not getting it at all and catching it later would be preferable to getting upset. There was no sound but I didn't need it. After "dinner" on two hours of sleep we went back into the casino. This might have been when we played Star Wars, since it was pretty empty then. "Lucky" me got to play both of the bonus games and had to watch the whole thing. Gordon however was the big winner getting a whole bunch of monkey guys for 1000 (pennies) none of which we took out - he really wanted the bonus game but never did get it. We headed back to Kewadin to play our gold coins where we took $14 out of the $20 gold coins we put in. Back to King of the Grill who had cooled off considerably, a walk around the virtually empty casino stopping to play anything that we wanted that was never available in prime time, but nothing was paying so finally to the room around 4:00 - still up about $30. Check out was at 11:00 and around 10:45 I woke up enough to call and ask for a later check out since it took so long to check in and was told I could have a 1/2 hour if I really needed it, I said I did and slept a little while longer. Out of the room and back down to the Casino, we played for a while and then left for "breakfast" we went to that fifties place in town and had lunch. Back to St. Ignace Gordon really wanted to play the Men In Black but it was always full (and next to a Match Game - woohoo Gene Rayburn) we went to American Bandstand and each put in five 1 dollar tokens, we had only played for a minute and not hit anything when I noticed that we each had over 400 credits, I said "see it is pennies" and then cashed out my machine $21.45 I had Gordon cash out his $21.85 and we each put in a five dollar bill (as we had yesterday), I was willing to put my 401K in this machine. But alas the magic was over and we only got 100 credits, we played until those were gone and moved on. MIB was open as was the Match Game next to it, we played there for a long time on $5 each and I would have been very happy except that the Match Game on the other side of Gordon was always winning a lot. By then I was really done gambling, my tailbone was excrutiating, those chairs (except for the AB ones) were horrible, at one point I think Match Game I made Gordon go get me a different chair, I still had to drive home and was really ready to go. Gordon however not so much. We played a few more and ended up at me Billionaires and Gordon Hot Dawgs. I said this is it then we leave, we had played for over a 1/2 hour when Gordon was out and I was down to a couple hundred credits (pennies) it wasn't worth the two bucks to me to wait in line to cash in the ticket (we never did find a machine at St. Ignace to cash in tickets) so I played it out - oh lookie bonus game again - again - again - up to about 500 credits I told Gordon to play it while I went to the bathroom. He was waiting for me outside the door when I came out and we headed home down about $8 for the trip. Gordon did not have a watch with him and I never have one, back in the car we saw that it was after 7:00. A stop for Gas and Soda and we were home by 9:30, thankfully only one of us had to get up and go to work in the morning.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

When You're Hot, You're Hot

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usMy email box was full of weather advisories this morning, apparently we have a heat advisories as it is expected to go over 100 today. This is the hottest summer I can remember. Good thing there is water all around. This picture is from Mom's pool and there are more up at yahoo. There are some movies: owie game, kids swim.

Not a whole lot more is going on, Megan leaves on Sunday for Mall of America so she is pretty darn excited. Sabrina's birthday party was on Sunday, contrary to all of the advice given she went ahead and turned 8. I forgot the camera for the party but it was a lot like the last one so just go look at those and imagine everyone young a little taller, and everyone old a little fatter.

Nothing going on on the job front, there hasn't even been anything good in the papers. Gordon is putting in lots of hours though, so that helps alot. He and Bob got the tree all cut up and out front of the house for pickup. I was a little nervous when it was not picked up last week, but apparently since there was so much it took the city a few days to get to everybody and they did pick it up yesterday.

When I was loading the movies the last one didn't load and I got this:
the following error occurred while uploading file - file not uploaded:
unexpected error occurred
such helpful information, I would assume that if it was expected it would not have been an error.

I've been playing poker on line, not for real money. I'm not bad, except when I suck. I entered a tournament yesterday there were 1586 players in the tournament and I finished 1584. My table must have played slow because I went out on the first hand. I had AK and flopped AK-, went all in and the person who called me got a flush on the river, oh well. I wasn't expecting a call on an all in on the first hand, I mean what dummy risks the tournament on the first hand! I so felt like Phil Helmuth, "you called me with that, what kind of idiot are you!" They are still having preliminary tournaments though and if I win I get to go play in Aruba on the WPT. I would say that I'm not giving up my day job, but I don't have one.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Free At Last, Free At Last

This week was particularly hard at work, I was totally incapable of doing anything right. When I go on interviews and am asked about my strongest quality I usually answer my ability to understand what needs to be done and to figure out how to do it. But not here. For example last Friday just before I left the estimator had given me a change to send out, this was on a bid that we had received and now the general contractor was saying "okay how much if we change it and do this instead?" Now I have done probably about 100 of these in the 5 months that I have been there, you send it on to the general contractor and file a copy in pending change order section of the job file. While I was filing it Patti came in and asked why I was filing it in the pending as opposed to approved change orders. I said that I did not know that it had been approved since I had just typed it up and sent it to the GC. I was then told that since it was a deduct (the change would cost less than the original plan) of course it would be automatically approved. I asked "what if it is not enough of a deduct?" and was told "that makes no sense." Having been there 5 months I had learned not to try logic (I hire you to do my floors we agree on a price of $1000 for hard wood, I then ask how much for linoleum, you quote me a deduct of $5 - I don't think so, but what do I know) so I put it with the approved change orders and do the rest of the paperwork necessary for an approved change order. I leave and dwell on this all the way back to West Branch. Monday morning I come in to a change on my desk, another deduct for a different project. I treat it as an approved change order only to have her come in and question why I am doing that. I said "because it is a deduct" to which I am told "that makes no sense." For once she was right. Oh well, the week went down hill from there. Until around noon on Friday when she told me that this would be my last day that she had hired someone with um a little more knowledge, and since I wasn't doing anything productive I might as well go home and she would pay me for the full day. It took me about fifteen seconds to complete my timecard, give her the office key and grab my sodas from the fridge, I wished her luck and sang all the way out the door. I know I needed the job, and it is not in my character to quit a job without another one, but boy am I glad to be out of there. Unfortunately I did not pack up at Mommy's as if I wouldn't be back for a while so Erika is going to have to Jackson proof the room next weekend, if I don't have something new before then. Which if that is the case then maybe we'll come down on Saturday to swim with Jack.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usIn other news there is a lot to do around here, on Monday as Megan told everyone we lost part of a tree in the backyard that needs to be cleaned up. The only time Gordon had to do it this week was Thursday evening during which we had another major storm that took down more trees all over town. Our neighbor's house (as you look at the front of the house to the right) lost a tree in the front on Monday that fell on both of their cars and made the papers. The other side of main (Houghton) street lost power both Monday and Thursday for several hours. We didn't thank goodness or Megan would have been a wreck.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usWe have been going to the beach whenever we could on the weekends. Beach is really a relative term. Some of my relatives might consider this a boat launch since that is what the sign reads, but most of the kids I take can't read and think it is a beach. There is no sand. Just a grassy slope followed by large rocks and then water with a very rocky bottom until the bottom becomes mush. But it is not crowded and close enough to home to go for a couple of hours, I don't feel like I have to make a day out of it. I bring a lawn chair, cooler with soda, and book for me. Since it is a boat launch area we get a lot of boats going by usually pulling a tube or skier so they're going fast enough to cause some motion in the water. Just enough wave for the little ones, each time though the world-weary traveler Megan must explain to them what real waves are. Since I have all of the kids today and not enough room in the car I don't think we are going to make it there today. Tomorrow is laundry, and hopefully Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, then maybe my meeting in Saginaw that I haven't made it to in 5 months since I had to drive down state on Monday mornings.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThe H.O.G rally was last weekend (did you know, and you probably didn't since I didn't and I live here, thank goodness I had Patti's knowledge to inform me, that West Branch has only had a H.O.G. rally for 5 years, I'm not sure where her knowledge comes from but I think she was on a Harley once, but all these years I've been living here and thought there was a motorcycle parade down main street I must have been mistaken and it was listed in the paper as the 22nd annual but they probably didn't check with Patti first, rookie mistake) the Clydesdale horses were in the neighborhood for the All Star Game in Detroit so they made it north for the Rally. What a great mix Budweiser and Harleys. The horses were awesome, the parade of motorcycles great, and the economic boost to the city incredible.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usMelody has been requesting a picture of Heather's belly so here it is. She is due October 24th, the baby in keeping with the preferred pose it's generation crossed it's legs for the ultrasound so we have no gender knowledge, Heather feels pretty certain it is a boy, so that may be a sure sign that it's a girl, but it's a 50-50 shot. I try really, really hard not to try to understand how she is going to be able to take care of another kid, but to put myself in the frame of mind that it is not my problem all I can and should do is love her and the baby. But OMG that is hard. Sabrina turns 8 tomorrow, she is so tall and skinny. And smart, not necessarily school smart although she is starting to get some of that stuff, but turn your words around on you smart. She was on some type of "calm your kid down" drug but her hair started falling out so Heather took her off and she is going back to the doctor's this week. Bryan and Sean are doing great, although I hear all kinds of commotion out in the living room right now, they spend the first half of their week with their dad (another baby is expected in that household also) and then Robin has them the last half including the weekends. Her household now includes Josh pretty much full time as his mother has decided that she is too young (19) to be burdened with 2 kids, she has given Jeremy Josh and her mother has her other baby. I am so glad to be just a spectator in this.

I just got good news, my mail came and with it a letter from the State Department of Treasury saying that they had changed my tax return due to an error on my part. My state refund was only $12 and I didn't remember getting it, but that was a long time ago. So I double checked my bank stuff and there wasn't a deposit. Now of course, the letter does not say if I've landed on Luxury Tax or if an error was made in my favor so as I was calling the 800 # listed for explanations I panicked slightly that since I was only getting a $12 refund if I owed them money chances are good it was more than $12 and I would not only have to come up with money for them but whatever interest they wanted to charge. Communicating with the 800 # was difficult, they now have the option to say or press a number which means they pick up all background noises and just keep repeating "I'm sorry I did not understand what you said" - I didn't say anything, I hadn't even heard the options yet. So I yell at the kids to be quiet and call back desperately digging through my filing box (definitely something else to work on while I am home) for my return. Finally getting through and putting in my social and adjusted gross income, the error was in my favor and my refund of $300 was deposited in my bank account yesterday (although it is not showing up online) of course they don't tell me what I missed so that I don't miss it next year but it is good to know that they are checking for me.

Things I found interesting over the past few weeks:

The Amber Alert for the 7 year old boy from Ingham County has been cancelled as it is presumed that he ran away - WHAT? (This was heard on an Monday going down and that Friday going back was reissued as he had been seen in Genesee county. Ingham county is Mt. Pleasant, Genesee is Flint. Over a week later I heard the father on the radio pleading for info on his son as the Amber Alert had again been cancelled, the boy apparently had "run away" before for approximately an hour and was found in the tree in their back yard. But having a "record" of running away...)

Product Safety Notices have contributed to the dumbing down of society. The idiot that previously would have expired while blow drying his hair in the shower is now warned of such danger and as such allowed to procreate.

Department of Redundancy Department - T-Shirt Kaysar was wearing in BB6 (don't get me started on that show - all I would like to say is Good bye to Eric - what an arrogant jerk).

All right I think I'll go ahead and post this now. If I can find the ticker place maybe I'll update that too.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

The Sweet Sound of Flush

I guess the big news is that our bathroom floor is finally fixed. The toilet no longer threatens to fall through the floor each time someone sits on it. It took over 24 hours without a toilet, but thank god that Robin only lives down the street.

Image Hosted by I know it's been ages since I blogged, but let's just admit it my life is pretty darn boring, and if there is anything going on then I don't have time to blog. I keep going in to work every day, it's still as boring as ever with the added pleasure of the Office Manager's niece in for the summer, so now there are two of us with nothing to do. We had a very full weekend, Jackson was incredible, the drive in awesome, and then a very loud very stimulating one year old's birthday party. I've never seen such a young (small just doesn't fit the bill here) child eat so much. Image Hosted by The party was at a county park so Megan and her friend went swimming in the lake. Most of Gordon's family was there and it was nice to see all of them. There were multi generations of Spicers, I could pretty much recognize the those of Keith's generation but after that I was lost.

We went to the firewoks in Houghton Lake last night. Every one has always told me what a great show Houghton Lake has, but I wasn't impressed much. It was a nice show, somewhere between the drive in displays we saw as children and the Lupton fireworks in January after the snowmobile show. Just about as cold as the the Lupton show though, I guess I'm not meant to understand why it is so cold in Mid-Michigan for the fireworks. After a June of record breaking hot temperatures we have a weekend with dusk temperatures in the low fifties. We parked at a motel, conveniently there was a basketball net and Bryan had brought his baseketball. Here is a video of the next Manu Genobili. Tonight we will brave the West Branch fireworks, and with any luck I will remember to bring blankets and mosquito spray.

Since everyone else has a ticker I thought I would add one, but don't hold me to it. Oh yeah more pictures available on yahoo.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Movies and More

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usNot a lot going on that you guys haven't already heard from someone else. There are movies from Memorial Day Weekend at Mom's. Megan is a bit of a videophile and I managed to reduce it down to 4 videos each just under 2MB which is the limit per file on my website. I also have a 25MB total limit so I will have to start deleting older ones soon.

Bryan and Jackson Play Catch

Jackson Eats

After Dinner 1

After Dinner 2

After dinner was a 20 minute movie mostly of Jackson going back and forth from the game room at the restaurant to the dining area, I tried to capture the highlights.

Megan also had her final band concert for this year. This is the final song, with a lot of percussion, I cut out the parts with no percussion but you can hardly tell that there is anything missing.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usNot much else is going on, I got home on Friday in time to catch the end of Bry's T-Ball game, he made a very solid hit, not just knocking it off the tee but hitting it into the outfield. They want him to advance to pitching machine next year even though he'll only be seven and they usually start that at 8, Robin is a little nervous though about his ability to get out of the way of the ball if it is coming at him. I'm sure they'll cross that bridge next year just fine. In the mean while Robin picked up his league pictures and he looks so big.

The job is still a pain, with no end in sight. So I'll just keep going back as long as they'll have me. The estimator told me the other day that he's been there since August of last year and I've lasted in my position longer than anyone else. Doesn't completely surprise me, although I know two of the people that preceded me in the last year were related to the Office Manager.

School is out this week and it is getting hot here. Mommy is in Florida, so there is no one to talk to at night. TV is in reruns, although I did like the new Beauty and the Geek. I haven't read anything really interesting lately. The most interesting place I've been is Fowlerville. I did find lamps that I liked for the bedroom although they were black and not green, but I trimmed the shades with green trimming and they look great. Nothing else exciting or interesting.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

If you like really long blogs

Okay here I go, there is soooo much. I am slaving over the computer trying to minimize way too much video footage into 1mb clips. So I figured I could start typing while the computer was doing it's save stuff, if everything goes as normal, I will overload the computer trying to do too much at once and will end up with nothing at all.

The job is still a job. I have never been wrong so many times in one day as I am at this job. It just doesn’t matter what I do, but I am learning to accept that and taking pleasure in doing things at least twice. I am becoming quite adept at single tasking, and have completed counting the spots on the wall behind the fax machine as I stand there and wait for a fax to go through so I can print out a report sheet. I am beginning to appreciate the look of everything typed in all caps in the comic font, and hey, maybe that does look professional to someone.

But the job does have its perks, I dress in jeans, and I get to leave a lot to drop off and pick up bid materials. A few weeks ago my travels took me past Grandpa Beauregard’s old house on Vine. I had to drop off a bid at the school right on Vine just down the street from Grandpa’s house. The house looks exactly the same, in fact they all do and I am not absolutely positive I was looking at the right house. A few years ago I had the opportunity to go by Grandma Van Houten’s house off Grandriver and it looked smaller to me. I also drove past where their trailer was the other day, but I was not even sure if it was the right park much less go in and try and pick out the trailer. However my trips out that way also took me down Maceday Lake. Image Hosted by ImageShack.usBelieve me I did not realize for a minute that I was even in the right area and if Mapquest had not put me on Maceday Lake Road I would have never found it. Even then, at first it meant nothing until I was reading it out loud and had to pronounce it. I always spelled it Massaday – as in one Mass A Day, and it always made sense to me since we went on Sunday’s after Mass. Even once I figured out it was the same place, I thought why would Mapquest even know about that little street. But Maceday Lake has certainly grown. It is now fully developed with very large, very expensive homes. My first trip through I did not see the beach area and mourned the loss. However when I talked to Mom about it after I got home she told me that the beach was not right on Maceday Lake Road but off Maiden. I had the chance to return the plans I had picked up the first time and this time took a detour down Maiden with my camera. The area was completely fenced and locked with no trespassing and video surveillance signs. I managed to take a few pictures, the rest are on Yahoo. I couldn’t see the beach itself since it is (at least it used to be) down the hill behind the restrooms, which I do believe have been updated, I seem to remember a blue stucco building. The playground equipment has been updated the merry go round wasn’t there, but it does look like the very same volleyball net.

And then Melody and Mike were here, they brought Mom, Erika, and Jackson with them and we had a very fun, very busy weekend. Image Hosted by ImageShack.usHeather had a surprise baby shower on Sunday click here for a video, and then we had lots of really great pool time as we were the only ones there. I have reduced the hour or so of video to these three – Megan and Jackson, Practice Practice Practice, and All Swim. Mike seems like a really nice guy, we’re a tough, loud bunch of people, but he opened up first with the kids (always the key to my heart) and even managed to carry an adult conversation or two. He has family in Michigan that he had never met before down in Sterling Heights so Robin and Jeremy took him and Melody down there on Monday to have dinner with his family. Image Hosted by We went to see Dustin on the second Sunday they were here, and then I took them down to Detroit on Monday, we had dinner with Steph at Steak n Shake and then Steph took them to the airport for the trip home. I guess there were a few problems with their flight but I’m sure she will be updating her blog soon with any details that we need to know.

And then you know it’s spring when t-ball practice is called on account of the cold. But Bryan had his first game while Melody was here and she acted as my official photographer since I had to miss the game for the always fun trip to the Laundromat. Click here for the video.Image Hosted by

Well, my videos are done, and now I have to upload pictures while I cook dinner, for a project I started at noon I should have this up and ready by 6. I’m sure there are other things that through the past two weeks I have thought “I’m going to have to remember to put that in my blog,” unfortunately I seldom do what I have to.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Testing Movies

Lets see how this works.

And it does. The how above takes you to a video of Bryan and Sean on the Merry-Go-Round at Steph's picnic. Click here to see the kids on the slide. I can't get it to be a picture but I'm sure Erika will let me know how. I have tons of video from the pool, I just need to go through it and type up what's been going on the last couple of weeks.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Say Cheese

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usHere is a picture of my new room, taken with a new camera. I'm not real pleased with the quality of the pictures but I guess it's not bad for a cheap camera/camcorder/pc cam/mp3 player. But then again maybe I'm doing something wrong.

This week went well. Work was slow, I practiced closing a program down and going into my computer to open a new file everytime I needed to do something. They actually have a file called New Word Document saved to open a blank document. Things got a bit hectic Tuesday morning as we had 6 bids due. I had typed up all of the regular stuff and was just waiting for the numbers to put on them. Pat was getting confused because I had everything ready, a completely non-normal state, she would say, "you have to..." and I would say, "I already have" this would provoke the "you can't fill that in ahead of time" I so wanted to say, "Why did the company change it's name or phone number last night?" But everything got out on time. The two public bids we did not get, and the other four were private and we don't have the results yet. One was for the new IKEA being built in Canton, the estimator kept pronouncing it ickea and Pat corrected him saying it was I K E A (as in FBI), as far as I know it will be the first IKEA in Michigan.

Megan got a certificate for being something, but I'll let her tell you about that on her blog. We are heading down to Mommy's in the morning for the picnic, the forecast went from rain all day to rain in the am, so hopefully we will have decent weather.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Guess Where I Slept Last Night

Go ahead guess, if you said in your "brand new bedroom" (say it as if you're on Price is Right, cause that's how I do) you would be correct. Sorry there is no picture but I cannot get the camera to work after the field trip to Megan's school. When I came home on Friday Gordon had the radiator covers on, the closet full of clothes, my chest of drawers back in the room with my clothes all folded neatly in the drawers, and my old nightstand stripped but not finished. Yesterday Megan and I put together the new furniture (a bedroom-in-a-box: dresser, nightstand, headboard, and mirror) except for the mirror. We then loaded the new furniture and unfinished nightstand into the room. The only thing left was to get cinderblocks for the bed frame. The plan was to have Bob pick them up at the Home Depot in Houghton Lake and bring them here after work but he had picked up a dryer while on his Pizza deliveries and didn't have room. I was sooo close to sleeping in my own room! While I was waiting to hear back from Gordon on Bob's status Dad called and we were discussing how I was leery of putting 20 cinderblocks in my car he said that if I ever had to to make sure I distributed the weight through out the car. After Gordon called and said it couldn't be until some time today - maybe, Megan and I determined that if the cinderblocks weighed 10 lbs each that would be 200 pounds and we had the front seat well covered and could load the rest in the trunk and the back seat. So off we go, stop first at Wal-Mart for milk and various groceries not a lot, load that in the back seat. Into Home Depot, grab a pull cart, ask where the cinderblocks are, find them, some tiny woman comes out and says can I help you, I say I think I got it I just need some of these cinderblocks, she asked if I needed help loading them, "How much do they weigh?", "Oh, 30-35 lbx each." After saying Um Yes, I quickly did some math and determined 15 blocks would be just fine. While I was doing math this little thing started loading cinderblocks on the cart. I had assumed she was calling in some muscles, but I guess she had them already. I did help her load them trying to work out if we really needed 15, but found math is a fair weather friend and totally deserted me as I was slowly losing consciousness. I managed to pull the cart out to the car and load them all in, getting them in was terrible, once they were down moving them to a good spot so I could put another in was almost impossible, if I had had 20 there was no way they were all going in the car (and it turns out 15 was more then needed although I did use them all). I ran through the drive through at McD's to feed poor Megan who had been so helpful all day. While she ate dinner, I contemplated how I was going to get these blocks into the house before Gordon got home, and I had to before Gordon got home since I was picking Gordon and Robert up from work and could not with the blocks in the car. I pulled out small dolly type carrier that I used when I was traveling back and forth with a file box for work. We loaded two blocks on the dolly, Megan pulled that into the house and I carried one. With three in, I laid an old blanket on the floor and put one side down for the bed, we dragged the box springs in and moved the blocks around and then brought in three more, and so on five times. I used material left over from the window curtains (dark blue) and cut strips to run along the side and foot of the bed to cover the cinderblocks. Matteress, clean sheets, the new blanket I made, and 11 pillows later I was all set. Megan closed the door so when Gordon came home we could have a reveal. The old nightstand still needs to be finished, but we are not sure right now what we want to do, we had thought that we were going to mix some of the wall blue with some white to make a lighter blue, but I think that might be just too much blue, and my chest of drawers looks really out of place and old so we may redo that to. But in the meantime I'm not sleeping on the floor, or without a door to close when the kids get here in the mornings so I am good. I will post a picture as soon as I work out the camera issue. Going through all of this was so much nicer being able to share it with all of you.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

For the Really Busy

Okay, there have been complaints in the past that those of us who blog do not blog often enough. And there has been much wasted time checking a blog, only to find that there is nothing new on there. Well Yahoo has a solution for that. I use My Yahoo as a news source, and the Yahoo toolbar for navigation, I like both very much. Last week when I was checking blogs when I pulled up Baby front a new button popped up that said Subscribe to this site. When I clicked on it I was given the option to add the page to My Yahoo, this put a section in Yahoo called Babyfront that lists the posts from the last three days and lists how long ago they were posted. When I tried to do this for the other blogs I got error messages except on Megan's. I assume this is because Babyfront and Megan are newer blogs. When I was updating my blog this morning the help stuff said something about sharing blogs and site feed the same words Yahoo used when trying to add these blogs. SO here is the upshot, if you want to have one spot that you can go to to check all of the blogs (unfortunately it does not seem to update if a comment has been added) I suggest getting a My Yahoo page. If you don't already have a Yahoo ID you will need to get one. Once on My Yahoo go to Add Content. With Find content click on Add RSS by URL, the URL is with XXXXXXX being wbgerth or ezynda ...... Click add, then click Add to My Yahoo. You can then rearrange your page putting the blogs where they are the most convenient for you.

Okay, I do have other things to do today!

Can We Say "Whatever"

I have been getting a lot of mileage out of that one word this week, but on the good side I am seeing how simple tasks can take a really long time, but I am working on the patience to practice this:

Me: The network seems to be running slow, it's taking quite a while to open a document.
Pat (office manager): (looking over my shoulder) where are you, that screen doesn't look right.
I went to file 'open'
Did you go to MCCDOCS?
Yes, once I went to open I browsed to MCCDOCS
Oh you can't do that on this network
Huh? That's how you do it
No, you have to go into MCCDOCS and open it from there
I don't understand.
There's a link on your desktop (I click on 'show desktop) No you have to close your window to get there
(Start closing windows)
Why do you have all those windows open?
I've been working in different programs
No, you have to close them, you can only have one open at a time.
(All windows safely closed with desktop appearing (meanwhile document I was waiting for had opened and is now closed) click on My Computer, browse to MCCDOCS folder find needed document, wait) The network seems to be running slow.
There may be a problem right now, but you have to open documents from here.
But I've been opening them from within the program.
No, you can't do that on this network.

When I first started she showed me how to answer the phones, call an extension if it was for one of the two estimators, once I tell them who is on the phone I do nothing and they pick up the line on hold. Well that resulted in people actually getting their phone calls, so it was changed to I answer the phone, put the caller on hold, tell her who is calling and who they think they want to talk to and then she decides who they get to talk to (usually her), she then goes to the person who the call was for and asks them whatever the caller wanted and then calls the person back with the new questions from the intended receiver (usally Kevin the cool estimator, rumored to have a drinking problem and be incapable of working, the only evidence of incapability on his part that I have seen is that the office manager is still able to walk). This week I was told that since I don't really know enough about what is going on she'll just answer the phone from now on. Whatever

Second week I was there:
Why don't you update the list of plans in the back room
There are four bins of plans A-E, F-L, M-R, S-Z with a listing above on four sheets of paper with the same breakdown. I pull out all the plans and check off what is on the list and write in what is not. Now ready to enter them into the computer to print the list and Pat comes out to show me where the document is. MCCDOS-Misc lists no not there, MCCDOCS-back room nope not there either, MCCDOCS-Masters hum where could it be.
Do you know what it is called, I can do a search?
You have to know where it is to do a search
Ten minutes later, during which great restraint was practiced not to grab the mouse from her hand. We had the file, more correctly files. Four word documents one for A-E, etc.
Why don't I just put this in excel so we can....
No, it needs to be in word.
Well, I can put it all in one document and then set page breaks...
No they need to be separate documents.
Since we dispose of them when the bid has expired - should I put the bid date on the form?
No We don't need that
I update the sheets, I do sneak in tables to eliminate all the tabs in the middle and to sort alphabetically once I have put them all in, but this is invisible on the printed document.
This week:
We need to start going through the plans in the back room and get rid of the ones we don't need anymore, you need to go through and get the bid dates for each set of plans. I don't know why she (the person I am temping for) didn't put that on there to start with (yeah, I wonder too, what could she have been thinking, "whatever"?) You need to call who we made the bid to and see what the status is.
So I get the bid dates and start pulling the actual proposals so I know who we made the bid to.
Why are you going through the proposals?
So I can see who we made the bid to and call them to get the status.
Well, you need to do that for every proposal not just the ones that have plans in the back room.
What do you do with the old proposals?
We scan the take off (I know what that is) and then shred the rest.
Do you put the results on Bid Results spreadsheet?
No, why would we do that (why indeed, what was I thinking), just make a note in the proposal log if we got the job or not.
So some of these we may have gotten the job, and I am calling looking totally stupid.
I'll put them in order by construction manager so I'm not calling the same company a dozen times.
It could be different project managers anyway, so don't waste the time.
Yes, yes, no wasted time here.
So I start making phone calls, mostly leaving messages, but some are so old that I'm pretty sure either the job is done or will never be done, I set those aside to ask her about later.
This one is from May of last year a residential driveway.
Did you call them?
No, I thought maybe you would know so I wouldn't have to call
No you need to call on everyone.
People start returning my calls.
Joe Blow is on the phone why did you call him?
To get the status for the Smith driveway from last June.
Oh, you didn't need to call on that one that job is so old it's either been done or cancelled. Go ahead and talk to him since he called back.
John Doe is on the phone, why did you call him?
To get the status on the church proposal from December.
Oh, we got that job and finished it last month. Go ahead and talk to him since he called back.
Walking past my desk. What is all this?
The take offs from the proposals that are no longer valid.
Oh, we don't need these we only keep them if there's a possibility we may be doing the job.
Wha--Oh nevermind, whatever

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Molded Curtains

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usWe have achieved molding. Everytime I thought I had got it, I was wrong. We started this morning when I thought I understood mitering, we got the first strip cut but when we went to attach it to the wall with finishing nails the nails would not go through, when the finally did they snapped the molding into pieces. A quick call to the guru caught the guru napping so we went ahead to do laundry and see if we could get any help at Home Depot. As we walked into the store I told the cashier that I was going to need help in molding and could she have someone meet me over there. As we approached there was a kid looking for someone, I asked him if he was there to help molding and he said that he was. I showed him what we had bought and explained what happened, he asked if it was plastic or wood. I said it is this right here, is that plastic or wood? He said oh, and it snapped. Yes, yes it did. He replied with a very thoughtful, well it can do that sometimes. Ready to pull my phone out since the guru doesn't need that much beauty sleep a kindly surrogate guru came up and asked if I was putting it on the floor or on the ceililng. I said the ceiling (the floor molding had gone in with out a hitch and no mitering was required since the radiator takes up two full walls.) He said if it was the floor, you should probably drill small holes first and then nail it up, but for the ceiling you should use glue. I mentioned that my guru had said something about gluing them but was resting and unable to tell me what kind of glue I should use, I had wood glue. The surrogate explained that I would need liquid nails and showed me a tube and explained how much to put on. I thanked him profusely for being there as boy wonder had already wandered away to help some new unsuspecting soul. I bought a new piece of molding to replace the one that had fallen apart and we came home to slap that stuff up. A quick call to the guru to let him know that everything was under control and I was on my way.

I contemplated the math of mitering, and studied the mitering box. I understood the concept but just could not get from theory to practice. I had plenty of small pieces to practice on and kept cutting (I believe having Gordon cut is the same thing as me cutting). I numbered the slots on the box, I numbered the ends of the molding so I could remember what was what. But I could not get a corner that went around and not down the wall, if it matched up at all. Finally, around 6 or so it clicked that I was not necessarily paying attention to how the molding was laid in the miter box prior to cutting. Once I got that it was easy smeasy. Except of course the liquid nails. Did any one mention to me that you need a caulking gun to get the liquid nails out of the container? Did anyone mention that a $1.99 caulking gun costs $25.00 when you go to K-Mart and have to walk past the shoe department? Have caulking gun, have liquid nails, have one strip of properly cut molding. Dab glue on, hold molding to wall, let go, watch molding fall and leave streaks of glue on freshly painted walls. Use mitering box on Megan when she comes in to ask if we're going to be making dinner soon or should she just grab something to munch on. Wonder who decided we needed molding, who would ever notice the huge gaps between the ceiling and the wall, who the hell comes to my house anyway. Leave room and have confidence that Gordon will figure something out before I have a complete melt down. Gordon applies liquid nails as if he is caulking the gap between the wall and the ceiling, hold molding up, press in, watch glue ooze out, let go, it stays. Grab wet towel wipe off oozed glue. Be grateful again that Gordon was there (but then again if he had never pulled the original... oh never mind, let's just stick with grateful.) Use test piece of molding to know what corner needs what number, measure, measure, measure, measure, cut. Glue, press, wipe, repeat as needed around the room. We came up about four inches short at the end of the room, as we had originally cut that piece before I knew what I was doing, but the test piece fit fine once the end was trimmed off flat.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usI proceeded to make dinner while Gordon hung curtain rods. I got my curtains up, but I'm not real happy with the valances, I like the color between the walls and the curtains but I don't really like the way they hang, but I have at least a week to consider it and can make changes as necessary. Gordon is charged with putting the radiators on, finish stripping the nightstand (maybe even painting it) and getting the stuff back into the closet while I am down state at work this week. Maybe by the time Mel gets here it will be done.

Friday, April 15, 2005

I Need To Learn How To Slow Down

I have them all caught up at the construction office where I am working so they gave me today off. The office manager (Pat) kept giving me new things that would take me a while to finish, there all done. But they want me back on Monday, so that's a good thing. There is so much there that I could do to get things organized and streamlined but Pat keeps a pretty tight control on everything as this is the way they have done it for years. As I've been typing up forms I've been cleaning them up so they are user friendly using tables and form fill in instead of tabs, but I am getting no where with the general organization. I like to touch any piece of paper as few times as possible, everyday we go through the same stacks of papers with me saying "where does it go, can I just put it there?" and Pat saying "we'll take care of it later" so there it is again tomorrow, and the next day... Oh well.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usSabrina went to see her dad last weekend and had her picture taken. She is getting so big, and smart. She read to me while I was tiling the bedroom floor last Saturday. She is behind for her age, but still ahead of the other kids. The bedroom did not progress while I was gone, I was hoping to have a few more things finished when I got back, the nightstand stripped and painted, the closet shelves painted, the radiators put back up, but I guess we'll get to that later. I have some stuff to do today - oil change, bank, shopping, so I'm not expecting a lot of progress this weekend. I'll post at the end of the weekend and let you know where we are.

Sunday, April 10, 2005


Image Hosted by ImageShack.usWe have achieved the state of being floored. Peeling the paper off that first tile and sticking it to the floor felt like the biggest commitment I ever had to make. It didn't come out with even edges but it came out well, and I was able to do the stacking three tiles to cut edges trick. I had hoped to finish the floor last night before Gordon got home but a crying four year old whose brand new bike seat wouldn't stay on took precedence and it took me quite a while to figure that out and fix it. We are now on our way to home depot to explore the world of molding.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Still Kickin'

A lot of well known people have died since I last posted, but I was not one of them.

Things are going well here. I like the job, it is interesting and usually pretty busy, the people are good people to work with, the dress code is casual, and the hours are 8:30 to 5:00. Although the office manager told me last week since I drive home on Fridays I could come in at 8 on Friday's and leave at 4:30. She told me this around 4 last Friday afternoon and thus I had not come in at 8 that day, she let me go early anyways since Jackson was at Mommy's. Today she let me leave at 3:30 since I had taken some plans to Warren yesterday afternoon and didn't leave Warren until 5:00. The job itself is in Walled Lake, for those who know the area that's Pontiac Trail and Maple, and I found a way to get to and from West Branch avoiding the traffic jam on 96 by cruising around the lakes. The mileage is about the same but the time is less.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usAs you can see my bedroom is now blue, but we still have floor, and molding, furniture assembly, and light fixture to do. Tomorrow I am dry laying the floor, with absolutely no trepidation, hopefully help will only be a phone call away.

I was listening to a radio program on media censorship today and they were talking about the 'need' for the government to get involved in censoring cable television. As cable is now used by a great majority of household they (the call in listeners) felt that the government needed to do something so that objectionable material (including commercials) were not played when children could see them. The guest on the show was promoting something about "couch potato weekend" encouraging people to spend the weekend on the couch watching objectionable material to send a message that we are capable of censoring ourselves. Although, I agree totally with the message, I'm not sure of the method. But I was amazed at the callers that complained that there was no way to keep their innocent offspring from seeing this objectionable material. I didn't realize that they still sold TV's without off buttons. Hell, most come with channel blockers that are password protected. One person complained about objectionable commercials during children's shows but somehow I don't see the target audience for Viagra watching Sesame Street, and then again the most objectionable commercials I've seen are the one's kids love (you put the lime in the coke you nut). I know in the past I've heard of products boycotted for sponsoring a particular show, maybe boycotting a show supported by a particular product would work also. Along that lines the food police have gotten to Sesame Street. It seems the Cookie Monster is not much of a monster anymore, more of a troll I would say. His theme song is changing from C is for Cookie, to Cookies Are A Some Time Food. Next thing you know Oscar will be polite. What is the world coming to.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Best Laid Plans

The plan was to work all day today in the bedroom, get the walls ready to paint. For me to paint tomorrow while Gordon was at work and then for all of us to go downstate on Wednesday. We have worked all day today, but I got a call for a temp job starting on Wednesday in Walled Lake, so I will be taking care of things here and packing to go down tomorrow night so I can go to the temp agency early Wednesday morning and pick up the info for the job and start working again.

Bunny Food

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usDinner at Robin's was great she had way too much food, dressings, and salads, and vegetables, and macaroni things, and pies, all in addition to the required Easter fixin's. Quite a few people too I counted 19. Megan went over early and hid eggs for the kids to find. Chris called while we were there and I got to talk to him for a while something I haven't done in over a year. He's doing well, he has been transferred to a different prison, my understanding is that it is one step closer (although no where near) camp cupcake. But he has better opportunities there (school, work) to actually use this time to his advantage.Image Hosted by He has even been thwarted already by trying to enrol in available programs that are not for his criminal type. He wanted to enrol in a domestic violence prevention program but since that is not what he is in for he doesn't qualify. Gordon scraped walls for a couple of hours in the morning while I slept in but other than that we took the day off. I'm kind of getting used to sleeping on a matteress in the living room. There are more pictures up on the yahoo site.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Easter Chair

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThe Easter Bunny came and left a chair with candy and plush. Fortunately, he did not leave any additional snow since we still have plenty left from his previous visit. We are stripping all of the new paint off the walls, the spots left from pulling the tape off were just too much. I picked up a gallon of rich blue, so the good news is I will not have green walls in my bedroom. Gordon seems to be fixtated on green for the bedroom walls and we have always ended up painting them green. I had almost resigned myself to having green forever since whenever I have not had Gordon I was also not willing to paint. But we went with a blue and I picked up some green and blue striped material for the closet doors. I have learned that taking paint off takes twice as long as putting it on, and the more paint there is the easier it comes off. We are going to Robin's for dinner, Megan is over there now hiding eggs. I will hopefully get some pictures and will post more later.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

On To Plan B

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usNot quite sure what Plan B is yet, but the paint came with the tape in 95% of the place and one I don't have enough of the green to touch it up, and 2 it would look even worse than I could stand. So maybe a trip to Home Depot to see what they have in the OOPS paint today. Gordon has started to scrape the green that is peeling and there is no way to get it without taking alot of the blue with it. The stripes were cool while they lasted. I hope to keep the blue ceiling and I have navy blue curtains already made.

And Then There Was Color

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usI got most of the color on the stripes before Gordon got home at midnight and then he helped me finish them up. This morning we have to pull the tape off and hope that the paint doesn't come with it. It doesn't on Trading Spaces, but somehow I don't think I'm on Trading Spaces unless it's the Twilight Zone version. I figure if I give you guys blow by blow detail when I don't post again for a month you will be relieved.