Sunday, November 30, 2014

Silver Liningness Sunday

Greetings on this fine Sunday - the final day of November!  Already!

This was a very nice week of Thanksgiving, and I'm all rested up for the final push to the end of the year.  We have, I think, three weeks left in the school semester, and I've enjoyed it muchly.  I'm so glad I switched programs, this is a much better fit.

As for this particular week, it was lots of fun.  It was nice having all three boys here to eat and shop and eat and play rowdy poker.

The Turkey Trot is always a fun time, I think this was my fourth year.  Wolfgang and I were trying to figure out how long we've been doing it, and we sort of settled on four Thanksgivings.

Thursday evening, after results were finalized, I got word that there were prizes for top 3 finishers in each division, so I just made the cut.

So, on Friday afternoon, when I was out sinning with Louie, we decided to swing by the YMCA to make our time together last even longer.

Here's my turkey trot swag:  a fashionable beanie, a fashionable pair of socks, a fashionable coupon for a chick-fil-A sammich, and a cow!

I'm also showing the mystery blue thing that was thrust upon me by one of the post-race vendors.  It's a little aerosol spray thing of hand sanitizer!  Who even knew that was a thing??  I wonder if it could double as a friendly mace?

And speaking of sinning with Louie, both Alice and Bella received lovely makeovers this week.  Alice first, and now she's so sleek and fast it's shameful.  Bella is just waiting to be picked up, and she's got some new parts to show for it!

I'm grateful for my friendly bike shop.  The staff is very pleasant - bike geeks all - and their turnaround time for service is super fast, even when getting pretty new parts!

Here's Bella in the stirrups, showing the shiny new bikes what she's got...

One of her new things is a fresh tire - that's the thing hanging from her  handlebars in case things looked a little amiss.

And did anyone catch the dog show last night?  Wolfgang was here getting a haircut, and we ended up watching.  I always think of the mockumentary Best in Show.  Have you seen it?  It's hilarious and I highly recommend it.  Magnum has a coworker who also shows dogs, and he says that movie is dead on.

Anyway, it was nice to see the bloodhound win.  Apparently he's not just a pampered show dog, he actually makes a good living as a tracker and has won awards for that too.

But on that note, I will leave with one of the images from the turkey trot gallery.  Two live turkeys actually completed the course.  They didn't exactly trot, but they finished!

Apparently these girls are 4H-ers, and thought "why not?"  The rules said no dogs, but strollers were allowed.  Turkeys are not dogs, and no one said the strollers had to carry humans!

Saturday, November 29, 2014


Since I'm on a break from classes this week, I thought I'd get out the art toys and see what the prompt was over at Illustration Friday.

The prompt is "wobble"!  Wobble?

So I drew this guy, imagining him as a Black Friday shopper, leaning along the wall, waiting for the doors to open so he can rush in and grab those headphones he really wants.  Wobbly?

I'm not much of a doorbuster.  I'm not even much of a shopper in general, let alone the competitive shopping that goes on for Black Friday.  But we did go to Best Buy on the evening of Thanksgiving.  Chaco says, "We already ate.  We should go to Best Buy, come home, and eat again".  Sounded like a plan.

So happens, there's a Best Buy about a mile away from our house.  It was nice out, so we went for a post Thanksgiving meal walk, and Best Buy was our destination.  By the time we got there, they'd been open for about an hour or so already.

There was much pushing and shoving.  I got into it with some byotch over a GPS watch.  She punched me good in the mouth, but I gave a knee to the liver that left her writhing on the floor. I'll see the dentist on Monday, but I got the dang watch!

Okay, not really

It was pretty crowded, but I didn't mind since I wasn't really shopping.  Chaco was hunting for a deal on a mouse, and Wolfgang "saved" a bunch on a game controller.  Magnum, Meego, and I went and looked at exciting appliances.  As crowded as the store was, nobody was shopping for appliances.

The good news is, we didn't buy anything.  The bad news is, we still have our big clunky TV.

And really, I was just there for the people-watching, and everyone was pretty well behaved.  Even the employees seemed happy to be there.   Probably because of the holiday pay.

Then, as planned, we walked back home and ate.  Again.  Leftovers?  What leftovers?


Friday, November 28, 2014

afternoon delight



You guys.

I need to confess a little something that happened today.  But know that I never saw it coming, it just happened!

I was here, and it was a nice day, and I needed to get a few things done.  I was still waiting for Alice to be finished with her makeover.  Bella was already loaded up in Ellie Mae, waiting for her turn at the spa once I picked up Alice, who would be finished at any minute.  And then there was this guy...

He was just here, and he asked if I needed a ride.  I said, "Yes, sure!"

And, well, he took me.  And it was just the two of us.  We had SUCH a good time!

I've known him for a couple of years actually, but I never really thought of him in that way.  Because... see.... here's the thing...

He's a good friend of Wolfgang's.


But, what can I say?  It was totally unexpected.  We were just out there, just the two of us.  I never realized how strong he was, yet at the same time, so smooth and fast and responsive.  I should've known, really.  The way Wolfgang's talked of his physical prowess, but I honestly never paid much attention - he's Wolfgang's buddy for chrissake!

Louie.  That's his name.  Tough, yet sensitive.  Strong, yet supple.  And so, so young.

But we had a damn good time.  We just FIT together, y'know?  Like he was made for me.

He did EVERYthing I asked him to.  And more.  It was like a dream.

I think he felt it too.  I think...


Thursday, November 27, 2014


Happy Thanksgiving to all my blog friends, lurkers, and people who accidentally ended up here!

I don't know about you, but I'm pretty full right now.  It's been another year of much to be thankful for.  Chaco and Wolfgang came home last night close to midnight, and Wolfgang and I headed out to the local turkey trot 5K this morning.

Extra pie for whoever
can guess what the blue thing is!

Beautiful day for it!  A week ago, the weather forecast was for highs in the 20s and snow, but things turned a corner for us.  It was actually a bit too warm, probably mid 40s by race start.  I was wearing a fleece headband that I didn't need for warmth, but I left it on to keep the hair out of my face.

Race Report
Over 3,800 racers came out to play.  As usual, it was pretty bunched up at the start, but things eventually opened up nicely enough. For the first mile, I used a kid of about 8 years old, wearing a plush turkey on his head, as my pacer.

I lost him somewhere, and during mile 2, I replaced him with a girl of about 10.  I said to her, "Good job, nice pace!" as I ran alongside. She started running faster, probably thinking, "Stranger danger! Stranger danger!"  Fine.

The last mile was a straight homestretch to the finish.  Very nice event.  Well organized and well attended as usual.  I haven't done many 5Ks and didn't really have a strategy, just wanting to go with the flow and enjoy the festivities. Wolfgang said he hadn't run in over a week, and it'd been a long time before that, so his strategy was much the same. And we both like the shirt design for this year.  They incorporated the Colorado flag and a mountain backdrop.  It's historically been just the fat running turkey.

So, my stats:  time of 23:32 - not my best, but not my worst either ,  256th overall, 53rd for the ladies, 3rd in my age division.  I was hoping to be a contender since I'm in a new old lady division now, but the two women who beat me are well known badasses in the local racing community, so I feel good about being in their company.

There's a video of the start here.  I won't bore anyone by embedding it, but Wolfgang goes right by the camera at about the 40-second mark.  My turkey-headed pacer and I go by at around 47-seconds.

Post-race report
We have since enjoyed our meal and are happily digesting around some video games and me with the blog.  There is some serious talk about door busting a Best Buy later.  Will we do it?

Remember how I said we had a big old TV we just wanted to get rid of?  Best Buy takes old TVs!  I, for one, have no desire to door bust, but when I jokingly said we should go there to get rid of the TV today, there was some interest.  Seriously?!?

Well, I WOULD like to be free of that TV...

So Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  Thank you for continuing to stop by here and leaving nice and fun comments while keeping me entertained with your own blogs.  I know you could be doing other things!  (but why?)


Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Well, here we are.  Thanksgiving week.  No homework, no tutees.  It's nice, but I probably should've thought it out a little  more.  I'm used to having quite a bit of structure to my days/weeks, and here I am, sort of staring off into space.

But it is nice, and I realize that I haven't been totally unproductive.  I've got all my shopping done for tomorrow's meal, Alice is happily at the spa getting a makeover, the house is relatively clean, and I'm slowly working through updating some tedious financial records and cleaning up some other computer files.

Magnum and Meego both have the whole week off too. A while ago, I mentioned to Magnum about goodreads, a site I use to hopefully find books I'd be interested in reading.  In fact, a few of *you* are friends of mine over there :).

So yesterday, I decided to send him the link.  I logged in to my account and did the "add friends" bit to get him set up.  Doing that, goodreads went through my e-mail contacts and pulled up an easy-to-invite-a-friend screen.  Included in that screen were people in my e-mail contacts who were already members of goodreads, and it AUTOMATICALLY  sends them a friend request UNLESS I TELL IT NOT TO.

So annoying!  Of course, I realized that too late.  It didn't even offer up a "confirm", just sent out the requests.  I recognized one victim as a woman in my P.E.O. chapter, but the others?  Heck if I know.

There weren't that many, at least.  But, you know how you end up with contacts just from any old person that sends you an e-mail?  I think I inadvertently sent goodreads friend requests to the receptionist at the orthodontist and an administrator at the tutor service.

I was able to cancel the requests, but the victims were probably notified before I cancelled.  So they likely got an e-mail:  "connect with Abby on Goodreads!", only to follow the link and nobody's there.  Ding dong dash.

Oh well, this time of year as with any, there are worse mistakes to be made.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Silver Liningness Sunday

For starters, I managed to make it to the 50-year mark this week.  I can say that 50 doesn't seem a whole lot different from 49.  I'm still the same inside.. A pleasant book, comfy clothes, and a good hair day are enough to make me happy.

Me at 49

My PEO sisters sang and celebrated again this week, after the earlier typo.  They assured me that it wouldn't advance me two years instead of one.

And it was nice to see the sun and feel the warmth again this week.  I feel for those people in upstate NY, though.  We used to live in those parts, and that lake effect snow can really pile up, but we never experienced that level of dumpage!

As for me, it was great to be back riding with Bella.  It was too muddy for Alice, and in fact, Bella needed extra bath times, but the both of us were too giddy to care.

Here's Bella looking sexy and fresh from one of her many showers this week.  As can be seen in the background, most of our wall stones are still atop their pallets.  The ground was too frozen to do much last week, but Magnum managed to get a few more in yesterday.  We'll see what this week brings.

In movie news, we watched The Debt, which I liked for the most part.  Kept me absorbed the whole way through.  I didn't much like the ending, but all in all, I give a thumbs up.

And now we're into the final week of November and Thanksgiving in this week ahead. I've got my turkey thawing away for a plump, juicy presentation on Thursday.

Not making any pies though, I'll leave that to people who  know what they're doing.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

five things

I'm linking up with Mama Kat this week for this "5 things" thing...

"List 5 things we don't know about you"

Well, that's a bit of a challenge, because I've been blogging and oversharing for quite some time, but here goes, in no particular order:

  • I've never had a traffic ticket of any kind, maybe because I don't like to drive much.
  • That's partly because cars put me to sleep, I  KNOW  I could fall asleep at the wheel.
  • I'm currently crushing on Sam Smith - that voice, those eyes - even though he's most likely gay.

  • I've been featured in advertising brochures at two different places I worked, both times as a generic minority female engineer.
  • Got these new tights for practically free as a birthday thing from our friendly sporting goods store:

             I took them for their maiden run this morning and I luv 'em.  The cat apparently
             couldn't care less.

"5 things you're knowledgeable about"
  • Bushcraft.  Strangely enough.
  • How stuff is made via automation.  I was a (generic minority female) manufacturing engineer for several years.

  • Math.  Numbers are just so trustworthy.
  • Sleeping around.  KIDDING!  Just checking to see if anyone's reading after that riveting coat hanger video
  • Blogging instead of doing homework, clearly.

"5 things you know nothing about"

Just five??

  • Video games.  We've had gaming systems of some kind in our home for a good 12 years or so, and other than Guitar Hero, I know nothing.
  • Making pie.  I've never made a pie from scratch.  Never.  Maybe I should design an automated process.
  • Snowboarding.  Yes, I know I live in Colorado.
  • Investing.  Otherwise, we'd be rich.
  • The Kardashians, and I'm not about to start.

"5 things you believe"

  • "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."
  • "We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy.  The amount of work is the same."

  • "In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice.  But in practice, there is."
  • "If someone is nice to you but rude to the waitress, they are not a nice person."


4. Five Things. List 5 things we don’t know about you, 5 things you’re knowledgeable about, 5 things you know nothing about, and 5 things you believe.


Monday, November 17, 2014

title goes here

So most of us probably heard about the Rosetta spacecraft that landed on a comet 500 million (give or take) kilometers from earth last week?  It was truly an exciting accomplishment for space exploration and certainly for the team of scientists that pulled it off.

But did you hear about the *ahem* "shirtstorm" that erupted after one of the project scientists was interviewed while wearing a shirt adorned with artistic renditions of scantily clad, leather-bound, buxom women?  Ugh, I don't want to get into it, apparently things got pretty nasty - women lashing out at him, others lashing out at the women for lashing out at him... sigh.

I will say that (1) I don't have a big problem with the shirt, (2) I don't think it suggests that women aren't welcome in science fields, (3) I'm still impressed that he and colleagues landed a spacecraft on a freaking comet! BUT (4) he shoulda thought twice about what he was wearing for such a media event.  I understand he felt pretty bad about it afterward.

Years ago, I worked in a lab with three older guys and a couple of guys about my age.  One of the older guys had a couple of photos of random topless women at his desk in our open lab.  Once, I was directed to get some keys out of  a top desk drawer of one of the other older guys.  I opened said drawer and, HELLO naked girl!

But... that was those guys.  We actually had a fun work environment in that lab.  There were other women who regularly came into the lab for both work and socializing.  And I can honestly say that if there would've been any type of dangerous situation at work, those guys would've protected me before protecting themselves.  That was about 20 years ago.  Thinking about it now, I'm sure such "decorations" are not allowed.

So back to the scientist.  I feel bad that his accomplishment has been marred by his bad choice of clothing, even though it was - yes - his choice.  Maybe he could use his physics smarts to make a time machine to go back and wear a different shirt?

Today, I was going through a power point from one of my classes and noticed a typo.  There was an equation that used an "A" where there should've been a "T", and it could've been misleading since either an "A" or "T" was relevant to the equation.

I typed out a quick e-mail to my professor, noting the typo.  Before sending, I was thinking what I should put in the subject line.  "T and A" immediately came to mind, but LUCKILY I caught myself.  I don't know him that well!

Have you made a faux pas - fashion, e-mail, or otherwise - that you wish you could get a do-over for?


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Silver Liningness Sunday

Happy Sunday!  It is currently a balmy 28 degrees, and I'm very grateful for that.  It was SO cold this week, 28 feels like springtime!

But enough about the weather, let's get on with the weekly recap, shall we??

First of all, as most of us know, Tuesday was Veteran's Day here in the U.S.  It's nice to set aside at least one day a year to ponder and be thankful for what our veterans have given us.

Meego had his first band concert for the year.  He's in the group for freshmen and other newbies, and they performed very well.  I will say that the high school demonstrates an excellent music program. Five different groups performed, so we also enjoyed the two groups that played before Meego's.  I was very impressed by the string symphony.  I told Magnum it was like we'd made a wrong turn and ended up at the Julliard School!  And really, it's just nice to see kids performing with such skill and poise.

As I was looking over the program, I saw that Meego was listed as playing a euphonium, and I was all, "What the heck's a euphonium??  I thought Meego plays a baritone?"  Magnum was no help.  Good thing for google:

Fig. 16.1

Figure 16.1 shows a side-by-side comparison of a baritone (right) and a euphonium (the other one).  They sound very similar, but the baritone is a bit smaller.  Gosh, this blog is so darn educational.

Anyways, enjoyable concert it was.

Also, I was able to spend a pleasant coupla hours with brother Guano yesterday as he was passing through to visit my nephew - his eldest who attends school near us.  Really, I think his whole family should just up and move here, but I'll take what I can get.

Fuzzy pic of the Guano I stole while in the coffee-for-Jesus coffee shop he found.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

it was a dark and stormy night...

...and day.  And then another dark stormy night and another dark stormy day and then *sigh*.

It's FWEEZING here as in many other parts of the country, but I'm really not complaining because I have a nice warm house and furry pets.  In fact, I think the pets are suffering more than I am from the cabin fever. Yes, life is good.  This rough weather helps to serve as a reminder.

Earlier today, when I was looking out at the c-c-c-c-cold, I saw a squirrel just hanging out by our tree.  Just sitting there.  I stealthily approached so he wouldn't run off, then I tossed some peanuts toward  him.  The peanuts sliced right into the snow, totally undetected.  Fail.

I often ride downtown to the library there, but I haven't ridden my bike all week because of the cold and ice and snow. I'm thinking of the many homeless people, especially the teens I see around there.  It's already in single digits and could get below zero tonight.

I am missing my quality time with Bella and Alice.  My computer wallpaper isn't helping much

Wait!  Wait!  Take me with you!!

But in the meantime, here is my bro-in-law (Magnum's sister's husband) - a die hard commuter - with his new Fat Bike, ready to roll.

These Fat Bikes are starting to show up locally for snow and ice, but they just look so... so... FAT to me.  As in heavy and slow.  Plus, they're pretty pricey.  I don't see Bella and Alice getting a BIG sister anytime soon

I wonder if I can get a similar chin warmer though?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Silver Liningness Sunday

First week of November down.  YAY, no more political ads!  As for the election itself, most of the results went the way I'd hoped.  We do mail-in ballots here, and I often wonder how secure and accurate that is, but I was surprised to learn that some states don't have mail-in yet.  Does yours?

I've mentioned before that Magnum's employer has these health incentives, and we've jumped through the various hoops to reap them.  This week, I made my final call to the "health coach" to get all my credits in.  It was a painless and short conversation.  In fact, I would've talked a bit longer, but Ms. Health Coach seemed to feel pretty much done with me.  Okay fine, as long as I got my credits. That 10-minute conversation made for a nice hourly wage.

The weather's been holding out nicely here.  So much so that bagging leaves is actually a chore I look forward to.  Also, this pleasantness is good for our wall-building efforts, which so far, mainly refers to Magnum's wall-building efforts.  I think "Rambo" needs to join in The Great Wall project in a little while...

Along with that, I got a new phone yesterday.  It's pretty. I tested out its camera with a photo from this morning's lovely ride.

I call it "Moon Over MouseTown".  See it?  The moon?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

dude, we're so stoned right now?

So we had a bit of a ditzy delay, but the wall stones have arrived.  Thankfully, the driver's forklift fit through our back gate, so he could place all thirteen pallets in a nice row at the base of the hill of pain.

As you can see, he totally trashed the lawn, though...

Okay, that's actually what it looked like already.  See why we need landscaping projects?  This is just the kick-off.  

Anway, it was quite exciting when he showed up on our quiet cul de sac with a flatbed full of wrapped heavy things and began carting them to our backyard.  I'm sure my nosy neighbor was mushed up against her window, wondering what's going on.  

So now the easy part begins.  This is the easy part, right?  That's what I'm thinking.  The critical piece was getting all these stones to the project site.  Done!

The common laborers will consist mainly of Magnum, Meego, and myself. along with hopeful visits from Chaco and Wolfgang.

In fact, Chaco and Wolfgang were home for a while last weekend.  I found Wolfgang intently examining Meego's school pic from earlier this year.  Remember the ill fated too-late-with-the-haircut picture day?

Wolfgang says, "He looks like Rambo", and not  in a good way.   He's got a point.

Betcha Rambo can build a pretty good wall, though eh?


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Silver Liningness Sunday

So how 'bout that extra hour?  Was it good for you?  Frankly, I'm not a fan of changing the clocks in either direction and wish we'd just get rid of the practice, but I won't complain about an extra hour.

Yesterday, I went to P.E.O. where my sisters cheerfully greeted me with warm birthday wishes!  Then I had to delicately inform them that it was not my birthday.  Due to a typo, my birthday was erroneously listed as November 1.  I told them that I intend to fully expend these last few weeks of my 40s.  They were fine with that and sang to me anyway.

Halloween came and went on Friday.  We had just enough candy.  I've noticed the trick-or-treat traffic has dwindled a bit over the last few years.  I'm not sure if it's because the neighborhood is getting older, or trick-or-treating in general is waning.  Maybe both.

Probably the cutest costume I saw was our 12-year-old neighbor girl.  She was with her little sisters and dressed as a baby - wearing footie pajamas with a pacifier clipped to them and carrying a teddy bear.  As I was doling out the treats, I noticed that the teddy bear was smiling and looking around.  It was the girls' little brother, born last May!

He was more of a costume embellishment than an actual trick-or-treater, but he seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself.  His teddy bearness did include straps for his sister's shoulders, otherwise it might've been a chore to keep that costume intact.

Remember that messy hill photo from last week?  We were hoping to get our stones delivered this week, but a mistake was made that has delayed the delivery.  The girl who calculated and wrote down my order specs seemed quite ditzy, I think the ditziness has been confirmed.  Next week?

For this week's imagery, I'll share this photo that a facebook friend of mine from the hometown posted.  I found it rather synchronous .

Maybe she's not crying anymore.