04 August 2007

Another busy day...

We had tons of running around to do today, and more tomorrow. Guess vacation really is over :(

Last night we watched Ghost Rider. I am not a comic book fan but I really liked that movie. I like that they left it open for a sequel. Or course, they will probably beat that to death - they usually do.

But as we were watching it I was really wishing for some home theater seating. If we get a place big enough we are definitely considering this. I was sitting on the couch and after a while I was slouching on the couch and that screws up my back. I hate that.

Well, I'm very tired so I'm heading off to bed. Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Water

One more thing. I've been reading a number of blogs and articles about people shocked and outraged when Pepsi came out and said Aquafina is just tap water. I laughed my butt off at the reaction. I mean seriously, where do people think this water comes from??? The Pepsi plant here in Hawaii is in an industrial area. Now, if you think logically, you would wonder where they were getting the water to bottle. In the area they are in there is only 1 answer - the tap. There are no artisian wells, or crystal clear geysers, or any of that other crap where they are located. It's tap water or it's nothing. Also, if you spend anytime in the mountains, you know not to drink the water without treating it. There is some nasty stuff in mountain water. Well, do you think a major company is going to take mountain water and bottle it??? I don't think so. If they do, they will treat it and purify it and guess what??? That gives you tap water. Aha!!! It just cracks me up how people assume things. I guess because it comes in bottle it has to be better water???? Yeah, not so much. I buy bottled water for convenience, not because it's better. I also buy the cheapest bottled water.

Now, if you're really upset because Aquafina lied to you (although I doubt you ever asked, you probably just assumed) you can get this handy dandy little water bottle filter and make your own purified water where ever you go. Just watch out for those filters. We test a lot of water that has been filtered and unless those filters are spotless, you are drinking way more crap then came out of your tap.

Vacation is almost over....

This week has been good though, very good. I had reached a point where I was getting so stressed out from work my neck and shoulders were giant knots. The knots are now gone. I am sleeping good and really feeling great. So this week off was a total success!!

Yesterday was pretty busy and today will be also. I did a bunch of mystery shops yesterday and today I have a bunch more. I wanted to use this week to really see how much mystery shopping I could do, is available, and how much money could be made. As it turns out, I could not replace my salary but I could make some nice change. So between mystery shopping and blogging for dollars, I can pick up some nice extra income. Also, mystery shopping and blogging will allow me some tax write offs which I desperately need since I pay way, way too much taxes and don't use any of the freaking government hand out programs. Woops!!! I'm stopping right there before I get going on a government/tax tirade.

The bad part about this week is that we've been going out to lunch everyday and I feel like a whale. I've been exercising but I don't think it's offset the food and beer consumed. Also, I don't drink much water when hanging around the house. At work I consume 2 -3 liters a day. Around here I have to remind myself to drink any. That is not good. Oh well, on Monday it's back to the routine so no worries there.

We've been watching golf this week. There are 2 Hawaii youngsters trying to make the cut in some serious tournaments. Apparently, neither of them made it and that's too bad. Then there is the Barry Bonds trying to break the home run record. You know, I'm torn about the whole steroid thing. The way I figure is, if you want to use drugs and destroy your body for 10 minutes of fame - go for it, just be honest about it. Do like the bodybuilding community does. Have 2 competitions; those that use steroids and those that don't. What I don't understand is why anyone would even want world series tickets with all this crap about steroids and all. Okay, actually, baseball is one of the most boring games ever. Rates right up there with watching golf (not something I do regularly :) Okay, enough about sports.

Well, that's all I've got. I'm all rested and relaxed and really don't have too much to say. Hope everyone is having a good weekend.

02 August 2007

Busy day...

Was up and out early today, after my workout, and on the road for hours. I'm glad to be home. Hey, I'm on vacation, I should be resting not driving......

This is very cool. A while back I told you guys about Canvasondemand.com. A service that takes your digital pictures and puts them on canvas. As a benefit for posting about them I got one free. It arrived this morning before I left on my adventure. Here it is:

They are sitting next to a picture of themselves. You can not believe how nice this is.





Here is a picture of just the picture. This is amazing. I can not believe how nice this came out.




I'm taking it tomorrow to get it framed. I definitely want to hang this puppy (hahaha).

When I heard of this I thought it was a great idea, I'm even more impressed with the actual result.

This is a 16"x20" and it's good sized. It makes the kids look almost life sized. I'm so happy with this.

This would make and awesome gift, to yourself or someone else. A birthday gift, or an anniversary gift, or a wedding gift for a new couple.

You can also get things done to the picture. They can remove things, remove redeye, make a collage out of a bunch of pictures, make it in black and white, they can even add brush strokes on the canvas so it really looks like a painting. It's truly amazing. I just can not get over how nice it is.

I now forever have my kids immortalized on canvas. Now that is cool.

01 August 2007

The bike ride....

So I did go for my bike ride this morning. It was good. Have I mentioned recently I love my Garmin?? I set it for biking and took off.

I got about 1/2 way through my intended ride when I ran (or rode:) into my boss. She was very depressed because her 12 year old Golden Retriever is going downhill fast. It's really sad when dogs, I guess people too, get near the end of their lives they just decline so rapidly. It is sad. My boss is going to her daughter's wedding in 2 weeks and is afraid her dog won't live through the kennel experience. So she's trying to decide if she should put him down before she goes or what she should do. This is the hardest part about responsible animal stewardship.

Anyway, after I ran into her I lost interest in my ride. I ended up only going about 7 miles in 33 minutes. I'm thinking I can do the 40 mile option of the Century Ride. I'm going to work on getting some distance this weekend and see how I do. If I can do 20 miles this weekend, I can do 40 in 2 months. We shall see.

Okay, that's all for now.

Computers!!!!

I am pretty good with computers but I don't work with them much because I get frustrated (and bored). Frustrated because I can deal with the logical (which is basically computer language) but when it doesn't follow logical paths it makes me crazy. Of course, logical to me and logical to a programmer/designer might not be the same thing - but that's not the point!!! Then I get bored because you know how when your good at something it either comes easy or it doesn't come at all. Yeah, that's how I get.

So I'm trying to change things on my blog here and I can't get a picture in the header. I know it can be done. I've done it before. But for some reason it's not working and it's just pissing me off. UGH!!!!!

On a good note, my boss was nice enough to mail me my paycheck yesterday. That was nice. She's lucky I'm the only employee and she can do my check by hand. Otherwise she would need some payroll software to keep everything straight.

Okay, enough. I'm going to get ready for my bike ride.

Drug addiction

We have a huge drug problem here in Hawaii. Some of you may remember my murdering, drug dealing neighbor. Not only are street drugs a problem, so are prescription drugs. Many people here need pain pill addiction help.

We have a good friend, one of hubby's poker buddies, who is without a doubt hooked on prescription drugs. A few years back he suffered a back injury at work. As required by his insurance he went to a medical doctor. Well, they determined there wasn't much they could do outside of surgery. So he went ahead with the surgery.

I was floored. I could not believe that he jumped into surgery so quickly. I would have investigated all alternatives before allowing anyone to cut on my back. Anyway, fast forward 5 or 6 years, he's had 3 surgeries, he's in constant pain, and he is addicted to painkillers. Sometimes the pain gets so bad he has to go to the hospital and get shots of morphine.

I firmly believe he needs prescription drug addiction treatment. I think he needs some serious help. I know treatment can be expensive and time consuming but there are way to do drug rehab at home. I would not want to live my life addicted to drugs.

I've recently heard from my sister, another drug addict, and apparently she's getting ready to graduate from her drug treatment program. Hers was a live-in program where they require religious training and job training. This is her second time (that I know of ) through this program. I hope it works this time.

A decision

At some point during the night I must have decided I was going to do the Honolulu Century Ride, because I woke up this morning saying I'm going for a bike ride.

I think the century ride will fit in better with my goals this year than a marathon. My PF is definitely improving and I haven't run in 2 weeks I think. After my hike on Sunday it hurt for a while but it calmed down fairly quickly.

So my unconscious made a decision for me. That's cool. I wish it would do that all the time :)

31 July 2007

Well, I've been to the mall and back

since my last post. While there I had to stop at Lady Foot Locker for some shirts (they have the best t-shirts at 5 for $19.99 - sweet) and picked up the local race magazine. On the cover is the Honolulu Century Ride. The ride is on September 30th, almost exactly 2 months away.

This is a ride I've wanted to do for years. It rides along the east coast of Oahu. It's a beautiful, rugged ride that I've been afraid to try on my own. With a large group it might be a little better. I am considering this ride. I am seriously considering this ride. I don't have to do 100 miles. They have 20, 25, 40, 50, and 75 mile options also.

In 2 months I should be able to do 25 or even 40 miles. Hmmmm...... This is tempting. Also, you get a very cool bike jersey :)

Blogging for dollars...

that's what hubby calls what I do. It's really a nice little way to pick up some extra money. It's also a great way for advertisers to get the word disseminated about their site or product or whatever. Blog advertising is definitely the wave of the future.

I read a lot of blogs that do pay blogging and I've noticed a real trend. When this all began lots of people took all kinds of opportunities and sometimes wrote about things that weren't really related to their blog. Now, people are getting more selective. The opps taken are more in line with the theme of the blogs.

Also, some of the opps I've taken I've really learned things from. I've become a customer of a number of the products I've gotten paid to talk about. Well, if it interests me it's easy for me to write about.

Anyway, this has been more blogging for dollars :)

Whew, a busy day...

I have spent all day cleaning up my office room. I am was a terrible procrastinator. I would put the mail on my desk and just let it pile up. I would then add things I wanted to read or info I thought I needed to keep handy. Every once in a while I would go through and file/throw away things. But I never really got a handle on the problem. Today I did.

I straightened out all my files and made sure I had a file for everything I needed. I then went out and bought a little stand up rack for my desk so I can keep the stuff I'm working on now. Also, since I'm an independent contractor for the blogging stuff and also the mystery shopping, I got some notebooks and file pockets so I can keep track of receipts, mileage, expenses, etc.

A very productive day.......

Bird people are weird.

I can say that because I am a bird person. We are weird. Dog people are pretty normal, they usually like to go out and about with their animals. Cat people can be a little bizarre (not including the lady down the street with 25 cats - that's just crazy). But bird people are a little strange.

If you have never had the pleasure of getting to know a bird you are really missing out. Birds are intelligent. They all have distinct personalities and they can be a lot of fun. Bird people also tend to lean towards certain types of birds. Me, I really like big birds - parrots - although at the moment I have cockatiels. Some people like birds that are very people oriented. Others like birds that don't need a lot of contact but are fun to watch.

I've begun to notice that finches are becoming very popular. People that I know that have them have a lot. They never seem to have just 1 or 2. They tend to have them in large aviaries and like to just watch them. Finches never seem to sit still. Of course, I've never seen them sleep so they must sit still at some point :)

On of the more popular type is the Lady Gouldian Finch. I have seen these in some beautiful colors. Apparently they are an endangered species in Australia, where they come from. Well, Fabulous Finch in Tennessee breeds the Lady Gouldian Finch and ships them all over the country. They also offer information on breeding and caring for your finches as well as food and supplements that are hard to get in the US. Some of the best finch food come from Australia (gee, ya think??). Well Fabulous Finch has it in stock in the US.

They also have a fantastic page that tells you what to feed your finches during each season. This is wonderful information. Birds go through yearly cycles, as do most of God's creatures, and providing the proper nutrition at each stage is very important. The folks at Fabulous Finch have broken it all down and made it very easy. During molting, nesting, resting, whatever your finch is doing they have the nutrition information you need.

So if you're interested in finches and you live on the mainland (they only ship to the continental US - that's for the safety of the birds) go and check out Fabulous Finch. Then you too can become a weird bird person like me :)

Of course it's not going as I had planned it.

I tend to make grandiose plans that seldom live up to my expectations. I've been working on being more realistic and while I'm getting better I'm still not perfect.

For my vacation I had planned to get all my files organized, rearrange my room, get the bird cage set up again (we are bird sitting in 2 weeks), clean some areas that haven't been cleaned in a while, things like that. Well here it is Tuesday and I've done none of the above. Not that it's all bad. I'm really quite rested and relaxed and that was the major goal of this break. I feel like doing some of those things today, so I will.

I've been doing this Turbulence Training and it is kicking my butt. I did my workout this morning and it was a killer. I love that. I've been wearing comfy, elastic waist, shorts all weekend so I can't tell if I'm losing weight. My shorts are my true indicator - not the scale.

Okay, I'm going to do some paid posts then get to work on my office area here. Organization is the word of the day.

30 July 2007

1,000

This is my 1,000th post. Wow. I can sure spew out a lot of cr*p!!!!

I was listening to the news and some random thoughts crossed my mind.

- A burglar here in Hawaii broke into a house and fell asleep. How exactly does that happen??

- People are surprised that Aquafina comes from the tap. Where exactly do people think the water comes from?? I test bottled water for Aquafina and a number of local companies and they all come from the tap. They are filtered and purified but they are tap water.

- Bill Walsh died. That's sad. We were lucky enough to be season ticket holders during the '80's. It was an amazing time for football fans in the Bay Area. The 49ers were the team of the decade. They haven't made a playoff in a while but with Bill Walsh gone it definitely is the end of an era.

- At the other end of football, Michael Vick's co defendant is going to testify against him. Looks like he's in deep trouble.

- Tom Snyder died. Honestly, I didn't even know he was still alive. I remember him and I used to like him.

That's it. 1,000 was clearly a milestone post :)

Animal lovers.....

You all know I'm an animal lover. I currently have dogs and birds. I've also had cats in the past. I've had turtles. I had a snake once. A 12' diamondback python. Her name was Sabrina. She was cool. But I had to feed her live animals and that just got to be too much for me. So I've had a few animals in my time. I figure I will have animals the rest of my life. I love them and I love having them around. Animals really add something to your life. I actually feel sorry for people who aren't animal lovers. You guys are missing out on something.

What I don't like and something that really pisses me off, is impulse buying of animals. Animals are living creatures. When an animal is adopted (yes, just like a child) it should be with the understanding that it's a lifetime commitment. You are now responsible for another living creatures well being. Humans domesticated them, it's now up to us to take care of them. This is why research should be done before any pet is acquired.

If you're thinking about getting a dog, I've found a great site. This site explains all the details of all kinds of dog breeds. They provide lots of information on the different breeds, temperament, size, grooming, health problems, life expectancy, etc. Very informative, very easy to read and understand.

So, if you're thinking of getting a pet, do the right thing and research it first. Find a pet that will fit your lifestyle and become part of the family. No one wants to be ignored, especially a pet.

EDIT: I was just cruising around that site looking at the info on the various breeds. The dog I really want is a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. I've read a lot about those dogs and I think they would be perfect for me. I was just reading on them and their health problems include OCD. Figures I would pick a dog with obsessive compulsive disorder :)

Completely out of control

What is it with me and free time? I had last week off and things literally spiralled completely out of control. I've lost track of the...