Friday, December 31, 2010

Ding Ding Ding! Bonk! New Year's Predictions and Resolutions for 2011

Since marrying Jesse, it has become a bit of a New Years tradition for us to listen to Coast To Coast's New Year's Prediction show instead of going out. And just like the years before, we will be settling down on the couch or in bed with a bottle of champagne and a boy in bed (hopefully) listening to the Dings and Bonks of 2010 and hearing what 2011 has in store.

On that note, I have decided to make my own list of predictions for 2011. Personally, 2010 was a pretty epic year for me and a lot of great things happened, I met a lot of amazing new friends, learned some cool new skills, worked some interesting jobs, lost one car and gained another and just truly thought it was all in all, a great year. However, I can't say I am as hopeful for 2011. I think 2011 is going to be a little bit of a challenge, not so much a total suckfest, but there will definitely be some obstacles. That aside, time for my 2011 Predictions.


- There will be a mass meat recall due to some form of tainted beef.
- There will be a big fire in the central valleys of California.
- A new species of dinosaur will be discovered Utah.
- A new species of bird will be discovered in the Amazon.
- There will be a disasterous earthquake in India and it will be felt throughout many neighboring countries causing a massive outbreak of diseases, looting and rioting and the US will throw more soldiers to Afghanistan to try and stabilize things there.
- The economy will start to show signs of recovery (not stabilization yet.)
- TSA is going to become stricter on their regulations on what you can and can't take on planes, however, the full body scanners are going to start to phase out due to costs.
- Facebook will be at the center of a large class action suit over privacy rights (they will win under the pretense people can opt how much information they choose to share on the internet about themselves.)


OK, that's all I got for predictions. Now for resolutions.
- Get rid of the 10 lbs I gained over the holidays.
- Join a gym.
- Have all our cars running in decent shape.
- Buy my CZ-527 Carbine in 7.62x39.
- Put in for deer tags.
- Learn something new (anything?)
- Go out more often with Jesse on husband-wife dates.
- Try to do a family vacation somewhere fun.
- Find new places to go fishing.
- Brush up on my knitting skills.
- Take up archery.
- Hike all (or most of) the trails in the greater Reno/Sparks area.
- Go horseback riding.


And on that note, I say Happy New Year's to everyone. 2010 was great, but hopefully 2011 is even better. Be safe out there. The weather is kinda crappy in some places. Remember the busses are free tonight. Take advantage of them!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Failure Times Two

An odd thing happened to me on Saturday. Out of the blue, my cell phone touch screen stopped working. Of course, an hour later, it worked again and all was great and fine in the world. Or so I thought. The very next day, the same thing happened and I treated the situation like the previous day and assumed all would be right again in an hour or so. Hours passed and I came to the conclusion my phone was helpless. I tried to file a report for a replacement with my phone insurance company, however, because there weren't any cracks or damage to the LCD screen, it would have to be dealt with, if applicable, through the warranty. Luckily for me, my warranty was still in effect because it turns out I only had the phone for some 9 months. After a little chat with Verizon, they had sent a replacement out next day, which in reality, was for Tuesday because the claim would be processed on Monday and so on. Now, I'm not one of those people who is attached to my phone at the hip. I use mine mostly for taking pictures, updating Facebook statuses and occasionally texting friends. Oh and calling my mom because of the whole free mobile to mobile thing. But I can tell you, when you are on a winter break of sorts and have plans to go out with friends and realize that all your phone is capable of doing is calling the last number dialed or receiving calls, well, its kinda crappy. And it only gets worse when all the phone numbers of people you know are listed in your phone and you can view them by scrolling and touching them on the screen, oh wait, the screen doesn't work! So much for that, right? All in all, everything worked out for the night and things went as planned.

Oh, but the gods of bad devices are cruel sons on bitches because it's not enough to them that my cell phone crap out on me; no, no, no... You see, yesterday, I had gone out in attempts of catching this big brown trout I lost on the shores of the Truckee River back in the spring. I had visions of grandeur that I would catch him on some cold winter morning, possibly even to find him larger. After a brief period of epic failure, I called it a day and drove home. I was going to make two stops on the way home. Wienershnitzel and the store. Well, stop one never happened because as I was leaving to get to the road, I noticed a big cloud behind me. At first I thought dust, but then I noticed it was white. I had seen this white cloud of death before. I glanced down at my thermostat and saw it jump from normal to hot in seconds. Not good. I managed to make my way to a gas station that was conveniently placed next to a Starbucks. I got out of the car and saw coolant leaking. If you know the story of my last car, the Oldsmobile, you will know that his death started with the cancer of a coolant leak that was masked by a busted heater core and by the time the heater core was fixed and the leak was discovered, it was too late and the engine was damaged. It was like some sort of bad deja vu. I walked into the gas station and asked the lady attendant if there was a payphone near by and she says near Rock or something and I ask if there's one closer, or if I can user her phone to call my husband and have him call my cell because my car died in her parking lot. She gives me the look she probably gives a bunch of druggies daily, but I was pretty frank and, come on, I don't look anything like a junkie. I just got back from fishing and was dressed like crap, but even when I'm outdoors dirty, I still have a pseudo polished look. I did just get my hair cut and it looks very awesome...

They let me call home and I left my message for Jesse. After he called back and nearly made me cry asking how I managed to ruin another car already when he's had his truck for years and I told him I have bad car juju. Because, really, I do have very horrible luck with cars. My first ever car, Li'l Truck had a timing belt break the month I bought him and cost me $500 and a month later I had to replace the engine and have the tranny rebuilt because the engine had knocking rods and the tranny was gonna fall apart. Then I got Jeepie, who was brand new from the dealership, and he was always having parts recalled then would have these weird issues where the car wouldn't start up and I think it had something to do with a faulty starter (apparently my current car had this problem too and had it fixed before I got it, whew!). After I got rid of Jeepie, I got City Truck, who was a Shitty Truck. He died a month after I bought him and I said to hell with that, I'm scrapping it and not even bothering with selling it. I then spent the next 18 months without a car before getting the Oldsmobile, who, despite argument from my mechanic, was the greatest car in the world. He died from overheating and engine damage and now I have Chrissy Car, the Ford Focus. I don't feel too horrible about Chrissy Car because he used to belong to my friend Chrissy, who took pretty good care of him. (What's that, you say? You thought Chrissy Car was a girl because it's named Chrissy? No, he's not. He's a boy. Just think of it like guys named Laurie or something. Yeah, I know Chrissy isn't an androgenous name, ask me if I care? My son named him.)

Back to the story, after an hour of plotting and what not, Jesse finally comes out with Charlie because of AAA issues and he fills the car up with water and cautiously drives home. I drive his truck home with Charlie and smile giddily because I know how to drive a stick shift now and I still haven't got over that feeling of "knowledge is power". (AUGH AUGH AUGH MORE POWER!!! Oh, Jesse told me I have to reference Jeremy Clarkson, "POWEEEEEERRRRRRRR!!!")

I'll fast forward some of the boring parts about the car sitting at home and my mom getting here and using her AAA to have the car towed to the mechanic who asked if I had a '76 Oldsmobile with a coolant leak problem a few months ago and then he did the facepalm action and the, "You sure have bad luck with coolant leaks." Yeah, I do. Blah. $340 later and some new hoses and other stuff, my car is OK for now. It needs $800 in repairs still for a water pump and timing belt (why am I drawn to cars with coolant leaks, bad timing belts, and engine problems!?) Plus it needs to have it's catalytic converter replaced, but I knew about that already. In fact, I kinda knew most of his problems when I got the car in the first place so I'm not super surprised.

Long story short, the present problem with the car has been resolved and the replacement phone is in. So, there is balance in the universe again... for the time being. I'll nervously smile till I can afford to get the other car problem fixed and until then, hope nothing else happens.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Great Scheels Fiasco of 2010

Normally I don't like to name drop in blogs but I'll do so today because I was asked to write this blog. My coworker/friend Nadia had to go to Scheels today to get a Christmas present for her son and fiance. So we drive down there on our lunch break. We find the present for her son and then go to their glasses section to get some sunglasses for her fiance. First off, no one is there and when we finally do get someone, the guy is from another department probably because he isn't sure about the product prices and if they even have the one Nadia wants. She ponders whether or not to get them so we go upstairs and play the shooting game to give her time to decide whether she wants it or not. She decides she will get them, so she goes downstairs and goes in line to pay while I look to see if they have my CZ 527 Carbine in 7.62x39 in yet. They don't. I don't even see the CZ 527 Carbines. Then, on a weird hodgepodge shelf I see the .223 one for sale now at $599. They really want to get rid of that thing. Normally it's $697, then they dropped it to $659 and well, now it's under $600 and that makes me think they won't carry them at all. The guy I asked said they're behind or something and winked at me. I guess that means they're either not paying their bills or not gonna carry it again or he's an old creep. This wasn't exactly the first time I went there and they didn't have what I was looking for in their hunting department without knowing/having a reasonable time frame of when they expected to get new merchandise. Whatever the case, I was sad. But it just got worse. When I found Nadia downstairs, she was in line, agitated because they didn't have the box for the glasses she was getting and they couldn't figure out that they could just give her the one box and make a new sku for it since all the glasses have the same exact box! Basically, we wasted 15 minutes in line dealing with poor  Scheels customer service. Eventually we got everything we needed and went back to work, Nadia realized she left her keys at Scheels because of the whole fiasco involved. She called them and they told her she could come get them from their lost and found. Forget putting her name on them and holding them. They just have a big generic box and you pick whatever you want from there. So any shmuck can go and say they lost some keys and if there happen to be keys in there they can say, "Oh! Those are mine!" and score! Hope they find your car. Long story short, we're not very happy with Scheels today. The sad part, we were really looking forward to going.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Better Safe Than Sorry: Why It's A Good Thing To Own A Safe

Every person who has anything important to them should consider investing in a good fireproof safe. Why? Why not? It only takes a few minutes for a criminal to steal or a fire to destroy valuables you spent your life gathering. Isn't it worth your money to invest in a device to protect these items?

Important Documents
Perhaps it's medical papers, car or house titles, stocks and bonds, birth certificates, social security information, loan papers; whatever it may be, everyone has their share of documents they do not want to lose. Prevent a burglar from the opportunity of cashing in on an identity theft by keeping your paperwork locked up. Avoid spending hours at various agencies and paying fees for copies of documents in the event of a fire.

Saving For A Rainy Day

There are people who have gold or cash stashed in their homes. Whether it be in the form of jewelery, coins, or bars, people still believe in collecting precious metals as an investment item to use when they need it. Some people like to keep their cash on hand instead of having it in a bank account where it is readily available to them when they need it.

Keepsakes
Some things are irreplaceable. A fire doesn't take sentimental value into consideration as it burns away old family photos, cards, and letters.

Firearms
Millions of Americans own guns. However, several criminals do too, most of which are obtained illegally via straw purchases or burglaries. It is a wise idea to have a safe to keep guns locked up in when you go out of town. It is also wise to have a safe to keep guns out of reach of people who shouldn't have access to them like children, whether they are your own or those of friends or family members. All gun owners should take personal responsibility for their firearms and consider those around them. While you may be a knowledgeable gun owner, others around you may know nothing and not have proper training or common sense to just "not touch".

You may not be able to stop a criminal or a fire, but you can protect your assets. Accidents can be prevented by taking precautions. Safeguard your valuables and invest in a good safe. There are many different kinds on the market from large vaults to small boxes, even James Bond-type "secret" safes like Secure Logic's Invisivault wall vault, which looks like a picture frame.



Saturday, December 4, 2010

Picture Day

Remember when you were a kid and they'd have picture day at school? Your parents would dress you up and you'd wait in line to have your picture taken. Then when you were in high school you'd either dress up in your favorite outfit or not even care and want it to be over with? So our work had a "new employee" picture day not too long ago. I was really sick and missed it. I went downstairs for a soda at lunch and as I walked through the break room to go to the hall to the upstairs break room, I noticed it: the employee photo collage. I snickered at not being on there. Ha ha I missed it! So you could only imagine my dismay when I got the email that three employees had to go and get pictures taken. Gah! It was one of those moments of thinking I wish I knew this yesterday so I could plan an outfit. Fortunately I think my hair, make up and outfit were photo-friendly so I wasn't totally distraught. Anyway, it made me have flashbacks of being a kid and photo day and the dread of having someone take your picture, especially when the photographer is another coworker and picture day now seems like getting a picture at the DMV by someone who is going to laugh at you while taking the picture making you feel like an asshole or something. It's all good.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I'm Going Somewhere With This, I Promise...

There are serious flaws in the infrastructure design in Northern Nevada. Most freeways and roads loop you around or send you down unnecessary roundabouts. You can imagine how hand this is in the winter when it snows or when the roads are icy. Then there is always some sort of road work going on somewhere. I'm not sure if this has something to do with the wear and tear due to weather (cars driving with snow chains, cables, snow tires, plus snow and ice in winter and heat in summer) or if they just get hairs up their butts to redo the roads frequently to keep construction workers employed. Whatever the case, there are always either too many over sized construction signs practically in the middle of lanes or no signs or lights to direct you where to go and unless you're in the know, you'll get lost.

Parking lots are like mazes. If you make a wrong turn, you can't get out unless you drive five miles around one way and wind up somewhere completely different. I think some of the lots most notorious for this set up are by the Walmart and Borders on Kietzke and South Virginia, Shopper Square, Legends at Sparks Marina, and well, pretty much every parking lot for any outdoor strip mall or shopping center. Sometimes I feel like some stoner designed the parking lots and roadways in this town while high thinking how trippy it would be to have a swirling cement island blocking what could otherwise be a very streamline route. I don't know. Maybe it's like the excessive roundabouts and some sort of sneaky means of slowing down fast drivers. Of course drivers out here are a whole other story.

I never liked driving in California because I am a very timid driver. Rarely do I go fast, but out here, it seems like I am the fast driver... and I'm just going the speed limit! People out here have a problem with going too slow when there are high speeds, or too fast when there are low speeds. When I drive to work, I take Mill to McCarran because it's just faster that way. Less traffic and higher speed limits. But no one seems to know that there is a 50 mph speed limit on Mill behind the airport! And the speed before you hit that 50 mph zone is 40 mph, but they seem to go 20 mph because they all need to go to whatever little shops are on the way before there. Then there's the 45 mph zone after the airport up to McCarran. Again, people go 20 mph slower because they don't know where they're going! Come on! You make the same commute every single day! How is it you do the same thing every day and yet you still slow down to an almost stop at every intersection as if to read the street signs to make sure you're making the right turn!? That baffles me. But I'm sure after doing it 5 days in a row they probably have developed the habit of it and thus ruining the benefits of a 45 mph speed limit for those who are attempting to make their commute faster because it would be ridiculous to take the freeway with all of the backtracking involved and the route Google Maps suggests with its millions of stop lights and school zones because it is .2 miles shorter than my high speed limit zig-zagging route that can get me there 10 minutes faster!

I really appreciate getting to work slightly earlier because that means a better parking spot. Granted there's enough parking for everyone, but I've worked at places where if you don't get a parking spot, even a bad one, it meant street parking. And if you got stuck with that, you were screwed. But in addition to getting a nice parking spot, it gives me time to do little things like get coffee or tea and go to the bathroom.

Our office is two stories. Most of the office is downstairs and uses the downstairs break room and bathrooms. Not me. I'm upstairs. I use the upstairs bathroom and break room. Partially because they're right next to me, partially because it's a micro version of my 3 mile radius habit which stemmed from my nothing outside the valley habit I grew up with. I'm like a little critter that likes to stay within it's territory. Anyway, our bathroom is pretty swanky but there are some huge differences between the upstairs bathroom and the downstairs bathroom. In addition to it being a single toilet bathroom, the toilet is also unusually tall. I can't help but feel like a little kid who has learned to use the big people potty whenever I go. You know, giddy, kicking my feet like I'm on a swing kind of. I mean, it is tall. Finally, for some weird reason, our sink doesn't get hot water. So it really sucks on mornings when you drive to work all cold and tread through the snow having to pee because you're so cold only to finish up by washing your hands with cold water.

You never notice something until someone points it out. Then you can't help but always notice it. I've been noticing whenever it's 11:33 for over ten years because one of my friends once told me in high school it was her "evil" time, that being, every time she looked at the clock, for whatever reason it was 11:33. Ironically, it's not 11:33 right now. Another case in point was that a coworker mentioned that the soap in the bathroom seems strangely far from the sink. Naturally, now I notice it is far from the sink! And, to make matters worse, it seems like every time I go in, it gets farther and farther from the sink, despite my efforts to bring it closer. What's that all about!? And as if that's not enough, insult is added to injury when you need to dry your hands after washing with the cold water, traveling away to get the soap, and going back to the cold water, only to have to go all the way back to where the soap was to get the paper towels to dry off! It's madness I tell you!

OK, it's not that horrible, but it does distract me from thinking otherwise stranger thoughts. Like how I'm desperately needing a hair cut, particularly my bangs. They're doing this weird thing, and maybe it's the weather, but they now want to fall to the side opposite of the direction of my natural part. Don't get me wrong, I think I look good with sideways bangs, but the problem is, the bangs plus my haircut make me look like the guy in No Country For Old Men. I love that movie and the character of Anton Chigur, but, I feel a little odd with sharing his hair style. Fortunately, SNL made a parody of There Will Be Blood and No Country For Old Men in which the character was mocked for having a "ladies haircut". So it's confirmed, my hair is alright and he has a chick do.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mixed Feelings

I've been having majorly mixed feelings about the snow. Like Sunday, when I was off and could do whatever, I loved it. Charlie and I went to the park and rode the boogie board downhill. But today, when I was at work and had to commute there and back, I was hating it. I was joking that I wanted to go outside with a lighter and hairspray saying, "GO AWAY SNOW!!!" Anyway, I'm not sure how I feel about the snow right now. Maybe come tomorrow night I'll like it again. I do want to get some snowshoes though. I'd like to try out snowshoeing.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Flaws In The System

I have been spending a good part of my days compiling letters written by 5th and 6th graders thanking our company for programs and goods sent to their classes and I often chuckle at the silly things they say or draw. But more often than that, I shake my head in disappointment at how children of that age seem to lack basic knowledge I remember having and my peers having when I was that age. You know, common stuff like how to write a proper letter. Some refer to us as "Dear *** people". People. That's a little rude. I snicker a little at the innocence of children signing letters "love" or "your friend". Because really, they are our friends. But the sad part is when you see a total inconsistency in grade levels. One school will have kids draw a picture and write a letter inside of a home-made card. They look like they were done by kids half their age and the spelling and grammar goes along with that theory. Then you will see another school with the same age students writing proper letters, addressed and formatted, written with good penmanship or typed. It just makes you wonder why places where there are kids who are doing the same program and following the same state education correlations have such huge scholastic differences. Not sure what to think at this point. It's just pretty bleak out there.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Reoccurring Dream Symbols

Beaches with massive waves
Ghosts
Snakes
Giant houses
Dumpy sun rooms
Bill Hader (Not sure why)
Zombies
Vampires
Apocalypse
Driving stick shifts (before I knew how)
Fish
Dim lighting
Deserts in the winter
The man in the desert
Lizards
Blood
Bath tubs
Difficulty running
Lack of privacy
Red
Blue
Grey
Locked doors
Snow
Aggressive animals
Flowing
Lack of coherency
Reading *
Number *


* I actually can recall the information of what I read and numbers I see in the morning as well.

Yeah. A lot of these things pop up in dreams often. I'm not sure why or what it means but it fascinates me that its so common. I'm even more fascinated at the fact I can read names or addresses of things in my dreams and remember them in the morning.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Surrender

It looks like our little Walmart standoff made national news. In the end, the guy, a Walmart employee was to be confronted about his behavior. The guy was on suspension pending termination and escorted from the store by a few people before the shooting ever happened. Wednesday morning, he comes into the store and confronts a manager and two other employees who he proceeds to shoot. One gets shot in the leg, one the shoulder and one the chest. The leg goes home after treatment yesterday at the hospital and the other two are still being treated. After 6 hours of being holed up in the store, the guy surrendered. No one heard any shots even though there were some 48 shots fired because it happened behind two double doors. That all makes sense now. I did hear arguing. That's why I wanted to get off the phone with my mom. So while no one has come out to say, I believe there must have been a confrontation of some sort before the shootings. Why else would there have been arguing? Unless he was arguing after he shot people and that's when the managers told everyone to get out of the store. I suppose theories will never end until he actually goes to court and everything comes out. So we'll just have to wait.

In other news, some other crazy person committed suicide that same day by jumping from a 10 story building. I've kind of had a little bit of an agoraphobic feeling towards Walmart in the end. I'm not sure just how much I want to go back there. I know I'll go back because of their low low prices but seriously, the crazy people that go there and work there are a little too much sometimes.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Rule 17: Don't Be A Hero

The morning was a little different than usual. I had Friday off for Nevada Day. I took Charlie to school and headed to Walmart to get a few things. I was browsing around what seemed to be a more empty than usual day at Walmart on Kietzke and S. Virginia. It was around 8:27am and I was on the phone with my mom. I told her I had to go because there was some sort of ruckus and I wanted to see what was going on. I was hoping to see a fight or something. The next thing I know, I hear more yelling and a manager yelling and running, "EVERYBODY OUT NOW!!!" I left my cart near the pull-ups which I was contemplating getting for Charlie and ran as fast as I could to the exit. I recall having to slow down a bit because my moccassins were slipping on the tile floors. I kept thinking in my mind, "It's a gun and I'm not going to be a hero." My plan was to get the hell out of there and get back to safety, that being my home. So I ran as fast as I could, never looking back, because everyone knows the number one rule is to not look back because looking back slows you down. I got to the parking lot and there was a man and woman on a phone and the woman asked him what he was doing and he said, "I'm calling 911!!!" as if to question her logic. I asked what happened and they said someone got shot. OK. How is it I was a few aisles away from what happened and from the shooter yet I hadn't heard gunfire or known that there was a shooting? I got in my car and left, not waiting to find out anything else. We turned on the police scanner and listened to the events unfold as no news channels were airing what I think is a pretty big story.

So basically what I can gather at this point: a at Walmart shot someone with what was described as a "mid size silverish handgun". Originally one employee thought they saw a shotgun, but no shotgun was found. The suspect ran into an office and was then trapped in the office. Police units have him trapped still and are checking the store for victims, witnesses, evidence and clearing the place out. They're clearing any additional guests leaving including what I find to be amusing, CCW holders. I guess it's nice to see that I'm not the only person who decided not to be a hero today.

****UPDATE****

News is now covering it and three people were shot.  More details on the news. The end.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I'm On A Boat!!!

Yesterday was my sister's 30th birthday party. She doesn't turn 30 till the 28th and wanted to do something big because it was a big deal. You only turn 30 once. She didn't want her party to conflict with anyone's Halloween plans so it was decided to be last night. I flew out all by my lonesome to meet up and help her get ready. Because of Obama coming out, my trip from LAX to Van Nuys on the Flyaway took forever, but I managed to get out there close to 4 pm. We ran to get the cake and a few things at Target and then got to working on getting ready. They started letting people on the boat when we got there so it was cool. Anyway, it was soooooo much fun!!! Imagine having a bunch of people you love being around all dressed up, on a boat, with a bar, snacks, deserts, dancing and karaoke and that's what you get. We got to hear all the songs we wanted and sing the songs we wanted, in the case of some of the guys, the same song multiple times. No one cared and it was all good fun. Everyone looked great and there's not a single picture I have where anyone is not smiling. OK, maybe a few WTF faces to someone doing something funny or ridiculous but it was all in good fun. After the party, we hung out for a bit and then headed home. I was super hungry so we got some Del Taco, even though I wanted Taco Bell. It reminded me of a classic "Oliver" moment when he tried to order me Nachos Bell Grande at a Del Taco drive through. Anyway, by the time I got back to my parents' house, took a shower and ate my Del Taco, it was 3 am. I had to be up around 5:30 to get ready to go to the Flyaway to get to LAX for my flight. My mom woke up late because for whatever reason the alarm went off at 6:00 instead. I got up, got dressed and shuffled off to the Flyaway. I was lucky enough to get the 6:45 bus and got to LAX early enough to get on my plane. I forget how much I hate that airport until I get there. I had an hour to wait till my flight after I got through security and I sat down with some McDonalds. Much to my dismay, there were two very annoying teenage girls with their mom to the left of me and they kept saying the same thing over and over and over again. Fortunately they left after about 20 minutes for their flight, but they were replaced by 5 of the most shallow and idiotic 20 something girls who sat behind me. They were going to Vegas and talking about getting shots at 8:30 am. The thought of it made me want to barf. I only had 3 beers last night between getting ready to go and actually being on the boat. I planned it purposely so I wouldn't be all hung over and sick feeling today. So I feel fine outside of being ungodly tired and hopped up on coffee to stay awake and I have their meaningless banter making my head spin. They struck me as the kind of girls if you asked who their hero was they'd say Ke$ha or  something under the pretense they like how she dresses or something absurd along those lines. I wish I could just slap them all with my clutch and tell them to get a life. Then one leaves and comes back with this big gulp size cup that has some sort of "tequilla and lemonade drink" as she put it. Classy. I'm glad I wasn't flying to Vegas. On both trips up and back, I had to sit next to women who were completely selfish travelers and insisted on leaning onto my seat even though they could have leaned into the seat of their friend/boyfreind/husbands(?) to the left of them. The one on the way up was the worst though because she was all sweaty and had her air on full blast. I had my air off because I was cold. Being cold and sweaty sucks. Being cold and sweaty from someone else's sweat that is leaning on you is repulsive and sickening. That being said, the same woman insisted on lifting her arm rest a bit to adjust a giant leopard print pillow she brought with her. Both flights were full so it was really annoying. My back hurts from leaning into my window and sitting all cramped to not get squished by the women on the left of me on both trips. Anyway, I'm pretty tired and feel completely gross and I'm debating going to Petco for their Halloween costume contest for pets.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

CHRISTMAS LIST 2010!!!

OK, I'm too lazy to set up an Amazon list or a wishlist this year so if you're lost for ideas here goes:

Fuzzy pink house shoes
Shotgun shell thermos
Mini-deep fryer
New Converse
Anything with pugs or guns
Travel mug with a twist on lid (bonus points for a pug or gun theme!)
1 - 5 lbs of Brazillian Coffee beans from Fairly Grounded (CAFFEINATED!!!)
White or Red pea coat
Donut Pan
Bread pan (I have one and I'd like another! Bonus points if you get one that matches my current pan!)
Remington 870 21" vented turkey barrel
Clothes (see sizes below)
bottoms - large, 10 or 11
tops - large (or medium)
shoes - 8 dress, 8.5 casual
Jewelery - I don't discriminate against shiny things or things of crazy colors and textures :)
Knife - I guess this is a little personal, but I'd like a nice utility knife, not so crazy like a Leatherman, but maybe something like a basic pocket knife with a knife, scissor, file, and screwdriver option. Bonus points for an ivory, pink, or yellow handle.
Rubix Cube
Body Pillow

*** Keep posted as this list may get updated upon future dates. Also, this is simply a guide to aid in ideas. Feel free to stray from the list.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Quail Hunt 2010

One of the things I've wanted to do for the longest time was get into hunting and I started this year. I was able to get into the  butt end of dove season, but there wasn't a single dove in sight the two times I went out, so I waited eagerly for quail season to begin. Let me tell you, the 9 days it took for quail season to open seemed like FOREVER! But the day came and I joined my friend Jen in Yerington for what was supposed to be a morning quail hunt that turned into a two day adventure.

Yerington is a nice little farm town an hour and a half away from me. I love it out there and have no problems going out there because it's great! I left the house at 6:30 and got to Jen's around 8:15 because of a little bit of morning traffic. She just got back from taking her kids to school and we transferred the shotguns to her car and headed out to hunt. Our hopes were high. When we got out, we saw another truck of guys and they were going in a different direction. We made the mistake of not getting bug spray, of course we didn't know we needed any. After an hour or so of getting attacked by mosquitos and remembering the dozens of West Nile Virus warning signs we saw when we first came in, we left to get bug spray and returned.

Ready to hunt with my little partner, Lulu, the hunting pug or Bird Dog Lu. 

Upon our return, we tried another spot. First, I saw something big dart out a little ways away and said it's either a coyote or a deer. Not too much longer, we saw it was in fact a deer. A nice sized plump doe who had that "deer caught in headlights" look when it saw us and then boinked away into the distance. We kept thinking what a great thing it would be to have a deer tag there and then. We heard the distinct "ooo-hoo-hoo" sound of quail and followed it until we came across some. It started with one. It flew up out of the sage brush and I took a shot at it. Missed. My one shot resulted in a coven of at least 40 quail to fly up ahead of us. We followed them into some thick brush until we got to an irrigation ditch. In order to get to the quail, we would have to jump the ditch. This was a rather interesting task. We could easily step into the water and cross, or we could literally jump. Being women, we decided it would be best to not get our socks wet and walk around in sopping wet shoes, so we unloaded our shotguns and crossed. I jumped across first with Lulu in hand, then Jen passed me the shotguns and followed. We reloaded and headed back to our pursuit of quail. Apparently they wised up because they weren't coming out for anything. After about an hour or so of no quail, we decided to call it a day and go get some lunch.

The irrigation ditch we had to hop.

Following lunch, we returned to Jen's home and I spent a nice deal of time with her older kids who are home schooled playing Rock Band. This has inspired me to use some money and invest in an XBox for the sole purpose of getting Rock Band. I like the drums and singing. I can't do the guitar to save my life. I had the famous "chipotledillas" for dinner and they are super awesome. Although I don't eat spicy foods enough to remember the detrimental effects they have on me. Basically, my DrPepper plus the chipotledilla was the formula to create the gnarliest gas bubbles causing me such sever stomach pains, I was just doubled over for the evening. * Note: Despite gas, I will totally eat them again because they're that awesome because gas goes away. The memories of chipoltedillas last forever! The evening ended with me deciding to stay another night and Jesse was going to have a "guy night" with Charlie and go get dinner and hang out and have some quality father/son time. Which is completely hilarious to me that I'm out hunting with the girls and Jesse's home having dinner with Charlie. Hopefully when he's older, Charlie will be going on father/son hunting trips to learn man-stuff while I stay home and get dinner with the girls. Our night ended with watching the movie Serenity which is like a post-apocalyptic space western zombie movie. I know, right!? That is a lot to put into one movie, but it works! And I am definitely going to watch Firefly now, which was the TV series that existed before the movie which inspired it, so says Jen and her kids, all with wide eyes and enthusiasm; her oldest son in his Jayne Cobb hat. Love the nerd factor. They snagged me in on it!

So a few things that I did not mention were that Jen's husband was out trying to find chukar while we were out looking for quail. He gave us a hard time about not shooting any quail when we got back, in good humor of course. When he returned, he asked us where we found them, Jen drew a map, and he went out in search of them. I kept going on about how I'd be so mad if he got one because those were OUR quail. I was plotting revenge, luckily, he didn't get any quail either so it all worked out in the end.

Tuesday was the final day of our quail hunt. We went back out and they were further back. It was back across the irrigation ditch and walking around trying to find them. I stumbled upon them and took a few shots but no luck. Jen and I left for lunch, returning in separate cars so I could head home when she had to get her girls from school. We parked the cars and within less than 10 minutes of leaving the cars, one lone quail flew out of the sage brush. I took a shot at him and missed. He was still within my range and I took a second shot and he went down. It was quite possibly one of the most exciting things I've ever experienced. I told Jen she could take Lulu and look for more quail while I get my bird.

Lulu hears some quail.

But I didn't get the bird. Maybe it was stunned and came back to and ran off when it landed. Maybe I wasn't checking far enough out, or maybe I was checking too far out. Maybe it didn't help that every sage brush looked the same. Whatever the case was, I spent over 2 hours looking for a bird that was not there. I spent more time looking for the bird once it was down than I did when it was alive trying to find a bird to shoot. The most baffling part was that I could see my car the whole time and I was wondering what the heck happened to the bird. I kept searching for it long after Jen went to get the girls and finally I just gave up. I figured if its down, someone will be getting dinner tonight, just not me. And if it was stunned and walked away, I'll get him next time.

The bitter look of defeat. Not finding my quail and giving up.
Anyway, I learned a few things from this trip. First and foremost, hunting is a lot harder than shooting clays. It's hard to focus on a bird to shoot when there are more than one in front of you. It's hard to focus on something that blends in with the environment around it. Even if it does go down, it's hard to find something when it blends in with it's environment. However, I did learn that I can shoot a bird if presented with an opportunity to do so. Despite the fact my Remington 870 Wingmaster is a pre-1986 model with no choke and an 18"  barrel and people laugh when I tell them I'm using it for hunting, I learned that it is a pretty comfortable gun to have to haul around thick brush because of it's size. I also discovered that despite where I'm going, bug spray will be with me at all times. Lulu is great at flushing quail. I wish I had a hat with a camera on it. I had a lot of fun. While I love fishing, I love eating birds more and I am so all about hunting now and trying to plot out my next hunting trip. I'm thinking probably some weekend after Halloween.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Zombie Vaccine

There had to be a cache somewhere around here. Shuffling through trees and leaves and nothing. I turned around and found myself alone. The shuffling continued. But it got louder as if someone was coming our way. No one was in sight. I called out for my friend but got no response. Only some muffled groans from off in the distance. It wasn't my friend, it was someone else. A zombie. I pulled out my .45 and shot him in the head. After all, that's how you get rid of them. We knew they were around lately but hadn't seen any of them. We just heard about it. It's like knowing a storm is on it's way and hearing about it but not seeing it. Then when it finally gets to you, you wish it didn't come, but you were glad to know it was real and not made up. Because it seemed a little too crazy to be true. I know my friend would be alright. I didn't have any physical proof other than a gut feeling, but my gut is always right. I headed back to the car but it was gone. My friend had left.

As I walked back towards the city, there was a school bus. I got on it and it drove up the freeway and got off on the Mill exit near GSR. There were no cars on the road other than the ones that were now on fire. Apparently a lot happened while we were gone. I'm not sure how I knew, but Jesse, Charlie and Lulu were with my parents. That was the plan. If anything happened, go to their home. Now it was up to me to meet them. The bus crashed into the side of the offramp and I crawled out of the emergency exit. I had my 870 with me this time.

I walked around the more industrial parts of Mill and came across a structure composed of aluminum sheets held together with some random fabrication materials. Inside was buzzing with action. Bloody people were trying to help others out amidst the tools and machinery. It was like a make-shift hospital. Some of the people were barking orders at others. I asked if I could help. They needed someone to assist with placing face masks. They figured if they could tack on sheet metal masks over the mouths or faces of the infected, they could save that person without destroying them and use them for labor.

Of course! Why destroy those mindless zombies when you could rehabilitate them to do something useful! Why hadn't anyone thought of that before? In other parts of the country, when others were just running from them allowing them to destroy their cities, this small group of vigilantes discovered a way to take charge and be industrious. They were the perfect workers. They didn't require food or sleep. They didn't require social happiness. They were like machines. When they fell apart, you could replace one with a new one. It was as if it were a human machine. Each mindless being did exactly as it was instructed to do. If you told one to staple metal to the face of a man who had been bit minutes ago and was in perfect health and not yet infected, the zombie worker would do so. If you told one to stand under a trash compactor which would result in destroying the zombie forever, it would do so. They would only comprehend the orders they were given and never question them. The zombie workers were every employer's dream employee.

I had spent too much time fascinating over the zombie workers. So much that I didn't realize there was a crowd of zombies headed towards me. They were not masked off and had the desire for flesh. They stopped and stared at me. I didn't know what to do. I gave them a command and they stared completely dumbfounded. I shuffled back slowly and they followed. But each time I was certain I was about to become a zombie, nothing happened. A few of them grabbed at my arms but then dropped them. One of the doctors turned around and looked as did a few of the patients.

"What's going on?" I asked.

No one seemed to have a response. The zombies poked at me some more and then turned away.

"You must be no good," one of the doctors said.

"Is that possible?" I asked.

Seriously, how is it one is not good enough for zombies. I'm a smart person. I have brains. I'm healthy. I think I would be more than good lunch for a zombie. But for whatever reason, they wanted nothing to do with me.

One of the doctors came up to me. "Let's do a blood test."

"Why?"

"You may be contaminated."

"I can't be. I haven't been bit."

"We can't be too sure. Maybe you got bit and didn't realize."

"I think I would know. I don't have any cuts or bruises. No signs of any bleeding that would imply I got bit. I'm pretty certain I'm not contaminated."

"Well maybe we can find out what's wrong with you."

I didn't like this. It seemed very weird now. I know, this should have been weird a long time ago, stepping into a weird factory hospital with zombie workers and doctors who weren't armed with any guns or anything but seemed to be operating fine in this so-called work environment.

I looked around and suddenly had the need to get a nail gun. It was important that I have one. I was going to go outside and see if I could test my "no-good" status on the zombies around me. A nail gun seemed like a good weapon but I wasn't sure if it would do the job or not.

Upon finding a nail gun, I walked outside of the building with a new crowd of zombies in trail. Once outside, a bunch swarmed to me, but again, none were interested. After a few pokes and curious looks, they lost interest and wandered back to rummaging in trash cans and walking the streets. I shrugged and went back inside.

"OK," I said to one of the doctors, "You can take some of my blood. I'm pretty sure whatever it is, the zombies aren't interested. Maybe we can make a vaccine with my DNA. Maybe it can be used to ward zombies from attacking people, or maybe you can test it to see if it cures zombiesm."

The doctor took a syringe and poked me in the arm drawing out a small amount of my blood. He then stuck the same syringe in a man near by him that was not infected and after shooting him up with a small amount, shot a small amount into a zombie.

I'm not sure what happened to the man because he disappeared into the building. I think my blood killed the zombie. Whatever happened, the doctors were fascinated and started to take my blood and separate it into various viles, adding chemicals and placing drops at a time on petri slides under lights and microscopes, some how generating new blood cells from my sample blood.

I turned around again and walked back out the door and headed towards the freeway as the sun was setting. I was going to meet up with my family and call it a day.

No Sense Trying To Make Any Sense Of Things

A strange occurrence happens every fall and that is with the arrival of each autumn, my brain goes into overdrive and starts to produce fantastically odd dreams every night. So, in honor of the season and Halloween coming up and the fact it's October and none other than "what the hell, why not?" I am going to share some recent dreams. Of course I will elaborate on them a little more and convert them to short stories for your reading entertainment. After all, my dreams are nothing more than a cesspool of rehashed versions of daily events, my subconscious, and memories, ideas, and worse, my imagination, which everyone knows is more than capable of being completely catastrophic and out of control. On that note, we'll see where my dreams lead me. Definitely some odd adventures with no resolutions. 'Tis life...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Overstimulated!!!

Tonight I really debated going running. It was hot and gross all day and even more unpleasant after spending an evening dying a dress that didn't take to the color in a hot and muggy bathroom and then followed up by folding two weeks worth of laundry (which I never really got around to folding last week's clothes, my bad.) Of course, my pre-weight before run inspired me that if I go out and run tonight, it will motivate me to run again more this week and I may be in the desired shape I want to be in for the mud run and Halloween (no worries about fitting my dress for my sister's 30th birthday, though, that's custom tailored! OH SNAP!)

Anyway, I managed to drag myself down to the river. Mr. iPod was put on shuffle and started out with some Ladytron followed by some Lilly Allen and Michael Jackson and Electric Six and then the Dwarves came on. At that point, something about being out at night in dim lights, running around listening to loud punk in the muggy heat gave me flash backs to 1998 when I was 16 and there were a million great bands in town that summer and well into the fall and so I just put it on the Dwarves from there out and ran.

Long before I got to the pleasant memories, I knew tonight was going to be odd. It started out with an over-abundance of potential white supremists out and about. After watching enough episodes of gangland you can kind of start to pick out the tale-tell signs of them. Plus every time some idiots go tagging up the neighborhood, they have a tendency to paint swastikas over any new taggings and well, we recently got some new taggings down along Brinkby. Anyway, they weren't really doing anything other than walking around the lake, maybe going somewhere or whatever. But it was one of those things where you gotta be aware of things.

So they disappear by round two and my theories of them just passing are correct. I do see one of the regular night time runners. On round two he gives me a thumbs up and that was pretty encouraging. Sometimes on crappy nights like tonight, you want to throw in the towel after round 1 but I managed to go all 3 as planned. Toyed with going 5 but realistically, it's just not the right weather for 5 miles for me since I haven't been running regularly in a few weeks.

Well, lap 1 is the white power guys. Lap 2 is the thumbs up of encouragement. Lap 3 has to be epic.

Nothing.

Not until I'm about 3/4 the way through and then it happens.

Young lover Latino boy gets up in a defensive manner. I turn the music off to eavesdrop on the gossip.

"WHAT THE FUCK!? I LOVE YOU? I GIVE IT MY ALL? AND FOR YOU TO TELL ME YOU WANT TO BE FRIENDS?!?!?!?!?"  


BWAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!!!! OH, what a way to end the night!!!! With a break up!!! Every night I see the same douchey youngster types at the lake connected at the hips and lips, grabby with the fingers completely uninterrupted by the people around them simply because they are in the park in the dark and it's "romantic". To see this break up made my day. Young love. So fragile. So disposable. So amusing. On that, I say tonight was probably one of the most amusing runs I've had in a while.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

WOLVERINES!!!

Friday morning, I was supposed to go on a hunting adventure with "Kristy Caliber". Unfortunately, there was a mishap that involved her keys getting locked inside her car. I got a text from her at 6 am notifying me of this. But the real kicker comes from her dad insisting he can get the car open. Four hours later he did! However, by that time it was too late to get our hunt on so we postponed it for the next day. So Saturday rolls around and we're out looking for a good spot for doves. Not a single bird in sight that day. However, there was a moment where there was a helicopter flying towards the air races I'm assuming (they were this weekend). I couldn't help like I was in Red Dawn.



At that point, I had a brief potentially shit-your-pants moment where I thought, "What if something like Red Dawn actually ever did happen?" But that passed quickly. I then took to enjoying the environment. We never did get any doves but it was nice to get out.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Automatic to Stick

I know at the beginning of 2010 I said I had this feeling this year was going to be an incredible year for me and to be honest, it has. I am doing so many things this year, scratch that, accomplishing so many things this year I had dreamed of doing my life but have finally dedicated myself to learning or doing. I finally did my hunter's ed. I finally learned to drive a stick. After about four years of Glock-Block, I finally learned to love the Glock. But right now I'd like to talk about the stick shift.

I'm not sure what the deal is with me but I used to have stick shift fantasies. No, it's not some weird Freudian thing. It's literally dreaming about hopping in a car with a clutch and knowing how and when to shift. And I would have re-occurring dreams where I would know how to drive a stick. Now, I know it sounds stupid, especially since that's how so many people I know learned how to drive a stick, but I'm not that lucky. Sometimes I can pick something up and figure it out in a matter of seconds, other times I can't. Stick is one of them.

I recall one of my first stick lessons. A five minute quickie behind Jesse's work. OK, that came out sounding dirty. Seriously though, we went to the big lot behind his work and he gave me a very basic run down of clutch, break, gas, in a series of ways that confused me. Lesson two, which was considerably longer, wasn't any better. Lots of stalling and jolting. And the fact his truck was just a big clunky machine didn't help any, but I can't complain as it's been reliable for us. I think it eventually made sense when I tried to look at driving stick from a shooting perspective and thought about the gas/clutch system in a sense of follow through with the clutch as I give gas. (My biggest error was always jumping off the clutch as soon as I had a little gas and would result in stalling, grinding, or the car jumping, and sometimes a combination of the three.)

Well, long story short, it has taken me a great while (I think) to start to get the stick and I am finding that I am liking it. A lot. I get it now. I get why people drive sticks. Not because you get better mileage or have cheaper insurance rates, but because they're just fun to drive. I like the fact that I know how to drive a stick now. If some weird event ever happens and I get asked by Top Gear to drive their course I would know how! But that will never happen. But if it ever did, I could do it!

Anyway, I just like the whole idea of converting to stick for driving now. It makes me feel like more of a purist. I shoot iron sights. I drive stick. I make most of my foods. Yeah! Hey! I bet I can drive a tractor now too! OK, I'm getting crazy with it. This is just the point where I smile and go to bed.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Blarrgh!!!

I swear this feels like it has been one of those ridiculously hectic weekends. Friday was kind of a blur and I don't even remember what happened but Saturday I did my hunter's ed finally after what seems like what took way too long to finally just sit down and do and looking back I feel like a total idiot for not having done it earlier. Oh well. On the plus side I now have my license and can go out hunting some day.

When I got home from that yesterday, I came home and did some work. I took on a new contract that was due today but it was good quick and easy money. I took a break from it and then ran 5 something miles last night. I came home ridiculously tired and took a shower and crashed and slept the best sleep in my life.

Of course that was all ruined this morning when I woke up at 6:30 and went straight to work. I worked some more on my contract and then around 11 started to get ready and make lunch and at noon Jesse and I left to finish up our shotgun class. That was a lot of fun and honestly I need to go out and shoot trap more often because its fun and I could use some more practice. Shotguns is still pretty new to me but I like it.

When we got home from shotguns, I went back to work, finished my contract and I just feel so unbelievably tired. Jesse got us a pizza for dinner and that was a plus because I don't think I'd like having to come home and cook after my long day. I do want to go jogging but I have a feeling if I go out now, I'll want to run 5 miles and if I do it'll be all late when I get home. I'm not a huge fan of running after 9 so I might just pass. Or wait for Chrissy to get off work. I dunno.

Anyway, yeah, pooped. Tired. Accomplished a lot this weekend.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Adventure To-Do List

1. Visit as many nearby ghost towns possible
2. Get hunter's safety/ed out of the way
3. Hunt a Thanksgiving Turkey
4. Hunt a Christmas Pheasant
5. Go hunting and have a bunch of fun
6. Catch a decent sized catfish (this has been on my list since I was a kid and I have yet to accomplish this one!)
7. Fish some of the out-of-town parts of the Truckee
8. Fish Pyramid and see what all the hype is about
9. Go cross country skiing at Spooner Lake
10. Go prospecting
11. Look for turquoise out in the hills
12. Visit more small towns
13. Go horse riding around more ghost towns
14. Participate in a re-enacting event
15. Go to an Appleseed shoot

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I Need A Dose Of Motivation

I have totally be slacking on my jogging lately. I don't know if I've been on a slump or something or what. I just haven't had the motivation or drive to get out of bed and do things. And it's not just the jogging. I've gotten bad with the soda thing. I said it's ok for me to have soda this week because my parents are up but really it needs to stop. I think I've kind of been realizing that I have to stop anyway because I'm just not feeling it with my body. Like it's a swift kick in the ass whenever I drink it now. Which could be a good thing. Anyway on to my jogging...

I'm not exactly sure why I have been slacking because there are so many great people-watching opportunities that come about whenever I go out. Today, however, was not one of them. I felt more like I was the spectator to other people's people watching pleasures. And I totally could have been. For starters, I feel like I was running faster than I normally do, which is cool. I felt really good today when I was on my jog.  I felt like I was floating the first loop. The next two loops I felt like I was down to business. I think the fact that I sing along to the music I listen to while I run and sometimes get a little into it with my shoulders and dance makes me to be quite a spectacle to those around me. Luckily, I tend to go out when not too many people are out, or awake, or can see me. That's a plus.

On the way home, three emo girls who looked like they were in 9th grade, trying their hardest to be hardcore and cool, totally busted me singing along to Danzig She Rides. At this point, I'm on my cool down period walking home. That's fine. Instead of doing the "embarrassed to get caught doing something embarrassing" act and stop singing, I look them all square in the eyes as I keep on singing my little heart out as if to tell them, "I am way older than you, I don't give a shit what you think about me singing alone as I walk down the street all sweaty and winded. I have more balls than all of you combined and I'll always be cooler and more hardcore than you. OH SNAP!" Yeah. Sometimes being old and condescending can be fun. I guess it's harmless ways grow ups get their kicks.

Good times.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Happy Wife Moments

1. Jesse and I were driving home from Carson a few weeks back and we were listening to the radio. The Eagle's Already Gone came on and Jesse says, "Hey, this song was playing in the car the first time we went shooting together!" Aww. He remembers a detail from so long ago. Long before we dated things were important because he cared.

2. A few mornings ago I was going in the safe to get out the Glock 36. I chambered a round and put it into my belly band to go jogging. I turn around and see Jesse zonked out asleep in bed smiling. I asked him what was so funny and he says he's smiling "just because". I guess the thought of your wife carrying on of your favorite guns to go jogging at 7am is a pleasant thought.

3. I call Jesse at work today to tell him not to tank up at lunch because I'm making beef bourguignon for dinner. I can hear the excitement in his voice as he says, "YOU READ MY MIND! I was going to call you and ask if you could make that!" Today totally felt like a beef bourguignon day and the fact Jesse got so excited about something as simple as dinner made me happy.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

All Epic Heroes Need A Song

So in a lame attempt at putting Charlie to bed, I go on with the usual list of lullabies and eventually run out and don't want to start from the beginning. What the hell more can I sing to him about? Pugs? No, I spent about 5 minute singing about pugs. Trains? Tuna Fish? Lifeguards? Been there, done that. Finally I had one of those moments of, "Why didn't I think of this earlier!?" I drew out my list of Tall Tale epic heroes and came upon my newest hero, Snowshoe Thompson! Alas, I made up a little tall tale campfire type song to put the boy to bed about Mr. Snowshoe Thompson. It didn't work but damned if it isn't a great new ballad!

The Ballad of Snowshoe Thompson
Snowshoe Thompson, Snowshoe Thompson,
Hero of the west,
Mailman of the Sierras.
Snowshoe Thompson, Snowshoe Thompson,
Doing all the things
No one else could dream of!

Trekking through the mountains
on skis, in the snow.
Didn't need a compass,
but he knew where to go.
Guided by the stars
and the rivers and the trees,
He could get it done and
that's what everyone believed.


Snowshoe Thompson, Snowshoe Thompson,
Hero of the west,
Mailman of the Sierras.
Snowshoe Thompson, Snowshoe Thompson,
Doing all the things
No one else could dream of!

A traveler lost his way
and didn't know if he'd survive,
But the hopes of Snowshoe passing
kept his hopes alive.
Lo and behold, Snowshoe did arrive
with doctors and ether to keep the man alive!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Reno People Strangeness

1. Crazy Cat Lady #3 - I see her regularly on my jogs around the lake. She usually has on the same outfit which consists of carnation pink shorts with an elastic waistband, a matching carnation pink and baby pink or dirty white striped t-shirt tucked tactfully into said shorts, and black snow boots. Yeah, I don't get it either. She has a cat with her... at the lake... on a leash and harness. Did I mention the harness is black leather with spikes?

2. That Guy - There is this old man downstairs. There is also this creepy guy who is with him a lot. I draw all kinds of conclusions as to what could possibly be going on. Assisted living? Loser son who looks to be in his 40s or 50s that can't get a job and has to live with dad? Some sort of gay boy toy? (Strangely the last theory seems to make the most sense.) Old man looks like your typical old dude. That's fine. He's a little odd, but that could just come with age. It's That Guy that is the weird one that I get a bad vibe from. He looks like Gerard Depardieu if he had silver grey hair. He also has this kind of oaf/giant manner to him. He is often walking up around our driveway and going back inside. He's not a smoker. He's not buying drugs. He just goes outside. If he needs air, they have a patio he can go out on. It's just strange. He always wears the same royal blue t-shirt too. Weird.

3. Crazy Duck People - Back to the lake. There's always some crazy people feeding the ducks at 7 in the morning. I guess that's what you do when you're retired and your kids don't talk to you or something, I dunno.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Measurements

I've kinda been tracking my weight loss for the past 2 years since Charlie was born as a way to keep myself in check with my health and to track the progression of where I've come with things. I always say so long as I'm under 200 lbs I'll be happy. That was the biggest I ever was when I gave birth and I don't want to be that big ever again. Of course I've gained a lot of weight over the years and I'm trying my hardest to get rid of it and tone up. Since Charlie was born I've been trying harder to watch what I eat and exercise. I believe that it takes months to put on pregnancy weight and it can take months to lose it all (unless you breastfeed and then you're burning 500 calories a day!) But I also believe the same applies to general weight gain and weight loss. I gained a lot of weight over the course of some 5 years and granted it could take just as long to go away. I don't believe in fad diets. I have spent the past 2 years changing my lifestyle from cutting back on fast food and soda to just eating healthier and exercising. It's nothing rapid but it works. I still go get fast food about once a week and I still will have ice cream. But I also run 3 miles 3 or 4 times a week and do sit ups and push ups afterward, not to mention I chase a 2 yr old around all day. I'm relaxed and enjoy my life and my food and I'm doing it one day at a time with a long term goal of a healthier life instead of a short term goal of losing a few pounds. The weight loss will come with the lifestyle. The lifestyle takes time. Good things take time, which is why patience is a virtue. :)


First prenatal appointment
November 2, 2007
Weight: 167 lbs.

Last day of pregnancy
May 8, 2008
Weight: 200 lbs.

6 Weeks Postpartum
June 23, 2008
Weight: 165 lbs.
Triceps: 11.5"
Bust: 39"
Waist: 34"
Tummy: 38"
Hips: 42.5"
Thighs: 24"


The very last time I measured myself
March 25, 2009:
Weight= 150 lbs.
Triceps= 11.25"
Bust= 36"
Waist=31.5"
Tummy=34"
Hips=36"
Thighs=22.25"

Where I'm at today       (difference from last measurements)   (difference from 6 weeks postpartum)
August 12, 2010                               appx. 1yr 5 months                       appx. 2 yrs 3months
Weight = 147 lbs                                   - 3 lbs                                       - 18 lbs
Triceps=11"                                          - 0.25" muscle                           -0.5"
Bust=35.5"                                            - 0.5"                                        - 4"
Waist=30"                                             - 1.5"                                        - 4"
Tummy=33.5"                                       - 0.5"                                         - 4.5"
Hips=35"                                               - 1"                                           - 7.5"
Thighs=22"                                            - 0.25"                                      - 2"

My haven't we come a long way... I'm proud of me and my accomplishments not to mention I'm 20 lbs less than I was the day of my first prenatal appointment. Go me! Woo!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Lefties Have Rights Too: Revolvers For Lefties

Let's face it. It's a right handed person's world. Everything is geared towards the right handed person. When it comes to guns, this still applies for the most part. While there are many semi-auto pistols that now come in ambidextrous models or even left handed models, the left handed revolver shooter can feel left in the dark. It is always hard to watch a left handed person learn to shoot a revolver designed for a right handed person. Fortunately, while most instructors do not have left handed revolvers on hand for classes, that doesn't mean they don't exist. There are options for left handed revolvers, even one specifically for the lefty.

Smith & Wesson recently introduced the Bodyguard, a compact revolver similar to the size of most J-frame revolvers. While it has an ambidextrous cylinder release on the top, it's not truly left handed as the cylinder still releases onto the left side of of the frame like every revolver geared to the right handed person.


Charter Arms, however, has been the front runner in the lefty revolver arms race with a revolver that is designed solely for the left handed shooter. Their Southpaw is your standard carry sized revolver. Not only is the cylinder release on the right side of the frame for a left handed shooter, but the cylinder additionally opens up onto the right side of the frame. For any lefties in the world who are interested in shooting revolvers but dislike having to learn as a righty, this is the best option. While Charter Arm's isn't as big of a name as Smith & Wesson, that doesn't take away it's credibility. It is still a manufacture of quality firearms.

Monday Funday

Ever notice how coupons are always made for products no one ever buys. Like seriously, who is going to buy two boxes of cake mix to want to save $0.50? That has nothing to do with any of this post. I just wanted to mention it.

I came home today to some new contracts. Freelancing is going well. Rent for the month is paid. Jesse gets paid Friday and it will be a bigger check than usual because his sick time or PTO was left off his last check. We only need part of it to pay for all our bills plus my shotgun class so it's nice to know financial obligations are paid for. Plus he will have a little extra. It's nice to know we can actually start to save some money for our trip to Cali in October for my sister's Sweet Thir-ty (sung in the tune of MTV's My Super Sweet 16)

I made good friends with some little ground critters today. It was pretty awesome. They hopped on my lap and ate Cheeze Its. We also checked out the Galena Creek Fish Hatchery. That's where we want to do our vow renewal at. I got some pics of the place. It's got a great view of the pond. Super pretty. We also walked around looking at the old historic ruins. It was a good time. I caught some fish. We finished it off with In N Out.

Needless to say right now I am a super happy camper.


My Ground Critter friend



By some old irrigation shed


Jesse and Charlie at the fish hatchery on the north east end


Jesse and Charlie at the fish hatchery on the south east end


Me and the boy at the view of the pond from the fish hatchery

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Crazy Cat Lady

Yesterday I was walking out to the pool with Charlie when I stumbled upon a frail old lady who looked disoriented and confused in the walkway. She asks me if I've seen the cat with the kittens. I've never seen a cat with kittens or any kittens for that matter. I ask her what the cat looks like so if I see it I can let her know. Instead, she goes on about talking about how there was a lady who lived downstairs who was feeding a cat with kittens and the lady left so now she feeds the cat with the kittens but other cats are eating the food she puts out and she is worried. I ask her again what the cat looks like and she gives me no answer. Instead, she looks at me and says, "You know, someone in this building has a dog and it barks and scares the cats away." I ask her if the dog is a little pug; a small brown and black dog with curly tail and smushed face and she says that is the dog. At this point, it sounds like she is trying to get people to be against the dog to get rid of the dog to save the kittens and I tell her, "That's my dog. She's smaller than a cat and is afraid of cats. She's ok with other dogs, though. She also lives ALL THE WAY OVER on the OTHER side of the building AWAY from where the cat with the kittens is at." The lady looks a little caught off guard as if her attempt to have people hate the dog has been foiled as she is now confronted by its owner. I told her then that Lulu only comes out with me to go to the bathroom or on walks and that the rest of the time she is indoors. She is a domesticated dog and really just a lazy, lovable pug. Plus everyone in our building that has seen her thinks she is just adorable. She has the nerve to ask me if I even care about animals. Yeah, I totally do because I have a dog and I grew up with cats and dogs and birds and turtles and fish and snakes and helped several possums. I was so infuriated by this lady yesterday it wasn't even funny.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Invasion of Privacy

http://www.nevadajudiciary.us/images/advanceopinions/126nevadvopno23.pdf

In the case of Reno Newspaper vs. Washoe County Sheriff, the court ordered that concealed carry weapons holder names be released as public record. I'm not exactly sure what part of this comes across as a good idea. So, to make a long story short, I'll list a few reasons I believe this is a bad idea:

1. It's an invasion of privacy. There are people in the world that don't want people knowing their business. Not everyone talks about politics, religion, and things of touchy subjects openly. For this reason, a lot of people don't want their preference of owning guns and carrying them to be public record.

2. It's an open invitation to crime. Now criminals in the world know you have a gun. All they need to do is look up your address in a phone book and if they find you, they know you have a gun. Guns are valuable. Chances are if you're not home, you probably have other valuables worth stealing. It's almost as dumb as having a bunch of really cool things and placing them in your window for the world to see and then wondering why you get robbed. Its called advertising. It's just a bad idea.

3. It's not safe. Many CCW holders are people who have either been personally attacked, knew someone who was attacked, lost someone or knew someone who lost someone to a murder, are in witness protection, or are just being proactive regarding their safety. To list all the individuals in the county who are armed is now a wake up call to criminals. Now law enforcement officers will argue that this knowledge is good because it will drive down crime rates, but realistically, criminals don't fear the law and they certainly don't fear you or me. All this tells them now is the criminal who would originally rob you with a knife, will now show up with a gun to level out the playing field.

4. There's no tactical advantage. Look, we can open carry, but the whole point people choose to concealed carry is for that tactical advantage. They don't want to notify criminals that they are armed. A criminal who sees an armed person will handle their crime differently if there is a gun involved. They have nothing to lose. They've gone to jail once, they'll do it again.

5. The first letter of CCW is C for CONCEALED. Again, we can open carry, but not everyone wants to do so. We all know that not everyone is on board with guns. Even though we can open carry, not everyone knows it. So many times, people get pulled over for open carrying and sometimes even detained until the officers in their areas realize that it is in fact legal to do so. But a lot of CCW holders get their permit for the specific purpose of carrying without alarming those around them.

6. Discrimination does exist. To sit and say that once this information becomes public record and that it won't affect people directly is a lie. Who is to say that a school won't run the names of all their teachers and staff to see who has a CCW and then fire them because they fear their employees might be breaking a federal law? Or who is to say that someone wouldn't get denied a job with a company because a potential employer feels like checking if an applicant is a CCW holder? Maybe this sounds a little paranoid and extreme but who is to say something like this wouldn't happen? And how does one prove it? With this economy all a company has to do is say, "We had to do cuts" or "We found someone more qualified"?

All around, this is not a good idea. I hope that everyone pays attention to what is going on with this situation and if a class action suit comes up that everyone who values their rights and privacy gets involved. Until then, the best we can do is boycott RGJ and it's affiliates. If they're gonna mess with us within the law, then let's just do the same.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I Do My Own Thing...

I haven't blogged in a while about life. So here it goes: life is good. Actually, in a nut shell, I was, for the longest time, one of those people that was feeling the pains of a bad economy and unemployed for what seemed like forever and a day. I had several interviews with several companies but none of them were in my designated job field so when the going got tough, I decided why settle? I gave up on trying to "do whatever" to make ends meet and did what I do best: I do my own thing. I am not one who deals with compromise well. I don't believe in having to change who I am or what I do for others. So when the going got tough, I became an independent contractor. Right now, it's working out very well. Financially, I make less than if I were working out of an office, but the fact that I do not need to pay for daycare and can set my own hours makes up for it all. My range of duties as an independent contractor span from marketing coordinator, graphic designer, copy writer, and shooting instructor. The first 3 kind of tie in, the last is just an oddball, but my point is this: people who want to make money will find a way. I'm by no means wealthy. But I refuse to be one of those people who sits around waiting for the gov't to "make jobs" so I can have one. No one is going to make anything for you. No one is going to owe you anything. If you want something in life, you gotta work for it. Some people don't get it. It sickens me whenever I hear these people speak with this sense of entitlement like because they made so much at one job that they are expected to make the same amount or more in a new job, or worse, people who have good jobs but quit them and then complain about the fact they can't find work. If something isn't broken, why try to fix it? And especially during the bad economy we're in right now. It's just ridiculous. Anyway, that's just my little blurb about life right now. It's going well and I'm happy.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Open Carry

Moving to Reno from Southern California is like moving from Antarctica to Egypt. They are two totally different worlds in so many ways but one of them is the pro-gun environment out here. Nevada is an Open Carry state, meaning, unless otherwise posted, you can carry a gun. Obviously, restrictions apply to the same places of concealed carry that you cannot take guns (airports, state and federal buildings, any place that has a sign prohibiting firearms, etc.) Each state has its set of laws and restrictions regarding guns, the carrying and use of and before you go out to do anything, I urge you know your laws first.

I've open carried out here before in wilderness, although I have never carried in town. It was pretty interesting. Sure, I just had it on a brief period in town while going to and from the Women's Shooting Academy classroom and then out to the range. Usually I bring the big honkin' XD .45 Tactical to the range but can't conceal it because of the obvious size. But it's a really great gun to shoot and it shoots well and I'll face it, I am starting to become one of those people who believes carrying a .45 is as Martha Stewart would say, "A good thing." Personally, any gun is better than no gun and that's my number one rule, but in terms of the "shoot what you can shoot well" is starting to move in the direction of that XD. Of course I can't carry it concealed because of it's enormous size, but I can open carry it. And it was pretty cool. Something about carrying a gun you really like a lot and not worrying about if you're printing or not because who care's it's out in the open and in compliance with state laws. Here's to Open Carry... for those of you who applied for a CCW and don't want to wait for it to come in to start carrying or for those of you who don't believe in CCW's*!!! For more information about Open Carrying check out http://opencarry.org

*Disclaimer: KNOW THE LAWS REGARDING GUNS IN YOUR TOWN. FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL LAWS MAY VARY FROM PLACE TO PLACE. THINK OF THOSE AROUND YOU: KNOW YOUR GUN SAFETY AND DO NOT CARRY A GUN YOU ARE NOT COMFORTABLE AND PROFICIENT SHOOTING. EVEN IF YOU DO NOT WANT A CCW, IT IS WISE TO TAKE THE CLASS TO LEARN LEGAL AND ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITIES INVOLVED WITH CARRYING A GUN.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Apples & Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

I wanted some cookies tonight and was going to do a peanut butter cookie but then thought an oatmeal could be healthier. I didn't have anything to mix in with it in terms of raisins or craisins. Then, I saw apples on my counter and the little light bulb above my head started flashing and there was a DING! DING! DING! sound going off. It was a total success and I thought I'd share this healthy alternative to a classic treat.


2 cups oats
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) of butter melted
2 eggs
1 cup diced apples (I used golden delicious because they're super soft and sweet and go well with this)

Preheat oven to 375ยบ
Mix everything together. Drop dough onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes or until corners are golden brown.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Constitution Is Still Valid

Here's some change I can live with: the Supreme Court declaring that the Constitution is still in fact in effect and that all 50 states have the right to bear arms. That being said, some of those places that took it upon themselves to say, "No, you can't have guns because they cause crime!" are finding themselves walking around like a dog with it's tail between it's legs as they scramble to find ways to control the citizens of their cities.

It will be interesting to see how this new ruling will affect the gun owning community and activist who take on the government to try and repeal some of the gun laws that have been placed in the past few years. It will be even more interesting to see how the recent economy and economic hardships will come into play with this as well. With more people out of work, crime rates have gone up and people feel the need to want to protect themselves. Maybe there will be some good coming out of Obama's presidency, that being, Americans will wake up and realize we've been making mistakes left and right for the past few years and it's time to clean house.

On a closing note, I have this to say about some of those silly gun laws that restrict gun ownership to one gun or one every so often: think of your wardrobe. Think of all the different things you have to wear for different seasons. Different occasions. Different activities. You don't just have one outfit and one pair of shoes and that's it. You have many. The same applies to guns. There is no "one in all" gun. Don't tell people they can only have one. Each gun has it's purpose. If they can afford multiples and are of good moral standing, don't limit them. Hopefully California can get some of their stupid laws repealed because I would be more inclined to visit if they did.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Legend of Kristy!!!

About a month ago, I was the butt end of a geo caching prank. My friend Kristy, who turned me onto caching, has always wanted to be a first to find (FTF). She saw someone planted a new cache and went out bright and early around 6 am to find it on a rainy morning. I guess someone else found it or she didn't find it but basically our other friend Vicki saw her at work later in the day and told her I found it. I really didn't but she used me as a pawn because Kristy new Vicki hadn't ever been caching. It was a prank gone a foul because the reality of it was Kristy was kinda sad to not have found it. Then she was told the truth and all was good and right in the world. Kind of.

I got a great idea for a birthday surprise that involved planting a cache but there was a whole slew of stuff that needed to be done to make it work. First off was the creation of a little trinket, which was a little .22 with beads epoxied into a beer bottle cap. That took an afternoon to make because the epoxy was being a little non-cooperative. A few weeks later, I took an old garlic salt container and painted it an ugly tan color and placed the trinket along with a cache log sheet and hid it. I sent Kristy a message that I heard about some cache and she had to find it because she had a GPS device and I didn't and I found these coordinates but they led me somewhere else. She couldn't do it so I had to get some back up in on this prank. That's where Vicki, Tim and Jo came in.

We plotted that after having dinner with them, they would go geo caching and see if I wanted to go with. They would look for the cache I tried to find and told Kristy about. I was out with Lulu and was going to meet them because they were going close to where I was at. So I met up with them and we wound up in a dog park. We went there and Kristy swore she found it right away. It was a sprinkler head. Tim pointed out two more and Kristy still wanted to dig it up to see if it was the cache. After walking around the back end of the park, she finally found it and the look on her face when she realized she was at the end of yet another Geo prank was priceless, however, this time it was a look of delight.

The story shifts a little because the cache was submitted to geocaching.com but was refused because there were too many caches in similar terrain nearby so we could either relocate it or check back in a few weeks. I basically told Kristy to hide it somewhere she likes and we'll replace it somewhere else. Of course she finished by saying before she hides it all of us had to put one thing in there for other people to find. Fair enough.

The rest of the evening we went looking for some other caches and found two more and it was a good fun night of caching. Good times, good times. Hopefully The Legend of Kristy!!! will get placed somewhere soon for others to find. It was quite a great prank to right the wrong FTF prank pulled on her earlier.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Car-less Whispers

Well, it's been something like 3 weeks since the Oldsmobile and I broke up. I haven't really noticed anything awkward or hard about not having a car. I think the only thing that is really difficult is grocery shopping. I need to have Jesse take me to the Walmart but other than that, it is what it is. The damned thing couldn't go on freeways so I still need to carpool to get to any place that requires a freeway trip. I usually walk to any place that is within walking distance anyway because I'm too lazy to get Charlie buckled into his car seat. So yeah, not much change.

In terms of other things, I've been learning to drive a stick. I'm not the biggest fan of it but I don't completely hate it either. It requires a lot of guesswork and adjustment on my behalf in terms of getting used to the whole first gear clutch/gas balance. I think if we had a newer car it would be easier but I could be wrong. Jesse's truck is just so big and clunky and I feel like I'm driving a big rig when I drive it. I'm better at shifting gears than I am getting out of first. I no longer stall when I go into first, but again, it will take a lot of adjustment on my part. I just hope I can get it figured out by 4th of July. I just don't see that happening, though. I also don't see Jesse just letting me use his truck to go places and leaving him without a car. I just see me being without a car, again, for a very long period of time.