Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Meeting Lorraine for Dinner

Crossing the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge towards Seattle

Lorraine says this one's cool

A Shot From the Morning Walk

Monday, September 29, 2008

Utility Workers Burn Off Crosswalk Tape, Lenora & 5th

Room 503

The View from the Bathroom

Boy, the late sun makes me look old!

Roasted Butternut Soup from Wolfgang Puck's at ORD

View From Seat 30A

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Westward Bound

Monday I leave for a week in Seattle for work. I've set my blogger settings to publish a post directly when it comes in through the email. I plan on snapping a lot of pictures with the camera phone and sending them for blog posts. It will be a semi-realtime travelogue. I don't think I'll be able to title the posts or explain the picture, so it should be very different for my blogging style.

I will be able to read comments from the road, so you'll have to let me know what you're thinking.

In the mean time before I leave I'll be doing laundry and deciding what to wear next week. I hate that. I always forget something, wonder what it'll be this time?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Caption This

This amused me so I took a picture.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

From the Weekend Files

I got a new battery for my watch on Sunday; it seems to be behaving now.

I got the copy of the receipt and serial number sent off to Vizio.


Because they wanted to research the history of the TV we just bought.

Why would they want to research it?

It's a long story, got a couple minutes?


We've been wanting a new TV for a while now, the old one was losing its picture off the edges and it was getting hard to read the scores of games. We kinda decided we wanted a 42" LCD HDTV. And we didn't want to spend a lot for it. About a year ago I suggested we wait until Super Bowl time, TVs usually go on sale then. But that came and went and we were still with a 25" CRT.

I went to BJ's and looked at their selection and found the 37" TVs were under $800, the larger units were $1000 or more. Yuck.

This past Saturday Dan, Kevin and I went back to BJ's (in the Honda Fit) to look and the same selection I'd seen the week before. But what I didn't do was turn the corner to look at the mumbo-sized units, the 50s and the 65s. And there at the end of the shelf was a discontinued display unit on sale, a 50" Vizio plasma HDTV, for $719.

Hot Dog.

I snatch the shelf tag and go to customer service to let them know we want that TV. While they are looking for the remote and manual I pay for the rest of our things. How are we going to get a 50" TV and the three of us home in the Fit?

Well, it turns out they couldn't find the remote & manual pack. It was supposed to be filed by item number with all the other packs from the other products on display. I ask what kind of compensation I'd get if they couldn't find the remote. $675.

I took Dan and Kevin home and drove back to buy the TV. I asked them to look again for the accessory pack to no avail. They helped me load the new TV into the car and off I went.

Dan and I moved the old TV and put the new one on the old stand. Meanwhile, Fern didn't know what was up. The first time she walked into the room, she was amazed.

Sunday I called Vizio tech support in hopes to get them to send me the accessory pack. They wanted to know the model number and the serial number.
It seems they were an invalid pair, could I please send them a copy of the receipt and the serial number, they would have to do more research.

To aid in this research, I photographed the back of the TV and sent them the serial number in picture form. That was when I discovered the serial number on the back of the TV didn't match the shelf tag from the store. It was a different unit altogether, still a 50" plasma, but the 2007 model, not the 2008. Sheesh.

Monday I called BJ's back and told them my discovery. The nice lady there found me a remote and told me she is supposed to charge me for it since I got a discount on the TV in the first place but then explained it was their own stupidity they'd lost it so it would be free for me. Yay.

I printed the manual from Vizio's site and now I just need Vizio to come through with the HD connection cables and all will be well. Oh, yeah, I guess I have to call the satellite and order HD service. And so on and so forth...


Friday, September 19, 2008

Twenty-Five or -Six to Four

My watch is still acting goofy. Several times in the last week it's gotten off.

It's not slowing down gradually or stopping completely like it needs a new battery. That would be too easy. And very helpful.

Instead, it'll be keeping perfect time, then the next thing I know, it's wrong. Wednesday I looked at my watch after my massage therapy appointment and it said I should be walking into the appointment, instead of out, it had gotten off by more than an hour sometime during the afternoon. Thursday, it was fine. I'm baffled. Maybe I'm caught in some kind of time-turner thing like in Harry Potter. Maybe I've been given a chance to take a mulligan?

Now I have to check it frequently with the USNO atomic clock. I like to know exactly what time it is, I'm kinda weird like that.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Staying the Same?

I've been playing with blogger and can't decide how I like the changes. Blogger has many new widgets available now. With one you can create a list of blogs you read and it will list them in order of most recently updated.

Pros: You can immediately see who has a new post up and who doesn't, which means no wasted clicking.

Cons: The new list format takes up a lot of real estate in the sidebar and you still have to click on the blog to read subsequent comments. Your list isn't alphabetical anymore if you sort by time.

What do you think about the changes?

Have you tried the bubble popping game at the bottom of my side bar? What's your high score?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


  1. Don't plan on going to back-to-school night and quilt bee on the same night.

  2. Don't expect to know what time it is when you look at your watch. It might have become 20 minutes slow over night.

  3. You can't hide in an orange car.

  4. Your watch might be 20 minutes slow the next day too, even if it was correct at bedtime the night before.

  5. You can't expect to be seen in an orange car.

  6. Your clocks are in cahoots. The kitchen clock will be off by 5 hours on the same day when your watch is slow.

  7. Don't have a fiberous lunch on the day of a water aerobics class.

  8. Don't buy fragrant deodorant, you're children will want to use it. Yes, both of them.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Keeping the Doctor Away

Four septuagenarian eyes peer at the tiny screen.

"It's right here, Ma," I touch the screen indicating the location of their house.

"I need my reading glasses."

"I need mine, too."

My parents toddle off and return a few moments later, bespectacled, ready to see their house and land on my iPhone.

"Does that thing tell you how to get home?"

"It can if I ask it to show me," I reply, but I'm really thinking Why do I need directions outta here when I've been driving home from here for years?

Ah, don'cha just love parents.

Kevin and I made an unexpected trip out to the Valley for apples yesterday. I have two favorite apples, first picked Golden Delicious, still green and crunchy, sweet and also slightly tart; and Staymans, late season apples, also crisp and tart.

After church I went to the Bowie farmer's market and saw some of the stalls had apples and I realized it was time. You can only get good first-picked Goldens for about five days in September or they'll be mushy. I cannot stand mushy apples. It's like eating solid apple sauce. Yuck.

I called my folks and asked if the goldens had come in yet. Dad called me back (over an hour later!) and reported two local orchards had them in for $18 and $19 a bushel. We're on our way.

Kevin and I headed west for a two-hour trip to the Shenandoah Valley for a quick visit with the parents and apple shopping. We came back with a bushel box of delicious Golden Delicious. To keep them fresh for the longest time possible, I packed the apples into 2.5 gallon zip bags and put them in the fridge. There were 12 that didn't fit so I put them in a lovely terracotta and blue mixing bowl and displayed my catch predominately on the kitchen counter, along with the other weekend catches: newspapers, mail, and the new crock pot direction booklet (but that's another story altogether).

Since the chicken in the crock pot failed miserably, I started making spaghetti-n-sauce for Kevin. He started cutting apples up into wedges with the apple cutter. Not just one apple, mind you. He put his slices into a bowl and proudly showed me his work. They were in the terracotta mixing bowl. And where are the apples that were in there? All over the counter.

"Kevin, Honey, you need to put those apples back in a bowl so they won't roll onto the floor." I go back to my cooking and turn around a few minutes later to see a whole row of cereal bowls on the counter with one apple each.

Ah, children, don'cha love them?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Day 1: Going for Gold at Anne's House

Seventy-five percent of the Anneshousehold were starting new classes yesterday. Fern was to start gymnastics, Dan was to start his 05:00 fitness boot camp class, and I was supposed to start two new programs.

The gym here at work has a partner program where they match you up with someone with your same goals and schedule. I'd been matched up with "Donna" a couple weeks ago but because of vacations, etc., yesterday was the first day we were to get together, meet, and go the the "On the Ball" class at 12:40 to 1:25.

I woke up at 6:00 for my three-mile walk, a couple pounds over the Mendoza line (again, sheesh!), and realized Dan was still in bed. He totally missed his first day of class.

At 12:30 I headed down to the gym for the ball class. I dislike gym aerobic classes for the most part because of my clumsiness and if I'm not there from the class conception, I have that lost feeling when everyone else knows the language of the class and I don't. I put on my gym clothes and my brave face and headed to the exercise room. The instructor is also the guy doing the partner matching so I introduced myself. Donna was a no-show. Grrrrr.

The ball class was good, challenging workout without being too advanced. The instructor said I did well. I'll go back next week.

After work I got ready to take Fern to her gymnastics class. It is scheduled to be an hour, 7:15-8:15. As luck would have it, there is a deep water aerobics class scheduled at the same time on the other side of the building. I signed up for it so I didn't have an idle hour.

After Fern reported for her class I headed to the locker room to change into my swim suit. My class was supposed to be 7:30-8:15. We didn't even get into the water until 8:00. Sheesh.

Well, it's understandable really, the instructor went over all the administration stuff first. She'll provide float belts and barbells for two weeks and expects us to bring our own after that. We can order a set from her for $40. I looked on eBay this morning and was surprised that $40 is reasonable.

I got my belt on and got in the water. The assistant instructor gave us warm-ups to do while everyone else got fitted. That's when I noticed how many of my classmates were clinging to the wall of the 13.5' deep pool. With float belts on. You signed up for a class called Deep Water Aerobics and you're afraid of deep water, what were you thinking?

Anyway, I was plenty sore when I woke up today. The water class was good too. I'm glad I'm taking it. It was nice chatting with the other women and it will be interesting to observe my classmates' comfort levels grow over the next weeks.

When Fern was finished with her class she sat in the natatorium and waited for me. She babbled happily on about her class while I got dressed and complained her back hurt. She tried a back bend into a bridge even though she hadn't done one for years. Silly girl.

On the way home we stopped at Chick-fil-A for fries and a coke.

Monday, September 08, 2008

"Take your Dog to Work" Day

I got this email today at work: (I'm not making this up)
GSA has received a number of complaints about the presence of resident geese flocks on the Suitland Federal Center. While the birds are beautiful, they frequently create sanitation problems on sidewalks and walkways, and may become agitated if pedestrians accidentally approach their offspring or nests. To address this problem in a humane way, GSA has contracted with the firm "Geese Police" to discourage geese populations from taking residence on our facility. "Geese Police" uses working Border Collies that are especially trained to herd - but never touch or otherwise harm - geese.

The program, which begins on Monday, September 8, calls for the border collies to visit the SFC at varied intervals and times so that the geese will not adapt to a fixed patrol schedule. Specific locations for patrols on the SFC will also be varied. The collies are trained to bark at and chase the geese, which encourages them to seek a more peaceful (and hopefully less populous) location. We expect the patrol activity to decrease in frequency as the geese relocate.

Thank you for your attention. If you have any questions concerning this message, please call the Safety Office at...

I guess we'll have dog poop to watch out for now.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Fun with Photos

Fern and crew in a Gap ad

Make yours here.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Oh, I'm Behind in Blogging, again

Yet another post to round up the goings-on at Anne's House.

In this issue:

Recognizing the independent state of picnicdom

Usually, our office has its annual summer off-site "meeting" on the last Thursday of August. For the last several years I planned it so I planned it to be held at my pool club. Read about last year's disaster here.

In the last year our office merged and split with others so folks who were our direct co-workers are no longer. But we're still friendly with them so they were invited too.

This year I decided I didn't want to coordinate the dishes to bring and who has what dietary concerns so I just told people to bring their own meat for grilling and a dish to share, I didn't care what, and a shared common item, like forks or ice. Not that you'd actually share ice once it's brung, but you get the idea. We were all set for our picnic off-site meeting, but this year it rained on Thursday. I had reserved the gazebo at the pool. It has several picnic tables, which is fine for eating, or playing poker, but it's tight in there if there's nowhere else to go because of the rain. It would still work, but since it's raining, I didn't think a lot of swimming was going to happen.

I offered up my screen porch as an alternate location for this meeting, it's twice as big as the gazebo. I also have a grill and the convenience of home refrigeration. Our boss approved the change of venue for the meeting. I sent out the new location address and went home to get ready (clean). And bake brownies.

About a half hour before the meeting was to begin I get a call from the leader of the "others." She doesn't feel the new location is within the realm appropriate meeting locations and cannot justify her branch attending. Whatever. I was ticked, but also relieved. Now the attendees were only guys and I quit cleaning so hard.

Besides not having the full array of promised side dishes to share, it went pretty well. The kitchen got cleaned and there were brownies left over for the spouse and kids. Yes, there are still foot prints on the floor coming and going out to the grill.

Now you see it, now you don't

The sewing room and living room had been off-limits during the picnic meeting. Mostly because you couldn't see the carpet because of the vast collection of wall-to-wall erector set pieces, K'nex parts, legos, letters, and sewing paraphernalia. Saturday morning while the kids were sleeping in, Dan and I found the carpet again in the living room and I even vacuumed. Then I found the carpet in the sewing room.

With a clean floor I realized the $20 chair mat under the sewing machine was falling apart. When I bought it I had the choice of the cheap one or the higher end mat that was for deeper carpet. I went cheap. I went to the office store and bought another one, this one $60 and made to withstand a tank rolling on it. It was heavy, stiff, and awkward to get home, but it's now in place and I can tell a big difference between it and the old one.

Now that the floor was clean, Kevin had to dump his letters out in the living room. In the adjacent sewing room contrast between the clean floor and the congested work space was too great to ignore. So, I pushed it all on to the floor and lost sight of the carpet again. I spent a good part of Monday sorting and purging and finding the carpet again. I gave away about eight years of Quilter's Newsletter Magazine to my neighbor, L, who also quilts and now have fabric neatly stacked in that space. It's amazing to me how inspiring a clean work space is, I always want to sit down and sew when it's like that.

I got the backlog of Girl Scout vests cleared out so I was able to get my sewing machine ready to sew something besides badges. That is also inspiring.

Winner takes it all

I got a call from the radio station this morning. It seems I've won the 90210 prize pack. Last week they had a promotion promoting the new 90210 TV show which premiered last night. All I had to do was to text the word of the day to a special number. So, I got a call this morning telling me I'd won and please come to the station to pick it up. It contains a t-shirt and a $50 gift card, and I don't know what else. I watched the premier with Fern and Dan. She can have the shirt. The show is OK, I would have really liked to see more of the old characters, but that's just me. The new kids are cute and watchable. I'll give it three stars.

Westward Ho!

I think I get to go to Seattle at the end of the month for work. I'm excited.