Friday, August 28, 2009

College Prep

Tuesday in Fern's Algebra2/trig class she had to take a placement test. Huh? Wouldn't they already know which class the kids should be in? Didn't they do that last year at scheduling time? Apparently not. Yesterday she messaged me, results are in and she's been moved up to the top level class with an American, English-speaking teacher. That was one of my biggest worries about this school year for her, getting a teacher she couldn't understand and not doing well as a result. The subject is hard enough as it is.

Class requirement: a graphing calculator. They will be teaching the class to the TI-83 and although other models & brands are acceptable, the student is responsible for learning how to use it on their own. The TI-83s retail for about $150, though the warehouse stores have them for $100. I found many on eBay and tried to bid on one which had about 12 minutes left to go.

It had been so long since I'd bought anything on eBay, I'd forgotten my password. So I had to reset it. They don't let you change it to anything it's been before. Which just makes it easier to forget in the first place. And harder to reset. I had to keep trying new passwords until I didn't get the "you've already used this one" message. Finally, after ten minutes, I get logged in, and placed a bid.

The eBay interface has really changed since I was on last. Now they have a active count-down clock, you don't have to keep reloading the page to see how much time is left. The number of bids and the current price also automatically updates so you can watch your cushy bid margin dwindle away to pennies before you actually win.

I hate bidders who bid $xx.01 on something. Really? Why'd ya have to do that? Now that makes my winning bid $47.01. Where's the take-a-penny leave-a-penny cup when you need it? Sheesh. This isn't The Price is Right. Well, ok, maybe it kinda is. But still!

Hopefully the seller will send it ASAP so The Girl won't be behind in class by too much. Not a good way to be the first week of school.

Wonder what else I need on eBay?


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Waiting Room

I'm sitting in the waiting room at my son's pediatric dentist's office. He's getting his newly erupted molars filled and sealed. Last time we had this done, it was done as an out-patient at the hospital because he had to be sedated. This time it's just a mild sedative and nitrous oxide.

The dentist's office is next door to a Nite-time pediatrics office with free Wi-Fi so I'm able to get some work done while I wait. I've been here since 10:00 am, it's 12:40 now. Except for the fact the free WiFi blocks some web sites with certain web content. Not unusual, but number one being government sites. Can you believe it? I can't log in to the work web sites. Really? Governments sites blocked! So I'm on telework status but can't check my email. Sheesh.

Then I take a break to blog. Except Blogger is blocked. I can get to my specific blog, just can't get to the write a new post. Really? I wonder if porn sites are accessible? Then I remember I can email a post to blogger, problem solved.

They gave him his sedative earlier and Kevin now is back in the treatment room with under the influence of N2O2 and doing fine. So fine, in fact, he doesn't want me back there. I sneak peeks to check on him every couple minutes. After a check a while ago I realized I was hungry. Oh, for some candy or gum. Oh, yeah, this is a dentist's office.

There is a McD's next door. I check on Kevin again and let the staff know where I'm going.

The customers were lined up only one-deep at the counter, even though the drive through line is very long. "Can I help the next customer?" barked a gravelly older woman at the end of the counter, who clearly did not want to be there today. In my bubbliest voice I said, "Hi, how are you today? Can I have a number one, please." Medium or large? "Medium." Here or to go? "To go, please." She had started smiling a bit then, then became crestfallen. Oh. The nice ones always have it to go. I'm glad I could make her day a little better.

Now I'm back in the waiting room, Kevin is still doing well. It looks like they've finished drilling and are putting the sealant on the teeth.

They are done, and I just got the post-op information form. Kevin is eating the rest of my fries and slurping down my coke. Sheesh.

The boy is unphased, and I will recover, too, I'm sure.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Buying In

It took me a long time to learn this, and I'm almost embarrassed to admit it took even longer to put it into practice.

When Kevin runs out of deodorant he'll use what ever he finds in the bathroom (mine). He'll latch on to it so it becomes his and it doesn't matter where I hide it, he'll find it. It didn't matter if I got him a new stick, mine was his. Then I got the bright idea to have him with me when I bought him more. And it worked. He helped me pick out a 4-pack at the warehouse store and my deodorant is now cootie free.

It's so much easier for me to shop without him, he tends to have his own agenda in stores, but it's so much easier to get him to buy-in to a purchase when he's there. A while back he took my phone and took 60 pictures with it. I decided he needed his own camera. I took him to Walmart to pick one out, but he wondered off to toys to browse. I got a low-end Kodak camera without his approval and he won't use it.

So now, I'm learning. Or remembering, as the case may be.

I took the kids out Friday with stops at Old Navy and to get new shoes for Fern. Kevin lounged on the hassocks while she shopped for shoes. I saw a pair of brown Chucks in his size on the sale rack and remembered to get him involved in the purchase so he'd take ownership of the new shoes. Which he did. He picked out some shirts at ON too and was wearing one before the night was through.

He likes crew-height socks, which, in my opinion are not quite as fashion-forward as anklets when worn with shorts. I've tried to get him to wear some of his dad's with no success. So yesterday I had him help me pick out some new low-cut socks. He completely accepted them.

Kevin went off to the first day of school today wearing his new shoes, by choice, and I have high hopes for the socks next time he's in short pants.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

time, flies, and bananas

The afternoon goes by much too slowly when the battery is dying in your desk clock.

Jus' sayin'.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Quick Weekend Roundup

Kevin doesn't have day camp this week, therefore Dan and I are splitting the workdays this week; school starts next Monday so I might be back on a "normal" blogging schedule then, if I ever was on a normal blogging schedule.

This past weekend we went to Dan's family reunion down near Blacksburg, VA at Claytor Lake. Sunday the four of us hiked up to the Cascades. It was two miles each way and I am so bummed I didn't have my "walkometer" with me to record the hike's distance and elevation. I took pictures instead:


Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Eight days until the premier of Project Runway on the Lifetime channel. Wonder if my DVR will find it?

I'm collecting MyCokeRewards points, those codes on the inside of bottle tops and cartons. If you're not collecting them yourself but are a coke (or related product) drinker, email or text me your codes. I'd appreciate it. It's like collecting S&H green stamps, remember those?, except I don't have to paste them into booklets before cashing them in. I'm saving up for a shiny new mixer. No, wait, that was for the green stamps.

I've volunteered to bring in bagels to the office tomorrow so I had the secretary take everyone's order so I don't have to stand there in the morning trying to decide which ones to order.

I'm in need of a large table or clean floor so I can finally baste my mother's quilt. I can't find a 9 x 9 foot table. The tables in our conference rooms are 5' x 10' but there are too many people around and I'd need to drag in tables from another room to make it big enough and there are too many people around.

I'm still so far behind with girl scout badge sewing, probably about eight or ten vests in the queue. This summer has been full of activities and when I do have evenings at home, there is Top Chef Masters and Better Off Ted to watch.

The fabric shop where I bought my sewing machine is closing at the end of September. The repair guy there has a fabulous reputation, I'd like my machine to have its annual cleaning before he's gone. I called Monday about machine service. At that time, there was a line of 35 machines waiting for service, they would stop taking machines on Saturday. I asked if there was a waiting list so I can bring it in when it's my turn. No. Fabric is 40% off though, might need to visit the shop anyway.

School starts in a week and a half. Both kids will be out of the house by 7:30. Unless buses are missed. I'm not sure about the stress levels of getting two teenagers up and out at the same time. Which saint covers things like that? Probably St. Jude.

I learned about remote-controlled golf carts yesterday. I want one. Look here and here for examples. Of course I really don't need one, but wouldn't they be fun? But why stop there, I could go to the grocery and Fern could drive this to school. If I let her.

I think I need a snack. And maybe a coke.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

On Being Thankful

Eunice Kennedy Shriver died this morning at 2am. She created (right here in Maryland!) the Special Olympics for which I am thankful. Kevin enjoys the programs very much and I enjoy watching him doing his thing and appreciate the giving nature of all volunteers involved.

The athlete's pledge, "Let me win. If I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt," makes me misty-eyed.

What touches you?


Friday, August 07, 2009

Sorry I haven't been blogging much. Last week was vacation, this week it's been work. We have a ticket system now where the testers will find something wrong and put in a ticket to get it fixed. The tester started testing my survey while I was away so I came back to about 15 tickets to attend to on Monday. Some were easy and got fixed fast, some more complicated opening up a whole can of worms and are still not completely resolved. But now I finally have a few minutes to blog before the next thing comes along.

Vacation was nice, we spent a week in south Myrtle beach, Surfside Beach, to be exact. I attended a two-day golf school Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. There's just so much to learn, or re-learn as the case may be. The school makes a individualized CD of your lessons so you can remember things and practice them after you go home. Check out Ritson-Sole golf school.

We arrived at our rental on Saturday, a cute little 3-bedroom house up on stilts with a carpark underneath. Sunday we spent at the beach and I got burnt where I missed with the sun screen at the edge of my bathing suit. Grrr. Monday Dan golfed while I took the kids up to Wilmington to pick up Fern's friend who was spending the rest of the week with us. Fern's so much easier to entertain when she has a friend along. Anyway, Dan calls me from the golf course. He thinks his camera was stolen out of the car. His work badge was not were he left it, which had been on top of the camera in the central console. Grrr.

The rental house did not have internet. Grrr. Tuesday Dan went out to a Dunkin Donuts with free WiFi to surf the web for a while. He came back with a newspaper someone had abandoned. There on the front page of the community section was an article about how the Surfside Beach police arrested five persons for breaking into cars, estimated 30-50 cars, on Sunday night. Really now? I just knew that's were our camera had gone, Dan was skeptical. He feared it would look like I was just "shopping" if I just went there looking for a camera we hadn't reported missing.

Later that afternoon I took the kids out to the dollar store and Walmart for sundries and swung by the police station on the way home. I told them our camera was missing, and yes, the car had been unlocked, shame on us. The girls wanted to go in with me, experience the whole police station thing, so we were escorted back to the room where they had the collection of the stolen property.
"What kind of camera was it ma'am?"
"A reddish-maroon little Nikon."
"Like this?" as he pulls out a camera fitting my description.
"Yes, exactly like this," I said. I turned it on and reviewed the pictures in the memory. "Hey, there are your pants you painted," I said to Fern, and "There I am golfing." The officer in charge of the property looked at the image of me and had me sign the form stating our property was returned to us.

We were escorted back out to the lobby where I had to fill out a report of the incident. I texted Dan: "At police station, got camera." He texted back "Wow!!" Oh ye of little faith.

The rest of the week was pretty tame. Thursday Dan golfed and I took the kids to Le Grand Cirque, which is a cheaper version of a Cirque du Soleil. Friday I golfed and Dan took the kids to the water park.

Dan got a 15 minute head start on the drive home on Saturday, and went to I-95 via Wilmington and I-40. I went to I-95 via US-701 & US-421. When we were both on 95, he was about 30 miles ahead of me and his lead grew even more when I had to stop for gas and lunch. I was not going to win the race home, not that we were speeding or anything. At Richmond I took the 295 beltway, then US-301 to Bowie, he stuck with I-95. I beat him home by 30 minutes. Yay me.

Now it's back to the real world, and there are two more weeks until school starts.


Monday, August 03, 2009

I'm back from vacation.

I'm trying to tame the laundry beast.

659 new email messages were waiting for me at work.

My back hurts.

I haven't been sleeping well.

How are you?