December 30, 2004


Ok...son and I went to return the helmet that Santa brought for our scooter...

We were wandering in the clearance aisle, just for kicks when he points out this HULK water gun he wanted...I said "no" because I'm not wasting more money on toys - good grief, his birthday is tomorrow!

Then I saw the price - 48 cents! 48 cents! I had to buy it - it was almost like they were paying me to take it! Will post pic later, it's a HUGE water gun!

December 29, 2004

Tsunami Relief Fund...

Please give to the relief fund of your choice.
It's a rough time of year, bill-wise, for many, I understand.  Not only did we just have Christmas (where we spent too much and have not even received the bills for) but we just bought a new house and are currently incurring all the house-startup costs (new blinds everywhere, new this, new that, etc.)...
BUT - here are people who now have no home.  Granted, many of them did not have all that much to start with - but now they have nothing.  And they more than likely have lost family members in this tragedy as well. 
Regardless of how much or how little you have, sitting here in the US, the odds are really good you have much more than they. 

Please give - my charity of choice today is the Mercy Corps.

Ok - Attention Drivers...

Remember...the left lane is the FAST lane...this especially applies if the left lane is an HOV lane - there were at least 5 different drivers in the HOV lane / left lane of the Toll Road this morning (only 10 miles long) going SLOWER than the flow of traffic in the other three lanes (and also less than the posted speed limit).  I'd like these 5 drivers to know that you CAN drive in the regular lanes (and even the right-most lane) if you're going to drive that gosh darn slow!  Also - feel free to drive in the more congested lanes if you prefer that speed, do NOT slow down the HOV lane to your personal preference speed of ~45 mph.
For Northern VA drivers only: Rt 606 aka Old Ox Road - the speed limit on this road between Rt. 50 and the Greenway is 55 MPH.  55.  Not 40.  Do not be offended if, when and if you ever look in your rearview mirror, you see me appearing quite frustrated, trying to hint that you should at least go the speed limit on this road.  I wouldn't make an announcement, except I run into drivers like this EVERY GOSH DARN DAY on my way to and from work. 
That is all.

Tsunami Relief...


Please give to the relief fund of your choice.

It's a rough time of year, bill-wise, for many, I understand. Not only did we just have Christmas (where we spent too much and have not even received the bills for) but we just bought a new house and are currently incurring all the house-startup costs (new blinds everywhere, new this, new that, etc.)...

BUT - here are people who now have no home. Granted, many of them did not have all that much to start with - but now they have nothing. And they more than likely have lost family members in this tragedy as well.

Regardless of how much or how little you have, sitting here in the US, the odds are really good you have much more than they.

Please give - my charity of choice today is the
Mercy Corps.

December 28, 2004

Gmail Invites?

I have a couple, and since one was generously provided to me, I thought I'd offer a couple up....


I just found out cousin's husband, B, fell walking down the steps last night carrying their 4 month old daughter, M.  M is currently in a local hospital for observation.  I don't have all the details on if she's ok, but I think she's just being observed.  Although a fall like that is certain to at least provide some big bruises, I would think.
Will keep updating as more info comes in... I have put in a call to my cousin offering up any help I can provide (I'm right near the hospital) or if I can help watch their 20 month old son while they goto the hospital...

December 27, 2004

A Christmas Story...

A wonderful Christmas was had by all...esp. son who was STILL opening presents this morning!!!

We all got great gifts and ate too much food! (shocking, I know)

We also enjoyed the giving of gifts - esp. to Grammy, who loved her gifts!

More later...

Also busy planning son's third birthday party, on New Year's Eve, which is his actual birthday. We opted for the bday party from 4-6 p.m. then the after-party starting around 6.

December 26, 2004

Son at Preschool Christmas show. He's in the center, w/the teacher looking at him!
Pic Liine!

December 24, 2004

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all have a wonderful, present and family filled day today and tomorrow!

Merry Christmas!

December 23, 2004

Go Longaberger!

Package just arrived (via F-ing FedEx)...Longaberger gets many bonus points for making it right!

December 22, 2004

Weird or no?

Ok...I'm researching biometric login software for Tablet PCs (like fingerprints, signatures, retinal scans) etc.  One company provides a voice-recognition login software.  I sent a general inquiry email to them and it got forwarded to the sales dept, as expected, where the sales guy answered my basic questions.
Now the weird part - apparently the original address for inquiries goes to the CEO (small company)....and SHE has put me on her joke/funny email list?  Is this strange? 

I think so...and I really don't enjoy having spam in my work email box...btw.


Today I'm taking son to the dentist for his first visit - wish me (and him, but mostly me ;-) luck!
BTW - only 2 gifts let to buy, and I know what they are, so it's just a matter of going and picking them up!  Yay me!   (I'm such a dork)

December 21, 2004

Holiday Show...

Ok...forgot to blog this one!
Last Friday, my son's preschool had their holiday show.  All three age classes (2, 3 and 4) were participating.  That's a lot of children.  Then probably about 2 parents each, plus grandparents for each child, and the church sanctuary filled up fast.
Son looked ADORABLE.  We didn't know they were the angel class, complete w/white gowns and halos.  So cute!  And the singing.  All the kids were adorable too - each looking to see if they could find their parents and hoping their parents were watching them.
It is funny - the children were amazingly well behaved - the adults acted like big babies.
I understand parents want pics of their kid in the show - I wanted some myself!   I went ONCE into the aisle to get a quick close up of my son and sat right back in my seat, not to venture into the aisle again.  I did notice parents planting themselves in the aisle - so some parents never got to get in the aisle for a good pic.  That is not fair at all - just take a pic or two then sit down and WATCH the darn show.
Then their were plenty of people videotaping...which is fine.  It would be nice if people would notice that before they weasel their way directly in front of someone video taping and promptly plant roots. 
There were various people throughout that stood for long periods of time - very rude.  There were parents that thought waving the program at little Susie would get her attention...except a 3 year old isn't going to recognize YOUR ARM waving a white piece of paper...but of course, all the other children will :-)
THEN - I was not one of the people that stood for long periods of time - I stood up maybe 5 times to quickly snap a shot - and the last 2 times of those I had moved to the far right of my row since there were less people on the far right of the pew behind me and they were all mostly looking more to the left.  The OBNOXIOUS Grandmother behind me (who had earlier said AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED, SARA IS THE ONLY CHILD UP THERE - nice attitude lady) was pointedly (at me) saying how she'd say something rude about people that stand up if she wasn't in church.  Ugh...luckily, I don't say rude things to people (like her) while actually standing in a church, so I just winked at her.  -

Merry Christmas!

I got my first Christmas card from a fellow-blogger yesterday....I love getting Christmas cards! They are all over my kitchen and family room!

Thanks Kat!!!!!!!!!!!

Mall update...

Ok... if you're working at a jewelry store in Tysons Mall and I come in I expect someone to approach me to show me things.  Especially if
1.  I am the only customer in the store
2.  I HINT that I am ready by standing at the jewelry case and looking right at you for more than 1 minute
This happened at TWO jewelry stores today: Swarovski and Zales in the mall.  I promptly when to Helzberg Diamonds and spent $100 more than I was planning out of spite.
Now I know why there were no other customers in those stores.

December 20, 2004


Here's a copy of the letter I'm sending to Fred Smith, CEO and Chairman of FedEx, via DHL, signature required...

Mr. Smith,

I am writing today to inform you a severe process problem within your organization. And this severe deficiency caused a 25 pound box of Christmas presents not to be delivered on time, even though they were shipped with plenty of time.

I had a package sent by a shipper, Longaberger, to my home on December 9, 2004 (tracking number xxxxxxxxx). Unfortunately, they gave FedEx the incorrect address. On December 11, 2004, FedEx was given the correct address. Since the package was in Winchester, VA., they needed to re-route it, but (according to your representatives) they re-routed it to the wrong hub in Pennsylvania.

From PA, it went to Chantilly (note, that is 5 miles from my house). Then, before attempting delivery, they sent it back to PA. Then back to Winchester, AGAIN. Then to PA. Finally to Alexandria (15 miles from my house) .

When I called FedEx Friday December 16, at 5:30 p.m., the rep told me to stop worrying, the package would arrive before 8:30 p.m. I called again at 8 p.m. and the guy told me (after looking at the records) that FedEx does not work on Saturday or Sunday and that I should call back Monday after 8:30 a.m. I enquired of him that FedEx was really closed on the whole weekend before Christmas??

Monday morning and I call FedEx, only to find out that they worked all weekend (???) and are actually OFF on Monday. Rather than schedule days off so that the facility remained open during the busiest time of the year, they were all taking today off. But the rep was kind enough to tell me that the box was being returned to shipper ( and wouldn’t let me come get it myself ) and there was nothing she could do. Here are some choice quotes from her:

“We don’t have time to work on problem packages.”
“We can’t find your box, just have the shipper resend it.”
“We are too busy to be concerned with just one package.”
“We are not setup to handle address changes.”

I am sorry, but I believe all that FedEx does is ship packages, NO? And while I agree that address changes are problematic, one would think at this point, your company would figure out how to deal with it. Since the whole system is automated (according to your rep, which is why she just can’t go get it and let me pick it up), might I suggest someone reprint a label with the correct address so that the scanners will pick it up correctly? Is this a crazy idea?

I have enclosed the routing information from FedEx for your information. We will be taking whatever steps are necessary to ensure that our packages are sent via DHL or UPS in the future.

December 16, 2004


Ok...the scoop!
Drive thru at McDonalds, where I order a happy meal, cheesburger, ketchup only and a diet coke...
FAST service! Yay!

I asked for a handful of ketchup (yes, a handful) lady hands me 2.  I know better than to ask again, because she'll give me ONE.
Drive on - at end of drive thru is a SAUCE TRAY!  A bunch of bins of dipping sauce, ketchup, salt and pepper - all serve yourself at window-level!  YAY....
Bad news: cheeseburger made w/PICKLES only. Yuck.  Should've known by the USE FIRST sticker on the outside of wrapper, which also explains it's not so hot temperature.

A Limit On Stamps???

I went down to the "convienence" store in our building yesterday to buy stamps.  I had $9.  The store is a little Mom&Pop store, not a chain.
Me: Can I have $9 worth of stamps, please.
Lady: Only 10.
Me: ? I'm sorry?  I'd like $9 worth please
Lady: The limit is 10.
Me:  Per day?
Lady: Yes.
So - even though she had a TON of stamps, she'd only give me 10.  So now, she sits w/her inventory of stamps and I with my stack of stamp-less Christmas cards.  WTF?  I could see, maybe, if she was almost out.  But, darn, isn't she in business to SELL things?


By Request...

It was Bryer's Vanilla Ice Cream doused in Hershey's Syrup.  Sadly, I skipped the choclate chips, white choclate chips, nuts, sprinkles, cookie pieces, whipped cream, etc.  I AM on a diet, you know!  ;-)

December 15, 2004


Ok - today I got nothing.
Customer at work brought in a huge box of cookies.  Group down the hall had a sundae party.
So I'm full today!

December 14, 2004

Perfect Woman? That's ME!

I like Steve...but he wrote a post today, with which I disagree (and I very rarely disagree w/Steve)... (though I did disagree with his post it was still damn funny and I do know some women like that, unfortunately)

FWIW, Michele also disagrees with Steve and thinks that the problem is not w/women, it's with the women Steve has dated...

I'll address them, in point (note, this is simply MY opinion / view on things, in relation to how I treat men / would like to be treated ) ...

1. "Women like being told what to do, and they actually resent it when you treat them like equals."

Um....not me. I do know some women like this. None of them are my friends.

2. "Women get really mad when you say, 'Women like being told what to do, and they actually resent it when you treat them like equals.'"

Totally true and accurate. Duh. See response to #1 above. I am a college educated female that supplies 1/2 our family income (yes, earning just as much as my husband) one tells me what to do or how to do it (except my mother ;-)

3. "Women expect us to give them stuff, and the more stuff you can give a woman, the more attractive and intelligent and handsome she will find you."

Partially true. I like for my husband to give me things. They don't have to be expensive (though that is nice too, but remember, the money comes out of our JOINT account) - but it is nice to know he's thinking of me. Sometimes it's a post-it note "luv u", sometimes he brings gifts, I'm happy either way. It has no bearing on how attractive, intelligent, or handsome I think he is or I tell him he is. We got married when we were both poor - which meant no big gifts at that point in time and I still said yes when he popped the question.

4. "There is no such thing as 'lending' a woman money. And here's a corollary: you are not permitted to say you are GIVING a woman money."

No way in hell do I ask anyone for money. I make my own damn money, If I don't have money for it, I probably don't need it. If I do need it, I'll find a way to get the money myself.

5. "No woman has ever forgiven any man for anything, since the dawn of time. And the things we're least likely to be forgiven for are the things THEY did or caused."

The man I chose has not ever done anything that warrants forgive-ness (I'm talking grand scale here, not stupid things like "broke something" etc.). I tend to not worry about little things... If you do a "grand scale" thing (like cheating on me), do not expect to be forgiven. Sorry.

6. "Women blame men for absolutely everything, including earthquakes and solar eclipses."

True, because all problems in my household are caused by the male ones. This is NOT opinion, it is fact.

7. "Only single women enjoy sex."

I don't think so.

8. "Virtually everything a woman says is a lie, a misconception, or a rationalization, even if she thinks it's true."

Ok, so.not.true. I do not lie, mainly because I don't lie well, but I don't do it. I also don't lie by ommission either.

9. "Women DO get themselves pregnant."

I don't think I would do the things Steve outlines here, but I can't say for certain because I have not been in the situation of being ready for a baby when the other half of the relationship is not ready as well. Part of that is the "smart enough to wait until my life situation is stable enough and going well enough to think about having kids". Generally, when you get to that point in your life, the guy is ready as well. But I leave this issue open.

10. "Women have absolutely NO respect for your privacy."

Once again, NOT true. I do not tell my girlfriends anything truly embarrassing about my husband. We do not share sex stories as if we were in a men's locker room. We do not compare. I do brag about what a wonderful hubby he is though, but that's about it.

Doing Good Things... much are you supposed to give at Christmas time?  I see TONS of things I would like to donate to:
- Toys For Tots
- Soldier's Angels
- Children's Hospital in D.C.
- the My Soldier program
I don't want to give away all our money, but I like helping others out.  So far this season, we have done 2 angel trees for needy kids, put money in the Salvation Army's bucket, and made a sly "donation" into the bank account of someone we know that is needy that would never take the money from us (they don't balance their checkbook either).  There are so many other charities I'd like to give to - they all do such important things.  Would it be better to give a little to each or a lot to only one or two?
A big dilemma.  Of course, I am thankful simply that I am able to give this Christmas season.


13 foot Christmas Tree falls down in my family room.
We're tree cursed!

December 13, 2004


Ok - we have a dilema...
Son's birthday is Dec. 31.  He got jipped out of a party last year because we were moving out of our house, so this year we want to make sure and over-do it (as we usually do anyway)....
Think anyone will come?
What time do we have said party (remember, he'll be three, as will the "invitees")?  We'd also like people to hang around and celebrate the New Year with us?  Think anyone will do that?  Do we invite one group (kid-based) to the earlier party and then more people to the evening one?  Will evening attendees feel jipped that they missed the bday festivities??  Argh!  Will it be too long of a party?  Say running from 5 p.m. to midnight?

Thoughts?  Suggestions?  We really are at a loss here...

So today...

I got nothing.

Some family crap going on.  Not good (don't worry, my little family unit is A-OK).
Work crap going on as well - 2 different stories coming from 2 different VPs...we'll see who's right.
Hang on, it's only Monday morning!

December 11, 2004

Damn Christmas Tree...

Ok...we cut our tree down FRESH last Sunday. As of today, the gentle-est of breezes sends needles flying off the tree...WTF? How can that be? Trees from Home Depot are cut in November and last thru Jan - so ours should last a long time too, no?

Hubby followed watering instructions and everything. The other trees of family members that came from the same group / tree farm have NO Problems. You have to really struggle to get a needle off!

Hubby stopping on way home to buy ANOTHER tree. :-(

December 09, 2004

Stupid F*ing Hotmail...

Ok - so hotmail decides I can't read the email for my account thru Outlook Express anymore... (btw, is that legal?  To decide what software I can READ my email in? )
BUT - if you're going to do that and make me goto the website to check my god damn email, the god damn site better be up more than 50% of the god damn time.

Just sayin'.  Can I file a civil suit over this?

Oh Christmas Tree...

Last night, hubby and son and I, along w/my brother and his new wife put up a tree at my Mom's house for her.  It was kind of fun, actually, to do that with my brother again - we haven't done a tree together since probably 1995, the last year I lived at my parents' house.  We went through all the ornaments, some of them dating back to 1972 and some handmade for my parents by me and my brother through our school years.
I showed some ornaments to my son that I thought he'd like - the race car ones (my Dad and my brother were / are BIG Earnhardt SR and JR fans), the ones Mommy made when she was little, the ones that have Mickey, or Snoopy, etc.  We also put the bubble lights on the tree!  It's funny that something for so many years considered "white trashy" is now sold at Nordstrom, in a 1950's-ish box!  For a lot of money!  Ours were bought at wal-mart, like 30 years ago!  Probably for under $2 a box maybe?

December 08, 2004

Hokie Bird...

There is a contest where you vote on your favorite college mascot. Cool - vote for Hokie Bird (VA Tech) and vote often.

NOTE: the web page SUCKS! Not only am I required to vote on 5 other mascots (all of which I have NEVER SEEN before, so why should they get a free vote???) there's this dumb floating "E" that you have to catch and click on with your mouse which activates the submit button. Then you have a second or two before the submit button is de-activated. Talk about a usability issue. I understand they want to discourage cheating but a simple text field where you fill in the letters from an image (like a lot of bloggers have in their comments) would be better than that damn floating "E" and the submit button with its own life.

Of note...

If you are commuting in our terrible Northern Virginia traffic, why oh why would you drive SLOWER than the flow of traffic?  slower than the speed limit?  Why would anyone want to increase the amount of time it takes to get somewhere?
Why would see that your light for turning onto a busy freeway is GREEN and not go fast to get there before it turns red?  Stupid mint green Subaru lady took 3 minutes of my life today that I'll never get back...we had more than enough time to get thru that light w/out going too fast or reckless, she just had to GO.
We watched Charlie Brown Christmas last night...son kept asking where the Mommies were - is it normal for a 2 (almost 3) year old to notice these things?
Heard a Christmas song today on the XMRadio by John Schneider (of "Dukes of Hazard") that was awful....I don't know why they still play it.

December 07, 2004


no intruder.  don't know what triggered alarms.
Hubby has been tasked with
a. buying more motion sensors
b. buying more locks
c. buying remote monitoring camera system.


Setting: having a meeting with a "very important person".  My cell phone rings.
Me: Hello?
Voice: Hello -is this The Princess (name withheld, duh)?
Me: Yes?
Voice: this is XYZ Security company - passcode please?
Me: What?  I don't know who you are or what you're talking about?
Voice: this is Joe with XYZ Security company - your home alarm is going off....can I have your passcode please?
Me: Oh shit - it's XXXXXXXXXX - what's going on?  (nothing like having "very important person" only hear my half of this conversation)
Voice: shall we send the police?
Me: yes please....
Now I just wait - hubby is on his way and I've just been informed the police are "there" but no one can tell me as of yet what happened...
Hold on for updates!


by a graphics artist and random guy, about new graphic featuring an excel screenshot:
<< looking @ her screen >>
Artist: he said he didn't want it to look "table-y"
Guy: it's hard to make tables not look "table-y"
I need more work to do....

Stupid People...

In our next installment of "When Stupid People Attack"...

A group of Environmentalists is assumed responsible for this.

They don't agree w/the county allowing building on this land, so they're burning down houses! WTF?

Luckily, it was all unoccupied homes, but still. Now people who had a move-in date have to wait for the builder to re-start their homes. What if they have a set in stone move out date for where they're leaving?

It's the regular people that will lose in this, not the builder or the county. Sure, the builder will lose some, but mostly it's the little people.

You can disagree and fight the builders all you want, but leave these poor people alone. No one deserves to have their house burnt down or to live in fear that their house will be burnt down.

I hope they catch these jerks.

speaking of Christmas music...

I was just reading Lileks' columns on Christmas music (which I ADORE, remember)...
"Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer"...I actually used to like this song and even bought the album when I was little (which has the track "Percy the lonely Poinsetta")...until Son heard it on the radio and started asking too many questions..."GRANDMA gets run over???", "Why would Santa do that?" and having to explain to him why Santa was drunk and ran over Grandma is too much  - I turned it off!
I like the others he talks about, mostly the classics.  I can do without the new pop versions of the songs...I don't want to hear Jessica Simpson sing any Christmas music!  Though I do like some of the country slower Christmas songs (a la Alan Jackson, etc.)
I'm so strange!

December 05, 2004

Oh Christmas Tree...

We went out to Berryville, VA to cut down our tree! We got a really nice 9' Norway's quite prickly, but so pretty! The smell in the garage is heavenly (I insist that the trees "debug" in the garage for a couple of days before I allow them in my house!)...

December 02, 2004

Sterling Autobody...

Ok - this place is located in Herndon, VA....I got my truck back last night - w/new window, new rear quarter panel and 2 new bumpers.
It was freshly washed and vacuummed...
It looked spectacular...even the wheel rims were detailed and squeaky clean.  I have to say, I was SURE they'd F-up my truck, but, voila, it seems perfect.  I must've searched every inch on the outside for a defect - nothing.  The only noticable thing is that the new quarter panel is so nice, the rest of the truck (even though it's only a year and a half old) looks old.  Hmmm...  Though it is hard adjusting back to life driving a huge SUV, it drives so much better than that rental SUV they gave me, I'm thrilled.  AND it was done 5 days earlier than promised, though giving long estimates may always be a tactic to make sure they dont' run late
And of course, all the items from my lunch time shopping spree at Tyson's fit in the huge cargo area in the back!
So to Sterling Autobody, I say "Thank you" for fixing what that stupid idiot driver did to me and my truck.

Road Rage Cards!

This is a MUST for anyone that lives in the Northern Virginia area...if you have the balls to actually use them!

Road rage cards...even have the reverse so that people can read them in their rear-view mirrors (like they have on ambulances)...

courtesy of AMCGLTD...

I'll let you guys know the first time I see one of these in this area...
It goes without saying that no one would ever flash one of these at me...
  • I don't lane sit in the left lane and create a rolling road block
  • I drive well
  • I try not to chat on the phone while driving
  • I always wait my turn in such places as 4 way stops, yield areas, etc.
  • I don't speed match people passing me (because no one ever does ;-)
  • I don't litter
  • I DO NOT brake test people...That's just asking for trouble, I don't need another bitch rear-ending me, I get plenty of that recently without brake testing
  • I don't tailgate (unless you deserve it, see item 1)
  • I only blare music that others would like (like country music)
  • My car is not one people would suggest should goto the dump
  • I don't cut off people
  • I stay in my lane (see the point about talking on cell phone)
  • I always use my blinker - because I use it only when there's already space (instead of turning it on assuming someone will MAKE a space) when changing lanes
  • I'm such a dork!

    I was reading the Weblog awards at Wizbang...
    And I started going thru looking for new blogs!  I found a couple great humor blogs and some great photo blogs.
    I am even inspired to take some great pictures!  More coming later!

    Not quite the same...

    So...with my recent boredom...I've been doing a lot of reading in the blogosphere.  Man...everyone writes better than I do and everyone seems way more interesting than me.
    How do I learn to write as well as they do?  How do I get to be that interesting...
    how, how, how???

    December 01, 2004


    My truck'll be ready TODAY!  That is 5 days earlier than they promised!
    I cannot wait to get it back and fire up that XMRadio!

    Stupid People...

    Ok...we have a parking garage here at work and you need either a fob or a passcode to enter.

    The guy in front of me today wants to use a passcode.

    He is entering it when I pull behind him in line.

    He enters it 5 more times.

    I figure that it's not going to work for him and try to back up. I can only move 5 feet because someone has pulled in behind me.

    He enters it 10 more times.

    Garage attendant tells him he needs to back up and get out of line.

    Motions to me to back up.


    I back up as far as possible, which is not far enough, but the NUMBSKULL behind me is oblivious or just not moving.

    So the poor guy in front of me has to do a 1,000 point turn to get out....

    Guy In Front Of Me: stupid for trying like 30 times to do it. Every minute he wasted, more people pulled in tightly behind us. Also note - he had license plates that indicated he was a CPA!

    Guy In Back Of Me: super dumb- he's not getting in until this dorkster gets out of our way!

    Ugh...some people.