Get to Know Me Better

Rick tagged me on this meme. Thanks man. Let’s get ‘er done.

The rules are:

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
4. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1) What was I doing 10 yrs ago?

10 years ago the Older Daughter was 5 and the Younger Daughter was just 5 months old. I remember attending the Older Daughter’s dance recital that year–very cute. We were just settling into our previous house. I also started a custom software development business with a buddy–it didn’t work out.

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):

  1. Post to my blog (check)
  2. Get some laundry done (in progress)
  3. Check on the status of a job application (check–no answer yet…grrr)
  4. Do some more work on our business website (probably not going to happen)
  5. Blog surfing (check)

3) Snacks I enjoy:

  • Cheez-Its
  • soybeans
  • beef jerkey
  • popcorn

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

  • Build a nice new house on our ranch
  • Buy a monster motor home and travel
  • Do charity work

5) Three of my bad habits:

  1. Staying up too late
  2. Procrastinating
  3. Not eating right

6) 5 places I have lived:

  1. Lebanon, Oregon
  2. Ontario, Oregon
  3. Cheney, Washington
  4. Boise, Idaho
  5. Caldwell, Idaho

7) 5 jobs I have had:

  1. Petroleum Transfer Technician (some people call it a Service Station Attendant)
  2. Clerk-Typist
  3. Computer Lab Consultant
  4. Software Engineer
  5. Database Administrator

8 ) 5 peeps I wanna know more about:

  1. Bekki
  2. Jon
  3. Bonnie
  4. Allison
  5. smysore

Hit or Miss

Despite being on vacation, there are a few things I miss about being home. Let’s take a look at what I miss and don’t miss. That way, we can determine if a prefer vacation or the daily grind.

What I Miss

  • Easy access to a computer: I mean, it’s right here in the spare bedroom and they have high speed Internet access. But they don’t leave it on all the time, so I have to wait like 5 minutes for it to boot up. Plus I feel guilty about hiding away.
  • Our best friends: We hang out with our best friends just about every weekend, and so we probably won’t see them for a couple weeks now.
  • Traffic: It may sound strange, but it’s true. We live in the country, so there is no traffic compared to Portland. A traffic jam in the country is getting caught behind some slow-moving farm equipment.
  • The Older Daughter: She went to Disneyland with her best friend and her family. I’m jealous, but miss her just the same.
  • TiVo: I’ve come to a point where I don’t watch anything live. I record it with TiVo and watch it later so that I can skip past the commercials. Plus it’s nice to be able to skip back a few seconds to catch the dialogue I missed when all the dogs bark their heads off.

What I Don’t Miss

  • Work
  • The alarm clock
  • Worry about looking for a new job
  • The daily routine
  • Having absolutely no free time
  • Getting up early: I’m a night owl and love to stay up ridiculously late and sleep in
  • Brown: I do love the green of western Oregon over the brown of southwestern Idaho.

So there we have it: I have 7 things I don’t miss and 5 that I do. So I think that I should just stay on vacation forever. What do you think?

Mary Ann Busted for Pot

Ginger or Mary Ann? It’s a classic question to ask guys. Ok, gals can answer too if you want…that’s okay. As for me, I was always partial to Mary Ann. I much prefer the more natural girl-next-door look to the 29-pounds-of-make-up look.

Anyway, former Gilligan’s Island star Dawn Wells (playing Mary Ann Summers) is now a resident of Driggs, Idaho, where she owns a ranch. Back in October, 2007, she attended a surprise birthday party. On the way home, a Teton county sheriff pulled her over after noticing her swerving back and forth on the road. As the officer approached the car, he noticed that all 4 windows were down on a cold October night and that Ms. Wells was not wearing a jacket. Oh, apparently there was some sort of marijuana smell also. They had a conversation that went something like this (this may be totally made up, but based loosely on the actual facts of the case):

Deputy Gutierrez: Good evening ma’am. So why am I smelling marijuana smoke coming from your vehicle?

Ms. Wells: Hmmm? What? Oh, well you see, I was headed home from the surprise birthday party my friends had for me. Along the way, I saw these 3 guys that needed a ride. I’m 69 years old and routinely pick up young hitchhikers at night. So I picked them up and was giving them a ride to Driggs. Almost instantly, they all lit up marijuana cigarettes. I was outraged! I immediately pulled over and kicked them out of my car. They put out their smokes and were nice enough to put them in the ashtray and center console so as not to mess up my car.

Deputy Gutierrez: Wait, so what’s this container with a half-smoked joint and some unsmoked marijuana?

Ms. Wells: Well duh, the hitchhikers left it here.

Deputy Gutierrez: Ma’am, I need you to step out of the car please.

Somehow she failed her field sobriety test and was arrested on the counts of: driving under the influence, possession of drug paraphenalia, and possession of a controlled substance. In a plea deal reached on February 29, these 3 charges were dropped and she pleaded guilty to reckless driving. In the end, she served 5 days in jail, paid $410.50 in fines, and will have 6 months of unsupervised probation.

 http://www.ktvb.com/news/localnews/stories/ktvbn-mar1108-mary_ann.44494e42.html

Boise: A Terrorist Target?

According to a recent study of 132 urban areas in the United States, Boise, Idaho is the 10th most vulnerable to a bio-terrorist attack. The study was funded by the Department of Homeland Security and headed up by University of Arizona mathematics professor Walter W. Piegorsch. Boise was the only city west of Texas to make the top 10 list. That’s right, cities like Seattle, Portland, and Los Angeles are not considered highly vulnerable–at least according to this study.

The three factors considered in the study included social aspects, natural hazards, and the construction of the city. What’s important to realize is that this study measured the vulnerability of cities to attacks–not the probability.

Boise has three large dams upstream. 2 of them are earth-filled: Lucky Peak and Anderson Ranch; Arrowrock is concrete. With the Boise River running through the heart of the city, the failure of these dams (whether intentional or accidental) could devastate the downtown district of the city and many surrounding cities.

The metro area is largely surrounded by federal- and state-owned lands that are composed of mostly grasses and sagebrush that are quite vulnerable to wildfires during the summer months.

While most agree that a terrorist attack in Boise is not likely, local officials are rightly taking the report seriously. They plan on discussing the findings with the authors of study and the FBI.

Bibles and Beer: A Match Made in Heaven?

From a story at www.ktvb.com: 

“They are not your traditional worshippers – but a group of motorcyclists are getting all revved up over a new Meridian (Idaho) church. A church in a bar.

The Busted Shovel Bar and Grill in Meridian may not look anything like a place of worship, but in just a few weeks, that’s exactly what it will be: a church.

‘I just feel like God loves bikers’, biker/preacher Jim Atkins said.”

This is fantastic. So I can go to church and down a cold one at the same time? Sweet! Maybe this is an idea that the mainstream churches should take a look at in the face of declining attendance. You know, maybe add a bar at the back of the church.

Benjamin Franklin said, “Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” And he was pretty dang smart.

Crap. I just now read the last line of the article:

“No alcohol or smoking will be allowed during services.”

Oh well…

A Tribute to Buddy: 1991 – 2008

I had always wanted a cat, but couldn’t have one as a child. As a teen, I loved going over to John’s house, because I was able to play with his cat Toby. So, within a week of getting married in 1991, The Wife and I were at the Idaho Humane Society to pick out a kitten. We looked at many, but this adorable little orange fuzzball captured our hearts immediately. We took care of the adoption paperwork and then headed to the store to pick the necessary supplies. I waited in the car and bonded with my new friend while The Wife went inside to get the stuff. He was so tiny that I was able to place him in the recessed instrument panel on our Mazda 323. I was stroking his chin and he was purring like a buzz saw. I looked down at him, he looked up at me, and I said “Hey buddy”. It was that simple…that’s how he became Buddy.

Buddy was the most easy-going cat I have ever known. Whether it was bringing a new animal into the house or having a baby pull on his tail, he never complained–he just purred away. He loved car rides. I would take him with me on a trip to the store. On the trip there, he would wander around the car, look out the windows, then eventually sack out somewhere. However, he would apparently miss me while I was in the store, because on the trip home he was on my lap rubbing all over me.

He also loved to talk. When you talked to him, he was always ready with a reply. He also didn’t have any problem yelling at us after we were gone for too long or if dinner was late. We could always ask a question and fancy that his reply was “yes” or “no”.

About 7 years ago, Buddy developed chronic pancreatitis. It was so severe at one point, that we nearly had to put him to sleep. However, the vet had us try some special food that she thought might buy him some more time. The vet is still amazed that he lived as long as he did.

For many years, he slept at my side. With him there purring, it was a comforting and relaxing tonic for a stressful life. In recent months, he simply preferred sleeping elsewhere. I think that climbing on and off the bed was too difficult for him. However, right up until the end, he would sit on my lap in the recliner each evening–purring like crazy. It was a highlight of my day that I will miss.

Through 17 years, 4 residences, 2 kids growing from infants to tween- and teen-hood, and multiple other animals coming and going, Buddy had always been there. Now that he is gone, there is a huge hole in our home and a pain in our hearts that will take a long time to heal.

Goodbye Buddy…We love you!

Unemployment Line or Lottery Winner?

I haven’t shared this publicly yet, but I’m being laid off (along with half of my department) from my employer of 17 years. Thankfully, I’ve been given lots of notice (I found out in October that my last day will be in July) and a nice severance package, but it’s obviously still not an easy process. I joined this company right out of college. I’m very loyal and probably would have spent my entire career there. But, it was not to be. That’s life, I get it.

I got into work with this employer through a prior summer internship, so there was no “real” search. So needless to say, my job searching skills are pretty lean. Today, I attended a job search workshop put on by the Idaho Department of Labor. They did a really good job and I picked up a lot of good tips. This is my first “real” job search ever, so all the help I can get it great.

At the beginning, we did the usual ice-breaker. You know, go around the room and introduce yourself (thanks for wasting my time). Now usually, you go around and tell a little bit about yourself, right? Well, not at this event. Here, we were asked to tell what we would do if we suddenly came into $50 million.   (sigh)   Okay, hold on. At a minimum, I’m going through an excruciating job search. Next best case is that I’m coming into the unemployment office each week to beg for my generous unemployment benefit. Worst case, I’m digging for left-over food out of a dumpster. So what do they do? They taunt me with the prospect of a $50 million windfall that would allow me to relax for the rest of my life. I don’t get it.