Misleading Sign

I’m a little disappointed. There was an empty shop down the street that has been for rent since we moved here. (Almost two years ago already!) A week or so ago, I noticed that there was a sign in the window. I couldn’t read everything, but I saw that it said “Bike” really big, so I figured it was a bike shop. Awesome! My brother and his friends are really into bikes, so I figured that might be a way to get him to come visit more often, plus bikes and the people who ride them are just cool, and having more of them around town definitely wouldn’t hurt.

Well, this evening I was reading the minutes from the latest borough council meeting (What? I like to keep up on what’s going on around town!), and they mentioned that this bike shop was going to be using the parking lot across the street for a charity event. So I found the shop’s web site and… they are a motorcycle accessory store. For sport bikes. And the charity event is a “BBQ/Bikini Bike Wash” next Saturday. Blech.

In other home-related news, our new doors are getting installed tomorrow! I’ll be working from home while they’re here. When we scheduled this, the guy said they’d most likely be able to get everything done in one day, but it might take a little longer than a normal job because, just like everything else in this 100+ year old house, things are non-standard sizes and require extra fiddling to fit. But the more we think about moving, the more I really like this house. It is solid, plus it has real character. And we’re continuing to fix it up and it’s going to be awesome.

Good Weekend

I ended up having a pretty nice weekend. I feel like I’m ready to go back to work tomorrow, which is kind of rare on a Sunday.

GG and I went to see Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters on Friday night. I had read that it was two hours long, and I was like, “What?! How can they turn a 15-minute TV show into a two hour movie?” But it turned out to only a little over an hour, which was more like it. From the beginning it was hilarious, though I have to admit it started getting a little long towards the end. Still pretty good, though.

On Saturday, we went out and did errands all day. Bank, supermarket, etc. I picked up a bunch of things to send to this girl in Italy, who I’m doing my first swap with. Saturday night was a comedy show that GG was invited to perform in. There weren’t any open performer spots, but the guys organizing the show like GG so much, they just invited him anyway. He did pretty well, though there were definitely some awkward moments. We sat with a bunch of other comedians and they gave GG a bunch of good advice about joke writing and stuff.

Today was a little slower. GG played on the computer all day and didn’t even get dressed until this evening when he had to leave for his comedy class. Meanwhile, I did laundry, went to Trader Joe’s, and had an excellent nap during which I was covered with cats. There are lots of new pictures of the kitties on flickr – they were being extra cute and photogenic today.

Busy Week, TOCTWD 2007, Weekend Plans

This has been a busy week. On Tuesday we took Ivan and Katrina to the vet. Ivan is good, although at 19 lbs. he’s one pound away from being overweight. Katrina is also good, but she has a couple teeth that need to be pulled, so she’s going back next week to have that taken care of. Tuesday night was an Officers’ meeting for band, so that was a late night. It’s a lot of work, but I really do enjoy being an officer. Band rehearsal was Wednesday, at a different location than usual, so we had to leave a little early.

Then comes Thursday – Take Our Children To Work day. Julie, Heather, and I presented a workshop called “Extreme Process Mapping,” about creating flow charts. We had three sessions. The kids in the first session were pretty well behaved, but my computer decided to freak out in the middle of my presentation and go to the blue screen of death! Julie did some quick thinking and drew out the rest of the presentation on a white board. That actually worked out so well, with kids calling out answers and suggestions, that we used the white board for the same thing in the following sessions (minus computer freakout). The kids in the second group were terrible. We don’t know where they got them, but every child in that group had one of those giant Pixie Sticks. If they weren’t sucking down sugar the whole time, they were flapping the stick around, hitting each other with them, etc. They talked and yelled through the whole presentation. It also didn’t help that three of the worst-behaved kids were in the front row (out of four seats). When that group was finished, I said to Heather and Julie, “When the next group comes in, they are not eating candy in here!” We had to majorly clean up the room before the next group. However, we were surprised by the third group! It was supposed to be the largest, but probably only half the kids showed up. Many of them had their parents with them, which I’m sure also kept them on good behavior. They were actually very quiet. Overall, our workshops went well, though I don’t think I’d present the topic of process mapping to kids again. It was a little too open-ended and involved for a single 45 minute session – I’d really underestimated how creative some of their ideas would be.

Tonight GG and I are going out to dinner and then we’re going to see the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie. Tomorrow night I’ll be going with him to a comedy show he was invited to perform in (there weren’t any open slots, but the guys arranging the show like GG so much, they asked him to join them). Should be a fun weekend!

Heroes Episode 19: .07%

I’m so happy Heroes is back! I’m not really going to do a full rundown of the show, just a couple questions. First of all, where the heck was Hana? After everything that happened over the break in the comic and with Heroes 360, you’d think she would have made an appearance or at least been mentioned! But, FutureHiro was back! I was so excited when he came on, I squealed and clapped..! Curious to see more of that 3D timeline he built around Mystery Sock’s studio…

You know, if they wanted to prevent the explosion, they could’ve just left the glass in Peter’s brain. It was kind of creepy when Nathan said, “He wasn’t supposed to die this way.” Like he wants the explosion to happen. Speaking of the Petrelli family, what do you think Mama Petrelli’s power is? Because she obviously was alluding to having one. That would make sense if it was her and not Papa Petrelli who had a special ability, since Papa was so shocked by what Linderman (and Au Co) could do in Vietnam. We’ve seen that this type of thing is pretty much genetic, so if he didn’t have a power, Nathan and Peter’s mom must have. I thought for sure when she stood up and mentioned to Claire that she’d made mistakes or wrong choices in the past, she was going to flip something out of her hand (ice cubes and flames are taken, so I don’t know what it would have been).

Candace Wilmer, I hate. And she’s obviously taking orders directly from Linderman, I wonder if Thompson knows this? With her in the story, there’s really no trusting anyone. Any character could turn out to be her. Also in OWI news, way to go Bennet, taking advantage of the situation and using Matt’s powers. And Ted seems to have majorly calmed down, so good for him, too.

Proud of Isaac for accepting his destiny. I’m sure his latest issue of “9th Wonders” contains instructions for how to stop Sylar. (Hope it makes it to the printer’s on time – I have a feeling that his delivery guy might stop to take a little read first.) I laughed out loud when I saw Sylar’s painting, though it was at least a little better than the stick figures I was imagining he’d paint. But didn’t he just paint a retarded version of “The President Stands Alone,” which we’d already seen?

Looking forward to next week’s episode, set five years in the future, though I guess it’s just more teaser since this is the outcome that they’re trying to prevent happening, so there probably won’t be anything to move the actual story along (unless Hiro reports back on what he saw there). One little nitpicky thing, though, is that in the commercial for next week they’re saying five years in the future and they’re saying 2012. Which is five years from now. But on the show, they’re still in October or November of 2006, which would make it more like five and a half or six years in the future for them. Also, why does Claire have to have brown hair in the future? Besides the fact that it’s an easy way to make her look older, how did she get it? I doubt she’s been coloring her hair since she was a little girl, so does that mean she went out into post apocalyptic New York to get it dyed?

Extreme Process Mapping – TOCTWD 2007 Plans

Take Our Children To Work Day (TOCTWD) is coming up in less than a week now, so I thought I should write about our plans for this year, since a lot of people seem to be Googling it and getting to this site.

Last year, Heather, Jess, and I gave a presentation on intranet sites at our company, built a little web page with information on each kid in the session and photos (which the parents could look at later), and had the kids draw pictures of what they would design for their own web site. We did two sessions of maybe 30 kids each.

This year, they’re expecting more kids, so we’re doing three sessions of 40 kids. Heather, Julie, and I are doing a workshop on process mapping. We were just going to call it “Process Mapping,” but the TOCTWD organizer wrote back to see if we could change the name to “Extreme Process Mapping,” and I was like, “Sure, whatever the kids like.” There’s not really going to be anything extreme about it, though. We’re going to give a little presentation on process maps and how we develop and use them, standard shapes, and a sample map of something simple (making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich). Then we’re going to have the kids draw and present flowcharts of things they do in their own lives (e.g., getting dressed, brushing teeth, walking the dog… who knows what else they’ll come up with). Because we’re doing three sessions, it’ll pretty much be all afternoon next Thursday. Also, like last year, we’ll be giving out candy to the kids on their way out (not during the workshop).

You wouldn’t expect me to be the one organizing this type of thing for our group, the way I totally hate kids, but basically I design the presentation and deliver it, and the other two girls are just kid wranglers. Plus, we get a free lunch!

There’s a bunch of crazies in my office.

There’s a room next to my desk at work that used to be a conference room, but it was converted to an office for some people from another department on our floor that needed some extra space. This morning, one of the women who works in there, and the man she reports to, had a long conversation that I couldn’t really follow completely, but Heather and I were totally cracking up at our desks right outside. From what I could gather, it covered the following topics:

  • The woman has a 14 year old son from when she was young, dumb, and unmarried, as well as a young baby with her husband. Oh, and there was one other man in between her two baby daddies who she also dated.
  • The man knows a lady who is a hairdresser and only has a high school education, but she has psychic abilities. She was able to tell him (or his daugher) some things that she shouldn’t have been able to know, and she was predicting numbers or cards or something in Las Vegas – and since she’s only a hairdresser, there’s no way that she knew about probability. Also, Fortune 500 companies hire her to predict things for them.
  • He apparently picked up some of this psychic ability and was able to predict that he was going to be in a car accident, so he made his body go limp to minimize the damage.
  • He explained something using chemistry terminology to make his point.
  • He talked about a man who has complete physical control over his body. I missed most of the story, but apparently he can hold mercury in his hand, which is poisonous, and either solidify it or absorb it into his body or something. (Whatever it was, this was the story that had Heather and I giggling the most.)

I’m kind of disappointed in myself because last night I wasn’t really even tired, but I decided to take a quick nap before getting down to business and starting to clean the house for Friday. But once I was asleep, it was so nice and warm under my fleece blanket, and the next thing I knew it was like 11 PM and GG was getting home from the comedy club… So I ended up not getting anything done. I have band tonight, so that just leaves tomorrow for cleaning the entire house. But I wrote myself a list of everything I need to do in each room, so at least I’ll have that and I’ll be able to cross things off. Work seems to go better if I have a list to cross off…

After the Storm

Well, the rain stopped yesterday, and all our water problems seemed to get solved, too. GG’s dad was able to come over for the day (the school he teaches at was closed because the power was out!), and he brought his big shop vac, so they got the basement pretty well dried out. We went out last night and bought a really nice dehumidifier for down there, which we’ve been meaning to get, anyway. There’s an open pipe there from when the washer and dryer used to be downstairs, so we hooked a hose up to the dehumidifier and put the other end down the pipe, and it’s working pretty well. Also, the drippy leak at our bedroom window stopped, so I can get some caulk and seal up that crack. (I wonder where the water will try to come in next time!) Part of the downspout in the back of the house fell off, or maybe GG’s dad removed it, because it was emptying right into the foundation. They rigged up a kind of makeshift thing with a bucket to help dump the water a little further out from the house. While we were out getting the dehumidifier, we also got this bendy plastic thing to attach to the downspout that will extend it a little, and one of those troughs that angle water out and away from the house.

We also went to Target and I got a dress! Yes, after those hours spent at the mall with Julie trying on all this expensive stuff, I got a cute one at Target that fits and looks good for $40. (There’s a picture of it on my Flickr photostream, but don’t look at me from my head up because my hair was totally screwed up and I was doing something weird with my face.) I also got a couple new pairs of pants for work – good because I feel like I cycle through the same 3-4 pairs every week. And we went to Famous Footwear and GG got a pair of Vans that they amazingly had in a size 14, and I found sneakers I liked (finally!) but they didn’t have my size. Since they’re having a buy one, get one half off sale, I can take GG’s reciept to another Famous Footwear where they do have these sneakers in my size, and get the half off deal still. Which I may or may not do, but I’ll be in the same neighborhood as this other store tonight, so I might as well just stop in. Then I can keep my old sneakers in my desk at work, and we can go on walks outside sometime when the weather gets nicer!

This all sounds very nice, but that’s because I’m skipping over the part of the day when I was ready to kill GG because he’s known for at least a week that he was going to have to file an extension for his taxes, and yet he still waited until the absolute very last minute to get his extension forms filled out, then I had to print them on my computer, then we were one envelope short to mail everything and we had to stop at Staples on our way to the post office to buy more… Ugh. So I won’t get into all that.

Have I ever mentioned that I hate weather?

This has not been a very good day so far – and it’s not even 8 AM yet!

I woke up this morning to a very loud drip… drip… drip… that sounded like it was coming from one of our bedroom windows. I was worried that it was actually the ceiling leaking again (the part that we had just spent thousands of dollars repairing the chimney so that it would stop leaking). I got up a couple times but didn’t see any leak in the ceiling, so I figured it was something outside the window. Later, I was in the bathroom when GG banged on the door. “Are you blind? It’s dripping inside the window!” There was one dripping spot in the molding at the top of the window. Awesome. I cleaned up the soaking wet window sill and put a bucket there. By the time I left for work, it was dripping in four spots. So as soon as it’s done raining, I guess I’ll caulk up that little gap. When water can’t get in one way, it finds another! However, that window sill was actually all warped and messed up when we moved in – so I bet this isn’t the first time that it’s leaked there.

So part two is, I went down to the basement to get a bucket to sit on the window sill, and the basement has a couple inches of water in it! The basement has only flooded once before, and it was around this time last year, when there was tons of really bad flooding everywhere. GG actually stayed home from work today so he can run a shop vac down there and suck up the water (and also file for an extension on his taxes). Luckily, there’s this weird ridge in the middle of the basement, so half the basement is about 6 inches higher than the other, and therefore dry. And that’s the half where all the really good stuff is!

So I had to drive to work in the rain/wind/snow/slush today because it’s one of the two days each month when documents are issued or become effective, and this time there are a lot of changes to be made, and I have to update all our web sites. It all hinges on this e-mail that gets sent out – as soon as it’s sent, I can start doing my work. Sometimes it goes out first thing in the morning, other times it won’t be until the afternoon. So depending on how much time I have once the e-mail goes out, and how GG’s day is going at home, I may leave work early to go help him out.

Also, on my way in to work, the wind broke my awesome umbrella (it’s auto open and close, and my mom gave it to me for Christmas last year). Not just turned inside out, but completely snapped one of the metal pieces!

When is it supposed to stop raining, again? (Weather Underground says tomorrow, but NBC 10 says Thursday?!)

Recap of the week

Wow, did I really let a week go by without writing?

I finished doing all my taxes on Monday (that’s federal, state, and local, now that my town has figured out I live here), and sent them off. GG, meanwhile, is still collecting receipts, tolls, etc. from last year. He’s probably going to have to file for an extension because he’s not going to get his records from EZPass in time. But now we know you can only get the past five months’ records online, so from now on at the end of each month he’ll copy that month’s charges.

On Tuesday I had some printer issues printing tickets for my upcoming band concert. We print them on those tear-apart business card sheets, and my printer printed one, and then stopped sucking in any more. I fiddled with it for about an hour, before finally calling our treasurer (who works nearby) to see if I could stop by her office to print them. They came out much better than they would have from my printer, plus it took maybe 10 minutes.

We had a little wedding shower on Wednesday for a girl here at work who’s getting married at the end of the month. A couple people from her group made a beautiful three-layer cake for her with black and white ribbon wrapped around each layer (the colors of her wedding) and chocolate filling… it was awesome. I made layered Mexican dip, and Julie made a kind of dessert dip.

Last night GG and I took a nice walk before it started to rain (even though it only rained for about 5 minutes). I wanted to walk past some new townhouses at the top of this hill, and we must have pointed the wrong way or something because we missed them (we found them later). We did manage to find our town’s elementary school. It’s actually really nice looking, probably pretty new. There’s about five speed bumps along the road in front of it.

Today I’m going out to lunch with Sonja – who I haven’t seen since before Christmas! We’re going to this Mexican restaurant nearby. We were supposed to get together a few weeks ago, but had to reschedule – as usual! It usually takes a couple tries before we actually make it to lunch.

Oh, person from New York, New York who visits regularly, using Rockefeller Group Technology (RGT), do I know you? Or are you just an anonymous fan? I’m really curious – if you don’t want to leave a comment, could you please at least e-mail me?

And MB, sorry I didn’t call you last night – after The Office I got sucked into 30 Rock (it’s actually really good, I’ve caught it a few times now), and then I was just so tired… I will call tonight, or if not then, over the weekend :o)