Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Creative Pumpkin Carving

There will be no Halloween parties for us this year like we went to the past couple years. This coming Wednesday, we will be staying at home and passing out candy to the neighborhood kids. I've been decorating the house (nothing elaborate but it's a start) to set the mood for our soon to arrive little costumed visitors.
We've never been that into Halloween but it was nice to get into the spirit this year and nothing can get us in the mood better than carving pumpkins (a ritual we haven't participated in since we were kids)!
Johnny chose to carve a pirate ship while I chickened out of my cat-sitting-in-the-window-next-to-a-carved-pumpkin-and-bat scenery and went with Fatty Batty instead (which he thought resembled more of a reindeer).
We listened to a whole song album while carving away; Elgy sat on my lap while Havi played around my feet.
Our efforts paid off at last! I am pretty proud of my husband's newfound pumpkin carving skill. Maybe I'll have him carve my pumpkin next year and I'll just stick to cooking or something.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Back at Work

I spent the nice long weekend painting the kitchen and Christmas shopping with Maggie. Saturday night, my husband and I went to John and Maggie's home for dinner and we watched a great movie called, The Ultimate Gift. If you get a chance to watch it, you will not be disappointed.

Sunday was an absolutely gorgeous day for boating (can you believe we still have nice weather the last Sunday of October? I guess that makes up for the hot summers that we have.) and though we desperately wanted to take the boat out, Johnny and I spent all day Sunday finishing up the painting of the kitchen. We are SO SORE from reaching above our heads and leaning in odd positions so we can paint all the nooks and cranny parts of the kitchen BUT we are finally finished with painting the kitchen!! Can you believe it? After weeks and weeks of looking for the right color...and now that part of the project is done. I replaced the standard white switch plates with stainless steel ones and our kitchen looks like a whole different place. All that is left is to install the track lighting and I promise I'll post pics.

Today I am back at work. We've been decorating the office for Halloween and a contest between the different areas of our building. Wish I could show you all of it but it's top secret for now.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Halloween Moon

The moon last night as we left dinner at John and Maggie's. The sky was brighter than actually captured by my camera. The full moon just passed (October 26th) and I wish you couldn't have seen this view in person. I don't think it can get more Halloweeny than this!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Speaking of Painting

While I'm on the subject of painting, I am thinking of painting the bottom half of Elgy black so she can become a Halloween cat! (Okay, maybe I've inhaled too much paint fumes. I think I need a break.)

If she could read my mind, she's probably thinking, "I dare you, you old bag." and, "If you do, I'll make sure you discover a hairball in your sneakers in the near future."

Kitchen: Painting the Ceiling

[Click on photo for larger image]
This morning I felt like I have so much to do but just not sure where to begin so I started with painting the kitchen ceiling. We finally picked some colors so I am painting Star Anise on the ceiling (the darker color) and we'll be doing Eiffel Tower on the walls (the lightest color). (There is Havi to the bottom right of the photo. She loves to sit on the ladder and supervise me painting like when we painted the lounge.)

Festive Pancho

After a whole day of shopping yesterday, I found me a new pancho!! (It's actually a Christmas tree skirt but I think I have a whole new use for it now!)

Maggie and I had only shopped at one store before I broke down and had to have some lunch. So we swung to a P.F. Chang's nearby and had a couple Bloody Marys, lettuce wraps (can't have a meal there without this staple), spicy greens beans, and something chicken on noodles.

Then we hit the stores again grabbing some stuff from the craft store (I'm going to start knitting again--ha!). Didn't really see anything that caught my eye except a new bed set for our master bedroom and this tree skirt.
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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thank God it's Thursday!

Is it me or does it seem like each work week is dragging on and on before Friday finally arrives? By the time I get home, I am just pooped, like--every evening the past couple of weeks. Maybe it has just been hectic at work--especially lately. We have deadlines to meet and so many changes to make in the system (for both the fall '07 and spring '08 semester) that my brain is just spent by the time the afternoon rolls around.

Luckily, tomorrow is Nevada Day, a state recognized holiday to mark when the "sagebrush state" was admitted to the Union (became a state) in October 31, 1864. Years ago, legislatures hesitantly passed an assembly bill to celebrate Nevada Day on the last Friday of October (so state employees could have a three-day weekend. A parade would then be held the following day (Saturday)). So in observance of Nevada Day, the employees of our university will not be working tomorrow.

Thank God it's Thursday because I need an extra day off! My husband's mom, Maggie, and I are going to spend the day together and get a head start on our Christmas shopping. Then if I have time, I'll start painting our kitchen. (Yes, we finally committed to the two colors for the ceiling and walls of our kitchen.)

[Oh yes...with respect to the photo posted above, John and I are not big Halloweeners (is there such a word or I should have just said we are not big into celebrating Halloween) but since the divisions at work are having a Halloween decorating contest, I got a little bit too much into the spirit and started decorating our house starting with the entry way. There are now fake spider webs, caution signs, mock tombstones, and a "Beware" curtain on the front door but our decorations are not nearly as grand as our friends, Sean and Fawn's are--not even close. They have a Halloween party every year and we always have a great time. But this year, we'd like a little more eye appeal for the kids that will come knocking on our door; more than just bare stucco walls.]

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Bad Hair Day

I'm joining in on Self Portrait Sunday and (will attempt) to post a photo of myself every Sunday. I believe this concept started with this guy who took a photo of himself sitting at his computer every day (as opposed to every Sunday) for like a year and made a time lapse video from his still shots.

Right now I don't feel like fixing my hair so I just tied my bed hair into pig tails. We're out the door to drop off stuff at Goodwill before heading to the mall. I mentioned before that I hate shopping for clothes but now I can say I don't wanna ruin my hair getting in and out of my clothes.

Edit: There is nothing like walking around all day flashing flesh through a hole in my jeans between one of the back pocket and my butt crack to motivate me into shopping for new jeans! I guess my clothes were getting pretty worn out.

Pancakes and Sausages

This morning I am making pancakes and sausages using the built-in griddle on our range for the first time. So far so good; the pancakes are cooking evenly while the husband is at the store getting coffee beans and turkey sausages.

The weather is beautifully sunny but I am glad it is breezy or I would feel guilty not taking the boat out. The hubby just walked in and said it, "Burr! It's sweatshirt weather." I guess that settles any boating activities.

Today, we plan on browsing the shops at the Fashion Show Mall on the Strip and have lunch at either Magaritavile (our favorite place) or California Pizza Kitchen (haven't been there since living in California). We were somewhat tempted through the displays on the window during our walk for Alzheimer's yesterday. We will also attempt to paint the kitchen and hopefully finish it. Heh, eh ... yeah.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Our Memory Walk 2007

After several weeks of fund raising, the morning finally came when we would participate in the Memory Walk for Alzheimer's. It was early in the morning, dark when we woke up, but we were both too excited to feel how tired we were after a long work week. (Actually, my husband is going in to work late today as he normally scheduled to work on Saturdays.)
This is our first time participating in a fundraising event so we don't know what to expect. When we got to the Fashion Show Mall on the Strip where the event was held, we were quite overwhelmed by the number of the people who were also there; there must have been hundreds of people!! Because of the support of family and friends, we were there to walk in honor of our Uncle Frank and in memory of all the loved ones lost to the devastating disease.
Mayor Goodman and his wife began the opening ceremony. There were talented young boys and girls singing songs by Lee Ann Womack, Gwen Stefani, and even Andrea Bocelli’s Besame Mucho (sung by a 13 year old boy)—we wish you could have heard them all!
We also heard one of the best performances of the Star Spangled Banner sung by this very young girl. Her voice made the hairs on our arms stand up!
$74,000,000 was donated from all across the country to build the largest brain research center right here in Las Vegas. February 9th, 2007 was the ground breaking for the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute which will be built on a 61-acre acre near downtown Las Vegas (projected completion in late 2008).

31,000 square feet of the 67,00 sq. ft. facility will be devoted to Clinical Care (diagnostic and neuroimaging, and clinical research of chronic brain diseases including Alzheimer's, Huntington's, Parkinson's and others) while some of the remaining space will be for hosting special events, public education, fundraising events, think tanks, lectures, conferences, and community learning.
As we started the walk, tears welled up in my eyes and ran down my face. I was quite touched by all the people who were there early this morning for the same cause. All who have crossed paths with Alzheimer's in one way or another--their sister, aunt, grandmother, grandfather, uncle, brother, and/or father. Like us and Uncle Frank. It was definitely an emotional point for me to be able to walk today in honor him.
The path we strolled was one-way trail across the first and second floors of the mall, passing all the shops--never more than once. I think it took about 30 minutes--a lot longer to our surprise but it was fun. The volunteers cheered everyone along the way.
The top team and individual earners were recognized at the closing ceremony. Together with the generous contribution from Focaljet.com, Hotboat.com, our family, and friends, we raised $1,570 which put us in second place for the Individuals category! We received recognition in the Individual earner category for being 2nd top earner but it wasn't so much that we were recognized as much as how the recognition made us feel good knowing that our group effort really made a difference.

So thank you to those of you who have generously donated. We sincerely appreciate your support and we are here at the Memory Walk today because of you!!

Aaron Stoermer

Adam Jovin

Amy & Chitt Sorvongsavanh

Angeline Garbett

Brad Milton

Bryan Linington

Chris Stout

David Buckley

Dennis Huber

Diane Figgs

Don Curiel-Ruth

Dotte Kamanski

Ed Sutherland

Frances Jones

Heidi Slater

Henderson Harley-Davidson

James Diller

Jan & Nancy Fish

Jeff Haag

John & Maggie Costanza

Jonelle Lei Cachuela

Kristina Biane

Lisa Karp

Lisa Costanza

Mark Allen

Megan Kepler

Michael Nelson

Michael & Raelynn Lee

Mike Guardalabene

Robert Farrell

Rolanda Chung

Sam & Chante Fleming

Sherri Rodriguez

Todd Wilson

William & MaryAnne Jones

This is for you Uncle Frank!

The day is finally here where we are at the Memory Walk for Alzheimer's. We raised $1,570 thanks to the support of friends and family like you. We are walking for all of you, our loved ones, and for you Uncle Frankie--WE LOVE YOU!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Guess what I got?!

The husband finally gave in and now I have me a new portable hard drive. My old one (the gray box underneath) is a 60GB and sadly enough, was maxed out even though I transfer the data to a 120GB external. My new one (the white box on top) is 250GB and should last me for a while. I love it!

So I got a thin plastic box and he got James Bond View to a Kill and the original Star Wars Trilogy. We know who really made out here. He did because it's movies night. ;)
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Look! A sundog.

You can see it off the center of this photo just over the stop light signals to the left. It's a sundog and if you Google images, you'll see some magnificent photos that make my sundog pale by comparison.
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Greeting Cards Galore

With the holidays looming around the corner, I dread thinking about what to do for greeting cards this year. One year my husband and I sent personalized letters to our friends and family. The following year we sent a photo of our cat perched over the fireplace. Honestly, I am out of ideas and though I really would like to do something special or creative this year, I am hoping whatever project I undertake will not consume too much of my time.

The convenience of the Internet has led me to Tiny Prints. They have cute and modern greeting cards, announcements, and invitations that I can personalize for just about any occasion-- even business Christmas cards! Even though the site offers tons and tons of categories, it is suprisingly user friendly and easy to navigate.

If the task of browsing thousands of greeting cards, announcements, or invitations sounds daunting or creating your own unique designs, you can view their photographer favorites for suggestions.

I don't know about you but I think I'm off to a good start in picking this year's holiday greeting card!

How to Peel a Raw Egg

When I was in the third grade, I put an egg (it didn't develop a shell yet so it was in its membrane) in the breast pocket of my jacket. I don't know why I did that; I think I thought it was neat to have. But then I forgot about it ...

Now after watching this video, I can peel a raw egg and relive those days again.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Mini Overhaulin'

After a couple months, the dealership finally got another white VW Rabbit to switch the front bumper with so Peter Rabbit got a mini face lift.
Gone is that hideous black "lunch plate" looking thingie on which a license plate would have been mounted. Doesn't it kind of look like the toothbrush mustache on Charlie Chaplain or something?
To date, updates include the 19" Audi RS6 wheels, a shorty antenna, color matched side markers, and now the unmarred bumper.

The next make-over Peter Rabbit will undergo is taking away the off-road truck looking stance and lowered down to sniffing-the-asphalt suspension. Then tinting the windows just a tad bit so no one can see me singing along with Paris Hilton's, Stars Are Blind song.

See how there is a lot of space in the wheel well?

So I altered the photo to give you an idea of what Peter might look like dropped and tinted.
Chip Foose, eat your heart out!!!

Change the name to WHAT?

I once posted about what I do for a living (in short, schedule classroom space for events, meetings, and academic classes). I also deal with changes to the academic schedule and course offerings each fall and spring semester, for example, increase the enrollment cap, change the day(s) and or time(s) that a course is offered, in addition to changing the rooms that the classes are scheduled in.

I received a request to change the course title of a class that was called, Special Topics: Nuclear Power Analysis from the Engineering Department but since we work in a DOS-based archaic database that can only accept 25 characters for the course title (including spaces and punctuation), I asked the department to suggest a title that fits within the parameters and I was given:


Okay ... the title (especially the last part) can be taken totally out of context but at least it is exactly 25 characters.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Little Things Favors

Planning a wedding can be a lot of fun -- and a lot of work. Fortunately, my husband and I had an entire year to plan our wedding and together with the tireless help of family and friends, our tropical, Asian-themed wedding was a memorable day.

I recall when we were putting together our wedding favors (pictured above), we had labels to stick on, ribbons and raffia to tie, and boxes and boxes to assemble and fill with fortune cookies personalized with our messages. I had looked at purchasing completed wedding favors on so many websites but didn't find a wedding favor that will fit perfectly into our wedding theme so we had to muscle up our efforts and customize our own.

Had I found Little Things Wedding Favors, things might have been easier in writing our Happily Ever After story. Founded in 2003 by a couple who were in the same position when they were planning their wedding, the company and employees certainly understand the challenges of looking for low-priced quality favors.

Little Things has over 3,000 favors and accessories not just for weddings but other occasions such as baby and bridal showers, Sweet 16 birthdays, religious events, and gifts for just anyone--gals, guys, kids, and even honeymoon fun! They even have favors for under $1.00 for those planning on a budget.

In addition to having a huge selection of favors, they also offer:
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Easy Return Policy with No Restocking Fee
  • Low Price Guarantee
  • Free Shipping on Orders over 250.00
From an ex-bride, that sounds like great service and value to me. If you are planning an event and are hunting for a great selection of favors, please consider visiting Little Things at http://www.littlethingsfavors.com/.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Havi Birthday

Today marks the first anniversary since we adopted Havi in our lives. Actually, I think she adopted us by unrelentingly meowing through her cage and we're still so glad to have her with us.

Havi 2006

When we look back at photos of Havi (named after Lake Havasu) over the past year, we can see that she has grown up to be a pretty cat.

Havi 2007

Not the Last at Lake Mead

Though I woke up queezy Sunday morning from my overzealous wine consumption at dinner the night before, Sunday morning was so beautiful, sunny, and the air was so still that we couldn't resist going out on the lake. We thought the last weekend in September was definitely our last time taking the boat out as the weather was getting cooler and cooler by the day.
When we turned into Sandy Cove, guess who we saw but the same people we met the last time we were at the beachy area. John and Will (John works with my husband through a tool supply company and comes by the Harley-Davidson shop every week. Small world, huh?)
I had to wear my silver mesh with gray piping bikini which was custom made to match our new boat. Next season, my suit might be out of style or we will not have a matching boat knowing my husband.
[Forgive me, the bottom was made a little more micro than what I usually wear.]
Standing on the beach drinking margaritas, we actually broke a sweat because they day was surprisingly warm for the middle of October!
Now we are definitely convinced this has to be our last weekend out on the water because the weather couldn't possibly be any nicer since we are well into autumn.
But at least we had this past weekend out on Lake Mead. Even if we don't launch the boat again for the rest of the year, we still had fun and one last outing.

Managing Remotely

I think it is safe to say that it is one of the goals of a small business to grow and expand into having multiple locations. But almost every small business owner might agree on the challenge with having many branches and that is the lack of onsite management can be a problem for start-up branches. With limited resources, small business owners are essentially the only top management if they do not have immediate funding sources to hire more people beyond the skeleton employees.

Luckily, in the age of the Internet, remote management can be easily done with the solutions offered by Uplogix -- at least the management of computer networks that is. IT Departments can perform virtual administration and manage remote sites securely and continuously with persistent connectivity which is often the challenge in managing computer networks that span multiple locations with the Network Monitoring Tool.

Founded in 2003, Uplogix is headquartered in Austin, TX and can be found at one of the largest technology conferences coming up at the end of this month. They will have a booth at Interop New York if you are interested in their solutions in managing a distributed IT infrastruture.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Spinning Our Wheels

Why does it always seem like we're unloading the dishwasher to load it or unloading the dryer to load it or always sweeping or vacuuming? House chores are never ending aren't they?

Maybe because it's Monday and after a weekend of playing hard, it's time to work hard. So if you need a giggle, just click on the photo above (make sure to have your speakers on) and then click on the pig's nose. Hope you have a great week!

Speaking of which, this weekend is our Memory Walk for Alzheimer's. We've raised $1,325 so far thanks to the generosity of friends, families, and strangers from HotBoat.com (boat forum) and FocalJet.com (car forum). We are $675 short of our goal which but you never know if a miracle might happen in the next few days (heh, heh). [On a side note, I actually have gotten paid for sponsored posts made through PayPerPost so I can add that towards reaching our goal.] $2,000 is a high goal to set but it will be one we will strive to meet as we plan to join in the fight against the horrible disease each year from now on...in honor of Uncle Frank and the millions of those inflicted and in memory of those loved ones who are no longer here with us.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Dinner at Josh and Steve's

Last night we went to dinner at our friends, Josh and Steve's, beautiful home.

The evening was perfectly still and pleasant enough to have dinner outside on the patio overlooking the pool.
We had apple and walnut salad with lamb chops and beans with feta cheese. Yumm...

And one of the best bread pudding I've ever had. I love bread pudding. Love, love!

Then we watched photos from Josh and Steve's recent trip to Europe.

I don't remember much except the evening was a lot of fun and I also remember visiting a lot of bathrooms!

I have an awful headache today but the weather is gorgeous so I should feel better soon after we are out on the lake!