Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye year.

What a wacky couple of weeks it's been.
First, it snows. Then it snows a lot more. We STILL have some piles of it in the 'hood. Snow meant some short days at work, because I didn't want to be stuck in the dark trying to get home. I've never seen roads like this. Until now, anywhere I've been that gets a foot of snow that lasts a week also has snowplows.

I've also had two short weeks at work. Three days last week and three days this week.

You'd think that would mean I wouldn't get much done. But with no one else there, the days seemed a lot longer. I even filed today.

We also had company -- my big brother and my niece's family. That was delightful. And it made the same long days go by very quickly at home.

I should probably reflect on the year 2008 at this point.

This year, we took a risk and lived in Mexico for three months. We learned a lot about what we want and don't want our lives there to be like. We also learned how much our boyz enjoy traveling . . . which led us to consider the whole RV idea. And that idea has not left our heads.

We also took a spectacular vacation in Croatia, Albania and Greece. While we were out of the country, the U.S. financial system verged on collapse. Ross and I are still standing. But we may not be taking any more spectacular vacations for awhile!

I'll also remember 2008 for the presidential election. I don't remember any phenomenon quite like it. The idea that we weren't choosing between Dull and Duller this time was really electrifying. I got addicted to some political web sites, when for the past several elections I've been avoiding that stuff.

In the business world, 2008 turned out to be a nightmare. That's what I read about all day long.

For me, however, this year was a good one. I hope it was for you. I wish you an even better year in 2009 -- and may all your resolutions come true!
The photo is from Flickr creative coomons.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Okay . . . I'm exaggerating. But just a little. It snowed. All. Day. Long. Crazy, huh?

Ross had a "procedure" this morning and I had to be there to take him home. So at 7 a.m. we drove to Fremont in the snow. Then we came home around 9:30 in the snow. The office was open, so I drove downtown in the snow. I wasn't very happy about the accumulation, so I drove back home at lunchtime in the snow.

I think it's done snowing here for a little while. But it looks like snow for Racine tomorrow.

My brother arrives here tomorrow. We'll have a nice white, wintry welcome for him!

In other news: I'm very sad to say that I'm coming down with a terrible cold. Bleh.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Fingerless mittens

I thought I invented this. But I looked it up and lots of web sites showed up. So that's deeply disappointing.

Last week I was very cold at work. Mostly my hands were freezing. I drank coffee all morning and tea all afternoon, just to have a hot mug of something to hold on to.

I tried everything.
My mouse pad has a wrist rest. It feels like someone stuck it in the freezer for a week. So I thought about putting it in the microwave . . . but, on second thought, that seemed like a bad idea. Carcinogens? Fire alarms? Forget it.

I read about a heated mouse. That, at least, would keep fingers warm. But I didn't order it and lost track of the site.

I complained to Holly the receptionist about my problem and she said, "Fingerless gloves!" But that seemed a little restrictive. Typing is my livelihood, after all.

I know some people who wear leg warmers on their arms. (Yes, Zoompop, I'm talkin' about you.) But my arms were fine. It was my wrists and hands.

My mom used to sew wristbands into my new jackets for winter -- and that was wonderful. (Thanks, Mom!) So that provided some inspiration.

Then I remembered, when I got cold on our trip, my sweetie bought me a very nice hoodie in Dubrovnik that has little thumbholes in the sleeves. I incorporated that into my design.

I put all those ideas together (except the heated mouse and the coffee) and I got the incredibly original invention in the picture which has already been invented by many other people.
Before I realized how many other people were already doing this, I was thinking about starting a business (if I could just think of the clever name). I figured out about how much I'd have to charge. Let's see . . . at my hourly rate . . . that's about $594/pair. Plus materials . . . $594.72. Oh, don't forget shipping and handling. We're up to $598.22.
Any takers? If you need them before the weekend, I'll need to add a $50 rush charge.


We got a nice accumulation of snow last night. The dogs seem to LOVE it. I assumed it would keep them from smelling stuff, but apparently it isolates and highlights the new smells. Mmm-mm.

So we had a very fun walk this morning, checking it all out. Thank goodness my new shoes seem to be very "grippy." Falling on my butt is no doubt entertaining for those watching, but I hate it more than almost anything I can think of.

Here's a photo of Ross's truck under the snow. (Is the house across the street really that color?)

Friday, December 12, 2008


I hate to admit how much I don't like company holiday parties. I don't really like parties much at all, except the ones I give. I'm shy and awkward. There. I said it.

Our company party is tonight. We've gotten so young and hip where I work that the party doesn't start till 8:30. Cracks me up. That's about when I start thinking it's time to go to bed. I'm sure all the young hipsters won't show up till at least 9. That's when I get out of my chair and go upstairs to get ready for bed. The music and dancing will probably start at 9:30. That's just about when I drift off to sleep.

I will go and show my face. Then all the young hipsters can feel young and hip and superior in comparison. I'll be the one yawning in the corner.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I lived.

I met several people today. I have the business cards to prove it. This is an interesting conference. Several very, very big companies are represented, but there are only a few hundred people -- so it feels pretty exclusive.

It was a long day. I'm pretty sure I'll be writing about the whole thing on the Hacker blog.

Tomorrow, at the end of the conference, I rent a car and go up to Racine. Yay!

It's started to snow -- so what started as a green conference will end as a white one.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Does anyone but me remember when Chicago was called Chi-town (pronounced Shytown)?

Even though I lived pretty close to Chicago, I never got terribly familiar with it. I visited it most when I was in my twenties, living in Madison. I stayed close to Michigan Avenue (the Miracle Mile) during those days.

Right now, I'm staying in the theater district. Dirty Dancing is playing next door. (Tagline: "Nobody puts Baby in a corner.") When I was in my twenties, Dirty Dancing was a Patrick Swayze/Jennifer Grey movie. Wicked is playing down the block.

It's chilly here, but not awful. I walked eight blocks from my hotel to the opening reception for the conference and wasn't in any real pain -- even though I didn't wear a hat. It's true: it's cooler near the lake. And breezier.

The reception was all about networking -- and I'm proud to say I met several people and stayed for well over an hour. Tomorrow's sessions are punctuated every couple of hours with networking breaks. I hope to live through it. (Argh.)