Since my life is more than shoes...

I thought I'd share it with you

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

You think you have problems?

One of the women I work with has a car. She used to have another car. The first car was a 1998 with 78000 miles on it when she bought it 2 years ago. She thought it was a good deal, until it started having problems last year. It turns out, someone had put a junkyard engine in it, and it had gone bad. Well, lacking the money for a brand new engine, she had someone put in another rebuilt junkyard engine. After the mechanic had her car for 4 months, she finally got her car back in February. All excited, she drove off, with no warnings from the mechanic. After 800 miles of driving, the car started making loud noises. She returned it to the mechanic who said that her car had run out of oil. Now, I'm not sure how this is possible if the car was fixed properly the first time, but that's beside the point. Anyway, she was so sick of her car, that she had already sold it by this point, hoping that it would be fine and dandy. Well, fortunately the people still bought the car, and she was free to buy her latest car. As she was picking it up today (the first day she's had it), the check engine light came on. Now she's hoping that there isn't something more serious wrong with it. At least a cold office is fixed by a sweater, not the possibility of thousands more dollars!


Jimmy: I'm sorry you were hot, but I think that I have a right to say that I don't feel bad for you for feeling hot for 2 days, when I've been cold for 2 months. It's not a matter of your ability to complain, it's a matter of whether or not I feel sorry for you, which I don't. Yet :)

Monday, March 29, 2004

Speaking of temperature

I would feel bad for Jimmy and his 80 degree office, except that I live that kind of thing every day. It reminds me of going back to high school, where you would go into one classroom and barely be able to hold your pencil because your hands were frozen, and then go into the next where you were shedding the wool sweater you needed in the previous room as fast as you could. In any case, any time you work in an old building or a big building, it seems that no one can get the temperature right. In one of the theaters that my office operates, it was 81 degrees at 1pm this afternoon, and getting hotter by the second. Now, I would feel bad for the people in the theater, except that every time we ask them to turn the heat down in one room on the floor, it makes our office about 65 degrees, if that. I wore my (winter) jacket in the office for the entire month of February and was still cold. So, Jimmy, I do understand your plight (because now it's actually super hot in here), but you don't have the right to complain until it happens every day for at least a week :) Besides, once they turn on the A/C, it'll probably be too cold!

Friday, March 26, 2004

Wanna know what to major in?

Try healthcare, or computer science (software design), unless you want to be jobless like a lot of other grads right now.... Here's some info.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004


In our quest to find things to amuse my grandparents while they are here, Andy and I decided to check out Lake Wheeler this weekend. I had heard that it was beautiful. I pictured it to be like Lake Johnson with lots of trails and outrageously fit people walking (and of course the not so fit people walking around the lake in high heels - don't get the logic there). Anyway, it definitely was no - no walking trails, just picnic tables, boats, and lots of signs telling you (every 15 feet) not to swim or wade in the lake. Now, where I come from, every lake is a free-for all for swimming, and ones like Lake Wheeler with sandy beaches are packed on the weekends. Apparently this is not something people do down here, though I do understand why: the water is browner than brown, and there are ducks and geese everywhere! I think it's because everyone takes their kids out to feed the ducks (I admit to doing this on occasion as well), but every citizen in the greater triangle area must've fed the ducks at Lake Wheeler because walking down the the shore was like re-enacting a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" (not that I've seen it, but I can imagine). Once they settled down and some kid started feeding them, one literally almost stepped on me in a race for the water. I have spent a lot of time with nature in my day, and this is a first - ducks should be scared of humans, not running to greet them. I guess it's not hurting these birds, though, because there were plenty.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

This is the truth

"Robbers take hot dogs, leave money" I guess they were hungry.

This one's for Jimmy

"Small asteroid will pass close to Earth"

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

For the ultimate in rich, spoiled children luxury

Leave it to LL Bean (look carefully at the bottom 2 rows of pictures - those are accessories for the bear!)

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Liz is here :)

Yay! An extra special visitor, and one of the few who can compare the old place with the new. She was pleased to see that we now live like "normal" adults :)

People really do read this thing...

Andy's guestbook is proof. Check out the 2nd entry - someone was interested in my inofmation about locking your knees and fainting. Frankly, I'm pretty surprised - how on earth was it found? I've done a search and it doesn't come up for me.

Monday, March 15, 2004


Oh and I am completely freaked out by James' article that he posted. Even though I already thought that was true, I don't like to have my fears confirmed. Of course, being the complete germ freak that I am, I already washed my hands after using the computer. A former CS major knows that computers are very scary things to touch when you have to work on them every day.

I think it's a pride thing

The thing with New England is that, size wise, all of the states together pretty much add up to the size of some big states, and I think we just get a little defensive. I have a little more state pride, since VT is much different than Boston, and I definitely do not get excited when people tell me I can't be from New England because I don't talk like I'm from Boston. Besides, those Bostonians drive like maniacs! However, New England is a beautiful area, and you're missing out if you don't visit all of it.

FYI :)

New England consists of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. New York is definitely not part of New England, and we don't want it to be.

Friday, March 12, 2004

This is pretty sobering headline: Cost of being a stay-at-home mom: $1 million. Now, I know money isn't the only thing, but wow...

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Something I've been wondering about...

Well here's something I've been curious about... The unemployment rate. You have to scroll down quite a ways to get to it, so I'll paste some highlights here:
Basically, someone wrote in to MSN Financial to find out about the unemployment rate, because it really only reflects the percentage of people who are actively searching for a job compared with those who have a job. So, if someone gets discouraged and gives up searching for a job, they're no longer counted in the unemployment statistics. MSN answers:

The “discouraged worker effect” you describe is well known to economists, and tends to track the strength of the overall economy. When times are bad, more people give up; when the economy gets humming, more people start checking the want ads again and pounding the pavement. Such cyclical changes in what’s called the “labor force participation rate” are not unusual, according to Wayne Ayers, chief economist at FleetBoston Financial.

“But it is clearly more pronounced this time around,” he writes in a recent online newsletter on the subject. “Unlike the pattern of the early 1990s, the participation rate has continued to fall fully two years after the recession’s official end, a reflection of falling growth in wages, rising duration of joblessness and increased outsourcing of jobs abroad.”

As you correctly point out, the question of just who is in the “work force” often can be pretty arbitrary. ....
[ie college students, people who aren't working because they don't have to, etc... - my own note] ...

You also make a convincing argument that this number – which was more clearly defined when manufacturing played a bigger role in the U.S. economy – doesn’t do a very good job tracking an increasingly diverse workforce, many of whom are self-employed in new ways that the old formulas don’t measure very well.

That’s why most economists and Wall Street analysts ignore the unemployment rate and look at the second, somewhat more reliable monthly “payroll” survey to get some idea of whether the economy is creating or losing jobs.

Based on that survey, the Bush administration has a lousy track record. Though major tax cuts have stoked the fire and re-ignited the economy, more jobs were lost on his watch than under any president since Herbert Hoover. What’s most worrisome is that while most economic indicators are flashing green – showing a solid, growing economy – the payroll number has been stuck in neutral. So keep an eye on that monthly payroll number; it will have a much bigger impact on the presidential race than the unemployment rate.

So, while the unemployment rate may be going down, it doesn't mean a whole lot. Don't be fooled into thinking that things are looking up when they're not as positive as they "appear." And good luck if you're looking for a job because it's not a lot of fun.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

It's not Ben & Jerry's, but still yummy!

The big perk of today was the all staff Library meeting. Not the actual meeting itself, but the Maple View Farm ice cream that they gave us after. It's farm fresh ice cream (from a local dairy) that tastes great! I must admit that B&J's still tops my list for ice cream, with Bergey's Dairy (Liz's family's dairy in VA) coming in a close second, but this ice cream would definitely be worth the drive out to the country for a taste. If you've never had "farm fresh" ice cream or dairy, give it a try. You can really taste the difference, especially in the texture and full flavor.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Did you read the whole article, or just the beginning?

My ever loving husband also loves the president. Now that's all right, except for the fact that the article that he quoted in his blog as showing Bush as such an upstanding guy, doesn't really say that when you get down to it. Yeah, Bush knows what he wants and he hasn't changed his mind, but I'm pretty sure this article demonstrates that admitting you were wrong might not be a bad idea. I still can't get over the whole WMD thing - sure Saddam was a bad guy, but I think a lot of us feel tricked by it. Apparently so do China and Britain, to name a few. Now, even Britain isn't going to go along with us the next time we invade someone. Big mistake. So read the whole article please.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Plants and Pets

Well, my new obsession with air cleaning plants has led me to a disturbing fact: almost all plants that have air cleansing abilities are poisonous to pets. Some are also poisonous to humans (so don't eat mom's houseplant, no matter how tempting it might be). So even though you might be cleaning the air, you might also be poisoning little Fluffy or Fido. The ASPCA has a lot ot say about poisonous plants, and they even have some good pictures to help you identify your plants. So now I must choose between plants and an orange kitty. At this point, I choose plants - they're much cheaper, and no one will mind if you forget to water them and they die. Of course kitty would remind you to feed and water it, but it still makes me nervous.

More information already

Ok, I found some more information about this "locked knees/fainting" subject here . The argument is that it's not the locked knees, but instead the standing still, since your blood pools in your feet. Then, your blood pressure drops and so do you. I guess it's a good thing that I'm a figity girl, or I might have passed out at my wedding.

Does locking your knees make you faint?

Well, I'm not really sure what causes it. Almost any bridal magazine warns against locking your knees, since a lot of brides (and their bridesmaids) pass out at the altar. (See this article at as an example.) But the more I thought about it, the more I wondered whether or not this really caused you problems. I tried many a Google search with different variations of the above question, and I only came up with one article that disproved the locking your knees theory. The article states:

Locking the knees has nothing to do with blood flow restriction for several reasons 1. no physical kink is made 2. There are several collateral vessels (even though one is kinked, which often happens around moving joints, others can pick up the slack) 3. If blood flow was really lost to your legs your body has several warning signs which will make you move your legs to encourage more flow (tingling, shivering, muscle fasciculation).

This is all quite fascinating, but I still have no idea whether it's true. In any case, be sure to eat your breakfast before you get married or are in a wedding, and don't lock your knees, just for good measure (I've seen it happen firsthand - but that's another story, and I don't think I should plaster it all over the internet...). If you have any insight into this, please let me know!

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Excuse me, I'm inviting students to....

So I was sitting outside at one of the picnic tables today during my 4:30ish break when a Chinese woman came up to me and said, "Excuse me, I'm from the University (insert something about the Bible or Religion here - it was a little loud and I couldn't hear) club, and I'm inviting students..." I stopped her right there and said "I'm not a student." She looked at me funny and didn't seem to know what to say, so I said, "I'm actually a faculty member" (which isn't quite true, technically I'm a staff member, but I didn't figure it mattered). Well, this led her to try to converse with me (I think she was a well trained missionary, but I really just wanted to read my book and enjoy the sun), and she asked me what class I taught. Well then I had to tell her that I actually just work in the library. As she was about to tell me all about her organization, I finally just told her that yes, I go to church and Bible study and I'm very happy where I am. I didn't want her to have to waste her time on me, since I really don't get out of work in time to go to any meetings or events. She seemed satisfied that I wasn't a lost soul sitting alone and went on her way. She was quite nice, so maybe she'll find someone else to help.

Perfect Weather

I think that when the temperature is a perfect 74 degrees with only a few clouds in the sky and relatively low humidity the whole country should shut down and go outside and enjoy the weather (or at least the part that is having the perfect weather). I was tormented inside all day with only a few breaks to go outside. Since my office is a chilly 60 degrees all day everyday, I still have to wear a sweater. Nena even had the space heater on today. That's what we get for not wearing socks - but how can you wear socks on a day like this?

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Foreign DVDs

Most people don't care about foreign DVDs, but I do. My dream (well, maybe not dream, but it's definitely something I've always really wanted)has always been to watch American movies in German. It's a good way to learn the language and keep up to date, and the movies are ones I am interested in. I'm sure most of you had no idea, but German films tend to be a little weird, just like German literature, and they're really not fun movies to sit down and watch. Ever since 7th grade when I started taking German, and the French students could watch American films in French, I was jealous. I know that European VCRs are different than American ones, so I was really excited when DVDs came around. All DVDs are the same, I thought, so when I go to Germany, I should be able to buy them and they will play in my player. Fortunately, my host family warned me that this might not work, so I didn't buy any while I was there. The world has been divided into regions, with North America and Europe being in separate regions, apparently so that Hollywood can release their DVDs at different times around the world, just as they do with movies in the theater. So, DVDs are encoded to prevent people from buying the DVD in the US and getting it before the rest of their countrymen in "Region x" can. If you buy a DVD player in one country, you can only play DVDs from that country's region on the player. This apparently prevents some sort of copywrite infringement. For more info about this, go to DVD City . Well now they've made "code free" DVD players, which are a great, except that Hollywood got mad and decided that if you buy one of those, you can't play Region 1 (ie American) DVDs on them. So, you have to have 2 DVD players if you want to watch foreign films. I know why they are doing this, but it is still frustrating because I don't want to do anything illegal, I just want to be able to watch these films in German. If they did this whole region thing to prevent people from watching the DVDs too early, they should make it so that you can watch all DVDs on Region 1 players, all but Region 1 on Region 2 players, and so on. I know, this would be a complicated engineering feat, but it sure would be nice. If anyone knows where I can get my hands on "Ice Age" in German that I can play on my Region 1 DVD player, PLEASE tell me! I don't want to spend $300 for an international DVD player, and the movie really is funnier in German, if you can believe it could get any funnier.

Monday, March 01, 2004


Moving is a big task, but we've done it. Now instead of empty rooms, we have rooms full of boxes. If it were up to me, I think I probably wouldn't unpack those boxes for a while because I hate unpacking. Unfortunately (and probably fortunately) it's not up to me, and I'll have to unpack the boxes. We have all kinds of space now, and no furniture to put in it. Fortunately, Robin gave us a couch, or our little loveseat would look really sad in the living room all by itself.

I also have a new obsession with plants. I've decided that it's too much trouble to have a cat (especially after reading Lisa's blog . Her cat just seems a little crazy if you ask me, and I'm scared that we would end up with one just like it - or worse. So, instead of cats, I've got plants. I read in a magazine that plants help clarify the air, which cats obviously don't do, so not only am I bringing in some cheerful green plants, I'm keeping our apartment healthy. It's a win-win situation. If you're interested in getting your own air cleaning plants, click here and enjoy!