Monday, February 26, 2007

Bonus Day!

Today was an extra day off for me. I earned a bonus day by participating in the employee wellness program. I slept late (until 7am), finished reconfiguring my desktop computer (had to do a second restore to get the missing directories to show up), returned the other HD I bought and headed out of town. For all that it was a day off, I still didn't get to do anything I wanted to do that was fun. It was just a day away from work to try and catch up on household chores.

Random Observations:
First, why is it that I have the greatest trouble with the sudoku puzzles marked "easy"? I never have any difficulty with the ones marked "hard", "very hard" or "evil". Just the "easy" ones. I don't get it. It's not just a fluke either. It happens almost every time there is an "easy" puzzle in the paper.

I managed to get lost trying to find an Italian restaurant but didn't really get lost. Mostly I didn't find the restaurant (which I must admit I didn't really know the location of anyway). I did find Belle Meade, which is a tiny hamlet, but still politically independent from the metro area surrounding it. There is a large antebellum mansion there (also named Belle Meade). I didn't see the mansion though there were plenty of other huge houses.

Note to the raptors in the area: my car is NOT a rodent, even if it is small and gray. Please, do NOT swoop over me when I'm driving, even if you are just trying to show off your new pedicure. (Yes, I could see talons, the hawk was that close.) I did manage to not duck. Apparently the hawk decided at the last minute that my car was not going to be suitable for dinner and swooped on across the road and up onto a power pole.

In case you were curious, the drive today to took 2.5 episodes of "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me" on my iPod. :o)

The valet guy at the hotel remembered my car from two weeks ago. He *loves* my little car and once again made a point of parking it right by the front door so that it can be kept under constant observation. I tipped him well. :o)

Note to self: buy a second contact lens case for travelling and just leave it in the travel bag. That way you won't forget it half the time and have to punt.

Dining Out and Eating Better
This article came out today regarding the blossoming calorie content of restaurant entrees. Here's the key to eating out without becoming as large as the United Center: DON'T CLEAN YOUR PLATE!!! If you can't stand to throw away the food you ordered, but aren't going to eat right now, then order a lunch portion or get a box to take the leftovers home. Basically, you need to decide what you want more--the extra bites of flavor (and the uncomfortable feeling of being overly full) or to be thinner and healthier. Which of those two things "tastes" better to you?

Whilst I did not find my first choice of Italian restaurants, I did eat at a regular standby, The Old Spaghetti Factory. It's a six block walk one way (only uphill on the way back), so I got a bit of a workout and a meal. Fortunately I was a party of one or else I'd have had a 15-20 minute wait. Instead, I was seated immediately. Victor, my server for the evening, was finishing up a party of 20 (mostly kids). Nonetheless, my salad, bread and beverage were brought out immediately. Right about the time I finished the salad, Victor informed me that the kitchen was out of eggplant, so no eggplant parmesan. I had spaghetti with mushroom sauce instead. I did NOT eat the entire portion. I also did not eat the entire loaf of HOT, fresh Italian bread, though I could have. These loaves aren't the mini loaves you see at most restaurants. This is an actual loaf-pan-sized loaf of bread (about 8x4 inches). And HOT, served with sweet butter. Mmmmmmm. I almost asked to take the remains of it home, but I figured I'd just end up pigging out on it in the hotel room, so I let it go. All entrees come with ice cream. I had spumoni instead of vanilla. Now I'm having a nice cup of hot tea in my hotel room (brought the tea bags from home).

I have almost got my list of 12-20 recipes for dinner options compiled. Now I just need to sort out a regular grocery list and I'll be all set. W00t!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Miscellaneous Observations

Happy Bus!
There are several school buses which pass by when I'm driving to work. You may remember several months ago that one of them tried to run me over (the driver apparently didn't know that she'd take up two lanes when she turned onto the road in front of me). There is one driver who always wears a dress shirt and tie. He also waves at every car that goes past. I've taken to waving back. It's just a bright spot in the morning and a little extra incentive to leave the house on time.

Book Sale Results!
Saturday was the last day of the book sale. The remaining books were half off (75 cents for paperbacks and $1 for hardbacks) or you could fill a paper grocery bag for $8. I had only intended to pick up two or three specific titles since I had already been to the sale twice earlier in the week. I did at least have the sense to pick up a shopping basket, even for just two or three books. I ended up with 43 books. Mostly paperbacks. I hit the "classics" table pretty hard. I even managed to pick up two copies of Silas Marner. Oopsie. On the other hand, I now own many of the books on the 100 greatest novels list, so I have few excuses for not reading "good" books.

Eating Decisions
On Tuesday--Mardi Gras, which I thought was appropriate--I decided to quit eating unhealthy foods and start putting the good stuff into my body. No more meat and I've managed to not eat any cheese in almost a week. I still have milk in my coffee, but bet I can quit that in the next month. I am even giving up caffeine and diet soda, just as soon as I finish off the last few cans of caffeine-free diet Pepsi I bought a few weeks ago. Conveniently, I was able to pick up several cookbooks at the book sale which will help me accomplish my healthy eating goals.

On Friday, several of us from work went to a Japanese steakhouse. I opted for the stir-fried veggies and a cucumber roll. (Both were very delicious and the veggie mix was mostly broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms and onions, instead of being mostly cabbage like Kamakura had started to do.) The server who took our order asked if I was vegetarian. I replied yes without even thinking and said I'd given up eating meat. Nobody seemed to think anything of it. Now it's all up to me to follow through. I know that several co-workers will probably think it's crazy to give up meat and animal products and very restrictive. I disagree. First, I rarely buy meat to prepare at home and don't usually eat it when dining out either. Nearly every restaurant I've gone to offers at least a few items which are vegetarian, if not completely vegan. Then there is the broad variety of fresh and frozen produce options at the grocery store. I've made some delicious chili this week. I have a good supply of grains and dried beans in the pantry. Mix them up with some veggies or even fruits and I have LOTS of eating options that are healthy for me. I don't expect to feel deprived at all. In fact, right now, I'm going to go make myself a nice steaming bowl of oatmeal with raisins, applesauce and cinnamon. Yum!

Denver is *not* the place to be this week....

Well, you have to expect snow in Denver in the winter. It is up in the mountains, after all.

But then there's the zookeeper getting mauled to death by a jaguar and Bronco's running back Damien Nash dropping dead at a charity basketball event he was hosting. What the zoo officials are trying to find out is why the keeper was in the exhibit with the jaguar. Apparently that was never supposed to happen and the keeper had been briefed on those policies and procedures. The jaguar, of course, was killed. Damien Nash's death is also unclear. Most 24 year old athletes don't just fall over dead. If I had to guess I'd say sudden cardiac death which may or may not have been due to a congenital abnormality. Mr. Nash's brother received a heart transplant last month, so there is some family history of cardiac issues there.

Rebuilding the Desktop HD
My desktop machine has been acting flaky lately. Most recently, it has decided to be incapable of shutting down or restarting without having the reset button used. I decided a few weeks ago to burn it to the ground and start over. I burned a full backup to a new external USB hard drive and then cut an incremental yesterday before killing the box. Last night I restored the backups to the fresh install of XP Pro (after low-level reformat of both partitions).

None of the applications were restored. *None* of them. Apparently when the HD software says it's backing up everything it doesn't really mean *everything*. Note to self: get copy of Ghost and just blow an image on to the HD next time. On the other hand, if the problems I was experiencing were due to corrupted applications reinstalling should fix that. The downside is that I have lost the demo to Asheron's Call that I had. I will now have to wait for the full install to arrive on CD to play again.

So I'll spend today finding and re-installing all the applications. Right now I don't even have antivirus or firewall software on that box. Grrrrrr. And I *hate* Internet Explorer, which is the only browser available. It won't let me even go to the Mozilla site (or CITES) to download the good stuff. Looks like a sneakernet sort of day today.....

Monday, February 19, 2007

Odds and Ends.....

First, the photo of yesterday's New Year's lunch of soba noodles with miso, tofu and veggies

It turned out to be pretty tasty though I think I added a bit too much toasted sesame oil. I'll take some to work tomorrow for lunch. If it's not raining tomorrow (and no new public health disasters have developed) I'll go for a walk at lunchtime.

Book Sale!!
I took advantage of the day off from work to visit a used book sale that was being held by the local adult reading center. Apparently the program is shutting down, but it sounds like they had regular book sales as a fundraiser. The hardback books are $2 while the paperbooks are $1.50. There was a surprisingly broad selection of books available and more of them than I expected. There are quite a few older books (not first editions, but 1920-40s printings) for $5 each. There was even a McGuffey reader.

Getting things done....

Well, I'm finally caught up with the housework, but I have just now realized that I haven't actually done any of the work I brought home. I actually forgot all about it until just now (8:30pm). I'll go in a bit early in the morning and drop it off on the sly. With any luck there haven't been any new public health emergencies over the weekend. In the meantime, I'm going to have some peanut butter toast.

Tonight's Sunset

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Happy New Year!

No, I am not confused about the calendar again. It's the Chinese New Year. I'm going to make soba noodle. Soba noodles are an Asian noodle made from buckwheat flour and are traditional new year's food. The long noodles correspond to a long life. I've spent a good bit of this morning looking up and modifying recipes. The following recipe is the one I've put together, though I may add a bit of spinach and diced carrot too for a bit of color and perhaps some tofu:

New Year's Soba Noodles

2 tablespoons wasabi powder
2 cups dashi (a seaweed-based broth)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoons miso
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup minced scallion
8 ounces soba or somen noodles, cooked

Whisk together the wasabi powder and 1-1/2 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes to let the flavor develop.

Heat dashi at low temperature until hot. Stir in soy sauce and miso until dissolved. Divide noodles among four bowls and top with ginger and scallions. Divide broth between bowls. Serve wasabi on the side for dipping.

Yarn Catalogue Complete!
I sat down to clean out my living room last night. Lately it's been full of yarn bins. I thought I had yarn left to catalog. I was mistaken. I just needed to put the bins back. I took this opportunity to arrange my fleece/spinning fiber bins and label them. Here is the final count:
1 white coopworth fleece
1 dark gray coopworth fleece
1 medium gray coopworth fleece (most of which I have teased apart and am ready to wash)
2 crossbred-white fleeces (Border Leicester crosses)
1 white shetland fleece
1 black shetland fleece
1 dark gray shetland fleece
1 light gray cotswold fleece
1 white cotswold fleece
plus 2 romney fleeces (together in the same bag and with some veggie matter)

I haven't catalogued the commercially prepared fiber. I might do that later today. Or I might just ignore it completely. I know I have seven pounds of merino roving, 20 pounds of cotton and probably 10 pounds of other prepared rovings, plus odds/ends of other fibers (silk, alpaca, mohair, ingeo, hemp)

On the docket for today:
Housecleaning. I've been avoiding it. The detritus is building up. There is a pile of books on the office floor, papers on most horizontal surfaces, random water bottles all over the house. I also need to finish up the laundry, including the folding and putting away, vacuum the carpet, mop the floors and clean out the fridge. Later this afternoon, I'm going to see Ghost Rider at the theater. I'd like to wash my car if it gets warm enough. We have a predicted high temperature of 40 degrees today and 50+ tomorrow. Of course, it's supposed to rain on Tuesday.

For less fun this weekend, I have a new hard drive to put into my desktop machine. I cut a backup of the existing drive last weekend in anticipation of installing the new drive. I will, of course, have to cut an incremental before burning the existing drive to the ground. So today or tomorrow, I should install the new drive. I also plan to backup the laptop, then reformat the drive. The laptop is being a bit flaky. It really shouldn't take 10 minutes for the machine to shut down.

On the computer front, I also need to decide if I'm going to buy a new video card for the desktop box or wait and upgrade the motherboard, then get a video card. Right now the MB is old enough that I can't use the fastest video cards or SATA drives. The box is probably 5 years old anyway, so a re-build isn't out of the question. I'll have to save my pennies. Perhaps this summer I can do a re-build with advice from Dan, Wayne and Mitch.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Peanut Butter and Salmonella

Yep, we had fun at work this week, though the local paper (mistakenly) stated that there have been no cases of salmonellosis due to peanut butter in the state. In fact, there are quite a few cases of salmonellosis reported by the state health department in association with this outbreak. Apparently the local newspaper folks just read the AP wire and don't do any of their own research when they add additional material to articles. If they had done a bit of research, they would have found quotes from the state epidemiologist, on that very subject. The local county health department's epidemiologist also stated that there aren't any cases in the state. I'll cut her some slack though. The newspaper could have botched that part. Which reminds me, I should probably call or e-mail her next week. A co-worker who has met her indicated that she was seeking a mentor.

I'm just happy that the issue doesn't involve Jif since that's the brand I use and I eat peanut butter almost daily. The peanut butter shelf at the store today was pretty much empty. No Skippy at all and just a few jars of Jif left.

Tuberculosis update
We now have a total of 7 confirmed or suspect cases. There is a decent chance that two of them could well be other diseases (lung cancer or pneumonia), though there's a chance that the lung cancer cases could also have tuberculosis. I brought some data entry stuff home with me this weekend so that I can get ahead of things before the 2nd round of test results come back. It sounds like someone lit a fire under the behinds of the medical staff of several prisons as we got calls last week asking what they were supposed to do with the paperwork they were sent 6 weeks ago and decided to ignore until now.

Chili Season!
It's actually cold today and there have been snow flurries off and on. I have a pot of chili cooking in the crock-pot. There won't be any accumulation of the snow. There isn't enough of it to accumulate.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I am better than Oreos

There's a story behind that statement..... I sent Mitch a box of cookies last week so he could make the eyes of his co-workers roll back in their heads with bliss. I sent a batch of oatmeal raisin and a batch of peanut butter cookies. Only I used the wrong peanut butter cookie recipe. They were good cookies, but not *really* good. The peanut butter flavor wasn't as strong as I like and they weren't as chewy as I like them to be. They were good, but not "makes me weak in the knees" good. Yes, I have high standards for my cookies too, just like everything else. What's funny is that one of Mitch's co-workers agrees with that assessment ("It was very good, but not as good as the last batch." I think was what she said.) On the other hand, several of the co-workers who don't know any different said these were really good. So Mitch pointed out that they were really substandard. This apparently caused much drooling.

Anyway, on to the Oreo story... Today there was a staff meeting. Jason had said something about Mitch bringing cookies to the meeting. Mitch brought his Oreo cookie tin. Jason came in late and was going to leave before getting a cookie. Mitch caught his eye and indicated the tin. Jason's face lights up. He opens the tin and looks in. He looks at Mitch with wide-eyes and says "Peanut butter?" in a hopeful voice. Mitch sadly shakes his head and says "No, the peanut butter cookies are gone." Crestfallen, Jason replies, "I guess I could take a couple of Oreos. Thanks for nothing." He was actually irritated and Mitch wondered if he was actually pissed off. It would seem that Oreos are a very poor substitute for my cookies, esp for peanut butter cookies (at least in Jason's eyes). Perhaps I'll make Jason his very own bag of a half dozen of
the *good* peanut butter cookies. Jason hasn't had the *good* peanut butter cookies. I hope someone tells him to bring milk to the meeting.

I really will have to get the Desserted Islands Bakery website up soon.

It's *SNOWING*!!!!!

This did not happen where I am. Where I am, it was 50 degrees today. Rainy, but still 50 degrees. This snow is back in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. C-U got somewhere in the neighborhood of 8-12 inches of snow with 30-40 mph winds. The snow is expected to continue overnight. For the first time in 60-something years (or something like that), the University of Illinois cancelled classes today. And already cancelled them for tomorrow too. It's a wonder the Alma Mater doesn't sit down due to shock. They haven't cancelled classes since 1979. I'm not sure the civil rights and Vietnam War protests/riots managed to get classes cancelled.

This means the students will be out building snowmen, having snowball fights and going shopping and drinking. Mind you, they should be staying indoors instead of going out and causing accidents for my buddies at Pro Ambulance and the Urbana and Champaign Fire Departments to clean up. I imagine the police departments are about ready to kill people too because many folks will think that getting the day off work due to bad weather means that it's plenty safe enough to go to the mall or wherever else they want to go, instead of staying home. At least fire and EMS crews get to clear faster *and* we don't have to respond to property damage only incidents. The police get the short end of that stick.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Gettin' Jiggy With It

I was watching "In the Actor's Studio" on Bravo this morning. I happened to catch the episode with Will Smith. Mr. Lipton pointed out that Will Smith is the first guest to have contributed a word to the Webster's Dictionary. Mr. Smith was rather surprised and asked what word it was. The word is "jiggy." Mr. Smith replied, "Really? That's cool. Cuz now I can look it up and see what it means." Heh.

Later one of the students asked Mr. Smith if he thought that Mr. Lipton would, actually, be capable of "getting jiggy with it." This cracked up the audience. Mr. Smith allowed as how Mr. Lipton probably could get jiggy with it, but that he'd be concerned about Mr. Lipton hurting himself so would want to have medical personnel standing by just in case.

Stupid Television
"Do you speak Canadian?"--overheard from a commerical for Real Housewives of Orange County.

Today's Productivity
I have converted a .pdf file into text and then imported it into Excel and re-formatted it so I can do additional data entry for work. I've given up on expecting to get the data in usable format from the central office. Of course, if I tell them what I did I'll get told that I shouldn't have to do that and I should have "staff". Which is fine, but I don't have "staff" and we're short a clerical person too.

Frankly, I think my going over the data carefully is critical to the success of the investigation. I am able to identify missing data and to identify problem persons who will need additional study. Someone else not involved in the investigation or not thinking critically about the information they are handling won't catch that. Apparently quality of the work isn't as important as the impression being given by having a PhD actually work directly with the raw data. I don't see that as being beneath me though I wouldn't want it to be my sole purpose. I look at this as being my investigation and believe that the more familiar I am with the data the more likely I will be to find any patterns and anomalies in that data. I have tried to point out that this is a team effort and everybody has something to contribute. I happen to have excellent data/computer skills so I do the data stuff (which I enjoy anyway and think is important, rather than "beneath me"). There are other things I cannot do which my co-workers do much better (like tracking down individual patients and getting missing data across the state).


Saturday, February 10, 2007


I'm backing up. Can you tell? :o)

Well, not me, exactly, but my computers. I picked up an external hard drive today so that I can do real backups at home on a regular basis. I figure an incremental twice a week and a full backup twice a month should do the trick.

Before you ask, no, I did not have a data loss incident. It's been something that I've meaning to do for a while. Previously I used CDs, which was fine for limited backups of certain data. Now that my music collection is on my HD, that doesn't work very well. It also seemed wasteful to me to use CDs and then throw them out after a month or two.

More Fun at Work
I was complimented at the monthly staff meeting. The director said he was proud of me and the work that I do. w00t!

Monday, February 05, 2007

The memory is the first thing to go....

I completely forgot my purse at work today. It's stuffed under my desk. It doesn't have anything of value in it besides my coin purse and my princess mirror (when you open it, there's a frame around the mirror that says "Hello Gorgeous!"). This is not the first time I have done that. It's no big deal when I have my ID in my pants pocket, but occasionally my ID is in the purse. That's a problem. I may just start leaving it in my car to keep me from forgetting it again. I'm really not keen on accidentally leaving my ID and/or checkbook unattended at work in an unsecurable cubicle.

Bioweps on PBS!
Tonight on The American Experience: The Living Weapon. It's about the US bioweapons program. We only quit developing bioweapons in 1969. We haven't yet quit bioweps research on a "defensive" basis. If you ask a weaponeer what changed with President Nixon's announcement that the offensive biowep program was over, the reply is something along the lines of "the name of the program and little else."

Where's Hactar?
One of my online buddies is missing. He posted to the board earlier today describing heartburn like symptoms and generally feeling unwell. The catch is that he's also a cardiac patient. We're all hoping that the reason he's not presently online is that he went to the hospital to be evaluated. Hopefully he'll be back soon and nothing bad happened. (Update: nothing bad did happen. Hactar is fine.)

Friday, February 02, 2007

White Death 2007 v2.0

Round two began this morning. We got about 2 inches of snow overnight. I can sum up the school closing announcement in three words: All schools closed. In the western end of the state. Including major metropolitan areas. I don't get it. The wind wasn't blowing or anything.

I left the house about 7:25am, instead of my usual 7:35-7:40am. By that time the snow on the driveway was already melting away. I didn't even bother with shoveling. Knowing that my opportunity was limited, I took the time to do a couple of donuts with my car in the cul-de-sac in front of the house. The guy half a block down the street looked at me funny when I drove by. I think he was outside scraping his car during the "donut exercise" and the sound of a sliding car probably got his attention. Oh well.... they've already seen me up on the roof three times and doing yardwork in the middle of the day in summer, so they know I'm crazy. I waved when I drove past and he waved back.

The roads were snowy, but not particularly slick. I did restrict my speed to a bit under the speed limit since the roads were completely unplowed and unsalted. I was making good time until a pickup truck got on to the road ahead of me. A full-sized, 4x4 pick-up truck. Which went TEN MPH in to town, even when the roads were clear. A deputy sheriff pulled up behind me and was probably quite annoyed by having to go so slowly, judging by his acceleration rate once we got to the 4-lane section of the road. I didn't see any cars off in the ditch, but I saw only two cars on the road out in the county besides mine and city traffic was very reduced.

By mid-morning, the sun was coming out and all the clouds cleared off. The roads were nearly dry by lunch time. There were more people at work today than there were yesterday though school was still out.

And, by the time I got home? This was the state of the snow. Well, at least it didn't stick around long enough to get gray and icky looking. The snow here apparently stays pretty clean since it doesn't last longer than a day.

Returning to my Calm, Cheerful Demeanor....
Late yesterday at work I was informed by the office director that a central office person was coming to visit us and talk to us about one of our investigations. We spent most of the afternoon scrambling to produce a written summary of our activities for the past month on this project and to compile the most recent figures for the "pre-briefing" with the regional director, to bring the director up to speed. The pre-meeting goes well, but we're all a bit puzzled by what would bring the central office person to our office just before quitting time (a 2.5 hour drive one-way) and in inclement weather. You may be able to guess where this went....

Yep, back to the amazing software which doesn't run. Once again we were asked to commit to using the software and told how wonderful and amazing this piece of software is. We went round and round in circles on this subject again. Our director even asked why we can't just share our data with the central office and the central office can do whatever they want with it in a parallel system using the new software. This apparently was unheard/ignored. At one point we were labelled as simply refusing to change our system. Right about that time I apparently hit my limit for the central office not listening to us say "No, thank you. Not right now, but yes we'll use it next time out in the future."

I asked permission to be blunt and received it. So I explained it bluntly. I neither swore, nor shouted, but I believe I got the point across firmly and unquestionably. I pointed out that we had agreed repeatedly to use this software in the future but that we would not be using at the moment because the software was not functional at the present time. Furthermore, I stated had serious reservations that this was a "simple" package to learn since the basic introductory training to the software was scheduled to be 20 hours long. Given that the purpose of this investigation is to control disease transmission and not to test out the new software, unless there is something dramatically wrong with the investigation we are doing (and we have had repeated indications from multiple sources that this is not the case) that we are not going to be changing our methodology in the middle of the investigation, particularly since the new software is non-functioning. Lastly, given that the issue of data entry only being done by a single person has been brought up repeatedly, I felt compelled to point out that I had now spent 2 1/2 days dicking around with the issue of using this software now and that had I been allowed to do the job I was hired to do, all that data entry would have been done by now. With the regard to that data entry the only data which remained to be entered are the negative skin test results from the largest facility. I stated that I knew what the test results were (negative) and that the only information which wasn't "known" for each individual at this time was the date the test was planted and read. The rest of the information was already known and that the positive test results or other abnormal/suspicious results had already been entered, reviewed and discussed. Finally, I stated that I had fears that continued debate on this subject with subsequent loss of productivity would in fact soon begin to compromise the quality of the investigation we were conducting. After all that, it seemed as though our point of view was finally heard and the meeting ended.

I was congratulated by everybody else at the meeting for at professionally, yet firmly expressing the sentiment of the entire room. Our director is still confused why non-functioning software is being repeatedly pushed on us as being the way to go. It was clear to all of us that there is an agenda here which is not being shared with us. I strongly suspect that someone committed us to using the software before making sure that it worked and now they're in a sticky spot since we aren't using it/cannot use it.

The Local Impact?
I have been congratulated and told that I am upholding the reputation of the our office. Apparently there are a number of independent, determined and confident individuals there who don't much care to have things foisted on them which neither work nor make sense. I was still kinda wound up by the end of the afternoon. I'm still trying to get calmed down again now.

Oh, and I have been advised that I may be asked to help explain a few things to other rather obtuse individuals since I can do such an effective job of explaining things in no uncertain terms. :o)

Weekend Plans
I need to exchange my BlueTooth headset. The one I got bundled with the new SmartPhone apparently makes it sound like I'm talking from the inside of a very large shipping container. As in ocean-going ship-sized shipping container. So I'll take the expensive bundled headset back and get the cheap one instead (for use as a spare), then order the headset I really want via the Internet. I may pick up a new cookbook from the bookstore too and hit the veggie store, just for the heck of it. I think my library books are due soon. And I *have* to mail Mitch's cookies. I've been driving them around town for the past two days, but haven't yet been able to get to the post office at lunch time or before they close at 5pm.

There's that football game to watch on Sunday. You know, the one with the really cool commercials. I brought home most of the data entry stuff to work on during the game. (Last night, in an hour and a half of uninterrupted computer work, I got more done than I had done in the previous 4 days, thanks to the stupid software fiasco. And I did it all while watching CSI.) Other than that, I am hoping it will be a relaxing sort of weekend because I really need to unwind after this past week.