Friday, December 29, 2006

The Piled High City

The Denver Post had a funny headline today: Instead of "The Mile High City" as we're usually known, their headline said "The Piled High City". Here are a few pictures from my adventure downtown and back today:

This is the State capitol building -- I took this picture from the 10th floor deck at our new building near Colfax & Broadway. The picture I took of this just last week with my old camera (my Sony died, finally, RIP), is horribly out of focus compared to this one!

On the way home, Brian drove me around downtown a bit so I could take some extra pictures. This sculpture is The Bear who's 40 feet tall and "peeking" into the Denver Convention Center.
I've always loved these guys -- I can't remember the name of this sculpture outside of the Denver Center for Performing Arts -- but I always call them "The High-Fiving White Guys". It's a name of a skit done on an old local Seattle comedy show where these guys would high-five over any little thing, and it was just hilarious. The first time I saw this sculpture I just said "Hey! It's the High Fiving White Guys!" and Brian laughed at me. I don't think they're actually high-fiving, but dancing, but it looks like it to me!

This final shot is one I took on our street. I zoomed in on our neighbor at the end of the block, and I think it does a good job of illustrating how much crazy snow we have today!

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Snowstorm, The Sequel

This is a shot I just took out my front door of the street. It's with my NEW 7.1 MP camera, with the night shot setting. Not bad for no light and no tripod, eh?

We're getting slammed with more snow, and the forecast is expecting it to dump another 2 or 2 1/2 feet on us.

Simply Amazing.

It's funny that no one can remember when we got slammed with back-to-back blizzards.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Just When I Thought It Was Safe To Talk About Something OTHER Than Weather...

Hazardous Weather Outlook
Winter Storm Watch

Tonight...Mostly cloudy. Lows in the 20s to lower 30s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph.

Wednesday...Mostly cloudy in the morning then becoming partly sunny. Highs in the upper 40s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph.

Wednesday Night...Mostly cloudy. Lows around 20.

Thursday...Snow showers likely in the morning...Then widespread snow with areas of blowing snow in the afternoon. Colder. Highs around 30. Winds becoming north 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph.

Thursday Night...Widespread snow. Windy with areas of blowing snow. Possible heavy snow accumulations. Lows around 14. North winds 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 40 mph.

Friday...Widespread snow. Windy with areas of blowing snow. Possible heavy snow accumulations. Snow Decreasing Friday night. Highs in the mid 20s. Lows around 11.

Friday Night...Widespread snow. Windy with areas of blowing snow. Possible heavy snow accumulations. Snow Decreasing Friday night. Highs in the mid 20s. Lows around 11.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Look who's here!


What A Way To Start Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

I got my morning heart attack when I woke up, and Brian fed the cats, and Hopper (pictured, who as you can tell "never misses a meal, or Jack's either") was right there ready to eat it.

Jack, our other kitten however, was nowhere in sight.

I called him, I jingled his food dish, which usually makes him come running. No response. Brian looked for him in the basement, and I started checking the front porch and other favorite spots. No Jack.

I went outside and saw kitty paw prints on the sidewalk, and panicked. Brian had already been up so he was fully dressed, and started following them.


After a half-hour search, Brian up and down the streets and me in the house and outside a bit (I stayed close in case he came back), I walked into the house and I called him one more time.

The little guy showed up. Judging by how warm he was, he hadn't left the house.

Big sigh. "Jack," I said. "Don't ever do that to me again. That's NOT FUNNY."

"Meow," he said. Which I took to either mean "Sorry," or "Whatever." It's so hard to tell.

I went out and found Brian, and said Jack was safe.

What a scare!

So it's 8:30 now, and I've checked Joel's flight and it left New York on time and will be in Houston in about an hour. I watch the little flight simulation on, and see he's over the Alabama and Mississippi line right now.

His flight to Denver appears to be on time.


So far so good.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Putting The Fun In Dysfunctional

Tonight I talked on the phone with my brother Joel from New York (2nd from left in this photo) I was ever so politely informed that I have to blog nice things about him because he's busting his butt to get to Denver for Christmas after the blizzard shut down the airport and cancelled his flight.

After a long exchange involving me taunting him that I will NOT be told what to blog, and him demanding again in his ever-so-polite way that involved all capital letters that went like this: "YOU BETTER BLOG THAT I'M COMING DESPITE THE BLIZZARD TO SPEND 24 HOURS WITH YOU AFTER SPENDING THREE DAYS ON THE PHONE WITH THE AIRLINE,"

Joel and I started cracking up about how we were both insulting each other.

"Aren't we great?" Joel said. "We're SO DYSFUNCTIONAL."

Yeah, and we're proud of it. How sick is that?

This picture is of my family. My brothers and sister -- Jill on the left, Joel, and Jeremy up top, and Jeff on the right. I'm center front with the bad reflection from my glasses.

The 5 J's.

In order, we're Jeff, Jill, Julie, Joel & Jeremy. Mom used to yell at us in order and stop at the kid she was actually yelling at.

We couldn't be more different in some respects...but in others we're so alike it's scary.

One is that we move heaven and earth to be together when it counts. Jill was here for us when Jacob was born. This picture was taken at Jeff's house after he threw "Joel-a-palooza" -- a party at Jeff's farm for Joel and his Seattle/Portland friends who were brave enough to come to Outback Oregon and spend a few days in a tent partying with all of us. Jeremy drove from near the Canadian border to join us, and I flew from Denver.

I love my brothers and sister so much -- We're a motley crew of family that ranges from Jeff, known as the smartass in the family (seriously, he has it going for him more than me), Jill, The Boss -- Me in the middle, the Rebel -- Joel, the Artist, and Jeremy, the one without an internet connection at home so he can't read what I write about him anyway. But for some reason, we're not sure why, he has a mouth on him too and stands his ground.

Today, with a lot of snow on the ground, and us Coloradans just digging out, I realized how much little things like weather can suddenly screw up our plans. My Mom decided to reschedule her trip and spend Christmas with Jill, Jeff & Jeremy in Washington instead of spending the weekend in line at PDX trying to get to Denver for a flight she probably wouldn't get on anyway.

I like to think of her as the smart one.

But Joel -- Joel is coming anyway, and it looks like with the airport fully functional he might actually make it. His stay is so short, he may not even need to bring a change of underwear, but he's moving Heaven & Earth to be here for me.

As we laughed about our exchange of insults tonight, including me calling him crazy for doing all this, I said "You know I would do this for you too," and he said "That's what I was telling my friends tonight when they thought I was nuts."

I sure would buddy.

I love you Joely-Oh. You are the best. Just don't tell Jeff, Jill or Jer.

They might get jealous and call to taunt me about it. And Lord knows, they don't need anymore ammunition.


Friday, December 22, 2006

I Didn't Realize I was Such a Geek/Nerd/Dork Until...

Outcast Genius
82 % Nerd, 52% Geek, 56% Dork
For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.
You scored better than half in all three, earning you the title of: Outcast Genius.

Outcast geniuses usually are bright enough to understand what society wants of them, and they just don't care! They are highly intelligent and passionate about the things they know are *truly* important in the world. Typically, this does not include sports, cars or make-up, but it can on occassion (and if it does then they know more than all of their friends combined in that subject).

Outcast geniuses can be very lonely, due to their being outcast from most normal groups and too smart for the room among many other types of dorks and geeks, but they can also be the types to eventually rule the world, ala Bill Gates, the prototypical Outcast Genius.


Also, you might want to check out some of my other tests if you're interested in any of the following:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Professional Wrestling

Love & Sexuality


Thanks Again! -- THE NERD? GEEK? OR DORK? TEST

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 90% on nerdiness

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 78% on geekosity

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 93% on dork points
Link: The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test written by donathos on OkCupid, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Heidi-Ho, Neighbor!

Note to self: Don't move to Canada.

Brian and I woke up this morning around 7:30, and found -- you guessed it -- EVEN MORE SNOW on the ground.

We didn't realize how MUCH there was until we actually went out to dig ourselves out. On the north side of the house, the snow drifted a good 30+ inches -- basically waist-deep. The south side had a scant 24 inches at its lowest point.

This is a very bad day to own a house on the corner, as it means twice as much shoveling.

I'm not certain what the law is around here, but the general consensus in the neighborhood is that you have 24 hours to clear the snow off of YOUR sidewalk before, I don't know, The Snow Police ticket you for failing to do so.

I've never seen The Snow Police, so I'm skeptical that they exist.

But like ants after someone floods their farm, we all saw blue skies around 2 p.m. today, and we all headed out with shovels in hand, and started digging out. The cool thing was that we saw Anna, Mike & Dan, and we all had our good shared misery over the snow.

It was Bonding Day with the neighbors. As I trudged up the walk with my shovel, decked out in ski pants, gators and boots, Dan hollered hello, and in true Lutheran/Simpsons fashion, I said "Heidi-Ho, Neighbor" as we shared a laugh.

Another neighbor across the street was joking with us that he had MORE snow on the west side. Mike laughed at him and said "Everyone knows there's more snow over here on the east side. Look at how many more of us it's taking to dig out."

A man on a snowmobile went down the street a couple of times.

Now that's a storm.

Our dog Lucy bounded through all that snow to play with Mike's kids, who delighted in being run over by our black Lab who normally isn't free to play. We all commented on how it was a relief that the snow wasn't wet compared to the spring storm in '04, so it was an easier job. Nonetheless, I'm exhausted from shoveling tonight.

DIA is still closed.

Mom & Joel were supposed to fly in tonight, but both their flights were cancelled, of course. It's looking sketchy as to when/if they arrive, but I'm trying to remain hopeful. I don't look forward to a Christmas without them after anticipating their visits for so long, but I'd rather have them safe in their home cities than trying to land on ice.

Brian dug out the car tonight and did a bang-up job of clearing himself a "runway" of his own to get into the street.

Wow, storms like this are hard to get through, but they're harder when you're waiting for family to arrive for Christmas. It's a special day that deserves to be spent with family, and it's hard to imagine them not being here.

Let's just pray the guys at DIA are doing their jobs, and my family can arrive sometime this weekend.

If you're the praying kind, please pray hard for that please.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Blizzard of '06 is HERE.

Oh my, is it AMAZING.

This picture I took about 20 minutes ago -- Brian headed out to work tonight -- he has a night shift at UPS, and there's probably 18 inches of snow on the ground.

He went to leave tonight, and was literally stopped by the snow blocking the front porch's screen door. If you look at where the door is, there should be stairs and a 2-foot drop with a couple of steps that aren't there anymore. As you can see, it's even!

Today has been SUCH an adventure!

I went to work this morning just as the snow started, and I stayed until about 4, when most of the office had cleared out.

My boss told me to go, and off I went, thankful that I'd brought my gators with me so I could wade through the snow.

I also brought my camera, which has serious trouble focusing in snow, but I got this nice picture of the newspaper boxes on my trek towards REI where I told my husband I would be by 4:30.

I walked from my office near the capitol all the way down 15th street, and by 4 p.m. it was vacant except for a sorry few waiting for buses. I passed TWO of my 52 buses stranded on 15th Street, so I was VERY glad my husband was meeting me.

It was a long trek through foot-high snow, so I got my exercise in for the day. I smiled and talked with a few people along the way as we all shared the adventure that comes with a nice blizzard in Colorado.

I walked down 15th towards REI at 15th & Little Raven St., and when I arrived I didn't find Brian. I told him to meet me at the Starbucks there if it was still open, but it was all closed, along with the REI store.

Since it was 21 degrees and blizzard conditions, I couldn't just stand there and wait or face freezing in the snow, so I kept walking, and up to "My Brother's Bar" I headed. As I arrived, My Brother's Bar has a public address system that even beams out onto the street -- which is sort of odd -- but the voice said "Due to the fact that the governor has declared a State of Emergency, this bar will have last call in 15 minutes, and we will close in one hour. We suggest that you choose an alternate form of transportation other than driving yourself, or make arrangements to stay close by."

I walked into the foyer of My Brother's Bar, which faces the direction Brian should come in, and stood there, encased in the ice and snow from my journey, and waited. About 10 minutes later, I saw my trusty Subaru with Brian driving turn the corner, and I hollered for him and he quickly turned around.

I waded through what felt like 2 feet of drifting snow to get to the car, and then AHHHHHHHH, I was in a warm car.

Upon arrival at home, I discovered my screened-in porch had 2 inches of snow...One of the screens had been blown in by the storm, and deposited a bunch of snow in my otherwise "indoor/outdoor living room".

I worked ahead enough so I shouldn't have to try and go to work tomorrow. The only real bummer is that my brother and Mom were supposed to fly in tomorrow for Christmas, and DIA is completely shut down for at least the next 24 hours. I hope and pray that this storm clears up so they can make it, even if it's a day late.

Tomorrow, comes the fun part. Feeling like an ant after someone flooded their farm, I'm going to have to help Brian dig out and clear the sidewalk.

Tomorrow is the day I'm going to wish I had bought him a snowblower for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Perfect Storm

Ah, the Perfect Storm is brewing.

And it's All Joel's Fault.

My brother Joel, city boy, New Yorker, and magnet for drama (he IS an actor, but we're not just talking about that kind of drama) called me in October or so to let me know he'd bought tickets to come to Denver to visit us for Christmas as we had planned.

Joel mentioned, ever so casually, that he was concerned about flying into Denver and how the weather would be in December.

I, of course, having lived here for 5 years and have yet to see a White Christmas, said what all Denverites would say to family coming for the holidays.

"Oh, it's no biggie. It'll be 50 and sunny more than likely," I said, not knowing that in a few months, a liar would be made out of me.

To which Joel responded "Yeah, but I'm coming."

We all know Joel to attract bad weather, bad karma, bad salespeople & bad food poisoning as if her were a literal magnet for trouble.

Somehow, he's able to avoid absolute calamity, but by the end of it, everyone's fine, and there's a damn good story to tell. Joel's counterbalance of good luck with getting out of the worst jams he gets himself into is why we haven't excommunicated him from the family.

So what happened tonight? This is what I saw on the National Weather Service's website for Denver:

Hazardous Weather OutlookWinter Storm Warning

If you click on the title of this post, you'll see the full report, but the short version is that we're expecting up to 18 inches of snow.

Now, I'm hoping that because it's ending at 5 p.m., and Joel flies in at 7:45 p.m., that all will be well by the time he arrives. DIA will have exactly 1 hour and 45 minutes to clear the runway in time for Joel to arrive as hero of the day, having braved the Blizzard of '06.

I guess if I'd wanted a White Christmas sooner, I should have just invited brother Joel out for Christmas earlier.

Yeah, Joel and The Perfect Storm.

It's like peanut butter & chocolate, Santa & the elves, wine and cheese.

It all just goes together.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Chop Chop!

This is what I looked like this morning before my haircut, and the next picture is the "after".

Oh MAN was it time. I've been toying with going short for a while. It's hard to do something so drastic, but I always swore I'd never have medium length hair again. It's way too much work!
So, with medium out, and being in dire need of change, I cut it short short! I hope you all like the new 'do, because I sure do!

Friday, December 15, 2006

"Welcome to Colorado"

It was 68 in Denver today. By tomorrow night it's supposed to snow. For three days.

Before the last snowstorm last month, we were set up the same way. Balmy, 60+ degree weather one day, snowstorm the next.

I was in the elevator the other day with a couple of guys from work I know to be native Coloradans, and since talking about the weather is a favorite Elevator Discussion, I marveled out loud about how the weather goes from 60 to 40 to Snow in a matter of hours.

"Welcome to Colorado," Dave said.

I said "You know, you Coloradans say that and I used to think you were being sincere. It took me a while, but I figured out you were being sarcastic."

Laughs in the elevator. A few semi-guilty smiles and nods.

AHA. I discover they think they're being funny in that Midwest sorta way. Subtley making a joke at your expense. But all in good fun.

Yes, if you so much as hint, marvel, complain or kvetch about the weather here, you often hear back "Welcome to Colorado", which comes with a knowing smile and a shake of the head that says "Welcome to Colorado newbie."

A couple of summers ago, we dropped 30 degrees in 30 minutes on June 2nd, and it started snowing.

I've heard thunder and seen snow fall at the same time -- I call it thundersnow.

I've seen it snow when the sun is shining brightly in my face and I can't tell where the heck the snow is coming from because no clouds are visible. It makes it look like rainbow-prism crystals are falling out of the sky. It's positively magical.

I've seen the Rockies disappear and a few minutes later, whatever weather is rumbling over the Great Divide hits Denver with a force.

I've seen clouds turn sickening green and pink, right before a funnel cloud appeared. There's a primal urge to stare at it and go inside and hide in the bathroom at the same time. Fortunately when this happened, I was out on the plains in East Aurora, so this kind of thing doesn't happen at my house not far from the foothills.

But for some reason we have a tornado siren tower not far from my house. I'm told it's "just in case", but who puts a tower up if it hasn't happened before?
I ask my neighbors and they shrug and look at me with the look that says again, "Welcome to Colorado newbie."

I've had thunder clap so hard while I sat out on my screened porch that it killed my phone and made my ears ring for a few hours. Kinda like my college experience going to an AC/DC concert on a whim.

I just hope it really does come tomorrow. I'm dying for another chance to walk my dog in the snow while all those wussy Coloradans who apparently don't know what Gore-Tex is for stay inside.

But at least they say I'm welcome here!

Sort of.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Another Lesson From Bus #52

I take the bus to work every morning.

Like most people I tune out as much as I can. I've downloaded a Tetris game to my iPod, and nothing quite burns you through a commute like playing a long list of songs and a video game at the same time.

I have a funny new bus driver. She announces almost every intersection like she's surprised she made it that far. "On to Pecos?" she says in a childlike voice as if she's not announcing it but looking for an answer to her own internal question. She's announced cross streets like Cherokee, which made me look up to wonder where the heck I was. It's become a small side joke with some of us riders who smile knowingly at each other because at a stop we've talked about the driver who announces every cross street, big and small. She's very kind though, so I just crank up the iPod if I really don't want to listen to the full running commentary on my journey downtown.

But this morning, we had a new driver. I don't know his name, and I barely listened to him. Come to think of it, he did mention a lot of intersections like our normal new bus driver. I shudder to think if she's out training people. Ha.

Anyway, a younger man got on the bus and sat in front. I noticed him because he appeared to have a mental disability -- perhaps a case of Down Syndrome. I turned my iPod down and listened because he was very animated and excited to talk with the bus driver, and let's face it, we're all spectators to a fun conversation on public transportation.

Well, the Young Man said he was VERY disappointed in Cutler's performance in the game on Sunday where we took a beating from San Diego (Cutler is the new Broncos rookie Quarterback).

The bus driver said "well, we have to blame the whole team, the defense was terrible." To which the kid agreed. "Yeah, the defense was terrible. They scored 40-points against us!"

Then the bus driver said "We have to give the kid a chance (referring to rookie Cutler). He's a lot like John Elway when he was a rookie."

I smiled at what he said, and the bus driver caught me in the mirror nodding at what he said and smiled back.

Well, the bus driver might as well have invoked the name of God Himself. The young man on the bus said "Yeah. Let's give the kid a chance."

I don't know what it is -- perhaps the kindness of the driver, and the young man's love of football and his eagerness to talk to somebody about it, it all just warmed my heart.

I think often of what a cruel world this can be for people with disabilities. All you have to do is see someone in a wheelchair, or walking with a severe limp to make you realize how good you have it in the world when you don't have those problems.

But to see the kindness of the bus driver, who probably sees the gamut of humanity in a day, talk to the kid and share his love of football along with his opinions, just made me happy.

We have a choice not to ignore people different from us. We have a choice to be kind instead of mean.

I try to choose kindness whenever I can. It's something I work on all the time, but I'm hardly perfect. But I do it because in some way, we all have our pains, our trials, and our problems. And even though some people may not realize it, that little kindness can go a long way.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

How Jack Came To Our House

This is Jack. He's almost 2 years old, but you'd think he was a kitten. He's very cute, pretty small (especially compared to the Kitten Hopper, who weighs in around 22 lbs.), and this is where he likes to sleep -- next to one of the heat registers in the house. All my pets picked us before we picked them. Jack, for example, is a talker, and he talked me right into taking him home.

I went to the shelter and was looking for a girl kitty to be friends for The Kitten Hopper, and picked up a beautiful brown tiger striped kitty who was so cute, petite and quiet, I thought she was almost too quiet.

Well, Jack walked up to me in the visiting area, and talked his head off. "Meow, meow, meeeee ow!" He said. I said "What, you want me to put her down and pick you up?" And he said "Meow."

I put down cute girl kitty and picked up Jack, and he quit talking and started purring his little heart out. Loudly.

"All right, buddy, you win. I'll take you."

Then he did what all my other pets have done when I've said that. He reached up with a paw and touched my face. That sealed the deal

Well, I didn't know that Jack's talking wasn't just a desperation thing. It's part of his personality. When he isn't sleeping, eating, or doing his business in the cat box, he follows me around, talking.

I often talk back and his tone changes. "Is that right Jack?" MEOW, he says. "Well, I'm here to tell you what you heard is true."

He just talks right back, like we're having a whole conversation and I can understand him and he can understand me.

He is a smart kitty. He has figured out that doors are opened by doorknobs, and he stretches long and tall and tries to reach the knobs, then gets his paws around them and tries to open them. Especially if you're sleeping and he wants to be with you.

He likes watching TV and the fish tank, and he loves his warm spot in the house.

I think the neatest thing was the story about how he was returned to the shelter by a husband whose wife didn't ask if she could bring a kitten home. The man brought Jack back holding him "like he was a turd" the shelter lady said. After another week in the shelter, I said I'd be taking him home, and she was thrilled that he finally had a forever home.

It's taken Jack a while to be friends with Brian, I think maybe because his previous Man Of The House didn't like him. But now they're buddies, and Jack goes to Brian as often as he does me.

Brian said "You pick good ones," when I made some wisecrack about our pets being so funny and strange in their own way.

But really, they chose us.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Me Me Me Me Me.

Oh man. It's been one of those weeks -- I know it's got to be the holidays that's bringing it out in people, but I really see it with a higher focus this year.

Maybe this makes me one of them for complaining about those who complain, but I'm just hearing way too much Me Me Me Me Me out out of WAY too many people.

Maybe it's that we're all getting older. Maybe as a result we're more tired. Maybe it's the holidays and the stress of what we have or haven't done this year, and what the heck we can afford to put under the tree. I can't speak for those out there who are doing all the complaining, but it's getting so loud I just want to scream "STOP IT ALREADY!"

In the midst of all this, I'm trying hard to stay positive about what I'm happy about. I'm SO looking forward to my Mom & brother Joel coming here for Christmas. I think that's what's pretty much saving my holiday for me this year, is having family come spend it with us, and knowing two of my best friends in the world will be with us.

We put the tree up today, and I've spent most of the day making a skirt for it because I've never had a decent one. Little did I know what a project THAT would turn into. I swear I could have made a quilt in the time it's taken me! But when it's done it's going to be neat. Hand made, with my new machine, and something I'll keep for years.

Thankfully, I've gotten a few thoughtful e-mails from friends asking how I'm doing, knowing that Christmas can often bring out sadness in people, especially those like my husband and me who've lost something so precious as a child this year.

But really, I'm ok. Yes, there are sad times, but it does get easier. I just wish that people who are complaining about every dilemma would pause for a moment, breathe in and out, and count their blessings.

I know that they have more than they're seeing, and hopefully they'll see it too.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Brian cracked me up tonight. I heard him in the bedroom, talking to the cats, because he went looking for them and found them on our bed.

The blanket they're on is normally a favorite in the living room -- it's one my friend Jenny gave me that's flannel on one side, and has down in it. The kitties LOVE it.

So this morning, Brian brought it in and put it on me because I was cold, and lo & behold, this is where we found them tonight.

What was funny was how Brian was talking to the cats -- "Hey, what are you doing in here?" Then he answers as if he's the cats. "We're on the blanket with the good side up," I hear him say.

Last night I rolled over with one of the cats on top of the blankets, and apparently sent Jack FLYING through the air. He was so out of it, he didn't realize he was airborne until he was on the way down, and landing on Brian, who was woken to a stunned kitty coming down with claws out. I remember something about somebody flying through the air, but I was back asleep before he even landed.

So as Brian's chatting it up with the kitties tonight he explained to me as I walked in laughing at him that apparently the cats were trying to get "pre-sleep" in case they were woken up or launched in the middle of the night while trying to sleep with us!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Airline Mechanical Problems... and Solutions

I have no idea if this is a true thing, but it sure had me smiling.

"This is reassurance for all those of us who fly routinely in our jobs. After every flight, Qantas pilots fill out a form, called a "gripe sheet," which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The mechanics correct the problems, document their repairs on the form, then the pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight. Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humour.

Here are some of the actual maintenance complaints submitted by the Qantas' pilots (as marked with a P) and the solutions recorded (as marked with an S) by the maintenance engineers. By the way, it is relevant to note that Qantas is the only major airline in the world that has never, ever, had an accident.

Problem: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
Solution: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in the cockpit.
S: Something tightened in the cockpit.

P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on backorder.

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200-feet per-minute descent.
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Evidence of a leak on the right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume reset to a more believable level.

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That's what friction locks are for.

P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you're right.

P: The number 3 engine is missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after a brief search.

P: Aircraft handles funny. (I love this one!)
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right and be

P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.

and the best one saved for last…

P: Noise coming from under the instrument panel.
Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a

S: Took hammer away from the midget.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

My Special "Thumbuddy"

Since my husband works odd hours and fewer hours in general than me lately, he's taken up quite a bit of the house work.

Come to think of it, he took up pretty much all of it this past month, as he works early morning hours and is a bit more of a clean freak than me.

So, it's been months since I cleaned the cat box. I help with dishes, but he's often done the laundry and vacuumed and mopped things before I get home from work on Friday to clear our weekend for nothing but fun, and I've often thanked him for his work because it means I can sew -- and I've done a lot of that lately.

Well, this morning, I got out of the shower and heard the vacuum running (he waited til I was up at least, but I must admit there's a tiny voice inside me that says vacuums should NOT run before I've had my first cup of coffee. There's another voice inside me that tells me to shut up that first voice because I should NOT complain that my husband is vacuuming).

OK, I've digressed.

This morning, I got up and once out of the shower, Brian decided to wash the dishes, and in the midst of my getting up for the day, I heard a swear word come out of the kitchen.

Then a "UH OH."


I got out to him with a towel, knowing full well there had to be a cut. And boy it was a beauty. Brian practically cut his thumb off judging by the blood in the sink with the dishes.

I transferred my cup of coffee into a travel mug. With another 2 inches of snow on the ground, I went out and cleaned the car off, and drove my husband to the Emergency Room. Four hours later, we had 8 stitches, lots of guts and blood (I'm not a big fan of anything regarding other people bleeding, although strangely, I'm fine with my own).

When we got home, Mr. Clean is no longer. He has to keep the thumb up, and I find myself asking things like "do I need to clean the cat box today?"

I took out the garbage for the first time in forever. Not without a sense of humor, Brian teases me about whether I know where the dumpsters are in the alley since it's been a while (like a year) since I took the garbage out.

So, in classic Peterson retaliation -- I mean Peterson sense of humor -- I start calling him names. "How's it going, there, Thumbelina?" I ask.

OK, the meaning of all this is?

Brian and I have always switched back and forth on who does what in the house (except the garbage and lawn mowing because for no reason other than it's icky -- that's man's work).

But when I got laid off from my job, Brian came home to a clean house and dinner on the table. Recently, he's had more free time so he does more of the work. We're not married to chores but to each other, and when a quick change in the landscape happens, I pick up the slack.

And after I made some cookies and asked him what else he needed, Brian said how he appreciates that I'm taking care of him so well.

To which I respond, "That's ok, honey. You're my special thumbuddy."


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