Sunday, March 30, 2008

Some Things Just Take Time....

Riding up the hill on the silent electric train I am hit with the thought that this is going to be a good day. We step out onto the platform and the Getty looms before us in all it's majesty. I love this place and was thrilled to be sharing it with my Little Sister. I was not disappointed in her reaction, actually, quite the opposite. Exclamations of glee, awe and "cool!" were just the beginning of the day. We literally bounced around the Getty exploring the fossils in the building facade stone, listening to flute music and marvelling at the outdoor sculptures.

As I walk down the ramp towards the Getty garden my senses are awakened. I breathe in the pungent smell of damp turned earth and the delicate aroma of flowers. My eyes sparkle as they bounce around taking in all the color and architectural lines built into the garden. My ears perk up as they hear the running of the waterfall, the bubbling of the brook and the chirp of the baby birds. My Little Sister and I look for birds nests and she asks what each plant is. I was surprised at how much I remember. We reluctantly left the garden and moved to the paintings. I showed her Van Gogh and Monet, my favorite painting and my mom's favorite painting. She picked hers. We talk about art and how subjective it is but both agree that the California Video exhibit is not really art. Dena would be appalled that I called something "not art". There was one video of a guy hurting himself in an all white room and the "art" was the markings on the walls where he hit his helmeted head and where the blood spattered. This is just stupidity, not art.

Since I picked my little sister up this morning we've enjoyed an easy flowing conversation as if between two sisters, one older and one younger. This is what I envisioned when I joined the program. My day got even better as we sat eating our lunch and I asked the usual adult question, "how is school going?" I was surprised to hear that her algebra grade jumped from a B to an A+ and she talked about how the "Algebra for Dummies" book that I gave her was quite a big help and how she leaves it with the teacher in the classroom and that she consults it when she is confused about a concept. She hadn't mentioned the book since I gave it to her at Christmas and nor had I. It was nice to see it was helpful.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wilkins Ice Shelf

First I wanted to apologize for being absent from my blog for so long. I've been sick with some sort of low grade cold or something. It has been making me lethargic and all around miserable. But, today is the first day I've felt a little better, but now I have my period. Lovely.....

Second, I wanted to comment on the news articles yesterday regarding the Antarctica Wilkins Ice Shelf collapse. I'm not sure if you have all heard about it but a large chunk of an ice shelf collapsed falling into the ocean. It's about the size of Conneticut. Scientists had predicted that with the increase in temperature in the region and the planet in general this ice shelf would begin to disintegrate in about 15 years. They were wrong. It's starting now. Sort of depressing.

So let me educate you. In 2002 we all heard about the breakup of the Larsen Ice Shelf. This was dramatic and helped catapult global warming into the forefront of discussions. A live animation that NASA put together is here. The total break up was about 2100 square miles of ice. That is HUGE. As you can see by the picture I've embedded the Wilkins Ice shelf is further south than the Larsens Shelf. It is actually 4 degrees latitude south of the Antarctica Circle. Not good news. Here is a video shot by researchers flying over the breakup. Please excuse the sappy music and commercial at the beginning of the video. What are you going to do, eh? Somebody has to pay for this stuff..... The total breakup of this is still unknown as it will continue for weeks and possibly years to come. Perhaps there is a small bit of good news in that winter is coming shortly to this region and will hopefully stop the collapse for now.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Graphic, Do Not Read if you're Squeamish!

OK, so now you really want to read it right? Well, don't. It contains graphic virtual images of bodily functions......that's called writing and imagination for you Internet video media whores. Yes, your mind's eye.

So I have had a very, very shitty day. It started out innocuously enough with a trip to the Holiday Inn Express gym (quite a nice gym actually), a conference call and back to the customer's site in San Jose. Somewhere along the line it got bad, then worse. My server was working perfectly yesterday but as the day progressed it moved from one or two minor problems to 4 or 5 major issues and one server refusing to come up. Nice, eh. Lunch was going to be a good break. We ate in the Santa Clara County cafeteria and today was Thai day. The food looked pretty good, sweet and sour chicken. It was fairly tasty. By the end of the day my tech and I were both running to the bathroom every other minute.

Ok, here comes the graphic part. You ever have to go to the bathroom so bad that you have to walk funny into the room? You are squeezing your cheeks tightly so nothing leaks out. And you duck walk into the bathroom with the hope that no one is there. Wrong. There is someone in there and as if it couldn't get worse, it just did. She is brushing her teeth. So I go into the furthest stall in the grand hopes of masking the volcano that is coming. And I'm sitting there, holding on, hoping she will leave. She doesn't. I hear the horrible sound of dental floss being pulled from the package. OMG. What am I going to do? Ah, of course, the old flush and go trick. Just as I'm ready to do it the door to the stall rattles and I see feet. What? Are you kidding? There are 10 empty stalls in this bathroom and you pick mine? At this point there is no controlling the whole fiasco. I continuously pull toilet paper on the squeakiest roller in the building and just try to get the hell out of there. As I exit the stall to wash up there is the flosser. Still flossing. I silently tell her to go floss somewhere else and escape as quickly as possible.

Tonight, I thought, wow, what a crap ass day both figuratively and literally, I think I'll go out and have a glass of wine and a nice meal. I went to this Italian joint that the hotel recommended, Vito's. I had to wait longer than other patrons who came in after me and to top it all off the Chicken Piccata sucked. Piccatta sauce has lemon, capers and white wine, not CREAM. Idiots. And, the chicken was tough and not all that thin. Picatta chicken needs to be thin!!

So that was my day....I hope you enjoyed it as much as I didn't. If I made you laugh, I'm happy. Misery loves company and we might as well be laughing.

PMS and the Real You

Every month it's the same thing.....sometimes it lasts a day or two, sometimes 10 days but mostly about a week. The pre-menstrual syndrome is what I'm talking about. For decades doctors and men in general (and even women to some degree) have thought that women were crazy and that these feelings were all in their heads. What feelings am I talking about? PMS affects psychological, gastrointestinal, skin problems (most commonly acne), fluid retention, back pain, host flashes, and frankly the list goes on and on and on......
The most important I believe are the psychological symptoms. As you can see by the list below, these symptoms can be devastating to ones daily life. At any moment in the last few days I've probably had about 10 of these. Each month the ride called PMS changes, it's either better or worse than the previous month.

psychological symptoms are:
lack of control
difficulty in concentrating
severe fatigue
decreased self-image
emotional hypersensitivity
crying spells
sleep disturbances

What can you/we do to decrease these symptoms? Basically it's the same old adage that everyone touts. Decrease sugar and artificial sweeteners to close to zero. NO WHITE FOODS. So, no sugar, no white flour, whole wheat only. NO CAFFEINE. Doesn't this sound fun?
Vitamin supplements also help, I am living proof of are some recommendations:

Vitamin E: 400 miu/day
Vitamin B6: 50 - 100 mg/day
Calcium Citrate: 1,000 mg/day
Magnesium Oxide: 500 mg/day
Evening Primrose Oil: 2 - 6 capsules/day

But most importantly, you should try to exercise 30 - 40 minutes 3 -5 times weekly.
So I'm going to go about my paranoid delusional day with my head hung low because no one could want or need anyone as stupid as me.......Isn't it fun being a woman????

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Do you really want this application?

In the IT or computer world it's all about the applications. From Facebook on a social networking level to ERP and CRM on a business level, it's all about what applications might you want, need or be turned on by. What can we sell you? Software. It's all about software.

I stumbled upon a very scary piece of software call MyLoki. This application downloads into your browser toolbar or adds as an application on facebook and when you log on with your laptop to a WiFi spot wherever you are, it triangulates your exact location, logs and posts it. This posting can be in the form of a personal web page, a facebook map, a map on your blog, and twitter integration is coming soon. You and I both know that with this type of location information you can be tracked anywhere....Do you really want everyone, including your boss, government and everyone in your life to know exactly where you are? I didn't think so. Sounds a little like big brother doesn't it. We are definitely moving in that direction. Now to MyLoki's defense they allow you to turn on/off how exact the location reported is, from exact 100 meters, zip code, city, state, etc. But since that exact information is stored and calculated then you know it's available to whomever deems it necessary.

With the proliferation of social networking sites, video, cell phone, SMS blogging and the like; people (especially teens and 20 somethings) are putting all kinds of personal information up on the Internet for all to see. Employers are now looking at people's myspace and facebook pages as a matter of course for checking your "references". What information are you putting out there?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Makes you think.....

Sweets, desserts and other snacks in South America taste vastly different than they do here. Everything from chocolate bars to cakes/cookies and puddings have so much less sugar there than they do here. I think that just goes to show you that Americans consume way too much sugar and we are highly addicted to it. Every sweet I bought abroad I ended up not eating as it didn't have enough "sweetness" to it. Makes you think.....

If ears and noses are the only things that keep growing after we stop, then if you pick your nose does it make it grow bigger? How do your ears grow bigger? Actually the nose only appears to grow as we age but, it drops, droops and elongates. It seems like there is quite the argument regarding whether the nose actually grows in the scientific community. I know it does because my grandfathers' noses all got larger the older they got. Perhaps alcohol had something to do with that as my Grandma's nose was still wonderful. The ears I have researched also grow larger with age; ` .22 mm per year. Nice. Can't wait for those big ears.

Freeganism. There's a word. What does it mean? Freeganism is an anti-consumerism lifestyle whereby people employ alternative living strategies based on "limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources. Freegans embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation, and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, conformity, and greed."[1] The lifestyle involves salvaging discarded, unspoiled food from supermarket dumpsters that have passed their sell by date, but are still edible and nutritious. They salvage the food not because they are poor or homeless, but as a political statement.

Did you know that the USA has 5% of the world's population but consumes 30% of the world's resources. Makes you think doesn't it?

Monday, March 10, 2008

25,000 steps and boy am I tired....

We took Jack and Ruby to Disneyland for there 2007 Hanukkah present yesterday. For fun I took my pedometer with me and from wake up to collapse in bed it was just over 25,000 steps. I took an extra pair of shoes to change into half way thru the day and still my feet were sore. Dena and I passed out in bed the minute we got home at around 10:00 pm. That's a lot of steps..... As most of you know there has been a 10,000 daily step movement on for awhile and generally speaking, 2,000 steps is probably a mile for most people. That means I could have walked 12 miles. On one hand, probably not as most of the steps at Disneyland are smaller stride length but on the other hand, frankly, I don't doubt it...... Most sedentary people and office bound workers get an average of 1,000 to 3,000 steps per day. Certainly not sufficient.

We picked the kids up at 6:30 AM which meant we were up at 5:45. It was also the time change of spring forward this weekend so not only were we up at the ungodly hour of 545 but it was really 4:45 due to the time change. The kids were practically vibrating with excitement all day. We've been to Disneyland a lot this year and every trip is different depending on who you go with. Visiting the park with my in their 60's aunts and mom is a very different experience than going with Grace and Sienna (4 and 1 years old) and Jack and Ruby (10 and 12). With my aunts we only went on 2 rides in the entire 2 parks. With Jack and Ruby we went on so many rides my head and stomach are spinning.

One thing is for certain, the sense of wonder and awe in a child's eyes throughout the day is worth the price of admission.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I Feel Inspired

Occassionally I'll visit the "blogs of note" that blogger nominates every week or so. Usually I find them boring and wonder why they are a blog of note, but I look anyway as sometimes I'm surprised. This time I was. Not only surprised, but inspired. I visited this site called Fakeplasticfish (click on link to visit and I scroll down to see her explanation) and found this woman's efforts admirable. Not only were her efforts admirable but I found the entire thing quite educational as well. Then I got to thinking, well, I should really do more. I'm pondering on that but one of the things I'm doing to do "more" is NOT renting a car today at SFO. I've flown into SFO probably 100 times and I always get a car even if it is to drive into downtown San Francisco. It's normally just easier. But this time I'm taking BART.

I think it's only fairly recent (like the last 2 years or so) that BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) finished an extension to/from SFO. This line pops you right into downtown San Francisco. I'm actually kind of excited about the whole prospect of using BART. I wish Los Angeles had a subway system that went somewhere I wanted to go and a station somewhere near me. But alas, it does not. So BART will be dropping me off ~ 3 blocks from my destination. I will walk the 3 blocks.

Talk to you all later......try to do something to save the planet today.
And Happy Birthday to my little Sister!!!!

Monday, March 03, 2008

A depressing day to be sure

I have to fly to SFO tomorrow. It's sort of the first out of town job with my new, old job. I'm back to being a ProServices engineer person that flies all over our not so green earth like a hired gun. It was a sad morning as I had decided to fly my old carrier United. United Airlines and I have spent much time together. In the hey days of the tech boom I was a 1K member flying many, many miles and enjoying lots of perks from the airline but sacrificing any kind of social life.

Now, I haven't really flown for business for about 18 months. I've lost all status, everywhere. I just did online checkin for my SFO flight and I'm in seating area 4. For those of you not familiar with United's designation for seating this has to do with when you get to board the plane. Obviously, first class and global special people are first. Then seating area one which is reserved for anyone with status on United (this used to be me :-( ), then seating area 2, 3 and 4. If you board in seating area 4 you can just forget getting any overhead bin space and you know you must have pretty much the shittiest seat on the entire plane. Basically, as far as United is concerned, you suck, and you're lucky they are even letting you board at all. Matter of fact, I'm surprised if I'm not just thrown into the belly of the plane as excess baggage in the passenger compartment.

A sad day indeed......

Saturday, March 01, 2008


The majority of you voted that the United States is ready for a woman president. 62% Thanks for voting. However, do you think that now? After Obama has been on a tear winning multiple primaries? If the election were held today? Who would you vote for? Vote on the poll on the right.