Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Watch out Florida, here we come!

I would like to take some time to apologize to the state of Florida. Now, you may be wondering why, especially since I’ve never even been to Florida. However, after several weeks of debate, my husband and I decided to vacation if Florida this year and therein lies the problem (those of you in the western states should thank me now). See, whenever we travel places together, bad things seem to happen. Usually after we’ve been there, sometimes while we’re there, and at least once (maybe twice, depending on how you want to look at it) shortly before we arrived.

Here’s a list of the incidents I can remember (if anyone remembers any others, please let me know--they've gotten hard to track):

We went to Death Valley/Las Vegas in the spring of 2004, and Death Valley experienced severe flooding that August.

Another trip we took to Las Vegas, the Bellagio caught fire, literally the night after we left.

We went to Pennsylvania for my sister’s college graduation, and most of the east coast got hit by a nasty ice storm (which we drove through to get there) and then it was bitterly cold the entire time we were in PA.

Our first trip to Kure Beach, the area got hit by a tropical storm (Barry, I believe). (Note: This one may actually be my sister’s fault-she claims that bad weather seems to follow her.) (Additional note: I don’t ever want to be in the beach house during a tropical storm again.)

We drove through Sedona which experienced forest fires within the week.

We went to Reno which then experienced a week of record high temperatures. (We were there for the first part of this and enjoyed it immensely. Bring on the dry heat!) (Note: If you are not a good flyer, do NOT go to Reno by plane. The turbulence flying in and out of there is unreal!)

We went to San Francisco/Sunnyvale/Berkeley and an earthquake hit (3.6 or 3.7) just outside Oakland. (I slept through it.) (Note: Again, this may not be our fault--we were in California and earthquakes happen all the time.)

We took a trip to New Orleans in July of 2005, and we were actually scheduled to go back for Labor Day weekend. Well, we all know what happened there. Needless to say, the return trip was canceled. (I’m not sure if it was the trip made or the trip planned that was the tipping factor for this one. Maybe the combination punch.)

And last year, just a month to the day before our trip to Utah to visit the National Parks out there, including Arches National Park, Wall Arch collapsed.

Now, in all fairness to us, we have taken trips to places that have suffered no ill effects. Our trip to Mammoth Caverns resulted in no cave collapses or sink holes. We went to Laughlin, NV which suffered no ill effects (although some might contend that Laughlin is already suffering enough so our bad luck makes no difference). We have gone back to Kure Beach a couple of times, and also went to Hilton Head. They haven’t been washed out to sea yet. We’ve been to Ohio a couple of time with no bad mojo (see Laughlin comment, though). Okefenokee Swamp is still fine (the fires that happened there were way too long after out visit for those to be our fault).

So, Florida, I’m sorry. Within days of making the decision to go to Florida, the previously dead silent tropical season suddenly became very active. The only consolation may be that there is a very high chance that we will get to experience whatever happens to your fine state firsthand—either while we’re there or when it hits us too after we get back.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


(Post originally meant to be written over a week ago)

Ok, I don't usually make resolutions, especially not of the New Year variety. At one point in my life I did. And like all normal people, I failed miserably. So then I started "setting goals" for the year. Let's face it, that's just resolutions by a different name. So I stopped. And I had no intention of making any resolutions this year. A decision reinforced while I was watching the "same as last year with a slightly different set of faces" New Year's Eve countdown shows. I've also always believed that waiting for the "New Year" to make a change is ridiculous since 1) the fact that January 1 is the "New Year" is fairly arbitrary and 2) you shouldn't have to wait until one magic day to make new goals.

And then I heard from a variety of quasi-news sources that the most popular resolution this year was to not make resolutions. And you guys know me well enough. I'm not going to be just like everyone else. Uh-uh. No way. So somewhere relatively close to January 1, I made a resolution. Only one, but one with far-reaching repercussions. I have resolved to use my time more wisely. There are so many things I want to do, and I really have no good reason to not make them all happen. So with this one resolution I can cover all sorts of things like finishing projects, reading certain books, learning new languages, etc.

And now everyone wants to know, how am I doing so far? Overall, I'd say decently. Yes, I still spend way too much time wasting time on Facebook. Yes, I occasionally enter these fugue states where I stare blindly at the TV. But overall, I've seen some changes. I've finished a couple of craft projects, including one I started in the (early) 90s. (Picture coming soon on my craft blog. Really. I'll get it there.) I've done some organizing to get me set to do some other things. So I feel okay with it right now. The real challenge (I feel) is going to come when (if ever) I get put back in my regular position at work. The one that means I'll be going in the office far more often. Looking back, I waste a lot of time at work. Time I could use in many better ways. Sadly, part of my job entails sitting around waiting for things to explode, and I can use that time, I'm sure, in better ways. But we'll all just have to wait and see how this really happens, when it really happens. For now, just wish me luck. And if you see me on Facebook, ask me what I've done productive so far that day!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Feeling torn

Well, I made my weekly (roughly) trip to the library yesterday, where I discovered that they finally had the self-checkout totally up and running. Now, I knew this was coming, but you all know my feeling about U-scans (see post quite some time ago). It's going to be really hard for me to embrace this. Seriously.

Part of the fun, for me, of going to the library is chatting to the librarians when I'm checking out my items. I like knowing what they are up to, as well as listening to the comments they sometimes make on items I'm checking out and random suggestions they sometimes make about other things I might like. But now, it appears, I'm going to be getting a lot less of that. I also, having worked at libraries myself, have some concerns on how the self check-out is going to impact the inventory, shall we say. Maybe it's just me, but this somehow defeats the whole purpose of what a library is all about. Oh well, I must adjust and move on. And I'm sure I'll find a way to still chat up the librarians.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Random Statistics for 2008

For anyone who felt they needed this information, here are some random statistics from my life for last year. Please keep in mind that some of them do have small margins of error.

Books read: 143

Letterboxes found: 70

Summits of Stone Mountain: @6

Late night, fully clothed, not especially legal swims at Stone Mountain Park: 1

Late night, marathon hikes: 1

National Parks visited: 6 (OK, technically 5, but 2 separate districts in one of them)

National Monuments visited: 2

National Forests visited: 1

Insane, pointless, annoying fishing trips from Hades: 1

Sharks touched: 2

Sharks seen: more than 2

Weeks of vacation: 5+ (a number that is sadly going to go WAY down very soon)

Pairs of sunglasses lost: 0

Total miles biked: 1589.09 (compared to 1516.98 in 207)

Miles biked outside: 1013.68 (compared to 1105.88 in 2007)

Miles biked inside on very boring trainer while watching mindless television or reading: 575.41 (compared to 411.10 in 2007)

These bike statistics are actually very surprising to me as I thought this year was going to be a down year due to some medical can't-do-much-of-anything or pick-anything-up time. However, I still managed to come out slightly ahead, but not on the outside miles which are the ones that really count. But hey, the grand total is better!

Cross Stitch projects finished: 5

Other projects finished: Um, think I'll have to go with 0 here. Oh, wait, I did sew a couple things and do some crochet. Let's say 4ish, heavy on the ish.

(I'm really stretching to come up with things at this point)

Pairs of fancy socks purchased: I just don't keep track of this, but there were many:)

Stitches: I'm guessing it was about 8. They were all sub-cutaneous, so who knows!

Bones broken: 0

New Halloween decorations purchased: 0 (really, none!)

At which point I will stop, because I am really grasping at straws. Just consider this a little picture in the life of Myra:)