Saturday, December 20, 2008

Grateful & Happy Birthday

To Molli & Her Family,

I am grateful for having my best friend, my lover, my wife Molli, in my life. I love her so. Molli is amazing. What a wonderful gift I have received from her. Molli’s love has made the most important impact on my life. Who has found a side of me I did not know was there. Molli does not try to change me, what she may think I should become but instead, nurtures what I have that made her fall in love with me in the first place and above all, Molli is honest. I love you Molli. I am grateful for Molli’s Parents, you did well raising such a beautiful person inside and out. I can’t thank you enough. I am grateful for heavenly father giving me this angel! Happy Birthday today Molli!

Friday, December 19, 2008

German Pancakes - So Easy a Caveman Could Do it

Mom used to make these for us on Christmas mornings. If we are lucky, we might get them this christmas.

6 Eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 C milk
4 TBS butter/unsalted
1 C flour

Put it all in a blender and blend until smooth. Do not use mixer because your batter will be lumpy. (unless you want to sift your flour in slowly while mixing)

Preheat oven to 400*. Place an extra TBS of butter in a baking pan, large skillet, or pie tin and melt in preheating oven. When the butter is all melted, remove from oven and pour batter into pan. Place in oven for 20 min or until edges have risen and turned golden brown. Remove and sqeeze lemon juice and powdered sugar over top and serve. You can also serve with favorite syrup as well, but I love it with just the lemon and powdered sugar.

So yummy!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lost again...

So I have been trying to get this darn weight from my vacation 2 months ago. Then not really being committed to my WL journey I just fooled around for about 1 1/2 months. I was kind of a drift. Well one of my friends said just maintain for a few weeks and then you will know what needs to be done to lose again.
Well I took that advice & I am on that losing track again

1st week of Dec - 4.4 pounds down
2nd week of Dec - 1.4 pounds down
3rd week of Dec - 2.6 pounds down

So now I only have 2.2 to lose which I am so trying to lose by the end of the year...would be even better if I could lose 6 then I would really be at 100 pounds gone! 6 pounds is kind of difficult though coming off the weeks I've had.

I just tried my 1st attempt at Spin class. It was kind of awesome. Except my booty kind of hurts, they really didn't make those seats for bigger booties! I sweated like I haven't done in a long while. I think it really helped. I'm going to try it again. People say its good to get bike shorts with the extra padding in them...yeah I wonder?

Anyway thats how I have been lately....
I am following this one person's blog that cracks me up. Cranky Fitness
She has some really good blog posts that I can so relate to.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Danny Gans

So we went to see Danny Gans a few weeks ago. I did not know he had received Entertainer of the Year for the past 10 years before we went. His show would portray why. Some say the show is overdone as far as the advertising but I really thought it was great. He entertains the older crowd and the younger generations by touching base with all the BIGs throughout history. His show will make you laugh, cry, cheer, all at once. Avery and I had a great time trying to pick out all the voices. Seeings how we are pretty young, there were some we did not know but if you looked aroud the room, everyone above the age of 50 was smiling ear to ear.
I found this link of some of his voices that you can download for your personal voicemail boxes. Have a listen. He is pretty funny.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Homemade Pizza

Pizza Dough (hand tossed):

1 packet of yeast (1 TBS)
1/4 C lukewarm water
3 C AP flour
1 tsp salt
1 C lukewarm water
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 TBS granulated sugar
1 TBS olive oil

Mix together yeast and 1/4 C warm water. Let sit and become foamy about 5 min. In a seperate mixer, combine flour, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and sugar. Using the dough paddle, mix on medium speed until dough crawls up paddle. Mix 1 C warm water with foamy yeast mix. Leave dough on medium speed while pouring yeast mixture onto dough. When dough forms a ball remove to freshly floured surface. (If dough does not form a ball, add one tsp of water at time until it does) Flour your own hands and kneed dough for about 5 min. In a large bowl, add olive oil and make sure it coats all sides and bottom. Roll dough into a ball and place in middle of bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in warm dry area. Dough should rise to double its original size in about an hour.

After dough rises, place back on floured surface and kneed again. Dough can be used right away or wrapped in plastic and stored in refridgerator or freezer until use.

How to hand toss pizza dough: Start with a small ball of dough about twice the size of your fist. Flatten the ball with your hands and start stretching the edges until you have a frisbee size flat bread. Place your hands in a fist side by side under the frisbee letting the dough wrap down the sides of your fists. While rotating your fists around each other, toss the dough in the air creating a centripical motion on the dough in the air. Catch with the tops of your fists so as not to poke a hole in your dough. Repeat 6-7 times. Place round dough on a greased and floured pizza baking sheet. Stretch dough edges out as far as possible to fill baking sheet. Make the dough as flat as possible. Lightly brush the edges of the dough with olive oil, add sauce and desired toppings and bake at 450* until top of pizza starts turning golden brown then remove from heat.

Awesome Homemade Pizza Sauce:

Combine and mix the following in a med sauce pan-
28 oz can tomato paste
1 crushed garlic clove
1 TBS olive oil
Dried basil, chervil, and tarragon
1/4 tsp chili powder
Dash of cayenne
Fresh ground pepper & ground sea salt to taste

Bring it all to a boil. Cool and serve or use whenever.


Niece & Nephews... new pics :)

This is baby Sean..had to update my post to include him :)

This is my niece Zoey she turned 5 today...can you believe it? This is a new dress she got...isn't it cute :)

Opps another of my nephews Jacob needed to be shown also :) Oh my gosh if he ever grows his hair out long he will really look Steve :) (this is my sister-inlaw, Stephanie's child and well she looks a lot like Steve only female but shorter hair then him)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Secret Santas in 3 states spread cheer, $100 bills

This story is so wonderfully uplifting to the spirit! When I read it of course I cried. I try my hardest to pass to others who need it too. Either volunteering my time, giving some money or even donating items I buy. So this story was so touching to me.
What a wonderful man Larry Stewart was. I'm so glad that one of his friends also got into.
Give me hope for humanity.

Secret Santa story

Friday, December 5, 2008

Playing for Change was something I first saw on PBS. The documentary is about this guy who traveled the world to see how music unites us. No matter where you live you listen to music. By focusing on what brings us together we can have hope that things aren't as bad as they can be if we go through life alone. Check out the website:

Life in the Left Lane, Part 11

Theory #11, Limited Space

I admit this really isn't a theory. Perhaps a better description would be a qualifier. The underlying assumption to all of these posts is that driving in the left lane can be irritating to other drivers if you are doing so outside of the unspoken rules. But those same rules say that there are times when driving in the left lane isn't all that bad.

Any road will at times get so loaded with traffic that no matter what lane you are driving in you are going no where. There's just so much space. In crowded conditions no one really cares who is driving in the left lane because they are just frustrated they aren't moving. I guess you could say that there is no distinct target of frustration in a traffic jam except for the traffic as a whole.

So traffic may cause people to drive in the left lane, it happens.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Life in the Left Lane, Part 10

Theory #10, Keeping up with the Jones'

Well, so far all of the theories have had practical explanations. Quite simply, this one doesn't. The theory is that people just want to be cool, like everyone else. Like the Ego theory, somehow driving in the left lane conveys a level of status that people want to have. Driving a BMW, Hummer, or Mercedes is not enough if you aren't driving in the socially hip lane.

Maybe they just want to be part of the herd. Here's an article that could apply to this theory: Understanding the Herd Mentality

I really don't have much to comment on this theory, because if this is why people are driving in the left lane they are just stupid. There's a whole road to drive on to look cool. In fact, I've heard that the really cool people actually drive on the right side. Yeah, seriously. Tell your friends.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

White frosted donuts

I know I am messing up my on-going rant about driving in the left lane with this post, but I think it's worthy of the interruption.

Tonight my roommate and I went to the grocery store. At Shoppers they have the most wonderful donuts. Think Dunkin Donuts only twice the size. We had to get some. They didn't have the Boston Creme filled like we both like, so he settled for a blueberry filled. I grabbed about 5 more white frosted donuts (two white frosted with Christmas colored sprinkles, a white frosted buttermilk, a marble frosted, and a plain white frosted). I don't usually prefer chocolate frosted.

I made a comment about how all of the donuts were white frosted. He responded, "Hmm. What are the odds of that?" I thought about that for a moment. After realizing I had selected all of the donuts I said, "Actually, pretty good. I did choose them." He then realized why it was funny too and we both laughed.

I think he meant that having only white frosted donuts to choose from would be odd. When you say it that way it's not so funny.

Life in the Left Lane, Part 9

Theory #9, Quest for Stability

While only a few states have left lane exits, all states have right lane entrances. At least in the United States most traffic will get onto a roadway from the right side. This means that if the left lane is meant for speed and passing, the right lane is meant for slowing and merging.

Understandably, people who intend to travel a distance on the freeway may want to drive on the left to avoid the congestion and starts-and-stops of the right side. In theory, the further left you go the less interruption you would have. Well, in theory. The problem is when people choose to only drive on the left or right. For freeways, which most likely have more than two lanes, the lanes in the middle are options too. However, you have to cross through those lanes to get to either side.

Is the left lane more stable? Possibly. Should you camp out there to avoid other traffic? No. When the lanes on the right are less crowded than the lanes on the left, it's time to spread the wealth of the road real estate.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Life in the Left Lane, Part 8

Theory #8 - Is Big Brother watching?

I'm back from the break. Time to finish out these theories. You'd think I have nothing better in life to do than to ponder why people love to block traffic in the left lane. My commute is about a half hour each way, so I spend an hour a day driving in traffic. Plenty of time to evaluate driving habits... but I digress.

This theory starts with a story. A friend and I went to his hometown of Erie, PA. I'd never been, so I was up for a road trip. In Maryland because so many people drive in the left lane you often have a better chance of passing on the right. I'm used to this by now. However, a weird thing happened once we crossed the state line... everyone moved to the right. If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes I wouldn't have believed it. To say the event was shocking is slightly exaggerated, but gets in the realm of what I was feeling.

You might chalk it up to a one time thing. I commented about it and my friend responded that driving in the left lane when you're not passing anyone is illegal in PA. Interesting thought. We spent a few days in Erie, then headed back. When we got back to the state line another interesting thing happened. Once in Maryland everyone moved to the left. WHAT!!! Again, if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes I would have never believed it.

Odd behavior, eh? Why would a state line make any difference, much less one so dramatic? Obviously laws and regulations can make a big difference. More importantly though, enforcement of laws make all the difference. People jam on the brakes when they see a cop because speeding tickets can be expensive. Imagine how people would drive if they got tickets for hanging out in the left lane. I'm not saying there should be a law that prevents everyone from driving in the left lane, but how about driving in the left lane with a line of traffic behind you? When I grew up in Arizona I was taught that if you had more than 5 people driving behind you cops could give you a ticket. I've never seen that law, or seen a cop pull anyone over for that. I'd love to.

Props to Oklahoma for actually cracking down on this.

Friday, November 28, 2008

I didn't make it...

So my goal of logging in and posting something every day, well just didn't work out. OH WELL! I can try again next month right!

As long as I don't give up on my WL goal is what matters. My migraines have been come and go so that wasn't the problem.
Guess I just didn't know what to log in and write abott.

Lets recap what's happened since last week.
Over the weekend I went to Reno w/friends. It wasn't a planned trip and it actually happened while talking at dinner Friday night. Vegas came up in the conversation and all of sudden it turned into...
Lets go to Reno right now. It was fine and a good idea since I was going to have to be home alone all weekend. Steve was driving his dad to AZ. So I was happy to take my mind off Steve not being home.
So Mat & Laura, Norman & Lisa and me piled into his SUV & took off.

Monday I went to the gym...yea not so newsworthy but in fact it kind is. I haven't been in like 2-3 weeks. So well it was a big feat to get me back in the gym. Then its started the keep on going chain reaction.

I also went on Wednesday with Jen. We even stayed working out for an hour and a half. I don't know what got into me. Um maybe the fact I want to kick start losing weight again. I have sort of been stalled the last 2 months. Partly because I went to Jamaica and that threw me all off track and there isn't anything harder then trying to get back the motivation. (I think you have to have weight issues to really relate)

Thanksgiving which was yesterday was nice. I slept in a little and woke up with no headache in sight. I decide to head the gym since I found out they were open till 2pm. I also thought if I go to the gym I will not feel bad having some bread & butter with my dinner. I was surprise to find so many at the gym. I guess others had the same idea :)
For dinner Steve and I went to Black Angus - they had a Thanksgiving special. Now don't feel sad for me because this was the best scenario ever... I didn't have to cook & have all kinds of left overs. As much as I love being around family there is nothing as tempting in the world then just stuffing yourself all day on food. (Again I think you have to have weight issues to understand) I know for most people it would be like "well just stop eating" but yea it doesn't always work for me. & especially when I am around all my family. Last year during the holidays I had to put my foot down more then once.
* Partly because I have struggled with my weight my entire life and I know Steve's family has seen me @ 230 pounds before only to gain it all back. They have seen me at my highest weight of 325 too. So to them its the holidays and its ok "for 1 day, why not" Its hard to explain that 1-2 days can turn into weeks for me.
Last year I was very focused too. This year it was soooo nice to not have any pressures.
Steve and I also went to the movies last night...its a family tradition to us. Has been the last 11 years. We seen Four Christmases. I don't think it was that great. Guess because I was expecting something a little different.

Which brings me to this morning!!! Well I am off to go hiking :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Life in the Left Lane, Part 7

Theory #7 - Caught in the current

So up until now all of the theories have assumed that people drive slow in the left lane on purpose to spite the other drivers around them. This one throws a spin on that a bit. At some point people will move out of the left lane. Oh yes, they will... even if it's the exit after yours. However, there are times where people want to move out of the left lane but can't.

There is a phenomenon that happens when people end up in the left lane but don't intend to stay there, or realize too late that they need to move. When drivers are slow enough the quicker drivers take any chance they get to move around them. If enough drivers start passing they effectively block the exit route of the offending left-lane driver. No matter how hard the driver tries to move over they can't because the quicker moving traffic keeps moving around them. Compounding the problem is that drivers caught in this situation are typically not very assertive. That means they can't move their way into the traffic until someone decides to give them a chance again. Should they wait too long they will remain trapped on the left edges of the highway.

Maybe I've been on the East coast too long, but if you are driving on a freeway you have to be assertive. There's just too much traffic to be wishy-washy about what you are going to do. I'm not saying to drive aggressively...there's a difference. If you're a person who has a hard time making decisions (like which exit you are supposed to take...) maybe you should think twice before venturing into the left side of the road.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Life in the Left Lane, Part 6

Theory #6 - LaLa Land / Distracted

As with the Ego theory, I would bet a lot of people cite this one as the reason for peoples' penchant for the left side of the road. This theory is fairly simple, these drivers don't have a clue. They are either talking on the cell phone, looking for the french fry that fell on the floor, or just jamming to some good tunes. They don't bother to look in the rear view mirror to see the line of traffic stretching on for miles. Blink your lights, honk your horn, wave with one finger all you want... they ain't gonna see you.

While the Ego theory considered people who only care about themselves, this theory differs in that these drivers aren't necessarily concerned only with themselves. They'd move over if they knew there was a line of cars behind them, but they just haven't noticed. In my opinion, these are the scariest group of drivers. My hunch is that they are more likely to be involved in accidents because they simply aren't paying attention to anything on the road, much less their time in the left lane.

In Germany drivers would never think about eating in a car, or talking on a cell phone. For Germans driving is not only a past time, but a responsibility. Maybe we could learn from the Germans. If you are behind the wheel pay attention... your driving affects everyone on the road.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Life in the Left Lane, Part 5

Theory #5 - Social Justice

So this theory goes that some people take it upon themselves to keep the order in society. Many people go the legitimate route and actually become police officers or health inspectors. Others just enforce the rules unofficially in their every day lives.

On the roads this means that they will drive the speed limit regardless of the consequences to traffic conditions. I actually found a blog entry about this from a person in Canada. If they are driving in the left lane then anyone driving faster will just have to find a way around them if they are going to break the law. For them the entire road must abide by the speed limit... the left lane being no exception.

Strictly speaking, this is the law. People choosing the left lane don't have a free pass to drive over the speed limit under any conditions. However, the left lane has a reputation for a reason, that I argue has practical purposes. Take speeding out of the picture and the real reason people get annoyed is that there is no courtesy for people who want to get by. Not everyone should be forced to drive the speed limit on the road (some may choose to drive slower...) and for those that choose not to they should not block the driving style of others who may be more comfortable driving at higher speeds.

Bottom line here... leave the enforcement of the law to those who are paid to enforce it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Life in the Left Lane, Part 4

Theory #4 - Ego / Power Trip

Now this theory is meaty. I'm having a hard time explaining this though, because it's just slightly different than a few of the upcoming ones. This gist of the ego / power trip theory is that drivers in the left lane feel entitled to be there. For them, the world exists of only one person and the rest of the drivers are simply a swarm of annoyance.

You can recognize these drivers when you pull to the right to pass them. When you get about even with them they suddenly find the accelerator and speed up to prevent you from passing them. There could be a line of cars 5 miles long behind them, but as long as they are leading the pack their egos are happy.

I think the bottom line here is that the people who fall into this group care about only one thing, themselves. (I bet if you ask most people who are annoyed by left-lane drivers they will cite this as the reason for the behavior.)

Alas, people are complicated creatures. While this may explain some of the behavior there are always other reasons.

Next up, Theory #5 - Social Justice.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Life in the Left Lane, Part 3

Theory #3 - Cruise Control

Alright, we've talked about political activism, and highway exit and toll logistics. This next one makes sense when you think about it. We've all done it. Cruise control helps you save gas, right? Well it's also really only useful on long stretches of road with minimal traffic. You know the drill. You're cruising along keeping up a good pace, when you get close to a major city. Suddenly the traffic gets thicker, and you have to click the cruise control off to keep from driving into the car in front of you. Sure you can move to the left to pass, but at some point you'll run out of lanes.

Here's the catch. Some people use cruise control not to help save gas for long distances, but just because they can. So to pass the guy in front, they maintain the same speed and hope to pass in the left lane without taking their car off cruise control...and they don't pass very quickly (unless the guy is going absurdly slow.) The result is that they hang out in the left lane much longer than if they were actually increasing their speed to pass like everyone else.

So you're a democrat, that can be forgiven. You have to exit or pay toll, understandable. You have your car on cruise control and you're too lazy to turn it off so you can pass quickly? Idiot.

Next up, Theory #4 - Ego / Power Trip

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Life in the Left Lane, Part 2

Theory #2 - Left-lane exits and EZ Pass

Maryland is one of the few places where some of the exits for other roads are actually on the left side of the road. I'm not sure why some exits are like this. Most exits are on the right side. While the impact of left exits isn't always readily apparent, in the context of the current discussion it may be more obvious. For those who ignored all of the signs telling them the exit was on the left they make a dive across all lanes of traffic to get there (slowing down all lanes of traffic and not just the left one!) On the other hand, for those anticipating the exit they often hang out in the left lane until they get there. The end result is that the left lane quickly get congested.

But left-lane exits are not the only reason you may find people on the left side. EZ Pass, a system designed to make toll collection easier for drivers on the I-95 corridor, has lanes on the left sides of the toll plazas. While many EZ Pass drivers have signed up to make traveling through the toll plazas quicker, there are many who just don't want to dig in their pockets for loose change. As with the left-lane exiters, EZ Pass just adds another reason to be in the left lane.

Both of these factors help to explain the left-lane driving when you are either near a left exit or a toll plaza, but not when either of these are no where to be found. I would hazard a guess that those annoyed by the person driving in front of them without moving over would not be annoyed by these circumstances. After all, once arriving at the exit the person would no longer be in front of you, right?

While this theory has some tangible merit, there has to be more to it than that. Stay tuned for Theory #3, Cruise Control.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Life in the Left Lane, Part I


Back when I started this blog I was intending to write an essay of sorts to explore my theories about why people so often drive in the left lane. I have now spent a good portion of my life driving on the roads, and many of those on Maryland roads. This almost ever day experience has given me time to reflect on why people do what they do.

I'm not going to lay it all out there at once, but I'm going to break it into parts, each one focusing on a different theory. So settle in and get ready to read some insightful brilliance about social behavior at its finest.


To adequately explore this we need to understand exactly what it is that we're discussing. Left-lane-driving is when a person drives in the left lane with a line of cars behind them. They make no efforts to move to the right to allow quicker drivers to pass. Many left-lane-drivers will drive at or slightly under the speed limit, rarely driving any significant speed over the posted limit.

*Do you agree with this definition? Help me to refine it to make it better. Post your comments.

Theory #1

Let's start with my most ridiculous theory: Driving in the left lane is a reflection of one's political persuasion. At some point I considered whether Maryland's historical love affair with the left side of the political arena may possibly be seeping out into its citizens driving habits. "Choose the Left" became more than just a belief. Maryland drivers chose to display their political preference more publicly by choosing the left lane to drive in.

Obviously this theory doesn't hold much water. If one's politics affected driving preferences you'd expect to see the behavior more predominantly in States that were liberal. My experience tells me that left-lane-driving occurs in many States regardless of the prevailing political sentiment.

Theory #1 appears to be debunked. However, there is no empirical evidence to discount it completely. If anyone is interested in doing a study, check how your State voted in the most recent Presidential election and then observe how often you see left-lane drivers in your State. Post any results here.

Upcoming Theories:

Left-lane exits and EZ Pass
Cruise Control
Ego / Power Trip
Social Justice and Equality
La-La Land / Distracted
Caught in the Current
Is Big Brother watching?
Quest for stability
Keeping up with the Jones'
Limited space
Lanes mean distance


Sunday, November 16, 2008

whatever post...

Yea can't get the thing I want posted...
Oh well so here is a cool website for different teeshirts

So dang it I missed a day!

Somehow being out all day & coming home last night I didn't post anything.

So yesterday I woke up @ 9:30 was out of the house in 15 minutes so I could drive to do Air Aerobics. I had to be there by 10 am I usually leave a little earlier but I was just tired. Got done by 11 am and drove home.
@ noon I headed over the Hellyer Park for a Sagway picnic. My father in-law was having a lot of his Sagway friends to the park and riding on the trail there. The weather here in CA is still really nice.
At about 4 we left the park. Came home & left again. I finally got my old big clothes out of my hallway. I had 6 huge bags full of clothes....
NOW I CAN NEVER GAIN THAT 90 pounds again...I have no clothes. (It was kind of weird I even held onto them this long)
About 5:30pm we got over to Dad's house. They realized that there was an unfinished project outside that could be done if we went to Home Depot. So headed there and picked some lava rock up....Yea its a landscaping project.
Got home about 6:30 and Steve + Jim through the rock around the tree.

Afterwards we went out for dinner it was about 7:00 maybe? We then ate and came back to Dad's.
We left Dads and got home around 8:30 but I was so tired I went to lay down. Didn't get back up till like 11:30 & just didn't think to post anything.

So LONG story short I wasn't home really yesterday ....
No post, Sorry

Saturday, November 15, 2008


smiley Pictures, Images and PhotosWhat is an undergrad anyway? It takes a lot longer to get an undergraduate degree than it does to get a graduate degree. They should call the Masters "Post Graduate" and the Bachelors "Graduate" or "Master of the Universe" because I have never spent so much of my time and money on one thing in my life. Granted I put school off to climb the never-ending corporate latter for a company I eventually resented for seeing me as such a young, charismatic asset that they were willing to promise me the world for my first born. Of course I was unwilling to hand "it" over and ended up walking out of every restaurateurs’ dream of managing a celebrity showcase restaurant set in the heart of America’s playground. Ok, so it wasn’t in the heart but more towards the throat where it can get lodged and choke the life right out of any ambitious, vulnerable culinary graduate. After this experience, I decided that I needed to change gears and maybe choose a path that would help or educate others instead of taking their money so “The Brothers” can buy another yacht and move onto the next cash cow. So here I am, 9 years after graduating high school still two years from my “Use only to conquer the World” long coveted Bachelor. The difficult part: being a full time student during a recession is like having an extremely wrinkly dollar bill that just won’t go into the machine but you keep trying hoping that it will eventually produce the lovely granola bar, but you just end up wasting your time and now you are late to class…and still hungry. In other words, you are completely useless. Any part time job better pay $100 an hour because you are only able to work something like two or three hours a week. Plus, it better be on call, and when I say “on-call” I mean, “I will call you when I can work because it’s going to be different each day and week.” Don’t get me wrong, I know eventually this inferno they call college will pay off. But in the mean time, the amazing United States, with its bottomless pit of loans, credit, and bad mortgages has opted out of helping with such small insignificant dilemmas. So the quest for the undergrad right now actually looks like the door at the end of the hallway on the Poltergeist that stays the same distance away from you no matter how fast you run towards it. Other than all that, life is always good!! :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

50 true things about me...

1. I love my husband too much I think... if he were to die I would be completely devastated & that scares me sometimes

2. I am happy a lot

3. I have really good friends

4. I'm 33 years old


6. I love watching hockey

7. I have season tickets to the SHARKS

8. I am usually very friendly

9. People like to talk to me...I mean like strangers ask me questions. Maybe because I seem friendly

10. I like to play craps more then anything when I go to gamble

11. I only call my mom about once a week

12. I'm original from a small town in MN

13. I now live in San Jose CA


15. I like to go hiking with friends

16. I LOVE the color purple - before it was in!

17. I like glittery or sparkly dresses or accessories

18. I value the opinions of my friends.... I don't always listen but I do value their opinions

19. I donate to charity

20. I'm a member of KIVA

21. I have 3 savings helps me manage my money best

22. I have been married for 12 years

23. I have a BMW... it was always my dream car, I always thought I would have "made" it by owning one

24. I've seen less then 20 concerts in my life

25. I get migraines regularly

26. I have been trying to train for a 10K run... I haven't done much yet to be honest

27. I've lost 91 pounds

28. I'm still doing WW (Weight Watchers)

29. I am still overweight by about 80 pounds

30. I am Mormon

31. I attend church practically every Sunday

32. I've been inside 5 different temples... Mesa, Oakland, San Diego, Dallas & Seattle (opps forgot one)

33. I want a dog... but my husband will not let me get one

34. I want to go horseback riding again

35. I upset easily

36. I love to watch high school drama type shows on tv

37. I'm very impulsive

38. I've traveled more then I ever thought I would

39. I come from a poor family

40. I went to New Orleans only a year before Katrina... thankful I took the city, cemetery, plantation & bayou tour while there

41. I've been to Mardi Gras

42. I plan on going to Spain next summer

43. A lot of movies make me cry

44. I miss my sister terribly... I try calling her almost every 2 days

45. I use to play WOW (World of Warcraft)

46. I love meeting new people

47. I like going out to eat

48. My house is messy and so I have maids

49. I love that my husband has a big extended family

50. I don't want to have children... but I wouldn't mind maybe having foster kids (my husband doesn't know this)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wrath of the Lich King

So the big news in our house tonight...well actually since Midnight last night. World of Warcraft's newest expansion is out! Steve has got his copy and also bought a copy for my character although I don't play hardly at all anymore.
He played last night into the wee hours of this morning. Went to work way late and then came home early (although he did say he was feeling sick)
His online friends already were saying "oh why did I go to sleep I am already behind!" Um do think this game is addictive...Um yea!

I am going to try and upload a Youtube video. Steve lined up last night @ game stop around 11:15pm for his copies. He said the crowd there was crazy.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fort Wayne, Indiana

One of the great benefits of having roommates and friends who work for the airline industry is the occasional free ticket. Before Todd left he was gracious enough to give me a ticket to fly anywhere Southwest flies. The "luv" airline certainly showed me some love this weekdnd for a quick trip to Indiana.

I had promised my friend Justin that I would come visit in October. I hadn't planned on October being as hectic as it was. I was determined not to make a promise I wasn't going to keep, and I figured this weekend was time to make good. I left the nice beautiful weather of Baltimore for the rather blustery and frigid weather of Indiana. (I'm told the weather was nice there until I arrived. What's that supposed to mean??)

Justin made the two hour trip to Indianapolis to pick me up. We met up my former roommate, Jon (#18) who had been in Indiana campaigning. We had a very nice dinner at McCormick and Schmick's.

Notice the Colts emblem in the background. Did you know the Colts were originally a Baltimore team? After assuring the people of Maryland he had no intention of moving the team, the owner Robert Irsay moved the team in the middle of the night. Scandalous! Needless to say, the people of Baltimore aren't so into the Indianapolis Colts.

There are a few things that I look forward to every time I am Indiana. At the top of the list is a visit to Steak 'n Shake. They have some of the best hamburgers and shoe-string french fries in the country. They also have a side-by-side milkshake. This trip featured a new milkshake flavor... egg nog!

The highlight of the dining experience wasn't the food. Check out the menu and see if you can spot the funny.

After the food we went back to the house to pick up Kent. The three of us went to the Fort Wayne Botanical Conservatory. None of us had ever been there, and being inside a greenhouse on a cold day seemed like a reasonable thing to do. Plus they had an "Under the Sea" exhibit with mermaids and fish! Oh baby!

This tree stood guard over the entrance to the gardens. Kent, a practicing dentist, made sure to point out that this poor guys teeth could use a few whitening sessions. The tree... not me!

How do you make a garden an undersea experience? How about some seahorse topiaries? Throw in some inflatable fish and a bubble machine and you're just about there. They had a scavenger hunt of sorts that the kids could do to find all of the decorations they had laid out in the garden. If the plants hadn't been there I would have thought I was swimming in a dry ocean!

There were two other sections of the garden, the tropical rainforest and the Sonoran desert. Hmm, Hawaii and Arizona. Why did everything seem so familiar? I had some major deja vu. Here we are in the desert section.

After the gardens we headed home, but not without taking a quick tour of Fort Wayne. I'm told this is not the original fort built in the 1700's. If you can't tell this picture was taken from inside the car as we drove past going about 120mph in the Dodge Charger.

Later that night we went out to eat with Chris and Ben at some Italian place. We then topped off the night with a game of Phase 10. Just look at how much fun Justin is having! He sure likes his cheese.

For a quick weekend trip I had lots of fun. Justin has made some wonderful friends, and I was fortunate to grow my circle of friends as well. I just wish it wasn't so cold while I was there.

Amazing hi-def wallpapers

Check out this website for amazing hi-def wallpapers. If you have a MacBook Pro they look awesome on your desktop!

Oh, and here's a link to Dav's Blog where he talks about "Dav night" from last week:

Sunday, November 2, 2008

So now the challenge is upon me

SO today I went to brunch w/Norman & Lisa to Marie Calendars. Yea fun & exciting stuff I know. Well why does food need to be sooo damn tempting. I ate more then maybe I should have.
Then we went to Santana Row..its a shopping center for those of you who read my blog & didn't know.

We went to Z gallery & La Sur Table. I love looking around stores. We walked a bit and went back to the car.
This whole getting dark early thing is bothering me. Its so weird. I guess I'll get use to though.
We went to a great little restaurant in Palo Alto, well actually its a creamery. Long time ago we seen it on a tv show and since then we've loved going there. Since I've been on WW's though I don't frequent the establishment. TOO SCARY for my lifestyle now.
I was planning on doing the whole shake/malt thing but I got something else on the menu instead and then was too full to go there.
Came home got on my exercise bike for 1 1/2 hours while watching some tv. Great way to exercise and get the DVR recordings watched too. So got caught up on 2 episodes of ER. I stopped watching that show awhile back, got too crazy for me. The only reason I started watching again is because its the last season, so I feel kind of obligated in a way...old loyalty. Yea I am a bit crazy and have weird reasoning. It was like when Friends was ending too. I HAD to watch the last season.
Alrighty off to wonderland now.


It's National Blog Posting Month! which of course gets shortened to NaBloPoMo(try saying that ten times fast!) The goal of NaBloPoMo, is to post every day for 30 days.

So I know I missed the 1st day but that was because I was unaware. So now that I know I am so going to try this.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Fundamentals

Hope your Halloween was as fun filled as ours!

Three fundamental truths of the Speer household....

We have many adventures,
we never roam alone,
But most importantly, there is no place like home!

Dorothy and Toto

I wish this last one was a better picture. My camera is apparently starting to go. Thanks Ro for letting us drop by for a cute shot with Toto, er Maggie.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

8th Annual Pumpkin Carving Spook-tacular!

Every year since I moved to Maryland I have carved pumpkins. When I finally bought a house I hosted a party to allow others to join in the fun. Besides the 4th of July I think Halloween is my favorite holiday. You can carve pumpkins, ask strangers for candy, and dress up in funny outfits. Besides all the kid stuff, I just really think it's cool that we can still trust people enough to go around and trick or treat. How sad that this tradition is fading away as we get more suspicious and fearful. I'm trying to keep the flame alive, and not just in the jack-o-lantern.

This year I decided to try to make pumpkin soup. Yeah, not so good. The recipe I tried asked for apple cider and apples in addition to pumpkins. You could taste more of the apples than the pumpkins. I knew it needed something, but couldn't figure out what it was. Oh well, I just added a dollop of sour cream and garnished with chives. Not horrible, but I think it needs to be modified if I try it again. If Mariko was here I'm sure she could have salvaged my poor attempt at soup.

Of course, soup was not the purpose of the party. We carved pumpkins! I provide the pumpkins every year. I even have the tools and templates for everyone to use. I got these cool plastic / cloth disposable table clothes that I spread out on the floor. Everyone goes at it, then I simply roll up the table cloth and throw it away with all the pumpkins guts tucked neatly inside. Brilliant!

This year was, in my opinion, the best. Everyone brought their "A" game for pumpkin carving. The jack-o-lanterns are simply amazing. Peter made a pumpkin with innards coming out of its nose. Janice spent hours working on her dragon, which I think wins this year's prize for best jack-of-lantern. See for yourself. You can also check out more pictures at Dav's blog:

I have already decided what I'll do for next year in Australia. Let's hope they have pumpkins.

Who I am supporting

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Woot... and snap!

A friend told me about this cool website called woot! Basically each day they offer some cool item for a discounted price until they sell out. They also must employ someone with a wacky sense of humor, because the descriptions of the items are pretty off-the-wall.

They've had enough interesting deals to keep me going back for more. If you happen to have a moment go and check them out. Maybe you'll find something you're willing to spend a few hard-earned bucks on.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I'm an Aunt again :)

My nephew was born this morning @ 9:05. Weighing in at 5lbs 4oz.
His name is Jonhanthan Steven.
Yep his middle name comes from my DH! Steve's sister asked while she was out here for his birthday if it was alright to use his name.

Can't wait to see the newest addition to the family. I think we're going to Disneyland in Dec. If not Christmas time. So 2 months.

Anyway just wanted to fill you all in.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Iron Chef Night

Let me start out by saying that I'd like to dedicate this post to Mariko. I look forward to reading her blog because she makes eating food seem both like an art and an event. I love how she loves food, and more importantly takes the time to enjoy it. Way to go Mariko.

This last Wednesday my friend Dav called me up to say he was in town. I randomly suggested that we have an Iron Chef night. I've done this a couple of times before, but in my version I find something in my kitchen that has been there for a while with no hopes of being used in the near future. Rather than waste food, the challenge is to find something to do with it. Dav agreed to the experiment and we raided the cabinets for the "secret ingredient."

I decided to modify the challenge a bit to further expedite the goal to consume aging food. We had to take an item from each of my shelves and then find a dish that would use all of the ingredients. This is what we came up with: diced tomatoes and peppers, couscous, chicken from a can, craisins, artichoke hearts, and parmesean cheese (from the fridge).

Now, these are pretty normal ingredients. We're not trying to make something from, say, fish eyes or pig hearts. I have two cookbooks that I got for last Christmas (thanks Grandma and Holly), and we have an internet connection. I set Dav and Peter on the internet to find recipes, and Dave and I grabbed the cookbooks to start our search. I found a recipe for a stew and some stuffing. In the end, Peter won with Onion And Wild Garlic Quiche With Parmesan In A Couscous Crust I was intrigued by the innovative use of couscous.

I sent Peter and Dave out to get a few ingredients we didn't have (i.e. onions, garlic, cilantro) and also some salad to go along with our dish. I made the couscous, and then the crust. Dav mixed together the rest of the ingredients, and BAM! We had a dinner. Dav was quick to point out that some of our ingredients, such as the mustard, were a little bit out of date. Come on, who hasn't used mustard that expired over a year ago. Does anyone check the expiration date on condiments anyway? Serious. Of course he had to post about it on his blog as well.

Here are a few extra pictures of the process:

The couscous crust (I doubled the recipe since there were 6 GUYS eating this:

The final product just prior to putting it in the oven:

The final product after cooking:

Dav commented that we could have done without the craisins. Peter also suggested that we minimize the use of onions, which after eating this was a bad choice. Chicken, couscous, and eggs don't have much flavor... so the onions would have helped it not be so bland. I didn't add nearly enough seasonings to make this work. More salt, more onions, and perhaps a nice sauce would have made this superb. I liked using couscous as a crust though, but be careful not to make it so thick it becomes the main part of the dish. I also thought salad went very well with the quiche.

Here is a side-by-side of our final plating of the Iron Chef attempt with the picture from the recipe. Notice the picture from the recipe shows way more onions and also tomatoes on top. I think more veggies in the quiche would definitely make a nice touch.

Sharks Win in OT

So went to Sharks game tonight. They've had to play 2 back to back games in the last 2 weeks. So I am proud of them for coming back from this one & winning! Hopefully their back to back games are over with.

Hubby was getting upset at how they were playing but I was hopeful. They had a ton of shots on goal. More then the Flyers.
We doubled their shots every period. The Sharks are having trouble scoring on THEIR power play. This needs to turn around too.
Was a very exciting game to watch, there were a lot of confrontations. (fights/scuffles/just plain ol' pushing & shoving) In hockey though its usually called roughing unless its like really good long fight.

So anyway I had bought some peanuts & cashews. They were so super sweet though because they were covered with a sugar coating. I was thinking after eating a wonder america is overweight. We have junk like this everywhere. I don't think there is a healthy food item served in the arena.
I've been struggling lately with WW's. Its been hard for me to get back into the total swing of things coming back from vacation.
I've learned a lot from WW's and I know what to do. I need to stop eating things that are making me crave more fat & sweet!
Anyway its not like I stopped going or anything just been very lax in what I've been eating for the last week.
Tomorrow is a new day and I already told my DH that I am cleaning the cupboards out and the fridge so if there is anything he wants to eat then it better be gone.
Going shopping for all my fruits & veggies...whole wheat couscous and rice.
Need to get back to what I know is good and healthy for me.

Oh the Sharks won 5-4 in OT if you wanted to know

Friday, October 17, 2008


For you Tim :)

I am: by myself
I know: my kids will be up soon
I want: to have a fun day
I Have: lots of stuff to do
I dislike: mud
I miss: my daddy
I feel: contemplative
I hear: the fan
I smell: cold
I crave: cough drops
I cry: at movies
I search: the scriptures
I wonder: when my cough will go away
I regret: getting sick
I love: CW
I care: too much about what others think
I worry: about the future
I remember: almost nothing
I believe: in Jesus
I dance: with the kids
I don't: keep in touch
I argue: when I am tired
I write: often
I win: at gin rummy
I lose: most other games
I wish: for happiness
I listen: to weird music
I can usually be found: at the computer
I am scared: of not being prepared
I need: more time
I forget: to enjoy what I have
I am happy: mostly