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.