Monthly Archives: July 2009

What am I up to these days?

Losing weight. 

It has taken 7 weeks but I have lost 4 lbs on my "No Plastic" Challenge.   I am eating a much wider variety of vegetables since the fresh food at the Farmer’s Market is tempting.  I am also branching out in trying new recipes.  This seems to be a win-win in my mind.  I don’t know if the "No Plastic Challenge is causing the weight loss or stepping up my trips to the gym. 

No Plastic Challenge

This is a bit mind boggling.  With some considerable effort, I have reduced the amount of plastic that my food is in.  Despite this,  I am still using about 15 pieces of plastic every week.  This is turning into some 800 pieces of plastic a year.  Just in food alone!  You can not escape plastic in this modern day world.  So how will I do on my No Plastic Challenge when I travel for work next week?

Little Projects

I am trying to clean/declutter my place.  I can’t do much about Eduardo and the kids other than to ask them to keep their stuff picked up.  But little by little, I am gradually tackling areas and getting them cleaned up and then keeping them clean.  I have cleaned up the dining room, kitchen, linen closet, part of the laundry room and part of the bedroom.  The house is starting to look like slobs don’t live here.  Not getting any help in this area so it is going slowly.  I am also getting rid of what I can.  I am also doing special projects like deep cleaning of the soap scum off the tiles and the rust crap on my toilet.   I don’t even know what it is but is sure is glued onto the toilet.   It takes forever to get small bits of it pried off the porcelain.

Therapy

Anyone who knows me is going to be a bit surprised by this but I am doing some therapy (by myself) to try to deal with the fact that our relationship is making me unhappy.  Eduardo refuses to go.  It is unfortunate as we are discussing the things I want to get discussed as opposed to necessarily working on what is good for the relationship.  In other words, I am discussing what is best for me and not what is best for both of us.  So what is one of the things we are discussing?  Anger Management.  I kid you not.  I have never had issues with anger before.  I am not a very angry person.  Can I get angry?  Absolutely.  But have I had a problem with anger so badly that I felt it was impacting my health?  Not even close.  So I am trying to learn how to be indifferent about the things that are going on in our relationship.   Indifference does not mean that I intend on being a doormat for the rest of my life.  But indifference is necessary for me to function while I sort things out.  Eduardo is certainly being more attentive to our relationship since I started going but as he said to me once long ago "Its the little things that show your true self" and it is still the little things that show his priorities are most likely elsewhere.  This new attentiveness is confusing the issue and really makes me sad.   Why couldn’t he have been like this for the last 18 months?

Business Travel

I am heading to Portland, OR next week to help a customer with some troubleshooting.   I have never been to the NorthWest so I am looking forward to that.  I suspect I won’t see much as I will probaby be up super early in the morning and in bed shortly after supper.  I don’t like changing my schedule and try to keep on the same time zone that I normally live on.  It just seems so much easier to do that than try to switch back when I return.

I received bad news about a friend

I got a phone call the other night to tell me that a good friend of mine was arrested.  He had been a person of interest/suspect a good 7 to 9 months ago in a case but had been told that there was not enough evidence to arrest him.  He thought this whole matter was over and justice had prevailed.  Yesterday, the police came to his house and arrested him for what I assume is the same case.   Today, I was told that he will be in jail, without bond, until his court appearance in about 7 weeks.   He is allowed no phone calls or visitation.

I am in in complete shock.  I was surprised when he became a suspect because, quite frankly, I couldn’t believe that he would be involved in what they were investigating him for.  I still can’t believe it.  The few people I have spoke to (with no details other than the ones provided here) have basically responded back saying that there must be some evidence or he wouldn’t have been arrested.  And every time I hear that being said…. all I can hear is… "he is guilty".  I suppose when I say I can’t believe it, that implies that I too think he is guilty.  Something like this certainly raises doubts in your mind about whether or not you know this person as well as you think you do.  Despite those doubts,  I think he is innocent of these charges.   I hope that justice prevails and he is found innocent.

Lights… action…

I bought our current TV around 10 years ago.  It has always acted up in terms of sound.  Multiple times, we have had to hook up an external sound system until it recovered its audio.  It didn’t look like it was going to recover its audio this time because it had been out for months and we had to hand adjust the volume on the external master whenever we wanted to adjust the volume.  The composite video inputs broke a few months ago and we had been watching DVDs on our laptop.  The picture had some a nice little pink or green bar running vertically down the sides of the screen.  Clearly…. the TV was was limping along.  Our patience was limping along with it.

Last night, we finally broke down and bought a 32" LCD HDTV.  We already had a 32" old style TV so we felt buying the same size would be fine.  No need to go larger and our budget couldn’t handle it anyways.   Interesting how a 32" rectangle looks so much smaller than a 32" square and Eduardo is mumbling about how we should have gotten a larger TV.  I am already starting to get used to the ‘smaller’ size and its OK for the size of the room that it is in.   It took us all night to make the purchase, bring it home and hook it up.  It looks so brand new! So very now instead of old school technology.  We look like we might actually live in this century.

Anyone want a TV that has no composite video inputs, sound and a wonky tube?  The bonus part is that it weighs about 120 lbs. What?  No takers?  I don’t understand.

Please leave it to a professional!

Every now and again, Piero would turn on/off the lights in the bathroom and get zapped.   Last weekend, he got zapped so badly that he started screaming and cried.  Eduardo, being the electrical apprentice that he is, decided to look into the situation and see what the problem was.

The switch was wired like this:
Hot wire on ground, ground on hot and hot wire on hot wire.  Hmmm…. a novel way of wiring together a switch on the circuit.  This resulted in the switch being hot and explains why there was tape over the screws in the plate(they were hot too) and why Piero was getting zapped.  It is a wonder that all of us weren’t getting zapped.

So Eduardo figures out which wire goes to the light and which wire goes to the rest of the circuit and wires up the switch ‘properly’.  This left one wire hanging loose (that was hot all the time) and the lights wouldn’t turn on.  Hmmm…..

So Eduardo calls me in asking for some ideas.  I asked him what he did and then suggested that perhaps this left over wire needs to be wired into the switch for some reason.  Very carefully (because we were working with live wires to see if the lights would turn on when different wires touched), Eduardo goes to touch the left over hot wire to one of the screw-ins on the switch.  In the process, he hits the ground.  Voila! Lights.  Removes the wire from ground…. no lights… touches ground… lights.  Hmmm…. interesting

We have no idea what is wrong with the circuit but Eduardo decides to twist together the ground and the hot wire and cap it with a wire nut.  The lights work, the rest of the circuit works and the switch is no longer hot.  He presumes that some other mistake has been made in the circuit but is afraid to go looking for it in case other interesting things pop up that he won’t be able to handle.

Dear Property Manager,

I assure you that I am not the complete idiot that I have just made myself appear to be.  That key did not open my house 3.5 years ago when I bought it. I am positive (ok, now not so positive) that I tested that key in my door and it would not unlock it which is why I have always wondered for this entire time why I was given this key at closing.  But thank you for accidentally trying the mystery key in my door and unlocking it.

Sincerely,
That blonde chick in apt #xxx

So I come home from work to let myself in and discover that my key is not working.  I have had a few problems with my key ‘sticking’ and taking a couple of tries to open the door.  No amount of jiggling, wiggling, twisting, turning, pulling or pushing would open the door.  I called Eduardo.  Lets not go into how much he didn’t care about the fact that I was locked out.  That would make this funny story very sad.  I decided that since our Property Manager is a really nice guy and on Tuesdays the office is open past 5pm I would walk down to the office.  He gives me the key that they have previously used to enter our apartment to repair the air conditioning not more than a month ago.  I go back and try the key.  No luck.  The property manager comes on up to the apartment and tries his key.  No luck.  He then takes my keys from me and uses the mystery key.  Voila!! Door opened.  He looks at me strangely as I try to explain that the key never unlocked the door when I moved in so I didn’t think it was a door key.  Honest!  But he does admit that it was rather strange that their key was no longer working.

After all this time I now know what that mystery key is for and feel like a complete idiot!  But see… it pays to be a packrat! or is that just called laziness?  If I hadn’t of just attached the keyring I got at closing to my keys…. I wouldn’t have had the mystery key to unlock the door.

Good grief… you have to be kidding me!

We went out to the movies on Sunday to see Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.  Now I have rarely gone out to the movies and the last movie we went out to (just a few days prior) was 5$ for the each of us.  We didn’t buy any beverages or snacks either time.

Ticket prices for 4 for the matinee: 33$
Prices for 2 small coke and a large Bargs: 14.50$
Popcorn: we smuggled in our own popcorn

50$ to go to see a movie which only the kids liked.  It absolutely boggles my mind that we didn’t even buy popcorn and we spent 50$ for a family outing!  In fact, I am totally and completely floored by the price of the drinks which were basically favoured syrup and carbonated water.  I happened to take a sip of the kids Coke and it didn’t taste like any Coke I had ever bought at the store. YUCK!

Apparently, you must be rich in order to head to the movies these days.  I told Eduardo that perhaps we needed to look at places that showed movies after they had already basically left the theatres.  You get to watch a movie for about 2$ or 3$ in a fairly run down theatre well after their first run date but at least they are affordable!!!!

Independence Day

We went out to the festivities at a nearby town.  The kids were happy because they got to go on rides.  We saw a few antique cars.  We investigated some vendors and bought tie-dyed shirts and some crafts for the kids.  Afterward, we walked to Whole Foods to grab a few groceries.

I cooked up some hamburgers and hotdogs with some fresh corn!  After that, the kids watched a movie as they waited for the fireworks.  This year, Kylie watched them with glee right up until the finale.  The finale was a little loud for her but no screaming this year!  Instead,  Piero decided that the fireworks were not for him and he didn’t want to watch them.  He declared them too loud.   He went back to the bedroom to watch a video.  This year was the complete opposite of last year.   I sure enjoyed the fireworks despite what I think were technical difficulties.  Several times, the fireworks had stopped for so long we though that they had finished.  I kid you not… there was at least one 5 minute break in the middle.

And of course… I missed a piece of my body when I was applying sunscreen and that measly two hours (or less) in the sun resulted in a nice little burn.  Not lobster red or anything but still noticeable.