Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My eee PC Review - One Week in

I LOVE IT! I heart it. It is my favorite toy. It ROCKS! It is HOT!

I got my eee pc a week ago, and as you can see from the line above it is amazing. It is SO light. I have taken it on a 3 day business trip in which I did not need my larger laptop. I took notes on it. I worked on spreadsheets and documents, and I surfed the web a lot. I also got a Sprint mobile air card. I love it except for the fact that it sticks out too far from the laptop (it is usb based). I IM'd on the eee. I did oovoo on the eee (oovoo itself is pretty hot), and I even sent my hubby a love note via video. I even downloaded itunes and Amazon unbox on it. After the business trip, I have used it at the office, at the gym while waiting for Morgan, in the car while waiting for Morgan, and at home. Morgan also loves it, and she has played Club Penguin and Webkinz on it. Webkinz doesn't like the resolution too much, but Club Penguin handled it like a champ. For 299 for the surf with Linux, 399 for the 4 gb with XP, I don't think you can go wrong. I did get an 8 GB SDHC card to go in it. I don't think you can do much with it without that. I absolutely love the slogan - Rock Solid. Heart touching. It has certainly touched mine!

On Saturday, I went to get a massage as my shoulders were really hurting hurting after falling asleep on the plane the day before (ok, ok, the margaritas the night before might have had a little to do with it). Morgan got to get a massage for free while I got my massage. They put us into the couples massage room, and it was hysterical. They tell us to get undressed to our comfort level and that they will be back in a few minutes. Morgan is looking at me like, what?? As I start to get undressed, she is freaking out. She keeps her shorts on and lies on the table. As we are lying there waiting for them to come in, she says quietly, "This is just wrong." I cracked up. I couldn't stop giggling for about 10 minutes. She did love her massage though. She wanted to know if she could go back again next week. Ummm...I don't think so. :) My massage therapist was brutal. I tend to like the deep tissue massage, but this was too much. I think I was bruised after being there. However, I did feel better. Later in the day, I called Travis and Lisa and Tal answered the phone. I asked how he was doing (he is 9), and he said, "I am trying to figure out how to put my brothers on eBay." Hee Hee hee Hee Hee hee Hee hee...SO funny.

Sunday, Morgan and I went to Busch Gardens with her friend Victoria. Mark was going to join us, but he said the park was at capacity once he got there. As always, I was up and at it early while Mark was lingering and showing up late (ouch, was that lighting striking me???). Morgan and Victoria were finally tall enough to ride all of the roller coasters. We rode Montu 6 times, Kumba 4 times, shiekra 6 times, Gwazi twice, the sky ride twice, and the tidal wave once. What a day! Morgan likes Busch Gardens a lot better now. The new Jungala is ok. Great for smaller kids. I think we missed it by a year or so.

Monday was a pretty good day. We had a partner in town, and we went to Bonefish grill. I love the consistency of Bonefish. You typically have the same experience whenever you go. Although, this time, I will admit that it was rather odd that the waiter kept insisting on bringing out shrimp for Krishans vegetarian meal. He kept saying, "surely someone will eat it if I bring it out." Ummm...we all ordered already? He just wants pasta, really.

Tuesday was a day from hell. It sucked. No need to even discuss it except to say that I was ultra stressed out and a little snappy (ok, maybe Trixie was out a bit). Poor Morgan even made me a picture and note that said I was not the worst mom but instead I was the best mom (she overheard me telling Mike that I was the worst mom in the world as I was feeling guilty for not being able to spend time with her since I am so stressed about work).

Today was a good day. Good at work. We looked at some potential office spaces. Morgan went on a field trip to Wonder Works. She liked it. She really liked three things - 1. The wonder coaster invention where you get to create your own roller coaster and then ride it 2. this room where there are five giant birdbath looking things and they are filled with soapy water. There are big bubble wands that you dip into the soapy water and pull it out. You can make archways and put people in bubbles. She was apparently put into a bubble (and that is a good thing?) 3. there is a hallway with a metal bridge going down it, and there are moving walls with sparking lights that look like stars. It is pitch black, and if you look over it it feels like you are going to fall off

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Friday, April 25, 2008

Fun Times

I swear that you cannot make this stuff up. I really need to write a book. My day was pretty busy on Tuesday as I ended up cramming tons of meetings into one day as everyone wanted to meet this week. Since I am in Ohio from Wednesday to Friday, all of the meetings ended up on Tuesday. I was excited about getting my EEE PC, but then I received notice from the vendor I purchased it from (through Amazon) that it wasn’t shipped overnight but instead was shipped USPS 1 - 3 day priority mail. BUMMER. No way to even track it or anything. So, I give up on that idea, and I rush off to get Morgan so that she can be in her Earth Day musical. I hadn’t left my desk in hours due to the meetings, so I was needing a restroom but had no time. I got Morgan and we rushed off to her school. We arrive just in time for me to finally get to the restroom and then to get first pick of seats. So, I pick the first row and I am all proud of myself for getting those seats and for getting enough for our friends.

The Earth Day musical begins and I realize that the instructor is directly in front of me. So, I mainly see his hands waving the whole time. I do get to see Morgan and Emma though. Not that I am against the environment or the earth or anything, but it seems that they might be taking this stuff a bit too far with kids these days. Morgan now gets all upset when trees are cleared to build a neighborhood or the mall that is being built near us because it is destroying the animals’ homes. Geez. Now, this musical is going on and on about recycling computers and such. They are really into it. Here are some pictures.

We get home around 8, and nobody is home. Weird. My in-laws have been living with us, and they are usually there. I know that they went to Gainesville for the day, so I think that maybe they stopped on the way back to get something. About 9:30, I am worried. I call their cell phones and they go to voicemail. I call Mike. He agrees that it is weird, but there is no reason to panic. By 11:00, I am panicking. They are usually in bed WAY before then, and it is odd that they haven’t called because they are keeping Morgan the next three days while I am in Ohio. I start to realize that making the 6:15 flight is very unlikely. I let Travis know and start calling hospitals. I finally call Sprint, and they were very helpful. They say that they added roadside assistance to their bill during the day and they check to see if they had the car toed. After a really long time, she comes back and says that they ordered it but didn’t use it. She says the phone hasn’t been used since 4 and gives me the number. This number is Medicare. Hmmmm….I call to cancel my flight, but we had already printed our boarding passes so I couldn’t cancel until after the flight or it would cancel Travis and Krishan too. I called Travis at almost 4, and then I finally went to sleep. I couldn’t think of anything else to do. I sleep for about 30 minutes and then the phone wakes me up. Krishan is calling to see where I am parked. He hadn’t talked to Travis yet and he had decided to actually part in the extended parking instead of in his usual offsite place. A few hours later, the crisis is over and the in-laws are located safe but with a broken car that is being fixed. The phones had died and they didn’t have our numbers.

I drop Morgan at the bus, and my check engine light comes on. SHIT. You have got to be kidding. I go back to the house and get ready. For some crazy reason, I freaking locked the bedroom door on my way out and don’t even realize it. Then, I realize that my cell charger is in my room. I go up there and the door is locked!!! Ughl…I finally figure out how to pick it after trying with a paper clip and then a coat hanger. I practiced on Morgan’s door and finally got it. Just as I was leaving the house, my eee PC came to the door.. WOOO HOOOO! FINALLY something good happened. I run by the Mazda place on my way out, and they say that it is safe to drive but to bring it back after my trip. Whew.

I fly to Columbus on a non-stop flight,and I played with the eee pc. I LOVE it. It is amazing. I can’t get over how awesome it is. It is only two pounds and does everything. In Ohio, we meet for dinner at Ronettis. It was pretty good but the service was a little slow.
We were at the Holiday Inn Express in London, OH again. Krishan’s room had an LCD TV, but mine didn’t. Travis’s room didn’t have a refrigerator but Julie, Krishan, and I did. Overall, it is a good place to stay even though I had a small shower issue (nasty stuff was coming out of the shower until they replaced it).

Sometimes, in the EMR business, it is easy to forget how much paper there is in the medical world. As we try to tackle complex things, it is hard to remember how manual the paper environment is. Here are some pictures of the paper in ONE department.

We had meetings all day on Thursday, and they went well. That evening, we went to the gas station and bought some beer and Smirnoff ice. We drank several of those and then went to eat at the Mexican restaurant nearby. Our waiter was name Jesus, snd Jesus was fabulous at making margaritas. We had a few too many, and then we went back to the hotel and drank our beer and Smirnoff. We had a great time chatting about life, work, family, and everything in the middle. We laughed and laughed and laughed.. Of course, the laughing stopped this morning when we had to get up and go back to the meetings Rough… Now, I am on the flight back. I took some pictures of some funny things…

I am so ready to be home for a few weeks. I have been traveling too much lately. I am not traveling for work again until May 19th.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Ramblings of a cheer parent

Cheer season is officially over - well for about 3 more weeks. :) The end of the year banquet was tonight, and it was much fancier than our previous gym's end of the year party. The girls all dressed up, and the parents did too. :) Morgan, Katie, and I all got our nails and hair done. We had some fun girl bonding time as we went shopping too. Yes, I actually went shopping. Twice! At the banquet, Mike, Mark, and I all got trophies. :) Of course, somehow my last name was spelled wrong and Mike's was spelled right. Hmmmmm......Anyway, it was really nice of the gym and/or coaches to get us some bling. :) I especially felt proud walking by all of the parents who didn't do it with 3 trophies and 3 NCA neck pillows. :)

This last week has been a blur. Hopefully, I will be better at blogging more often now that cheer is over for this year. I went to Iowa on Monday for a management meeting at MediNotes. We were greeted at the airport with t-shirts from Iowa. Very nice. I love mine (even though I broke my orange ball all over it - it came out thankfully). We were there until Thursday. I have to say that Des Moines was very nice. We even had nice weather (it was even warmer there one day than Tampa!) Our meetings were great, and we seemed to really bond as a group. We ate at Rube's Steakhouse on Monday (a grill your own steak place), and it was really good. It was pretty funny watching all of us try to figure out when the steaks were done (well except for Krishan who was happily eating potatoes). I hadn't been to one of those in a long time. Tuesday, we ate at Famous Dave's for BBQ. I always think of Papa when I hear about or eat at Famous Dave's. Wednesday, we ate at Champps sports place. All of them were great. Several of us had a good time hanging out in the evenings at the hotel and getting to know each other. It was certainly nice to get to know people face to face. Everyone was very nice, and I appreciated the hospitality.

Thursday, I landed in Tampa and rushed to the USF Sundome to try to catch Morgan's performance. Somehow, I made it!!! It seems that I tend to have bad luck when trying to accomplish "just in time arrival" but it worked out this time! Maybe the streak has been broken. :) The fraternity boys at USF were put on early to provide some humor for the crowds, and some parents of the girls got upset that they were a little too much for them. I guess Mike and I must be pretty relaxed as I didn't really think it was that bad. I thought it was pretty funny actually, and Morgan didn't seem to think much about it at all. She was more grossed out that they started off lying on the floor with their heads "near their privates." Of course, that was just a formation on the floor before getting started. She didn't seem to notice any of the dance moves as being too much. Regardless, the girls did great. As Kelly said at the banquet, the finished the year to a standing ovation. :)

Friday, we went to an Old Gold parent team party. It was fun to hang out with the crew and laugh about the event. We got to watch the video. It is pretty funny.

I ordered an Asus EEE pc today. I am soooo excited to get it. I will post a review when it comes. I am wanting something small and light to use all the time. On another note, I went to get some RAM for my laptop today, and I was simply amazed that I can get a brand new HP laptop with 2 GB RAM and 160 GB hard drive and some crazy processor for $429. However, getting 2 GB of Ram for my laptop is $300. Geez... It is hard to justify saving the old one. :(

Morgan is always talking about being a cheerleader in college (let's hope all of her hard work and my money gets her a scholarship somewhere - Tennessee?). Anyway, I saw this story recently about Six Flags starting a professional cheerleading team. Interesting. Seems like an interesting idea.

One other note before I call it a post. :) I decided to do a trial of quicken online tonight. It is truly amazing how far this product has come. I used to use Quicken years ago, but it is so much more automated now. I decided that I would try it again since I am constantly making spreadsheets for my info. You can now use it online for $2.99 a month (less than a latte as their ad says). They have a 30 day trial here. The PC version is 60 bucks, so 2.99 a month doesn't seem that bad.

132 days until college football starts and my Vols take the field. This time of year is rough!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Cheer Weekend in Daytona

Wow, what a crazy few weeks. Nothing like being invovled in an acquisition and trying to work through all of the details that come with that, being sick, having several last minute parent team practices (since we only had something like 8 practices total), having my parents come into town and trying to spend time with them, having my new boss come into town unexpectedly, having Courtney in town, and of course having my already busy life. Whew. As you can imagine, I haven't had time to sleep so blogging was the next thing to go. :)

This last weekend was the last cheer competition of the 07-08 season. It was in Daytona Beach, and it was fantastic. We went over on Friday and hung at the beach with her friends and their families. It was so nice to relax in the sun for a while. Of course, I couldn't really relax because the girls were in the ocean most of the afternoon. Once, I was watching them and they got caught in a current. They were flying down the beach, and they were completely oblivious to this fact. I went running down the beach trying to get their attention until a man finally ran/swam to them and got their attention. They were amazed at how far they had gone. Good thing I saw them! We found out later that a 12 year old had died in the current that day. How sad...

The competition started bright and early Saturday morning. Morgan's Mini team got 2nd place by .04 points, and her youth team got FIRST place! Apparently, it is tradition to go into the ocean in your uniform if you win, so off the girls went into the water. They had a blast and thought it was so cool that their coach Alice told them to go into the water in their uniforms and even went in with them!!!

We ate lunch at Bubba Gump's and then Mike, Mark, and I changed clothes and went to meet for the parent team. I went to the car to get my make-up on and to put my hair up. I was digging in the bag, and I couldn't find my keys. I started to panic a little, and then I started taking everying out and handing it to Mike. Finally, there was nothing in the bag and there were no keys. Thinking that I had no time to worry about it with a parent team performance approaching, I went with Mike to his car to change shoes. When I put my foot in the left shoe, my toes hit something. DOOOOOHHHHHHHH...there are the keys! :) I was so happy that I didn't need to worry about it all afternoon. :)

We went to warm-ups at 4:35, and we got 4 minutes on the stunt mat, 4 minutes on the tumbling mat, and 4 minutes on the big mat. We did pretty well at practice, and that made me feel a little better. I was really nervous. We ended up waiting back stage for about 35 LONG minutes. We finally went on. The stunts that I was basing in went up fine, and I did my tumbling and such. The only problem was that Ruben caught the basket toss and hurt his knee. He went backstage, and so one of the basket tosses and one of the pyramid pieces wouldn't go up. I found out later that Abby was trying to get the spotter to put her up! How funny. It was really fun though. The boys had their, "I'm here to pick up cheer moms" shirts under their main shirt. They ripped off the top one and showed that one when they went to do their dance to Superman. :) It was hysterical.

We had quite a few margaritas after the performance, and I think everyone had a great time. Steve hit is back tuck, and Stephanie and Ms. Patterson did their back handsprings. It was so nice how all of the other gyms were so supportive of us as we walked by to chants of "Parents! Parents!" I would definitely do it again. :)

We drove home today, and I catch a 6:05 flight to Iowa tomorrow morning. ICK! I am NOT a morning person, so this should be interesting. I will post pictures and a video as soon as I can.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Rain Cloud

What a week. To borrow a quote from a friend of mine, "I think a rain cloud is over my head today." Just when I think things should start to calm down - WHAM! First, I realize that my kidney stone is bothering me. Next, I have a fever. Hmmm....So, being the kind of person who always does as she should, I head straight for the urgent care instead of the urologist (who I know will have other plans for my life than the urgent care). I get my antibiotic and move on. Whew. Knocked that right out didn't I? Oh yeah says the world. Cough, sneeze, sneeze, cough, hack, crap. I either have a bad sinus infection or a cold or something. What gives? I have had more colds and coughs and sneezes this year than any year in my life. It just keeps coming. What gives? I live in freaking FLORIDA where you would think that these annoying things would be less commong. So, I am dealing with this stuff and wondering if Nyquil and pain medicine would be bad together? Ok, so maybe I will just suffer with the cold stuff.

We had parent team practice tonight. I have to say that this parent team thing has been one of the funniest things ever. From watching Mike and Mark get lessons on how to grab a woman's butt, to hearing the comments about how we are old and can't move that fast, to watching all of us try to learn what our children do so gracefully, to wondering who this mysterious Mrs. Patterson is who I have heard about for a long time but haven't met (that I know of - it is like the pretend friend of someone I start to imagine). However, we have laughed our way right through it. Even though I felt like crap, I went to practice tonight anyway because I needed some good laughs. Just as I am trying to stretch, someone says, "Hey Amy, THIS is Mrs. Patterson!" How hysterical. She really DOES exist. I have met a lot of parents that I didn't previously know, and it has generally just been really fun (and pretty good exercise too - do we really have to do the tumbling piece 20 times each practice? :) )

So, life is good. I am happy when I leave parent practice. Then, Morgan says. I got a B on my spelling test because Mrs. Foster couldn't see the dots on my eyes. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. She spelled every word correctly but she missed two because the dot wasn't prominent enough? Seriously. Silly me, I thought a SPELLING test was about SPELLING. Apparently not. :) So, then we are driving down the interstate in our happy little states (even though I am still a little miffed about the spelling test), and all of the sudden my car just won't go any faster. I am pushing the gas pedal, but it is not moving any faster. In fact, it is SLOWING down. What is going on? Did I put it into neutral or something? Why is the gas pedal acting all weird like it is pulsing or something under my foot. Oh, this so cannot be good. I put on my hazard lights. OF COURSE, I have this jerk behind me who is riding my bumber. HELLO! Hazard lights usually mean something has gone wrong so could you back off so I can get out of the way? Morgan helps me get over as I am paranoid that a car is going to ram into me as I change lanes and move onto the side of the road. I frantically check the gas. Half a tank. Is it overheated? Nope, temp is good. Any lights? No. Did I forget to get the oil changed or something? Nope, it was done recently. What the freak? So, I call Mike and realize he is on the plane. Damn. I call Mark. No answer. I call Travis. Thankfully, he answered as I was nearing panic mode on the side of 275 at night with cars flying by me. I do NOT want to get out of the car as it might be the last thing I do (the shoulder is very narrow and I am by a bridge or something - imagine the luck).

Travis says that it is probably not in gear or something. I laugh because that is the reason I have an automatic so that I don't have to understand the gears. :) He tells me to put it into reverse and then into drive and to keep changing the gears. Nothing. I push the gas, and it BARELY moves. It does move, but hardly at all. And the gas is still doing this weird pulsing thing. Travis says he will call me back in 60 seconds and will come get me. I tell him I have AAA and will be fine, and he says he will call back. I turn off the car and try think of what could possibly be wrong. Morgan is asking a million questions a minute. What is that annoying blinking sound? What are we going to do? How are we going to get home? What is wrong? Why won't it move? I answer that the annoying blinking lights are there to keep someone from killing us. Ok, so admittedly, it might not have been the best answer. Of course, my little Morgan says, I like the blinking lights. I crack up. Thank GOD for Morgan as she always seems to make me laugh.

Finally, I decide that I am just going to see if I can get down the road away from this bridge-like thing even if it is at 1/100th of a mile per hour. As I move, the gas is still jerking. I put it into reverse and into drive 3 times, and all of the sudden she starts working again! LET THERE BE REJOICING! I call Travis to tell him that I am ok and on the way home after I have gone a good 2 minutes without incident. I am hesitant to pass the rest area (yes, my house is past the rest area) as it might be the last safety stop. I make it all the way home without incident. Whew.

So much for life being calm. However, I guess if it were calm, then it wouldn't be much fun and there wouldn't be very many good stories to tell. :)