Friday, March 30, 2007

The Touch

Night before last I had this bone chilling dream about the end of humankind. A plague was spreading through the world that only killed humans. If you were "Touched" by an infected person you would contract the disease, be driven to "Touch" as many others as you could, and then die. Chris had already perished and I was freaking out. There was mayhem in the streets and I found myself at this bar with a bunch of other uninfected persons just waiting to be "Touched". I ordered a Manny's (how else to approach the end) and settled in with the others to wait. We had barricaded the doors and we felt somewhat safe. All of a sudden I felt something on my shoulder and turned to see David Duchovney giving me "The Touch".

Then I woke up. I think that perhaps I have been watching way too much X-Files.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

I'm big in China and Bothell.

A few months ago I put an IP tracker on my blog so I could see where my readers came from. Much to my surprise I get a lot, a surprising amount, of visitors from overseas. Most of them find me by searching for KikiRiki or O2 Optix. And oddly, a lot of my hits come from China. From Internet cafes in China. I find that very cool. I'm pretty sure I don't know anyone actually in China at this time.

In the US most of my hits come from Bothell. Bothell, WA. I'm big in Bothell.

So to those of you in Bothell and China - Hello! And thanks for visiting.

The rest of you - Hello as well.

Dilemma

Ok, so one of my favorite favorite bands is playing a free concert next weekend. But they are playing at a casino, in Olympia, the Little Creek Casino.

It is a free concert! But it is a casino.....
It is a free concert, and it is a The Paperboys. I *heart* The Paperboys.
But it is a casino....in Olympia.

Ugh....

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Saga Continues

We still have the wrong fridge. They were to deliver the correct one last weekend but on Saturday morning, about 20 minutes before they were to arrive we received a call. It was Sears, they had ordered the wrong one again. They said "we have your fridge, but we can't reverse the door for you, it is stainless steel". Um....yeah, that is why we ordered the other one. So now I've gone round and round and round with Sears trying to find out why they can't seem to order us the correct one. To top it off, in the last 3 days I've received 3 calls from their delivery department, each time a different rep. All 3 times they have no idea what our situation is and each time they are calling to tell me the door on the wrong fridge can't be reversed. The last time I slowly explained to the person that if they didn't take notes on my account, and I received ONE MORE DUMB ASS CALL FROM THEM, I would become their worst nightmare.

I haven't heard back......

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Confession

So I know that on Friday I stated that I'd be getting up early and going for an 8 mile walk. Well, I didn't quite make it. I woke up around 6:30, put on my walking gear, opened the front door, and then closed it. It was pouring down rain in West Seattle.

Usually that wouldn't stop me, but recently I have become addicted to Exercise TV. Comcast Cable On Demand has a section called Exercise TV which contains tons of those exercise videos you see on the rack in the fitness section of DVD stores. I found one called "Fitness Walking" in my browsing one day and was introduced to the wonder who is Leslie Sansone. She has video after video of in home walking. And not just walking, but jogging and strength training too. So when I looked out Saturday morning to the rain I was excited at the prospect of spending another morning walking with Leslie.

I went downstairs, set up the TV, browsed to Exercise TV and then it hit. Where was Leslie. Where was the 3 mile Power Walk or the 3 mile Hand Weight program. They were gone. In their place was Walking for Older Adults and the 1 mile Booster. I was in shock. Luckily I remembered that I had seen Leslie's smiling face at Target a while back. So I hopped in the car and headed down there to purchase the 5 Mile Deluxe! Now I never have to worry about Comcast taking Leslie away from me. I have her at home with me anytime I want to pop the DVD in.

Another Crisis Adverted.

(On a side note, I introduced Chris to Exercise TV and now he is addicted to Kendall Hogan.)

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Mountain Time Forgot - That Kicked My Ass

Yesterday was awesome. My cousin Cam and I had decided to get one last ski day in before the season ended. We wanted to go somewhere close and chose Alpental. Little did we know that on Saturday Alpental had to close down at 12:30pm because it was raining so hard. I'm glad we didn't know that before heading up there.

We arrived in the parking lot and it was virtually empty. We parked right up close and got our gear together. It was like a ghost town. No lines for tickets, the coffee stand was closed, and there were about 4 people in line for the chair. We were starting to get a little nervous.

But, as we reached the top of the mountain and looked out over the bowls we noticed something spectacular. The mountain was covered in 6 to 7 inches of fresh, untracked, beautiful powder. Skiers paradise. The first few runs were amazing. This is the stuff that ski videos are made of (complete with a great face plant by Cameron right in front of a ski patrolman).

We lasted until about 11:30 by which time our legs and lungs were burning. We headed toward the lodge and left our skis with a guy named Squirrel. He yelled up to the lodge and told them to open the bar for us. We relaxed and enjoyed the sunshine and snow falling for a while. When we finally went back out to the hill, Squirrel had our skis all ready for us. He had even waxed them for us while we were in the lodge. Apparently he had been a little bored.

The afternoon wasn't as great as the morning, the fresh stuff was all skied out and it had gotten quite heavy. It was like work getting around the mountain and after a couple more hours of skiing I had to throw in the towel. I was tired, sore and hungry. The mountain had kicked my ass and I needed a hot bath. I woke up this morning and could barely get out of bed. This is the best kind of pain!

Thanks for the memories Alpental, see you next season!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Update!

I'm at $565 after only 1 week of fund-raising! I have such amazing friends and family that have stepped up to donate! Even a friend of a friend read about my journey and donated to the cause. Damn that is awesome!

Tomorrow I will awake with the sun and go for an 8 mile walk to honor those who have donated. You all can sleep in, comforted in the knowledge that I am out there, pounding the pavement, for a better tomorrow.

I should write inspirational videos.

Kayaks!

So, in order to get my new appliances I had to make a deal with the devil and agree to the purchase of fishing kayaks. This weekend Chris and I will be making a trip to Hobie Cats Northwest to put a down payment down on 2 fishing kayaks. Chris is so unbelievably excited he can barely contain himself. I'm looking forward to the kayaks, but also see them as a lot of work (mainly lifting them to and off of the new rack we're getting for the Subaru).

Chris has done a ton of research and has decided on the Hobie Outback SUV. I will be getting the same. They're actually really cool and come with something called the Mirage Peddle Drive which allows you to propel your boat through the water using your legs and something similar to bike peddles. Thus leaving your hands free for fishing.

Stay tuned for many stories of our paddling/peddling/fishing adventures!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I'm on my way!

So far I've raised $270 towards my $2,200 goal for the 3 day Breast Cancer Walk! Not bad for my first few days of fund raising.

To top it off I'm averaging 17,000 steps this week! I've been to the gym 3 days in a row (8,000 steps a trip), taken the long way to the bus stop every morning (3,500 steps a day), and tried to walk to everybody in my office rather than call them on the phone! I'm feeling pretty good about myself, of course I'm really tired now and I have class tonight.

Oh well, I'm sure the instructor will keep me awake with his tales of Procurement and Contract Management. The Mini-Storage example from last class really kept me on the edge of my seat.

*yawn*

Monday, March 19, 2007

Ode to Manny's

Ok, I know I talk about Manny's Pale Ale a lot, and about how much I love finding it on tap places. I also gush on and on about all of the beers from Georgetown Brewing Company located right here in Seattle. But, let me tell you, there is nothing like an ice cold Manny's direct from a freshly tapped keg, a keg that is nestled in ice in your very own basement.

As Homer would say "Mmmm....Beer.....".

Chris and I threw a St. Patrick's Day party on Saturday night, and in honor of purchased our very own keg of Manny's Pale Ale (complete with leaky bottle of green food coloring if you were dying for a green beer). At the peak I'd say we had about 25 people crammed in our tiny house. No one seemed to mind though, they were too busy enjoy the Manny's, mixing up Duck Farts and Irish Car Bombs, and enjoying my first foray into the cooking of Corned Beef (I made two separate batches, one I followed the directions and the other I made up my own recipe - I do that sometimes....ok a lot - and both turned out wonderful).

I was up way past my bedtime (2am!) and Chris and his buddies were dead set on finishing off the keg. Luckily (for both us, and for their hangovers) they did not accomplish this feat and we still have a bit of Manny's left to enjoy for the next couple of days before the keg has to be returned.

Someday I want to meet Manny and thank him personally for the joy he has brought to my life.

Yay Beer!

40 years - Wow

This is a shout out to my parents who celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary yesterday. 40 years - married only to each other. Almost imaginable in today's world.

Congrats Parentals!

Friday, March 16, 2007

It is official!

I've officially thrown in my hat for the 3 Day breast cancer walk. I've joined an awesome team "Warming Hut Hotties" and we'll be making huge strides to fight breast cancer September 7th - 9th (some of you will recognize the 9th as Chris and my first anniversary - luckily I have the best husband ever and he has no problem with me missing it for such a great cause).

My fund raising goal is $2,200! That is the minimum that they require you to fund raise in order to participate. Our team currently has 19 members and our team goal is $75,000. If you're interested in walking with us, please contact me or visit the 3 Day website. If you just want to help fight the cause you can donate here - My Donation Page.

The Hotties are planning many fund raising events throughout this summer, the first being a silent auction on Cinco de Mayo! We're also hoping to have a wine tasting event later in the summer, perhaps a garage sale or two, and maybe some donation tables at local farmers markets. Any ideas on other fund raisers that you've seen be successful? We're open to ideas!

Go Hotties!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Rude

I went back to Globe Optical today for the, probably, 15th time in as many weeks. I'm still struggling with finding contacts that work for me and finally they ordered me some trial lenses of my old contacts. I'm not exaggerating at all about the 15 times. Trust me.

I walked in and one of the oh so nice ladies says to me "Yes, can I help you".

I responded "Yes, I'm here to pick up my trial contacts" (I was just in there about 3 days ago)

She just stares at me, I'm thinking - You're kidding me right.

"Courtney....." I say.

She continues to stare.

"House......."

"To......." she says.

"I'm here to pick up my trial contacts!!!!!!"

*sigh* How is that for customer service.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Left Hinge vs Right Hinge

Ok, so they sent us the wrong refrigerator. We were very specific in telling the lady that we needed a fridge with the handle on the right side, hinge on the left, our kitchen is set up that way. So they delivered us one with the handle on the left and hinge on the right, even though the order form says LH (left hinge).

So, I called the Sears delivery number they gave us. It says "if you have a problem with your delivery or any of the items call the Sears delivery number here". So I did.

Nope, they can't help me, they'll transfer me to the store - I get disconnected.

I call back, they still can't help me, they'll transfer me to the store - store recording says that they don't open for 1 hour and I get disconnected. Of course, I don't have that number and their website sucks.

I call delivery again to get the number. Talk to the 3rd person. They don't give me the number, they transfer me and I get disconnected.

I dig around on yellowpages.com and find the store number. At the time they said they'd be open I called and got an automated system. I pressed the number for returns. They said I needed to speak to someone in appliances and they transfer me.

The person in appliances says that I need to talk to someone in returns and transfers me back before I can say anything.

I tell the guy in returns what happened and he transfers me back to appliances and before the guy in appliances speaks I tell him that if he "transfers me again I'm going to become his worst nightmare". He listens to my story and tells me I need to call delivery. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!??!?!??! Realizing my frustration he took it upon himself to call delivery and sort this out for me.

An hour later I got a call from delivery and they will be at our house in 2 weeks to switch the fridge to the correct one. I freaked out. 2 weeks with no fridge??!??!!? Actually she told me we should use the one with the wrong HINGE until the new one arrives. *phew*

Oh, and to those of you reading this thinking - can't you just reverse refrigerator doors yourself - no you can't if it is stainless steel. Lame.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Today = Good

Tonight is my last night of class for 2nd Quarter. We have Wednesday off for SPRING BREAK. Not much of a break really, but hey I'll take it! Oh, and after our short (I hope) class is over we're going out for end of the quarter celebration. Yipee!

Oh, and our appliances came today! Chris is home now installing everything. He's already made two trips to Home Depot. I'm glad I won't be home until 9 or 10 tonight. Should give him enough time to get everything done *grin*.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Review: Jules Maes Saloon

Last night Chris and I met Matty in Georgetown for dinner at the Jules Maes Saloon. Here is my review.

Service: Awesome service. Our waitress was attentive, friendly, helpful and fun.
Food: I had one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches I've had in a long time. A brilliant combination of Cheddar, Pepper Jack and Parmesan cheeses blended together to form gooey, yummy goodness (on sourdough). Top that off with a side of tater tots and I was in comfort food heaven.
Drink: Mannys on tap! Oh and better yet, Choppers Red on tap as well (also by the Georgetown Brewing Company).
Ambiance: I felt like I was on a ski trip in some podunk town in Montana enjoying a post skiing meal at the local saloon. Apparently on the weekends they also have live music. But we left before it started.

Rating - 5 Stars (I'm going back for sure - lots of yummy things on the menu to try)

After dinner we also stopped in the 9lb Hammer for a pint. Gotta love a place that has a shuffleboard table AND lets you eat peanuts and throw the shells on the floor (although we were a little intimidated by that and put our shells back in a bowl....maybe next time.

Friday, March 09, 2007

New Appliances!

Finally, we are going to get our new appliances on Monday. This weekend will be filled with moving the old ones out and painting the kitchen in preparation. Oh, and there is also the part where we have to pull up the floor. Fun fun.........

I used the Sears online rebate website today to check on the status of our rebate (20% because we bought 3 appliances!!!). They received it, they had the right amount on it, but there was an "error" listed that said we hadn't met the requirement. Um...ok? So I called. Of course I called. And here is what she said. In order to post rebates on the website they have to choose an error code or it won't post. (????) So they usually just choose the one that says "Didn't meet the requirement". (????) She told me our rebate was fine and the check would be sent shortly. I asked her if she got a lot of calls like mine. She said "Yep all the time".

Brilliant.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Teeth of Steel

I dread going to the dentist. I dislike having someone in my mouth poking around. Scraping my teeth with their instruments. Snapping the floss. However I always go every 6 months just like they recommend. A little bit of pain to ward off a lifetime of health problems.

Every time I go they "discuss" my brushing with me. Not my habits, I'm a twice a day brusher, always. But rather the "how" of my brushing.

"Turn your brush head this way" they say.
"Switch hands for the other side of your mouth".

Every single time. They are concerned that I'm not getting my something done right. Well apparently I've been listening. Yesterday when I went to the dentist they were impressed. Whatever those problem spots were, they were getting better. My teeth are stronger, my gums are happier, and overall my mouth is in great shape! Somehow they managed to boost my spirits just by telling me how great I was doing. I think it is just a ploy to keep me coming, but its working.

By the way, if you're in the Seattle area and in need of a dentist, I would recommend mine without a doubt. The location is Wallingford Dental Arts at the corner of Wallingford and 40th (kitty corner from the Durn Good Grocery!). My doctor is Dr. Leone. She's very sweet and kind, gentle in the mouth, and can do a mean crown if need be. I started going to her about 4 years ago after my soccer collision injury that left me with one tooth broken right down the middle and two teeth chipped. Throughout the 9 visits that it took to fix said injury Dr. Leone was great and answered all of my questions every step of the way.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

20 to go

I have 20 classes left until I'm PM Certified by the University of Washington. My tuition is paid off. As of next Monday I'll have successfully completed 2 quarters with 1 quarter to go. It feels so great to be in the final stretch of this achievement.

I've noticed that I complain a lot about going to class. But honestly, it isn't the going to class that bothers me. I've really enjoyed learning the fundamentals of Project Management and participating in class discussions where real world examples are used and learned from. What I think bothers me is the time commitment. What I'm missing while I'm in class.

Most of the time I'm not missing much. Maybe a dinner out with Chris or happy hour with Matty. But there are times when I've missed things that I really wanted to be a part of. They are as follows:
  1. Argosy Halloween Party (although I did leave class a little early *cough cough* to attend).
  2. Wednesday happy hours at Morton's. Boy I miss those little Fillet Mignon sandwiches.
  3. Mariners Opening Day - Chris will be taking Steve as his date instead of me.
  4. Fly Fishing Film Tour - Chris will be taking Matty as his date instead of me.
  5. Valentine's Day - not that we would have done much, but I would have rather been with Chris than in class.
  6. Argosy annual ski day - but I did get to hear TONS of stories about how great it was.
I could go on, but that would only bring my spirits down a bit. Boy I can't wait until May 16th! Last day of class!!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Twister

You know the movie Twister. Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, and a ton of other bit players. A simple plot, not so good acting, and a flying cow? Come on! But, and this is me making a confession, every single time I scroll through the Comcast guide and see that it is playing I automatically switch to that channel. And I watch the entire movie, commercials and all. Over and over and over. It's like crack, I just have to watch it. And I cringe through the whole thing. I'm like Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle, sneaking into the closet to listen to the call in radio show. I feel like I should sneak into my closet with a TV and watch Twister. It is that bad.........

So embarrassing....

Friday, March 02, 2007

Crisis Averted

So I'm addicted to my pedometer. I wear it every day. My goal is to walk/run/stride/dance over 15,000 steps 4 days a week and over 10,000 steps the remaining 3 days a week. Some days I go crazy and log 20,000 steps. Some days I get mad at myself for only getting to 8,000. Today I encountered a crisis.

I've had many pedometers (one of which is somewhere on the bottom of Puget Sound - long story), but my current pedometer, the Omron HJ-112 Digital Premium Pedometer is by far my favorite. Its incredibly accurate, has a 7 day memory, tells you how far you've gone and how many calories you've burned.

Today I left the house early so that I could get in some extra steps. Typically my walk to the bus takes about 2,500 steps, but I wanted to add an extra 1,000 since it is Friday and I wouldn't be going to the gym. I was pretty proud of myself when I got to the bus and pulled off my pedometer to see what I was at. Bam!!! There was nothing showing on my pedometer but a blinking low batter light. I was horrified. I had no idea how many steps I'd gone! (Actually I know almost exactly how many I've gone because my obsessive compulsiveness causes me to count when I'm walking). But oh my gosh, I was in shock, I was scared, I was upset, and I had to formulate a plan fast! As soon as the bus hit downtown I jumped off and ran to the nearest Bartells where the nice lady Sheila at the photo counter got out a set of small screw drivers and opened the back of my precious pedometer. In the span of 5 minutes she got the cover off, located a new battery, removed the old one, inserted the new one, charged me $3.99 and sent me on my way. Sheila is my hero for the day.

Sadly my pedometer will read about 4,000 steps too few today. I'll have to go for a long walk at lunch to make it up.

If you're interested in becoming a pedometer convert read this book Manpo-Kei: The Art and Science of Step Counting and this one The Step Diet: Count Steps, Not Calories to Lose Weight and Keep It off Forever.
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