September 30, 2008

Thought for Thursday - Taking Tucker to Tinkle

I think Tucker has learned that if he sits by the door, not only will I hop up off the couch to take him out to tinkle, but I might just hop off the couch everytime he desires to go out, even if he doesn't actually need to relieve himself. Smart little doggie...grrr. He did this three times in an hour. That kind of gave it away. Dang doggie just wanted me to let him out to sniff around, find other doggie doo doo to roll in or eat. GROSS! I'm not falling for the doggie by the door trick again. He gets out every few hours unless he's sick...that's it, I'm drawing the line! Unless he gets even and poops on the carpet. Then I might have to rethink that...

By the way, Tucker graduates next Sunday from puppy class. He has to demonstrate that he can do the following commands: Sit; Lay Down (which he can FINALLY do); Stay; Wait and then Come when called; Leave It (he's not so good at this, since the other doggies' poops are just so enticing) and Drop it (which oddly enough he usually does...unless it's poop of course). GAWD, doggies are just so disgusting sometimes...cute but gross.

September 29, 2008

Make My Monday - I Survived a Trip to the Hotbed of Bigotry

And I lived to tell about it! Those of you outside the state of Colorado might not immediately know where I went. I'll clue you in on that...Colorado Springs. Yep, that conservative attracting bastion of the religious right and fan club of the McCain-Palin campaign. I had some work to do there for the children. Thankfully, I was PAID to be there. And now I'm back in the safety of my own home, far away from the bigots. Don't get me wrong though, there are some nice people in Colorado Springs. And the city has an AWESOME view: least it's a pretty place to visit. I just wouldn't want to live there. The main reason is the Focus on the Family campus and the people that work there. I believe that everyone has a right to have crazy thinking. I don't believe they have the right to thrust it upon others. I also object to the fact that for many years their campus was lit up like a roman candle after 11pm. Not sure if they finally figured out to turn out the lights and join the rest of the state in attempting to conserve energy, but I hope they've seen the light at least in that area...heh.

September 25, 2008

Thought for Thursday - Another Presidential Poll

Of course this is a fun interactive poll from Qdoba. Which I'm sure won't be available after the November elections. I'm a fan of their BIG Burrito's even if they're bad for the wasteline. To be fair and unbiased, I also like Chipotle's, however they don't have an interactive poll to share. They do offer several NATURAL meats for their entrees though, so they win on that score. Anyway, ignore the blatant marketing on Qdoba's part and have fun in the mean time. Let me know if you think it has any scientific value...hehehe. My favorite part is that the Chips and Salsa people in Colorado slightly favor McCain over Obama. Funny that people who like the least substantial menu item at Qdoba also favor the least substantial candidate...

September 24, 2008

Wednesday's Wine - Columbia Crest Two Vines Vineyard 10 Rose Wine, 2007

Okay all you WHINERS out there...heh...I've relented somewhat and bought some PINK wine. No, it's not a White Zinfandel or one of those icky sweet ones though. My wine guy, Joe, at 3S Liquors knows what I like in general, so when I asked him for a suggestion, he recommended Columbia Crest Two Vines Vineyard 10 Rose Wine, 2007 from Washington state. It costs about $8.00.

I found it to be fruity but not so sweet that it's cloying. In fact, it's a bit tart too. I tastes best about 10 minutes out of the fridge, but still cold. I have to say it's still pretty tasty after an hour. I've had it with beef and chicken fajitas and leftovers...heh. Not bad. I think it would be excellent with pork and especially ham. Salt is a nice counter point to some sweeter wines.

This is what Columbia Crest said about their wine:

Tasting Notes
“Aromas of light red fruits, including fresh cherries, strawberries and a hint of watermelon open this Rosé. On the palate, lively acidity accentuates the bright flavors of berries and cherries and lead into a crisp and refreshing finish.” -Ray Einberger, Winemaker


Update: By the way, lest you all think I've gone all foofy chick on you, the main grape in this Rose is a Washington state Syrah which gives this "pink" wine a much darker color. Think of it as HOT pink!

September 23, 2008

Tuesday's Time Waster - Making Report Templates

Well, today I spent about 4 hours making a template for evaluation data, so I could just put numbers in and then copy and paste it as needed. After all the time put in to this, someone actually suggested that we weren't supposed to arrange data in nicely lined up columns for ease of understanding (last part of that statement is mine). You can see why I love JOBs. Speaking of JOBs, I finally got a salary offer and it was actually a bit more than I expected. All the time spent last week on finding my inservice certificates worked out well! Now I just need to find my Social Security's somewhere around here...I think.

September 22, 2008

Make My Monday - The Market Was Actually Up Last Week...

by 3 tenths of a percent. Or so I've been told. The recommended mindset is to not let short term volatility in the market mess up your long term plan. That works pretty much if you're doing a few things consistently.

1. Diversify - Make sure you have a truly asset allocated portfolio.
2. Dollar Cost Average - Make sure you put a regular amount of money into your asset allocated retirement plan every month...especially if your employer is matching it!
3. Discipline - Stick to your plan through thick and thin as it will pay off in the long run. This is particularly true if you've got 10 or more years until you'll be drawing on your retirement plan.

Remember that most companies are gonna be here after the market
volatility has stabalized. In the meantime, it's a good time to invest for long term goals, but not so much for short term. It's a good Monday for the long term. Too bad my new job benefits don't start until next month...heh.

September 17, 2008

Thought for Thursday - Just ANOTHER Example of Appalling Public Policy Approved by Elected Officials

If you're even contemplating voting for McCain and the woman who's name must not be said, then read this disturbing blog post from Feminist Finance.

Wednesday's Wine - Jacob's Creek Shiraz, 2006

I know you all have been just waiting and waiting for another wine review (and hoping that I don't WHINE about something). So here's the latest:
Jacob's Creek Shiraz, 2006 from South Eastern Australia. Very nice at $8.00 from 3S Liquors. However, it was not a typical Shiraz. The first taste I noticed was oak. Second, I noticed that it was a bold red and much closer to a Cabernet than I've come to expect from Shiraz (this one was earthy, where most have big ripe fruit flavors). It did have more berry notes than Cabernet, but then I also noticed kind of a black pepper taste on the finish.

Here's what Jacob Creek said about their wine:

Full depth crimson with purple hues

Ripe cherry and dark berry with dried herb and spice.

Ripe blackberry and plum with attractive mid-palate fruit sweetness. Medium bodied, with soft velvety tannins and subtle toasty oak."

Yeah, what I said, except that I noticed some pepper too. Maybe that's what they meant about "dried herb and spice." And maybe I smelled it...hmmm. Well, alrighty then. They suggested that this Shiraz goes well with beef, chicken and lamb. I had it with a steak (off the gas grill out on my balcony) one night, burrito's smothered with extremely hot pork green chili (and I do mean extremely in spicy hot) and I had it another night, but I can not remember what I had for dinner...sigh. What!?! I've been working a lot (that's probably a whine, huh?). Well anyway, I thought it was pretty good for the price and I would definitely buy it again. Enjoy!

September 16, 2008

Tuesday's Time Waster - Looking for Inservice Certifications

I found out that inservice transcripts are really just continuing education certificates. So I spent a couple hours this morning searching for all my different certificates that I've accumulated in the past 15 years. Unfortunately, my car was broken into a couple of years ago and a bag with a bunch of my newer certificates was stolen along with some valuable (only to a psychologist) test kits (I wonder if the robbers tried to figure out their own IQ's...heh). I did manage to throw some definitely useless papers in the recycle pile while I was at it!

I also found out from the HR gal that if I take one more graduate school credit and can round up about 240 hours worth of certificates I can have my salary bumped up almost $2,000 a year. I called the state licensing office to see if I could get copies of the certificates I submitted with both of my license renewal paperwork packets and for $15.00 I can have them tomorrow if I come to pick them up. Meanwhile, I'll keep going through files. Maybe digging through boxes of old psychology files and notebooks isn't quite the time waster after all!

September 15, 2008

Make My Monday - JOB Status Update

The school district HR department FINALLY contacted me to request graduate school transcripts! Now I have to call them to find out whether my "Issued to Student" transcripts are official enough (they had a rather vague description of what is NOT official) and also to find out what an Inservice Transcript is, because I've attended many inservices and received plenty of Certificates of Completion, but I have yet to ever see an Inservice Transcript. I suspect, I'll be stopping at my old grad school to request an "Official" transcript of my degree, but we shall see!

September 10, 2008

Wednesday's Wine - Fox Brook Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005

Okay...right off the bat I should warn you that this was a really cheap wine. Like $4.00 cheap at 3-S Liquors. So if you're a wine snob, you can stop reading now. I say this, because I couldn't find anything on the internet about this California wine other than a few places where I could buy it and for how much (mostly around $6.00 to $7.00), not even an image. So I know this post will now show up in the google searches.

Anyway, it was really actually pretty dang good. I found it to be a bit thinner in consistency than a typical Cabernet...more like a Merlot. As a result, it wasn't quite as bold. If you prefer a Merlot or one of the pink wines, but want to check out a Cabernet for comparison, this wine would be a good start. Just understand, most Cabernets have more to them than this one does. Nevertheless, Fox Brook's Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005 has good flavor and not a lot of noticeable alcohol (which I've mentioned before is often the case with the very low priced wines). It had a bit of a light cherry taste on the front and a smooth finish. For the price I would definitely buy it again. I had it with red chili one night and with salmon taco's another. I think it would go well with nacho's or pizza at a football party too! Anyway, if you can find it cheap in your neighborhood (meaning under $8.00), I would try it out. Enjoy!

September 9, 2008

Tuesday's Time Waster - Astraware Casino

About 10 days ago I was messing around with a little program on my Treo 700 (it's one of those Palm based Smart Phones). The little program is a semi-free application that let's me check the weather, the stock market, sport scores and entertainment news. It lets me do other things too, but I don't use the other functions. There's also a section of functions for purchase. One area is for downloading games. They gave me a free one...they're so devious. Anyway, I figured it wouldn't fit on my Treo anyway, since it has way too much stuff crammed on it. But it DID!!!

And this is what I got:

Okay that's a crappy screen shot. So you can just go visit Astraware and check out all the lovely time wasting games for yourself. You can find Astraware Casino on this page.

I have now successfully blown through hours of time and almost $1200 in virtual money. Very handy to play during boring meetings too! Let me know if you have a handheld PDA loaded with games and which ones you like the best.

September 8, 2008

Make My Monday - New TV Season & Bronco's Football

I have too many shows scheduled for my DVR. I'm gonna run out of room and have to delete some of my good lesbo movies. The first to go will be the ones I recorded off LOGO...too many commercials and all the good bits cut or blurred...heh. Of course I always delete the show episodes after I watch them. But with potentially two shows recording at the same time, the drive is filling up fast.

It's also MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL with the Bronco's versus the hated Raiders. I'm a wee bit into the Bronco's. That's all.

Oh, by the way, Tucker is feeling better and back to being frisky after spending the weekend feeling a bit under the weather. And the job is getting busier now...just figured you all would wanna know.

September 4, 2008

Thoughts for Thursday - Working and playing dog this what my life has become!?!

Well I got up this morning and did it all over again...well not quite. Wednesdays are killer days since I have to leave for the office at O'Dark Thirty. Hence no time for wine or whining. So today was much better, the sun was actually up when I took Tucker for our morning constitutional. I remember when I slept in until 7am or so every morning...sigh. Today I stayed in the north end of town to do evaluations. But tomorrow it's back to dropping off Tucker at the Doggie Day Spa...I mean Daycare...and racing across town in rush hour traffic to get to the office for meetings.

Fortunately, my first meeting is scheduled for I can actually be leisurely about it. Whenever the salary position starts, the 8 hour work days start. Of course when you factor in the drive time it's closer to 10 hours if I'm down on the south end of town where the office is. On the other hand, with all the locations we serve, I'm not expected to actually go to the office everyday...whew! I probably would have inquired about part time just avoid that drive on a daily basis.

In doggie news, Tucker had his next round of shots. I thought they were his last round, but apparently not. His last set is in three weeks and in about 45 days, he'll be losing his doggie malehoodness. I'm sure that will be so much fun. I scheduled that for a Monday so I could put him in the Doggie Day Spa...I mean Daycare for convalescing during the week. Of course that won't work so well on Wednesday. Maybe I'll call in sick. Do they give doggie sick days?

Well, my life was rather mundane before, but with occasional sparks. Now it's downright boring. I work and I take care of a puppy...and I blog occasionally. What's up with my life...sheesh, I'm feeling old.

September 2, 2008

Tuesday's Time Waster - JOBs

So I had my interview today. And, as I suspected, my group interview was in fact viewed as mediocre. I don't present well in group interviews. "Hotseatitis", I think. My family moved some 14 times when I was a kid. I had to get pretty good at making friends, which I did on a one to one basis, but I was not so hot as the new kid in class. We also moved all over the country, so I didn't really sync up with conversational pacing (the psych speak for poor verbal social skills due to different speeds of communicating which vary from region to region in the US - think NYC versus "the south"), although I did very well with this in Omaha. Probably because the neighbor boy liked me and was very popular. It didn't hurt that we only had two classrooms of 5th graders.

Anyway, the big big boss is from Ohio and appreciated that I went to The Ohio State University. She also explained that in this school district (and I think in most jobs these days) people focus on how well you interact on a personal basis and less on how well you interact on a professional basis. I do very well on a professional level. Not so much on a personal basis. She said she's pretty much the same. Of course, I don't think we're quite THAT much alike on a personal basis, because I have a reason I don't discuss personal stuff at work. Despite the law, people still discriminate basis on sexual orientation. So while I will chat in general about my family, I do not discuss my day to day life. Add that to my general awkwardness in the syncing up on a social level and you

Oh well, at least my work speaks for itself and I've now been put on through to being recommended for hire (in a salaried position). If only I could have skipped the group interview...just one example of why having a JOB kinda sucks, that and having to actually work 40 plus hours a week (hence the time wasting...heh). There are some redeeming aspects of some JOBs. For example, if you have a passion for what you do, if you can land a position that is semi-autonomous, and if there's a pay scale that actually has raises that are predictable (so you're not at the mercy of kissing someone's ass to get a raise). As always...tune in sometime soon for another JOB update...

September 1, 2008

Make My Monday - Happy Birthday/Labor Day

As some of you know by now, it was my birthday on Saturday. For the record, I'm still between 40 and 50 years old...heh. Tucker was my primary gift to myself, but I also went to that HRC concert on Tuesday with a date for my birthday. It's a good thing that I did this as Saturday evening was a partial bust of a night. I did take advantage of the empty pool and hot day to go swimming in the morning and I went up to my land with Tucker to sit and contemplate nature. Here's Tucker on my land:

...wondering why I'm interrupting him from all the new smells to take a picture. But hey, I tell him, it's a command performance...heh.

So today is Labor Day...does that mean I should labor on something? Actually, you can see, I updated the blog page a bit and reorganized some things. Hope you like it!