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Archive for May, 2006

thunder and lightening

May 31st, 2006 at 07:51 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

One of the things I really miss about Canada was how late it stayed light out. It was light till after 10:00pm. It gets dark here around 8:20pm.

Lot's of thunder and lightening right now. I love to watch lightening storms. But I've had a massive sinus headache all day because of the clouds. Did watch the thunderbirds both yesterday and today. I get a birdseye view from my office window. They practiced yesterday and it was better because there were fewer clouds. Today was very cloudy and you could hear them, but couldn't see them very well.

Did some research on tires, but I'm confused. Tomorrow I will bring up the sites and ask my Dad to help me figure out what kind I need. I have the sizes, but there a jillion different kinds. If I use my Discover card and get them at Firestone I can save an extra 5% this month.

Sent off for my May Walgreens rebate. Only $3 this month. Between working and vacation I didn't get in town very often to buy the rebate items.

I have my nieces signed up for the Red Robin bday club and got an email for the oldest to get a free gourmet burger. I printed it out and my parents are babysitting them today and tomorrow so they took them in town for lunch and got the free burger for her.

Finished reading my book Unfinished Business by Barbara Seranella.

tires

May 30th, 2006 at 09:06 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

I got another of the coca-cola coupons today. 5 2-liter bottles of coke product free.

I hit a huge pothole last week and my car has been making funny noises since. The tire that hit was really low today, so it's a slow leak at the very least. My dad has a compressor so he filled it up and checked for damage. He thinks I broke a belt in the tire and that's why it's driving bad. Both front tires would have needed to be replaced by fall. I've had them for 4 years. It's approximately $105 per tire. I plan to do some research on prices and take it in soon to get them replaced. Hopefully that will take care of the whole problem. The money will come from my maintenance/repair/replace fund. Which only has $200 in it. I may need to take some from my short-term goals fund too. June is a 3 paycheck month, so that would cover it also, although I usually try to save most of the 3rd paychecks.

Saved $53.50

May 29th, 2006 at 08:45 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

When we returned our Avis rental to the Edmonton airport in Canada we were told we owed an additional $53.50 for a one-way fee. It stinks when companies add charges on after you've paid and used something and there's no time to dispute it since you've already paid for the use. Anyways, since we had to catch a plane I figured there was nothing I could do about it.

Today I emailed the travel agency that booked the rental car for us and complained about not letting us know the cost up front since it would have affected our decision to rent with Avis. I told them we wouldn't book with Avis ever again. They offered to refund the money and I took them up on it. I'm still not going to book with Avis again, but I would use the Travel Agency again. Smile

I got a lot of sample products from each of the hotels we stayed in. I've never had moisturizer samples in a hotel before, but the first one we stayed in, the Hampton Inn, had Purity basic moisturizer samples. I started using it today and really like it, it's a very light moisturizer. I'll have to find out where they are sold.

All of the hotels we stayed in were clean and nice. The Ptarmagan Inn in Banff was probably the least nice. It was really old. No microwave or fridge or A/C. They had portable fans in the room. At Lake Louise we stayed at a 5 star hotel that was a suite.

It had a living room with a fireplace and dining area, plus a separate bedroom with a king size bed and a bathroom with a separate shower stall and a jacuzzi tub. I probably spent a half hour in that tub that night. I was so stiff from sitting on the train for two days it felt wonderful.

Unfortunately, even though we specified non-smoking rooms, my parents room smelled of smoke and since my mom is allergic to smoke they had to move them. The only other room they had available was a small room on the 5th floor in the back with no view. It was a better room than any other room we had on the trip, but compared to the first one it was a real let down. My dad wasn't very happy about that. The room they were originally given was supposed to be a non-smoking room, but someone obviously didn't care. It was very unfortunate, but nothing we could do about it since the hotel was full.

Finished reading the library book Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher. Sci/Fi. Very Good.

nieces bday

May 28th, 2006 at 09:00 pm

My mom has a blister on the bottom of her foot so we didn't walk today.

Went to Chili's for lunch. They have a deal if you buy a $25 gift card they give you $5 extra. So I bought $50 in gift cards and lunch was free with the $10 they gave me. The Chili's is new to our little town. We're getting a lot of new stores right now. Kohl's and WalMart. I'm waiting for my credit union to move here, which is supposed to happen next year and I'm also waiting for Walgreens and Wendy's. Both are supposed to be sometime this year.

Went to my sister's for dinner. We celebrated my nieces 15th bday. They are going to be on vacation in the East on the actual day, so we had it early. I gave her half of her present. The other half is to take her to Clinique to get a makeover and I'll buy her foundation and blush. That's expensive stuff, but at her age name brand is important, plus the experience will be fun. I'll do that when they get back from their vacation and when I see that Clinique is offering a gift with purchase.

I took some books for her to read over the summer too. As I was going through my books I kept saying maybe in a couple of years. Most of my books have adult themes that aren't suitable for them yet. I did find a few for her to read. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was one of them. I love that book. I hope she likes it too.

I need to do two things with the younger niece to catch up to the older one. She was grounded and I couldn't do one of the things I had planned and I got out of sync. I try to take them one at a time and do something special at least once a month.

I got groceries and spent around $17. I don't have the exact figures since the reciept is downstairs.

Saturday

May 27th, 2006 at 08:29 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

Got her signed up with the Nature Made program. You get a $5 coupon for the first 500 points, but for the second 500 points you get a $7 coupon. She had enough points for $12 in coupons.

Got Nexus shampoo and conditioner samples in the mail.

Watched the library DVD Mr and Mrs Smith. Very good. I thought it was really funny. Gave it to my parents to watch with strick instructions to return it on time for me to give back to the library. My mom wanted to know if I could get other DVDs from the libary and I told her I could so she had me reserve While you were sleeping. An old Sandra Bullock movie. I'm gradually bringing them into the computer age Smile

Finished reading my book The Average Family's Guide To Financial Freedom. Finance. Very good.

Nature Made and Coca-Cola coupons

May 26th, 2006 at 09:17 pm

walked with mom for 55 min. Then stayed for taco salad and card games.

Got off work an hour early for the weekend. They let everyone go early.

One of our contractors is leaving and he called to tell me he is taking all my ideas with him to implement at his next job. Nice complement. I'm the one who has put most of our test practices in place.

I got 2 of my Coca-Cola coupons today to get 5 2-liter bottles free. Expect 5 more.

My Points sent me an email about joining Nature Made wellness membership. I buy Nature Made vitamins so I joined and entered all the codes from my existing bottles and made enough to qualify for a $5 coupon (500 points), which they will send me in the mail. Plus I still have 120 points towards the next coupon. They also have printable coupons on the website.

I need to tell my mom about this and see if she wants to join, since she buys the really expensive bottles of vitamins, $30-40.

If you don't have a My Points membership you can go to http://www.naturemade.com/WellnessProfiles/wp_faq.asp?mktgid... to join

Finished reading the library book Definitely Dead by Charlain Harris. Supernatural. Very good.

tired eyes

May 25th, 2006 at 08:08 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

My eyes are so tired today, probably from going back to looking at a computer screen 8 - 10 hours a day again.

I had 289 emails to wade through. Took 3 hours, but it was a pretty good first day back.

Finished listening to the library book on tape Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. Sci/Fi. Excellent.

There's no place like home

May 24th, 2006 at 09:13 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

Got back from my trip at 11:45 last night. Long day of traveling. Left from Edmonton, Canada at 4:35 pm. Went to LA and from there to CO. Pretty round-about way to travel, but that's the way the tickets worked out.

I really enjoyed the train ride through the Canadian Rockies. The food was fantastic. It was all chilled but so good. We saw bears, a wolf, (which was my favorite), elk, deer, a puma, 2 bald eagles and an osprey. Unfortunately our second day on the train we were stuck on the tracks for 5 hours while we waited for them to fix the roads, which had washed out from so much snow melting. That meant we didn't get to Banff till almost midnight. We would really liked to have had some time shopping there. It looked like there were a lot of really cute gift stores.

I won a poetry contest on the train. We were asked to write a poem about Salmon. We read our poems to each other and then everyone voted on the winner. Mine won. So I was inducted into the Order of the Salmon and given a Salmon pin. I didn't know I could write poetry. The salmon begins his run blue/gray in color and after they spawn they turn red and then drown.

Here's my poem:

The salmon starts out blue and gray
Just another working day
Swimming upstream night and day
To reach the top and earn his pay
Then before his blushes can fade away
He reminisces on his busy day
And as his life slips away
You can hear him sigh and sadly say
Darn! Retirement was just 2 days away.

The Edmonton Mall was a big disappointment. It was huge and there were a lot of stores, but nothing that we don't have here. No really interesting gift stores. And it was loud and crowded and just overwhelming. But you never know how something will turn out till you try it.

I spent just about $100 in cash on souvenirs and gifts. I spent around $150 on the CC, $70 of which was for a meal for all 3 of us. And my parents put all the other meals on their CC and I'll get an accounting of that sometime next month and pay them back then. I'm estimating around $150 for meals.

So I think I did really well on the spending part. I got myself some really beautiful jade earrings. Two pairs, one a pair is hearts and one pair is Orcas. Gorgeous. I like to get earrings as souvenirs, because it's something I can use for years and remember where I got them from. I still have a pair of jade maple leaf earrings that I got last time I went to Canada 7 - 8 years ago.

Slept in today, it was really great to be back in my own bed. Did laundry, unpacked, got groceries, caught up on personal email, relaxed. Had a ton of mail but only about 6 pieces were worth anything. I got my $25 Great Fun/Buy.com rebate and a sample of Rolaids.

The day before I left for Canada I sold a $20 book on half.com and I sold another one today for $3.

Spent $1.59 at the post office and $40.94 at King Soopers for groceries.

While on the trip I read the following books:

Master of Wolves by Angela Knight. Romance. Very good

Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris. Supernatural. Very good

Micah by Laurell K. Hamilton. Supernatural/Romance. Excellent

Dark Demon by Christine Feehan. Supernatural/Romance. Excellent.

packed

May 16th, 2006 at 07:42 pm

walked with mom for 55 min.

I'm all packed. I've cleaned the house and did a load of laundry today. Now I just need to fall asleep tonight. Smile I never sleep before a big day, but I hope I get some. Have to get up at 6 in the morning tomorrow; about an hour and a half before my regular wake-up time.

I won't be blogging again until the 24th.

Finished reading my book Dreams Made Flesh by Anne Bishop. Sci/Fi-Romance. Excellent book. I can't describe how beautiful this woman writes. The emotions of the characters are so strong. I love her Black Jewels trilogy. I can't put these books down. Even the second time through.

last work day

May 15th, 2006 at 09:13 pm

walked with mom 55 min

The day went surprisingly fast for my last work day before my vacation. I was expecting it to drag. We actually leave on Wednesday but I took tomorrow off to get the house and laundry done and pack.

Finished listening to the library book on tape Trophies and Dead Things by Marcia Muller. Mystery. Good.

Mother's day

May 14th, 2006 at 08:55 pm

walked with mom for 55 min.

Spent 1.78 for a newspaper and 3 bananas at Safeway. Since I'm only going to be home for 2 days this week, I'm not buying any groceries.

Finished reading the library book Sebastian by Anne Bishop. Sci/Fi. Excellent book. Love this writer. Very emotional writing.

$87 for a serving of french fries

May 13th, 2006 at 08:43 pm

walked with mom for 55 minutes

Gave her her mother's day present. 3 strawberry glasses, with leomade and cookies plus the Chuck Norris biography she asked for.

Went to Taco Bell for lunch and dinner. Spent $8.63

Got a free Schick Quatro razor and travel case in the mail.

Finished reading the library book What Price Love? by Stephanie Laurens. Romance. Very Good.

I'm reading The Average Family's Guide to Finiancial Freedom by Bill and Mary Toohey. Here's a good quote from the book regarding debt. "In a seminar prepared for college students, we describe debt in terms of french fries. "Most of you are 19 or 20," we say to them. "Let's say you've got a hankering for a serving of french fries and it costs a buck at the local burger joint. Is it worth a dollar? Yes, it probably is. But what if you borrow the dollar at 9 percent and carry that debt until you're our age? By then you owe more than $10. Are the fries worth $10? No, of course not. Well 9 percent is the going rate now for those nifty home equity loans everyone seems to be touting. What if you use your credit card to pay for the fries and carry the debt at 18 percent? By the time your our age," we tell them, "You'll owe $87. But you might be thinking that you'd never borrow money for french fries. No? Well, think about it. If you always carry a balance on your card, like many families do, you could reduce that debt by a dollar if you pass on those fries, couldn't you? So when you buy them, you're making a decision to keep a dollar of debt at 18 percent when you could pay if off instead. How is that any different than buying french fries on credit? It isn't. A serving of fries for $87. Wow. That's a lot of money for one serving of french fries."

second Mother's Day dinner

May 12th, 2006 at 09:51 pm

Mom invitee me over to a steak dinner at their house tonight for another Mother's Day celebration. She invited my sister and her family over also, plus my brother, but he didn't want to come.

Very good dinner, much better steak than last night's fancy/expensive dinner and in a nicer atmosphere too.

Got a Netrogena Mens moisturizer sample and a free Axe shower soap sample in the mail.

Mother's day dinner

May 11th, 2006 at 09:55 pm

My parents went and got my grandma today to spend a few days at their house until Mother's Day. I had a free $25 restaurant.com coupon for a local expensive restaurant for buying the Entertainment book from My Points, so we went there for dinner.

Kind of weird experience. We went at 5 and were the only ones in the restaurant at first. There were only 3 total for the hour and a half we were there. The the owner comes out and tries to make us order wine, we don't drink. Then tries to sell us entrees and special salads etc. We makes us feel cheap because we don't want to spend money on these things. The meals start at $14. The food was good, but I prefer plain food to fancy food. I couldn't eat half of my meat and gave it to my dad to take home. The steak was undercooked and my stomach always gets upset unless the meat is well done, so I had a stomach ache all evening. But it did taste good and my meal was free, plus most of grandma's meal. But I don't think we'll be going back.

Went to my parents afterwards and spent the evening playing cards. Dad and I won 5 out of 8 games.

Has anyone gotten the Coca-Cola 5 2-liter bottle coupons yet. The game ended mid-March. I would think I would get them soon. I won 35 bottles.

Finished listening to the library book on tape The Enemy by Lee Child. Mystery. Very Good. If you like the John Sandford Lucas Davenport books or the John D. MacDonald Travis McGee books, the hero Jack Reacher is kind of a cross between the two.

oyster sand

May 10th, 2006 at 09:08 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

Went to Rosie's for dinner. Spent $5

I'm a software tester and my job is to verify the code and the requirements match each other. When there are descrepancies I don't care which one changes as long as they match. So I've been testing a new, to me, area and I've found out that the test cases are poorly written and do a poor job of testing the product, so I basically had to start over, writing new tests. The only document I have is an out of day User Guide that I use for my requirements.

To make a very long story short, I've been finding lots of defects in the code and writing them up, based on the documentation. Most of them are legit, but some of them are because the documentation is wrong. Like I said I don't care which one changes as long as one of them does. But I've been pissing people off because this stuff was all supposed to be tested years ago, so how come I keep finding all these defects etc. I can't help what happened before it came to me, but I refuse to ignore problems and will not let the developers reject my defect tickets until I agree with the resolution. Thus, pissing people off.

So when I was talking to my boss today i told him I know I'm pissing people off, but I won't let it go. He said, "You're the sand in the oyster that makes the pearl out the product". So I said, "In other words I'm irritating!" Funny, but true. I guess that's my job and I do it well and it's why I've lasted through 12 layoffs. My new nickname is oyster sand. Smile

office day

May 9th, 2006 at 08:16 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

Went into work today. I couldn't sleep last night, this is the second night in a row and tonight doesn't look much better. I go through these insomnia phases and always hate them.

After work went to King Soopers and got 4 4-roll packages of Angel Soft TP. It was on sale for .88 cents. Also got a small container of milk to get me by till next Wednesday when my Vacation starts. Spent $4.57

Got gas at King Soopers. Had a .10 cents off deal. Paid 2.66/gal. Spent $27.37

Went to Wendy's and spent $6.30. Had a coupon for a free Frescata Sandwich when you buy one, so I had one for dinner tonight and will have the other for lunch tomorrow.

Got a free sample of Garnier Fructis hair products in the mail.

Monday

May 8th, 2006 at 08:42 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

My dad loves wheeling and dealing. Lately he has been buying almost new ATV's and selling them for $400 - $500 profit each. He's sold 6 in the last month. He finds these deals where people have bought new ATVs for $7000 - $8000 and put less than a 100 miles on them and then sell them to him for less than $6000. These people either have too much money or are very foolish. On top of the ATVs he's had people give him $100 goggles still in the original package, new gloves, trailers, saddle bags all kinds of accessories that were never used. What a waste!

Anyways, he's exhausted the deals from the local want ads in the paper so I introduced him to craigslist today. We'll see how that goes. My mom won't be happy with me. His wheeling and dealing drives her nuts. But it's his hobby now that he's retired and he enjoys the deal making. He tells everyone about his deals. He takes pictures of his ATVs and takes them to church to show off. I think it's funny Smile