Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Mystery!

Okay gang, I've been a lax Tigger, and haven't posted anything in a looooong time. Been very busy with work and the end-of-school festivities, which is really no excuse at all. So, how about a contest? Everyone loves a contest, and I haven't ever had one,'s my first try. And YES...there will be a prize! No photo of the prize yet, but be assured, it is something in my possession. And could shortly be in YOUR possession.

The winner is the one who can most accurately define and describe what is shown in the photo above. I'm DEFINITELY going to use your description as a basis for determination of the winner. Contest officially ends on Sunday - midnight, Central Standard Time. Ready...set...go!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Memorial Monday

During my D.C. visit, one of the most moving experiences was my trip to Arlington National Cemetery. As we celebrate this Memorial Day with our fancy grills, coolers full of beer and the blessed day off from the daily grind of our jobs, I realized that I will never again "see" this holiday in the same way. Even living with a Vietnam-era veteran on a daily basis has not made me appreciate the meaning of these holidays as much as walking through Arlington (sorry, Rog).

Believe it or not, witnessing the somber wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns brought me almost immediately to tears. Here, the Tomb Guards begin the ceremony:The Tomb sarcophagus is placed above the grave of a soldier from World War I. Three white marble slabs that are flush with the plaza mark the graves of unknown soldiers from World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Advances in DNA techniques led to the identification of the Vietnam War Unknown. He was United States Force First Lieutenant Michael Joseph Blassie. Lieutenant Blassie's remains were returned to his family on Friday, July 10, 1998, and were buried in his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri, the following day. It has been decided that his former resting place on the plaza will remain vacant.I've often seen photographs of Arlington's rows of headstones. Similar to the one below, they only show a minute portion of the over 300,000 people buried there.While on a tour bus during my first visit to the cemetery, I shot some footage of the rows and rows of headstones. They seemed to go on forever. I couldn't figure out how to edit this video properly (neophytism), but approximately halfway through this clip, you will see what I mean about the vastness of the cemetery. Words cannot express my thanks to all those who have given so much in service to our country, as well as to those who continue to serve, every day.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Getting Down and Dirty...aka Political

You know I hate to muddy the pristine, cheery waters of the Neophyte blog with atrocity, but a situation has been on my mind that just won't go away. An article written by Nicole Belle on March 25th, 2007, describes something that seems abhorrent to me. Entitled, "You'll Never Look at Potholes the Same Way Again," it details how "the pulverized remains of bodies from the World Trade Center disaster site were used by city workers to fill ruts and potholes." This is according to a city contractor statement in a sworn affidavit filed in a Manhattan Federal Court.

According to the article, which you can read in its entireity here, "Eric Beck says debris powders - known as fines - were put in a pothole-fill mixture by crews at the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island, N.Y., where more than 1.65 million tons of World Trade Center debris were deposited after the Sept. 11 attacks."

"I observed the New York City Department of Sanitation taking these fines from the conveyor belts of our machines, loading it onto tractors and using it to pave roads and fill in potholes, dips and ruts," Eric Beck said.

Thanks go out to Mugsy for bringing this to my attention.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Fun Monday Poetry

Willowtree, who evidently has an alternative lifestyle, tagged Nikki to be this week's Fun Monday host. Her assignment was to:

1. Write a short poem. It can be about anything and it doesn't even have to be good.

2. Whip out your crayons, markers, paint, etc. and illustrate your poem (or have your kid, dog or cat do it).

As I have extremely limited poetry skills, unless I'm allowed the use of rampant expletives, I decided to let the kid do the entire assignment. Actually, The Offspring had this poem posted on her myspace blog a few weeks ago, and we had a very interesting discussion about who she was referring to in this piece.

the ending getting started

this is my first ending
it's an ending with you
you may not be through
but i'm ready to end it
and now i have found another
and we're so close to one another
so hopefully you'll understand
this ending poem starting
with someone new
someone great
someone new for you to hate
i love him
and he loves me
and thats the way it's gonna be

Deep thoughts...must be the hormonal phase.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

It's Finally Begun!

Well, another meeting with the builder to show him THIS:And now, there's no turning back. The house plan just needs some tweaking (a door from the back of the garage, making the laundry room section two feet larger, moving my island a little more forward...just small stuff) - and the builder has taken my plan home to make the adjustments. The major adjustment involves this:
The room above will be the new music studio, and it really should orient the other direction. To do that, the garage will increase to 28x28, and the entrance from the garage will be expanded. The stairs will also come from another direction, but it's in his hands now. He sounded confident that he knows exactly what to do to make it perfect for us.

See this lovely gravesite?
It's actually the first hole for the "perc test," which is a test to see how well the ground will percolate for a septic system. I think a body would fit in there...creepy.

The plumbers put out all these little flags to show where the lateral lines for the septic system will go. I've been instructed NOT to mow over them.
They dug another gravesite perc test hole, but with the trees all around, there are too many roots to make it viable for seeping sewage:
I have new photos on my flickr site that show the new acreage that we bought to buffer us from the neighbors, plus all my new trees.

I guess it's GAME ON now!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Fun Monday Cuppage and BONUS Material

I know Willowtree has been wanting to do this coffee cup thing for a while, but I spoiled all the fun by posting my favorite cup a few days ago. His assignment was as follows: "I would like to see your favourite Coffee Mug. But wait there's more, I'd also like to see your favourite glasses for a) non alcoholic drinks and b) alcoholic drinks. If you want extra credit you could also post your favourite plate. Note I said favourite, not best."

I don't have a favorite OR a favourite plate, so I'm a photo shy of making the grade. But, I have a bonus video to make up for it!
To start, another look at my favorite coffee cup, from the front:
And now, from the back:
I LOVE big coffee cups. I drink one of these, full to the brim, each morning. It's only when I'm having a very groggy day that I drink another half cup. Here's my second favorite:
I've also found that when you borrow over a quarter-million dollars to purchase a business, your lender will gladly give you a coffee cup. This one is five years old, and I use it during travel:
And what kind of business owner would I be if I didn't have my OWN cups made?
Now for my favorite non-alcoholic glass to drink from, even though I do use it for Tom Collins' every so often:
This is my favorite wine glass, because it makes that neato noise when you run your finger around the rim of it:
And what classier way to drink beer than from this?
Don't know about you, but I'm kinda bored - so let's move on!

Now, this is the BEST thing I've seen for Mother's Day. I know it's not part of Fun Monday - but is a LOT more interesting than my coffee cups and glassware, and made me laugh hysterically.

All of a sudden, I wish I had a couple of sons.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Just in Time for the Weekend

Got this little gem from my long time friend Brent, and was amazed by its simplicity! Plus, I had to scoot those morning photos down a bit. They were scaring me.

Not sure if this can be done while there is still wine in the bottle, but it's worth a try!

OH! And one more little weekend trick to try! I actually saw this and came to the office and just tore the place UP! We had a lot of old phonebooks around, and I amazed my coworkers by making Incredible Hulk noises while performing this trick. (Sorry, my shirt didn't rip off - but I made some really scary faces.)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Mean Meme

Robin at Pensieve has issued the most difficult meme EVAH. And like Robin, when I get an assignment, it consumes me until I can get it completed, like a monster gnawing on the back of my brain, threatening to end my life if I don't get it done. Call me anal retentive.

As Robin put it, "It started with Lisa Samson over at Author Intrusion who asked Rachelle and others 'to show [their] morning faces! Yes, she wants to see that no-makeup, just-got-up, haven't-had-coffee-yet face. Are you up for it???' Rachelle, in her post, went on to explain, 'Lisa slyly asks us... if we don't want to do it...why not?'"

Why not?!?!?! Because we are going to scare off our READERS, that's why not! Then again, I don't have a blog for fame and fortune, so what the heck.

I figure I'd start where this process begins - at night. This was taken after I'd washed off my makeup and was ready for bed. That's why I have a happy smile - I get to go lay down and REST! Well, that, and I just finished a glass of wine before brushing my teeth.
Okay - here it comes. The WORST look of the day. Hair askew, and barely able to hold up my coffee cup. This was taken only after I had POURED the coffee. Not after I had taken any sips. No makeup. Puffy eyes. Only able to force a smile because I know it's all for YOU.
This is my coffee cup. LARGE coffee cup. It gets me thru the morning, and see that french press in the background? If you don't have one, GET ONE. Makes the best coffee in the world. However, I program the automatic one so that I don't have to think that early in the morning.Since I'm baring it all - why not one FRESH OUT OF THE SHOWER? And yes, I'm naked. And no, you can't see. But the smile is wider, because I finally got to drink some of that coffee. to the finished product. As a reference, my alarm goes off at 6:45AM. Much to Roger's dismay, I usually hit the snooze button until at least 7:03AM. It takes me a total of 3 minutes to put on my makeup. Impressive, huh? I don't wear much. (MAKEUP. You're still thinking about that shower pic. I know it.) Flattening the mess that is my nappy-head takes about 10 minutes, if I blow dry it first. I'm usually out the door and in the car by 7:55AM. I'm a low-maintenance girl, for sure. And all that, while sharing the bathroom with The Offspring, Roger and sometimes the cat.
Okay, I've completed the meme. I won't blame any of you who decide to abandon my blog after this post! Especially after I tag the following to show their morning face: Marnie, Julie, Mist(who I can't imagine being brave enough), Shauna, and Arkansas Songbird! You may all commence to hating me now.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Fun Monday Voyeurism - UPDATED!

It's another Fun Monday, and today's hostess is Vicki, also known as the Horny Redneck Christian Woman. She is the ultimate voyeur, and her assigment was to post photos of our springtime view from our front door. I'm hoping this is the LAST spring I will be posting this view! Vicki is so honest about her intentions for today, as she states: "Today is the day I can peek through your door and see what you see everyday. It makes us BFF. It almost shows my stalker personality. It satisfies my sweet tooth. Makes me feel all cozy and warm inside when I get to peek into your world."
It's garbage day on my block, so I thought I'd treat you to a front view of the house first. It's not the best thing in the world to wake up to a street lined with garbage bags, though I made an effort not to show them in the next photo. Roger mowed the lawn this weekend, and I wish I could dig it up and move it to the new property. It's St. Augustine - a beautiful, lush grass that grows like crazy. When The Offspring was little, it was nice to have a lawn that was good for tumbling and rolling and just laying back on to enjoy the sun.
I wish you could have seen my springtime view last month, as my azaleas were all blooming in glorious splendor. Red, white, light pink, dark pink, along with an abundance of purple iris. Sadly, they are short-lived and gone now. I can see the neighbor's iris from my front door - a lavender cluster around the base of the tree. You can't see them too well here, but look under our flag, and you might see their purple haze.
Now for the back door photo - actually, this view isn't STRAIGHT out the back door...because I was late for work this morning and almost forgot to take the photo. So it's my view as I'm getting in my car, with my very sad dog. Poo Woo doesn't like to see me go away, as evidenced by this pouty look. Roger is going to be home today, but it's just not the same for Poo Woo. Roger may be the pack leader, but I am his "mom."

My next post will be photolicious, as I had a very exciting weekend with some folks from Japan. And for those of you who are curious as to what the view looked like last time, here is your link!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Thinking Genius and Updated Linkage

I'm nothing if not tardy, as Julie nominated me April 11th for the thinking blogger award. It's not that I can't think, it's just that I've been covered up at work and The Offspring's science fair project (remember LAST YEAR?) has been all-consuming. Worst of all, so many of the people I planned to honor have already been nominated! One of the requirements was to refer back to this, so there ya go.

1. James Burnett. Always smart, entertaining, and makes me think about things from all perspectives.
2. Mocha Momma. She's not blogging much now, but when she's got something to say - listen up!
3. Piglet. Writing straight from the heart, with poetry thrown in to make you think even more.
4. Angelina. Read along, and you'll find yourself exploring new mental paths.
5. Mist1, who basically makes me think that my life is completely dull.

I'm wondering if any are duplications - so I've thrown in two bonus clips of "sound bloggers," that make me think differently...about MUSIC!

This first link was sent to me by a friend. I absolutely love the way he thumps the guitar and keeps a beat. His name is Andy McKee, and you can check out his new album here.

If you know Bella Fleck and the Flecktones, then you might know Victor Wooten. If you're not a fan of bass guitar, you will be after you watch this:

Tiggerlane's thought for the day: I'm pink, therefore I'm Spam.