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March 2007 Archives

March 1, 2007

Ode to my lunch box

I am in the middle of eating lunch at my desk. A lot of thoughts are generated by this activity, which is odd since I thought all the blood was supposed to rush out of head to help digest the food, but.. not so much. I'm still thinking.

So, my lunch box is environmentally friendly. I got it from Laptop Lunches and in case anyone is curious, I own two sets of internal containers (one in periwinkle and the other in primary colors - it makes the leftovers more fun!). The environmentally friendly part is that I stopped using pre-packaged foods. Mainly cause they don't fit very well into the happy happy containers. So I get to use my leftovers and I'm not generating additional waste. yay me. I'm sure that this and my worm-box will guarantee me a space in green heaven.

I didn't buy the lunch box because it was good for the earth though. I bought it cause I was tired of hauling several bags to work: laptop, lunch, workout. I was looking for a lunchbox that would fit in my laptop bag and through the miracle of google, I foundit! And now as an added benefit, I save crazy money since I don't eat out anymore, and its easier to watch my food intake since I'm the one making lunch.

But I miss going outside. I hate my job. I hate sitting at my desk all day. I hate the idea that some day my job dissatisfaction will manifest in a reduction of my life span, and generate secondary effects like shrewish behavior and wrinkles on my face....

ooh! I have veggie fried fish in a tasty hunan sauce in my lunch box! See, your lunch can be as exciting as you want it to be.

ok - so two lessons to take away from today.
1. Good products, made by people who care, will make your life better.
2. No matter what you do for lunch, it won't resolve your other problems.

March 5, 2007

los estados unidos

wow, this is an article about the most fuel efficient driver today. What I think is great, is that he was inspired by 9/11. "If Osama bin Laden didn't have the money to burn," Wayne says, "he wouldn't have been able to do what he did. There was a direct relationship between our addiction to oil and the World Trade Center coming down."

in-ter-es-ting.

March 6, 2007

sleep is for mortals

ok, i know I should be sleeping right now, but this site rocks! (and its work safe!) (( and its about britney spears)) ((( ninjas too!!!)

trials of a worm momma

for all you new people, i need to point out that i have a worm box. and no, this is not some kind of weird std. Its vermicomposting and you can read about it here.

Anyway, i have had the box set up for a little over two months but I didn't put as much bedding in as I should have so I needed to change it out a little sooner than the expected 3 months. Things started out pretty icky. I mean conceptually, I love my worms. I bought them, I feed them, and they do their little job of keeping me amused by eating my excess organic trash. However, when it came to touching them, i was a little wigged out. Fool me.. because what I eventually realized is that handling worms in nothing compared to digging through worm shit with your hands (and lets be real folks, we can call it hummus or soil conditioner or nutrient rich WHATEVER but its still worm shit!). Unfortunately, what I realized shortly after that, was that digging through worm shit is nothing, compared to digging through the decomposing food that your worms did not eat.

I started off by dumping out my entire worm box onto a table covered in plastic, and after making sure it was empty (which meant scooping out the last few clinging worms with a piece of paper - trust me, this aversion to touching the worms didn't last long) I filled it back up with bedding. So far so good, but as I checked out the huge mound of worm, worm crap, and as I was soon to discover, hidden decomposing food surprises, I realized this was far from over.

I'll make a long story short. There is a recommendation out there that I followed. Spread out the mess thin enough, aim a lamp at it, and the worms will eventually tunnel into the deepest part of the pile, leaving the exposed areas for you to clear off. I did this for a while.. I have no idea how long, but every worm that I saw, no matter how small, i picked up and put back in my worm box.. even the bitty bitty baby ones.

things were going well until one of my cats jumped onto the table (missed the worm pile, deliberately), but knocked over the lamp when I waved it off. The bulb expoded, covering one of my hands with little cuts. All I can think is "great. my hand is covered with worm shit and decomposing food, and now I have several exposed cuts.. this worm box may kill me yet".

but enough drama, eventually I managed to herd the worms into a small pile of stuff, discard the rest of it (which would have made great fertilizer, maybe next time), and get everything settled back where it belonged.

this is what I learned:

1) My worms LOVE oranges. I kept finding little piles of worm orgy-ness near those oranges, so I kept them all and placed them back in the box.
2) loaves of bread are icky. Some people say that they can compost moldy bread, but not my picky eaters. That was some awful mess to remove.
3) no more beans. Evidently my box was nutrient rich enough that the beans sprouted and tried to grow. These were raw beans that I had soaked but not cooked.
4) worms must like rice, cause I didn't find any of it left in the box.

well that is it. and i would like to thank the loml for his continuing but distant encouragement as I worked.

March 8, 2007

DST blows

I don't think I've done a rant before (oh right, I did one about working with stupid people), but there is always room for one more whining puling rant on the internet, isn't there?

I've been awake since 3:30 am because some dumbass somewhere thought that re-arranging our schedules would reduce energy consumption. (Actually according to the wikipedia entry, several dumbasses believe this). And more specifically, I've been awake in this unholy reality since 3:30am as my work has had to patch all our servers to comply with that law that passed in 2005. And I'll be awake tomorrow too, and again on Sunday at 2am when the real switch over happens so I can personally witness our network breaking down as all our little systems decide that they don't want to talk to someone who doesn't have the time set right.

Come on people! I haven't read a single piece of legitimate information that convinces me there are any benefits to DST! I don't work during a farm day! If the sun is rising late, I'll get up late! If the sun doesn't show up, don't get out of bed! I do my stuff online and the stuff that I can't do online isn't scheduled for my convenience ANYWAY!

the hell with DST!

I wanna live in a buckyball!

I must thank my friend Christian for telling me about this page. I am pretty familiar with dome homes but this page really lets you get an idea of implementation.

After reading through a bit, I immediately message the loml that we had to do this (and i meant, build a dome house and live in it)! no response.

So when I saw him this evening, I told him again that this was something we had to do. He gave me a look.

and I say, not now. Later, like in 10 years when we are really bored.. cause we would have to hire contractors to handle the plumbing and stuff..

another look.
So I ask, are you saying that you would never want to live in geo-dome?

loml: "look baby, I'm glad that you are so excited about living in a.."
me: "but they are economical and handle severe weather really well!"

loml: "they look a little funny".
me: "if we are never going to be allowed to live in a geo-dome, then you have to tell me now!"

loml: "..."
me: "if you die, then I am going to live in a dome."

and there you have it.

March 16, 2007

people are strange

Today I am wearing a pink camisole with a sheer babydoll hoodie. For those of you who can't even imagine a babydoll hoodie, here is a picture. But mine is much much cuter.

March 17, 2007

maturity blows

There have been a few lay-offs at my work place recently, which were preceeded by a voluntary retirement process. When I first heard about it, I was in rapture. It was an Office Space moment, where I could just see myself, laying on the carpet, staring at the ceiling.. for hours.. .doing nothing. It really seemed like heaven (still does almost). Anyway, I tried to get laid off a couple of times but in the end, I guess I didn't really want to cause I still have a job (you know that person who keeps swearing they are going to do something but other stuff keeps getting in the way?)

So its the first saturday since and this is what I did:
1) slept. a lot. woke up with a small headache - i suspect from the sleeping (or maybe that champagne I had last night, eh?)
2) noticed that the loml was out for most of the day for work sooo... got dressed in my pink pajama outfit that he doesn't like.
3) fed the cats and fish
4) made myself lunch and watched a girly movie - Jane Austen's Emma with Gwyneth Paltrow.
5) Watched HGTV shows about how to perform home makeovers.
6) downloaded brainless freeware games onto my laptop and started playing
7) paused to consider the chores: vacuuming, laundry, changing the sheets
8) continued to play the game while eating chocolate
9) had some chips.
10) had an annoying realization that this is what life would be like if I had actually quit my job. all signs indicate that I would be fat and bored.
ughh...

Its now 4:07pm.. i guess I better get in the shower and get dressed. just as soon as I play that game one more time maybe...

March 20, 2007

my life

this morning I woke up when my alarm went off. I stayed in bed and went back to sleep.

The noise from the lawn maintenance crew woke me up an hour later. My cat kept pawing me in the face, so I didn't go back to sleep. At some point I had to get up to make the first meeting of the day. So I did.

I got to work in time for the meeting, but then had to fight with my laptop for about 15 minutes before it would completely boot up. and I guess it isn't really a fight when its just one person, hoping that today isn't the day that the laptop decides to die. In the end, its trivial because my participation in the meeting has been re-scheduled for tomorrow. new meeting.

I spent the next 30 minutes surfing the web, checking my personal e-mail, and waiting for my work mail to download. I can hear people around me working.

i've been declining meetings lately and nothing bad has happened. Meetings keep getting canceled around me. What is up with these meetings???

March 21, 2007

fish tank of mystery

When I was growing up, we had a huge fish tank filled with gold fish. The thing I remember the most is that it was pretty common to walk past it and find a dead fish on the ground. I guess we didn't have a good cover on the tank. Since then, I've always associated fishtanks with dead fish. Which is too bad because when I moved in with the loml, I discovered he was a real fish enthusiast while I had that whole dead fish thing going.

and just like time loops caused by temporal rifts in the universe (at least in Star Trek), the loml had several fish dying in his tank throughout that first year. boy, does that stuff bother me. it got to the point where he wouldn't tell me a fish had died. I would have to be looking at the tank, and then realize that someone was missing (this was when I was still naming the fish).

so flash forward a couple of years.. I've learned some stuff about tank maintenance, investigated fish medications, bought some fish, etc... but the tank is still a mysterious place for me (see how I just tied into my blog title!) We had just added four new residents to the tank: 2 ghost shrimp and 2 sharks (i don't think they really are sharks, they just look like them).

The shrimp are kind of hard to find. At any given moment, I can only locate one of them, but hey, at least I can still find them. One of the sharks just died after two days; I figure that was some kind of transition issue... but a week later the other shark disappeared. I spent at least 10 minutes looking for his corpse (see - that dead fish thing never went away). Couldn't find it but I noticed that some of the other fish were acting kind of weird. (note to the loml - i was going to tell you about this in person but haven't had a chance yet, so maybe you want to stop reading now and give me a call?)

so last night, i notice that mr. upside down catfish was hanging out at the surface of the tank (upside down). I figured he was dead so I tried to scoop him out, but lo and behold, sucker was still alive and he would just run away.. so i thought, maybe he just likes hanging out at the top, upside down.. its his name right?

but no.. this morning not only did I find the catfish but a member of the herd (can't recall the real name but a small schooling type fish) had also joined mr catfish on his final float. so what to do? I may be paranoid, but it occurs to me I may have some kind of eco-disaster poised to wipe out the tank.. when I go home today, I'll have to do a water change and probably figure out where the hell that shark corpse is.

see... tank o' mystery

March 22, 2007

update: fish tank still mysterious

i'm hoping this will be the last time I blog about the fish. They aren't my favourite subject and I'm sure you people would rather read about the wormbox instead.. (that's a joke).

so this morning I got up and went to feed the animals (what actually happened is that the cats kept harassing me until I got out of bed, but whatever). Its going well until I hit the big fish tank and see one of the gourami hanging out at the surface. I dump some food in and he's still alive but he's not swimming well and he isn't eating (this is the biggest tip off. I can imagine all the dying fish I want but when the thing won't eat, that is it). So I have a couple of possibilities:
1) there is a heaven's gate chapter in my tank and they see the comet
2) something is poisoning the fish

I'm not going to wait until after work to see if if the fish dies. Its a good time for action.

So I've already swapped out the filters, now its time for a water change. In the event of bad water, the recommendation is to swap out something like 75% of it. So I start doing that. Here is what I learned:
1) There are 4 quarts to a gallon
2) I own a 3 gallon bucket
3) this tank must be at least 40 gallons

After about 15 gallons, I have had it (water is heavy). Its not 75%, its not even 50% but its close. and as an added bonus, the shark corpse appeared after I had dumped about 6 gallons of water. So I replace all the water (yes, with water conditioner) and discover something else.

There is another upside down catfish in the tank! I thought he was dead (and I'm not talking about the one that died yesterday). This guy was put in the tank at least a month ago and was never seen again. Amazing! mysterious-er even!

well - hopefully that'll do it and tomorrow we can cover the amazing world of do-it-yourself wedding invitations.

March 23, 2007

I'm gonna pull a lee van cleef

I am so angry right now, I am shaking. One of my 'peers' has just sent an e-mail, copying all management, disputing some technical information I had sent out.

so lets think about this. Biology says I'm going through a fight or flight response, as this asshat is threatening me. Which I'm all for. If I could, I would probably take him down WWF-style with a folding chair to the back.

My "Crucial Conversations" book would tell me that I need to realize that I am the only one making me angry. I don't know what this man's motivations are, and that I am making an assumption that he's trying to make himself look better at my expense.

I can't even think what Buddha would say. I assume it would be something like "blessed are my enemies for they teach me the greatest lessons about myself".

oooo - I am still pissed.

so let's talk about fish. or let's not..

March 26, 2007

what's up

today's lunch box is fantastic. I couldn't be happier with it and I made it myself. I only wish I had taken a photo before I started eating.

1 - mushroom soup: made with vegetable stock and pureed shitake, crimini and white mushrooms
2 - Quorn nuggets: made from edible fungus and egg whites, yummy. (note* i didn't make these, i bought them at the grocery)
3 - tofurkey and cheese sandwich on dark wheat with an olive spread and vinaigrette.
4 - pumpkin flan: this is what you make when you have leftover cans of pumpkin pie filler

well, i have a high incident rate of meat substitute in my lunch today. And as a good friend of mine once said, "I didn't become vegetarian so that I could pretend to eat meat". but I say, "I didn't become vegetarian so that I could be uptight about it". The quorn is pretty tasty dammit!

So I've been considering buying a kill-a-watt. Its a $30 product that will let you determine what the electrical consumption of smaller household devices is. And by that, I mean computers, lamps, playstations etc.. Apparently, its not meant for things like washing machines and refrigerators. The point would be to try to nail down the little things that suck extra electricity, especially stuff that sits there in power-savings mode (you know, like how your tv is 'off' but not really). the reason I am hesitating is that the real money savings is controlled by the larger processes like air conditioning and energy star type appliances. but still every little bit makes a difference right? This is the reason that I vote in the general elections...

here's a thought

I got into work about 10ish. From then until about 3ish (so we may have 5 hours) I worked on the alternating 10/2 schedule. This is a technique where you line up your tasks and then spend 10 minutes on one, take a 2 minute break, 10 minutes on the next, 2 minute break, etc... and you just keep on with that. So I did that for about 5 hours, while eating lunch at my desk. I managed to clear out my Inbox and catch up on several items.

and then it hit. I was done. but I can't leave work after 5 hours. so I stayed here and tried to work on other stuff. and it hasn't been going well at all. and by that, I mean I am no where near as productive as I was before. In fact, I can't really tell what's been going on for the last hour but a check of my Sent mailbox shows 3 e-mails....

So maybe something new. The next time I feel like I am done, I am going to honor myself and stop working. Sounds awful, right? Not really, in the grand tradition of Stephen Covey and his 7 habits of highly effective blah blah blah, I am going to spend my time "sharpening the saw"!

to paraphrase Stephen Covey, this is when I improve my productive capacity by training my skillz. So lucky me, I get to work on "Crucial Conversations". Its either that or SUN ONE directory services. (note* these are the self-paced courses I am registered for at this time. Isn't work fun?)

March 27, 2007

wow!

look! You can keep your ashes in an acorn urn!

March 29, 2007

sobriety - the new high

If you don't know me, and truly, who really knows anyone these days? - ok, if you don't know me, I'm not sure why you're are reading this but you may get the impression that all I want to do is live in a buckyball with my wormbox and and have my ashes placed in an acorn when i die... or you may think that i hate my job but am devoted to the loml... either way, one thing you should know is that i like this blogging stuff.. and yes, I am planning on fixing the comment feature so that I don't have to speculate about what you think about what i think.

this morning, the loml and I carpooled. so we got up at some insane time of the morning, like 7am or something hellacious and he dropped me off at work. Still a little sleepy, I toddled on in to the gaping maw of soul crushing minutiae, where I proceeded to work my hiney off. I didn't bring my awesome lunch box in cause I figured I would eat out. but no, all my co-workers were absent when I finally had time to take a break.. so no biggee, i chowed on some rice crackers and kept on working.

technically, i am not carpooling today cause I don't get a ride home. the loml wants to use my car for other stuff so I told him i could get a ride home.. but wahh! the only ride home I can get is at "6-ish"~! (dear nutter-butter, i still appreciate the ride). So I thought it would be ok but now its like 3pm and I have been working for the last 7 hours! eee! I ain't an hourly employee or an athelete. I am tired!

so now I figure if I want it bad enough, i can just walk home. so that's where I am now.. contemplating walking home. on the plus side, it'd be mighty green of me. on the down side, i'm wearing high heel boots.. which I guess i could take off... hmmm

-----------------------

ok -i didn't walk home. After suffering some performance deterioration at work my dear friend 'nutter butter' took some time off and left work early. i must now take a moment to honor my friend for his fantastic assistance in weight loss. I managed to go down 1 pant size in two weeks with his assistance.

Given the lovely weather, we took a break for some reisling and fantastic potatoe chips..

and i only have one thing to say: why do we expect people to behave differently at work than they do otherwise? Why do we say "leave work at work"? i think this indicates unhealthy behavior, and will write more later.

hey! eww! how did wine get on my cell phone????

About March 2007

This page contains all entries posted to daisyblahg in March 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

February 2007 is the previous archive.

April 2007 is the next archive.

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