Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Happenings

Halloween was almost as disappointing at the new house as at the apartments. There the kids didn't trick-or-treat and here we only had four. Although I did have to real cuties show up from the West End for a special Trick-Or-Treat.

We had a very nice visit and or course since they were the last Trick-Or-Treaters they got to make out like bandits with a bunch of candy to take home.

Walt and his friend headed off to a Halloween party downtown around 8:30 and had a smashing time.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought for the Day: "Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread." -- Thomas Jefferson

Cute Game Apple

Got this a little after Halloween, but wanted to make sure that I added it into the blog. Too Funny!

Why Seniors Don't Trick-Or-Treat

You know you are too old to Trick or Treat when:

10. You get winded from knocking on the door.

9. You have to have another kid chew the candy for you.

8. You ask for high fiber candy only.

7. When someone drops a candy bar in your bag, you lose your Balance and fall over.

6. People say: "Great Boris Karloff Mask," And you're not wearing a mask.

5. When the door opens you yell, "Trick or ." And can't remember the rest.

4. By the end of the night, you have a bag full of restraining orders.

3. You have to carefully choose a costume that won't dislodge your hairpiece.

2. You're the only Power Ranger in the neighborhood with a walker.

And the number one reason Seniors should not go Trick Or Treating...
1. You keep having to go home to pee.

Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death

Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775.

No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The questing before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free-- if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending--if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained--we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable--and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

Friday, October 30, 2009

More Halloween Pumpkins

The ghouls have been busy at the house today. Three newly carved pumpkins made their way to the front porch today, another smiling pumpkins, spider and howling wolf.

We had fun this evening getting night-time shots of happy foursome. Some of the best photos came out when a car passed by shining it's headlights onto the porch.

Pumpkin Photos

This morning started out a bit different from normal. Sean spent last night with us and he and Walter were out early this morning running. They put in a little over a mile. Before I was ready to head out to the office, Walter & Sean were out the door to get gas and a bite to eat before Sean headed on to school.

It was a busy day at the office for me today. Lots of details that needed attending to, online order forms, campaigns to create, web pages and postcards. Then, of course, there were the usual phone calls and emails, with an occasional bit of computer troubleshooting thrown in for good measure.

I had lunch out this afternoon with Walt at the Mongolian Grill. There was quite a crowd, yet the line moved along quite quickly. The food was excellent as usual.

The other evening we were out picking up a few things for Halloween and I had a 'grandmother' moment and purchased a couple of childrens books for the grandkids. They'll never see them though - the last time I sent the granddaughter some books I was sent a very ugly email telling me in no uncertain terms that I was to never send them anything again. Humph.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween Pumpkin

We're getting all prepped for Halloween. A couple of Halloween ghouls did a little carving and created this masterpiece.

Walter's Moment of Boredom

Walter had a few moments this morning of boredom, although the fire is definitely warranted.

I can just feel the heat radiating from the screen!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

CHHS Alumni at Capital Ale House

Well we had our monthly CHHS Alumni get together at Capital Ale House on Monday night. Even though we were small in number we all had a great time. We missed all the regulars that weren't there and were glad to see a couple of new faces.

They had a great menu special burgers for $1 and they weren't skimpy either. Great deal. I did order a cup of coffee and they brought it out in this cup. I don't know what in the world is going with the saucer though. There were a number of hypothesis, 1) they weren't quite ready when they shipped them from England and they slipped sideways; 2) it can be used as a back of a hat; 3) it has dreams of becoming a bowl!

The most of fun of the evening was going over the beer/ale menu which is only about 16 pages long. Some of the names had to have been thought up after either very long evenings without sleep or after having imbibed on way too much of the product that was being named. If you read two or three of them together in a sentence it even becomes funnier.

Photos From Capital Ale House

Email & Newsletter Gleanings

Circle Flies

A cowboy from Texas attends a social function where Barack Obama is trying to gather more support for his Health Plan. Once he discovers the cowboy is from President Bush's home area, he starts to belittle him by talking in a southern drawl and single syllable words.

As he was doing that, he kept swatting at some flies that were buzzing around his head. The cowboy says, "Y'all havin' some problem with them circle flies?"

Obama stopped talking and said, "Well, yes, if that's what they're called, but I've never heard of circle flies."

"Well Sir," the cowboy replies, "circle flies hang around ranches. They're called circle flies because they're almost always found circling around the back end of a horse."

"Oh," Obama replies as he goes back to rambling. But, a moment later he stops and bluntly asks, "Are you calling me a horse's ass?"

"No, Sir," the cowboy replies, "I have too much respect for the citizens of this country to call their President a horse's ass."

"That's a good thing," Obama responds and begins rambling on once more.

After a long pause, the cowboy, in his best Texas drawl says, "Hard to fool them flies, though.

Videos from the Highland Games & Celtic Festival

A couple of videos that I took at this past weekend's Highland Games & Celtic Festival. The first one is of the Greater Richmond Pipes & Drums.

The caber toss during the Heavy Athletics competition. What a sight to see!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Relaxing Sunday

It has been a great Sunday. Sometime during the night Walter ran around opening up the windows. It was just enough cooler outside than in to make it really nice to have them open. Now as the day worn on we had to close them, but until then it was nice.

I worked on my typography class assignment today, I'm ready to move into the finalization of the design, with the instructor's blessing. I'll get it finished before the middle of the week. YEAH!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Highland Games & Celtic Festival

This morning I fixed the girls chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. They really enjoyed them. I haven't cooked breakfast for a crowd in quite a while. The girls got all packed up and we dropped them off on our way out to the games.

This year's annual trek to the Highland Games & Celtic Festival, took us out to The Meadows in Caroline County, the new venue for the State Fair. It really is much nicer than the previous location.

This little fellow was marching in the parade of the clans at the opening ceremonies of the games. He almost seems to be saying, "If you think I make this kilt look good now, just wait till I grow up!"

Photos from the Games

Where The Wild Things Are

Where The Wild Things Are... Going into the movie I had already heard some bad reviews of it. Saying that it made the parents look bad.

You could gather that if you only watched a small portion of the movie, but as the girls and I talked about it they didn't see it that way. They were able to see what he was learning along the way.

As you can see the theater was so crowded that we had trouble finding a seat. LOL. There were only five other people in the whole theater at the 5:00 p.m. showing, and as we left there wasn't anyone waiting in line to get.

I got the girls drinks and a tub of popcorn for the movie. Now I remember why I don't normally do that at all. $8.00 for a tub of popcorn. It surely looks like that tub was half the size of Abby. The small drinks that they got was huge!

We finished off the evening by stopping into Sally's to pick up fingernail polish. All sorts of odd colors: pink with sparkles; ocean (blue); and green.

Miss Abby has the pink sparkly nails and blue toe nails! Cassie's are done up in green.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hooray for Friday!!

It has been a truly productive day off. I've gotten a bunch of errands done as well as goofed off a bunch too.

This morning Walt & I went out for breakfast. We were going to eat at IHOP, but they were closed! You'd definitely think that they'd have been open at 6:30 a.m. So we ended up at Cracker Barrel. It was an amazing sight. Only 3 tables in the whole place were in use! No waiting, no line of people, no one sitting on the rockers on the porch. Amazing.

A quick trip to Hull Street Outlet for tarps to cover the woodpiles. Now we're set for the winter on that for any number of years. He even got a CD of Marine Corps cadences to run to. It'll definitely keep him moving.

Having a random hair, we stopped off at the Great Big Greenhouse looking for an artificial ficus tree. Rumor was that they stocked them. We did find one, but it wasn't quite what I was looking for. Although I did get a ficus bonsai. We hit Michael's on the way back to the house and they had the ficus' that I was look for, and very reasonably priced at that. Throw in a few craft pumpkins and mums and we're all good to go for the fall season. Those will take us through Halloween and the way to Thanksgiving.

Miss Abby has arrived and we are just about ready to leave out to pick up Cassie. We will be going to see Where the Wild Things Are this evening as part of our girl's night. Throw in some fingernail polish and we'll be all set for the evening.

Disturbing Information!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Happy Early Friday

Today is my Friday. I have tomorrow off just of the sake of having the day off. I got this great photo on the way into the office this morning of the fog at the light at the bottom of the hill with the sun rising over the trees. Great morning!

I've got the girls coming over to spend the night. Miss Abby will be there first, so I'll probably get her to go out with me to pick up the things for dinner and, of course, pick out some nail polish for manicures.

I've have been working on reports all day, converting them from InDesign documents to - of all things - Word documents. I haven't created a document in Word in so long at times it is highly frustrating. Especially when I want to do some kerning or other such function. Although I did find the menu that does allow kerning, but there isn't a live preview so it's pretty much a adjust, click, adjust, click, until you get it the way that you want it to look.

I'm going to break out the scanner this evening so that I can get to the final stage of my typography assignment. The sketching kills me. I'm so used to just doing it on the computer. I've never been one to actually sketch out anything. We'll just wait and see how it all turns out in the end.

It's getting late in the evening and I haven't even thought about the scanner since lunch. I was going to piddle around on Facebook for a while this evening, but it is acting up again. I keep getting strange messages about needing to log in or that the service isn't available and to try again later. Maybe tomorrow...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Looking Forward

I'm looking forward to Friday. I have the nieces coming over for a "Girl's Night". We'll be doing manicures and watching some girly movies. I know that Abbey has been looking forward to it for weeks. I've already checked in with their Mom & Dad on the menu.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

There are thirty books of the Bible in this paragraph. Can you find them?

This is a most remarkable puzzle. It was found by a gentleman in an airplane seat pocket, on a flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu, keeping him occupied for hours. He enjoyed it so much, he passed it on to some friends. One friend from Illinois worked on this while fishing from his john boat. Another friend studied it while playing his ban jo. Elaine Taylor, a columnist friend, was so intrigued by it she mentioned it in her weekly newspaper column. Another friend judges the job of solving this puzzle so involving, she brews a cup of tea to help her nerves. There will be some names that are really easy to spot. That's a fact. Some people, however, will soon find themselves in a jam, especially since the book names are not necessarily capitalized. Truthfully, from answers we get, we are forced to admit it usually takes a minister or scholar to see some of the m at the worst. Research has shown that something in our genes is responsible for the difficulty we have in seeing the books in this paragraph. During a recent fund raising event, which featured this puzzle, the Alpha Delta Phi lemonade booth set a new sales record. The local paper, The Chronicle, surveyed over 200 patrons who reported that this puzzle was one of the most difficult they had ever seen. As Daniel Humana humbly puts it, "the books are all right here in plain view hidden from sight." Those able to find all of them will hear great lamentations from those who have to be shown. One revelation that may help is that books like Timothy and Samuel may occur without their numbers. Also, keep in mind, that punctuation and spaces in the middle are normal. A chipper attitude will help you compete really well against those who claim to know the answers. Remember, there is no need for a mad exodus, there really are 30 books of the Bible lurking somewhere in this paragraph waiting to be found.

Post your answers by clicking on the pink comment button at the top of this post!

Happy Birthday Brian!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Back to Normal Tuesday

Things got back to normal today. I was able to work out of my office for the majority of the day. I did some catching up on documents that needed sending out to our members. Then there was the normal follow up on magazines and the newest book. There was a minor snafu, but easily fixed.

This afternoon I did some software installation and worked on trying to troubleshoot one of the front computers. The darn thing is having another major breakdown. It won't run Outlook and now it won't even boot properly. That goodness it's under warranty. We're beginning to think it is a memory issue. We'll find out tomorrow.

On the way home I ran by the Fresh Market to pick up stuff for dinner. It is the wrong place to go just before dinner. So many choices! Oh well, we have dinner here for the next couple of days. I managed to also slip by Michael's to get tracing paper for my Typography class project. Maybe, just maybe I'll get that darn thing finished this week.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Flu Precautions

I received this in my email (not checked on snopes) and thought it was worth passing along. js

The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is.

While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in most official communications, can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):

1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).

2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe or slap).

3. *Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don't trust salt). *H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

4. Similar to 3 above, *clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. *Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but *blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.*

5. *Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (Amla and other citrus fruits). *If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

6. *Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can. *Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

Old Flu Cures..

I know onions are very powerful, they saved my mother's life when she was 17. She had the old-fashioned Asian flu with pneumonia and in a coma.

Back then,(1935) doctors made house calls, so when he told my grandmother that he didn't think my mother would live through the night and there was nothing more he could do for her. My grandmother ask if she made an onion politess would it harm her? He told her that at this stage of the illness, nothing would harm her.

My grandmother then ground up onions in her meat grinder and gently fried them in a cast iron frying pan until they were a little soft and the natural juices were coming out. She placed them in two handmade sacks of cloth, placed the onions inside, still hot from the frying pan, then hand stitched a chris-cross basting stitch to keep the onions from clumping together. She tied the sack
with long pieces of cloth she sewed at the top and bottom of these sacks and tied them around my mother's neck and body so that she had one on her chest and the other one on her upper back. Changing them every day for three days.

On the second day when she was changing my mother's politesses, my mother rallied around and ask my grandmother what she was doing.

When the doctor came on the third day, he found my mother sitting up in bed, fever gone, and feeling much better. Her lungs were clearing up and she was able to cough up the infection and by the end of that week she was walking around. From that day on, she swore by onions and whenever we got sick with a bad cold, out came the onions and she was making politeses.

Onions Around the House

It is not going to hurt to try it!!!!!

Take those onions from the fridge and hide a couple, when you need to use one, take it from the bowl in the game room, and put a new one in the bowl! Don't worry about the smell, it's not peeled!

Do you know how many people will be unemployed in the flu vaccine business, if this gets out, and it worked! Actually, there is lots of sulphur in an onion.

My Dad always sautéed or fried a large frying pan full on onions when he was coming down with a cold, ate them up & went to bed, & he was better the next day!

Another Story About Onions Fighting the Flu Virus

GOOD MORNING...How would you like to try comes from Abbot Peter who lives in Muenster with the Benedictine Monks...Take care.... God Bless.

Keep healthy this winter, the easy way . . .Onions fight flu virus.

OK, it is true. After reading this you will think that I have really lost it. However, this is a true story.

In 1919 when the flu killed 40 million people there was this Doctor that visited the many farmers to see if he could help them combat the flu. Many of the farmers and their family had contracted it and many died.

The Doctor came upon this one farmer and to his surprise, everyone was very healthy. When the Doctor asked what the farmer was doing that was different the wife replied that she had placed an unpeeled onion in a dish in the rooms of the home, (probably only two rooms back then).

The doctor couldn't believe it and asked if he could have one of the onions and place it under the microscope. She gave him one and when he did this, he did find the flu virus in the onion. It obviously absorbed the bacteria, therefore, keeping the family healthy.

Now, I heard this story from my hairdresser in AZ. She said that several years ago many of her employees were coming down with the flu and so were many of her customers. The next year she placed several bowls with onions around in her shop. To her surprise, none of her staff got sick. It must work. (And no, she is not in the onion business.)

The moral of the story is, buy some onions and place them in bowls around your home. If you work at a desk, place one or two in your office or under your desk or even on top somewhere.

Try it and see what happens. We did it last year and we never got the flu.

If this helps you and your loved ones from getting sick, all the better. If you do get the flu, it just might be a mild case. Whatever, what have you to lose? Just a few bucks on onions!

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Different Monday

The morning began with a start, Jami our receptionist, called me at 6:30 a.m. He little one was down with what she thought was the flu. Grateful it isn't, but he was sick nonetheless. I was drafted into service as the receptionist for the day. It was fantastic, as she does so much that I don't know a thing about. It does make you appreciate co-workers when you have to even help to do their job.

What's Wrong with this Picture?

Walter sent me this photo from his cellphone. I don't know exactly where he got it other than VCU.

I guess college is the place to go to see and learn new things. What this individual was actually learning I haven't a clue.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Facebook Maintenance

Apparently Facebook is having maintenance issues again this weekend. It seems that just about every time that I've tried to login this weekend it has been down for maintenance. I get in occasionally but not for long and usually most of stuff I'm trying to do isn't available. Perhaps it'll be better later in the week.

Keeping Warm

Yeah! A day off. Cup of coffee in hand and time to relax, for a few hours. There's nothing big on the schedule for today other than doing the normal daily stuff.

Sean's playing on the computer and Walter's off to do some target shooting with a friend this morning at Ft. Lee. I'm sure that he'll have a great time.

The chill in the air was enough to encourage Walter to build a fire this evening! Thing are getting nice and warm now!

Carla has been enjoying the fire as well. She's been laying on the sofa nearest the fireplace. Chilled out and relaxing.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Software Stupidity

The boys are trying to get the game installed on Walter's computer, but it is giving him some difficulty locating the his version of the original disc. Given that it has been ages since he used it, it may take some time to locate it. He has the latest disc, but it want his original version, many moon old so that he can install it. Grr!

Success! They found his original disc in the attic stored away in a bunch of stuff from the move. Now they only have to wait for all the software updates to complete and then they can play.

Saturday Recapped

The conference was quite productive, with doctors from Massachusetts to Hawaii in attendance. Everyone was so involved and interested in the topics that were covered. It was interesting to watch as they put into practice some the techniques that were being taught during the drill periods.

It was a great opportunity for them all to get to know one another and share their own stories. You could almost watch new friendships being formed and old ones being renewed. So much 'bonding' going on! These conference do so much to re-energize the members.

I had so much fun talking with all the doctors and their staff members. It was great catching up with everyone. I enjoyed hearing the success stories that the members shared and loved the way they all encouraged and lifted one another up.

Lori, from Michigan, shared a number of ways that she uses at their office to cure the 3 p.m. stretch in the office. Wow! What a great way to get the brain cells functioning again. Thanks for the fun!!

This afternoon the fire alarm went off in the hotel. It was a false alarm, but had us all think about what we'd need to grab if we needed to leave the hotel quickly. The camera crew was contemplating how to get all the cameras out. Luckily there was no need.

Before the close of the meeting Brian F. and Amy we hanging out in the back of the conference room discussing the multitude of things that their iPhones could do. I told them that the caption for this photo should be "There's an app for that!"

Conference Photos!

Sean's over visiting with us this evening. He and Walter are off to play, I think, Age of Empires. That could take them a while to get through. I do hope they have a good time.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Great Conference Day

I started off the morning by running by the office to pick up one of our conference attendee's tie that was left in the conference room. Then downtown to the Omni.

The conference session today was great. The new material that was covered captivated the audience and with all the exercise sessions, everyone had the opportunity to try out a new skill.

During one of the exercise sessions I was able to coax Dr. Martin into cutting up just a bit. He and the camera crew showed off the "little Captain" in themselves. Great photo fun!

I really enjoyed catching up with all of the doctors and their office staff. There is always lots to talk about.

Sean's coming over on Saturday evening to spend some time with Walter and me. I think he has plans to take Walter on in a game of Age of Empires. Who know who'll win.

Got an email this evening from one of our doctors with this YouTube video. What a hoot!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pre-Conference Meeting

We spent the day at the office today doing a little pre-conference meeting. We were able to accomplish quite a bit. This evening we went down to the conference venue for our normal night before get together.

Here are Dr. Marcius and Nancy hard at work setting up a marketing campaign during our meeting this morning.

This evening Brian F. and I had a great time talking with Dr. Marcius and Nancy. Everyone seemed to have a great dog story. They old us about Boomer the world's largest dog. He's so tall that he easily drinks out of the kitchen sink. Now that's a real sight to see. Scary!

A Few Photos from Today

Happy Birthday Sean!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Finished for the Evening

After the blimp adventure this after, I finished up the doctor's book and shipped it off to the publisher for it's finishing touches. So glad to have that done. We're gearing up for our conference beginning Thursday, a whole day early! Normally we just do a Thursday night event, but this time we're adding in an extra day session.

Tomorrow will be for getting together the rest of the documents for the conference. Setting up the conference room and packing up the cars for the trip downtown on Friday.

I ran by Southern States today for some flea meds for Carla. She has been having a fit with them. Here she is almost 14 years old and never had fleas like this. Oh yeah, the odd one or two, but really. I know its from all the feral cats in the neighborhood, but there is nothing that we can do to get rid of them. As the county says, "cats can roam at large".

So in order to combat the flea situation, I picked up some FrontLinePlus and some pesticides for the yard. At least we'll be able to kill off everything in the yard and on her, then work on keeping the cats away. Anyone know of a good cat repellent, other than the dog?

Walt is out and about this evening visiting with friends. I should be working on homework and another little side project, but...

Hey, Walt's home with some of the cutest color pages. It seems that Patrick's kids have taken him to be their uncle, of sorts, so now he gets all the cute drawings and such to put on the fridge. Way cute.

Goodyear Blimp!

I headed out before noon today to pick up lunch for the doctor and a couple of other staff members. On my way back into the office, I saw an unusual sight...the Goodyear blimp! It was flying along Huguenot Road and then flew right across the top of the office building. It was definitely not something that I was expecting to see out and about this afternoon. Way cool.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Back to the Office

I almost felt like I had come back from a vacation when I went into work this morning. Between it actually being a Monday and a dreary one at that the day dragged on and on.

I spent the day working on the layout and design for Dr. Martin's new book, Are You're Teeth Killing You? Just a few more tweaks and it will be all ready to be shipped over to the publisher.

This evening we had a great family dinner and watched a couple of things on television.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Walt's heading out this morning, with friends, to Waynesboro for the Virginia Fall Foliage Festival. I'm settling in with a good book.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Neosporin (a good use)

Looked this up on and they had no information on it. - Judy

Have you ever wondered how doctors seldom get sick? How do they deal with sick people every day with colds from A to Z but never seem to catch a cold or a virus, and why don't they ever come down with the flu? Kind of makes you wonder doesn't it? Well through a friend of the family, who happens to be a doctor, who never shared this with us until my mother, of all people, asked him about this, he finally confessed. In the late 1930s a company came out with mentholated vapor rub, using the characteristics of being able to open the nasal passage with
its strong aroma, what you now know as Vicks vapor rub.

You can also find this product in non-mentholated as well. There was another characteristic of this product that the doctors soon learned and put it to use. But they seemed to fail to pass this on to the general public, and for good reason. It's a known fact that in order to catch a cold, the flu or virus, it has to be inhaled through the nasal passage or through the nose. This allows the bacteria access into the body, whereas the mouth and digestive track is somewhat guardian of germs of this nature considering the food intake.

Doctors found if they applied a little Vicks, or vapor rub at the opening of the nose, just inside the nostril, that the rate of illness dropped dramatically. I don't understand the properties but was told that the vapor rub somehow captured a good portion of the air borne bacteria that they were subjected to.

Then a little later on, not sure if it was in the 70s or 80s, another product was introduced to the market, Neosporin, which was a triple antibiotic ointment for cuts and small abrasions. Guess what? This product when used in the nostrils captured 60 to 80% of all airborne bacteria along with viruses. The antibiotic somehow kills the germs and renders them harmless as they pass through the nostril.

The doctor said to put a little dab on the end of a Q-tip and rub it around just inside the nose every morning; you will have just increased your defensive abilities from catching a cold and other air borne diseases that you can catch from small children in school or from sick people in the office - or any other place that you are around crowds.

Job Application

The woman applying for a job in a Florida lemon grove seemed to be far too qualified for the job.

The foreman frowned and said, "I have to ask you this, have you had any actual experience in picking lemons?"

"I've been divorced three times and I voted for Obama."

She started work that day!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Super Saturday

Woke up this morning to discover that it had rained at some point during the night. It even looks like it may be trying to 'think about' raining again today. We'll just have to wait and see. I took advantage of the rainy morning and took a nap. I was just the perfect day for one.

Walter was off early this morning to do some fishing with friends. I'm not sure where they were going but the early morning departure definitely says, 'not local'. Catch a big one!

They did have some luck - catching four whole fish. He even shot me this photo of him and one of his catches.

I worked out a deal with a couple of the neighbor guys to move the ditch. They did such a great job. The even moved the remaining part of a woodpile for me. Once Walt gets the foundation on the next row for the woodpile, I know who I'm calling to help fill it up.

Sean is off for a hiking trip this weekend with his dad. He sent me a photo last night of his 34lb backpack.

This morning he sent me this photo of the view from top of one of the mountains along the Blue Ridge. I hope the rest of his hike goes well.

Mom & Mamaw Stapleton dropped by for a short visit. I brewed up a pot of coffee and shared some more photos from the trip to Jamestown and Mom share a couple of very funny videos. I was crying from laughing so hard. Can't wait to share them with everyone.

I received this photo from Sean this evening of a whitetail deer. He's doing great with the cellphone camera!

Wow, I even had a visit from Tim this evening to pick up Sam's memory card that I was trying to recover images from. The usual tricks didn't work so Tim will be trying out a few using Linx. We'll see what materializes, or not.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Excursion to Jamestown

Road Trip! Another spur of the moment decision led to a quick trip to Jamestown. We headed down and crossed over on the Jamestown Ferry. The gulls' antics were quite entertaining to watch while crossing over the James.

Once we arrived at the ferry landing at Jamestown, we decided that instead of going into the very rebuilt Jamestown, we would head down the road to the site of the original settlement.

On the way there we stopped off at the glassblowing demonstration. It would have been so much better if the either the glassblower or a guide would have given us a more detailed description of what was going on while the piece was being made.

The actual settlement site has changed so much since the last time that I was there. They have added a visitors center and lot quite a number of other informational plaques describing what would have been in the various areas. We got out and went down to where they were doing an archeological dig near the church. The site was beautiful. I was surprised to see that the church had glass windows behind the altar, that's not something that is normally seen. It was neat to see the monument and statue of John Smith close up instead of zoomed in on the camera.

There was a continuous breeze off the river the entire time we were there. One of the volunteers said that normally there is a chill in the air, but today it had gotten much warmer than usual and that the breeze was a nice relief.

With the exception of one truly rude young lady on the ferry the entire trip was spectacular. Great conversation and company. I may make this run again in the spring to see how the landscape changes. It could be a great place to get some interesting wildlife photos.

More Jamestown Photos

Glassblowing Demonstration

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Time Off

I slipped out of work this afternoon for a half day off. I even have the whole day off tomorrow! I hardly know what to do with myself.

Walt had me running around with him this afternoon doing some errands. I even took a bunch of random photos of different textures. I posted them on my DevantArt page for free download. I've gotten so many cool images myself I thought that I'd share a few myself.

We even got out to Barnes and Nobel to pick up some new reading material. Walter picked up a couple of interesting books on "Zombies". I can only shake my head over those. I picked up: Arguing with Idiots, by Glenn Beck; An Echo In The Bone, by Diana Gabaldon; and Simple Genius, by David Baldacci. I can hardly decide to which one to read first. I know if I pick up An Echo In The Bone, I won't be able to put it down until it's finished.

Tomorrow we're going to do some yard work. Then I'm going to get started on my 3rd assignment for my Typography class.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hump Day!!!


The week has gone along pretty well. Things at the office have been hopping and time to get ready for the next conference coming up next week. Although, I am getting to take a half day off on Thursday and all day on Friday. A three-day weekend, how did that happen?

Walt tells me that he will work on my sunroof on Thursday afternoon and wants me to help him with the wood on Friday. Fairly good trade off.

We had a very enjoyable evening tonight, we went out to Mi Hacienda for dinner. Walt got the usual and I tried their vegetarian fajitas with shrimp. I know, it isn't vegetarian any more, but I really just wanted lots of vegetables.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Quite Sunday

I did something on Sunday that I haven't done in ages! I curled up with a book and read for virtually the entire day.

I picked up The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown while at Ukrops on Friday night. I know, only I could go into a grocery store and come out with a book. Alice might give me a run my money on this one, but nonetheless.

The weather Sunday morning just beckoned me to come out and sit on the porch with a steaming cup of coffee and a book, thus began the day. It was well after 1 before I even ventured back inside. Carla enjoyed the time I was out as well, having the opportunity to bask in the sun. Moving from sunny spot to sunny spot as the day wore on.

By late afternoon, I was well into this 131 chapter book and took a brief break to help Walter pack up the camper and return it to storage. We even made an impromptu visit to Dean & Sean's house, sorta of a twofer visit business and social. Having settled the business at least for the interim, we visited a short spell before departing for home.

Not being deterred by the time away, I plunged back into reading and finished up the entire book by bedtime. A great read with a number of unforeseen plot twists. This one will make a great movie.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Facebook Maintenance

Here I had this wonderful rant yesterday about my HP "Experience" and now this morning I go to post a status on Facebook and they are down for maintenance. WOW! Who would have thought that it would be this difficult to kill a few minutes on the computer? Ah! There's more than one way to put up a post, I'll just post it on Twitter and it'll go straight into Facebook! There's the work around. :)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Tech Support Torture

I just got off the phone with HP tech support. I feel as if I have been through a torture chamber. Simple question, very convoluted answer.

It took forever just to give the guy on the line my phone number. Four times to get the number 8 correct. I even had to go so far as to count 7, 8 and repeat the number 8 so that he would understand. Then on top of that I had to phonetically spell out my name and email address. Arg!

All I wanted to do was find out where to download a driver. I don't feel that I ever really got the answer. I did get a sales pitch however to buy a new accessory. No way!

At one point during the call he told he was going to put me on hold and that I could go get coffee while I waited. (Banging head on table in dismay)

By the time the call ended I was ready to bang my head against the wall in frustration, shoot the computer part in question and wonder.

Oh my gosh, HP called me back (11:00 p.m.)! The guy I was talking to called me back to transfer me to his supervisor. The call came from area code 310. And here I thought that I was talking to someone in India or somewhere in that part of the world. I'd have never guessed that I was talking to California, but then again the phones could be transferring overseas.

Anyway he still did give a satisfactory answer, frustrated me further and then tried to sell me a part. Grrr....

Dang! My shoulders are so tense now, I may not be able to get to sleep for hours. Not a fun way to end the evening.

Eppington Heritage Day

We headed off this afternoon with Mom, Mawma Stapleton, Elda, Cassie, Sam and Abbey to the Eppington Heritage Day at the Eppington Plantation off River Road in Chesterfield.

We had a fantastic day for our trip. The temperature was perfect and the crowds were manageable.

This gentleman was the physician of the time. Here he is showing us a device that was used to get rid of pin worms. Interestingly enough it was filled with smoke, and the smoke was then blow up the infected individuals "function". Now we know where that saying comes from.

Walter got his hands on a replica of a Pennsylvania Long Rifle. I know what's going on his Christmas list now.

The girls and I took a carriage ride while Mom took pictures and Mamaw Stapleton enjoyed the shade of a very large Magnolia tree.

We ran into Jeff Beatman (Sean's elementary school principle) who was singing with The Press Gang. The Press Gang has out a new CD entitled, "Uncorked". When he isn't in period costume he also does singing and storytelling for children age toddler through 8th grade. He is a very talented man. The children have always enjoyed him.

All in all it was a very nice trip.

More Photos From Eppington

This afternoon Walter and I put the finishing touches on Step 2 of the batch of Limoncello. Now it will need to age for another 40 or so days. It may be ready to actually bottle sometime near Thanksgiving.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought For the Day:
"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents..." -- James Madison

What's Your Cartoon Character Personality?

EVERYONE has a personality of a cartoon character. Have you ever asked yourself what cartoon character do you most resemble?

A group of investigators got together and analyzed the personalities of well known and modern cartoon character s. The information that was gathered was made into this test..

Answer all the questions (only 10) with what describes you best, add up all your Points (which are next to the answer that you choose) at the end and look for your results.

Do not cheat by looking at the end of the post before you are done ..

1. Which one of the following describes the perfect date?

a) Candlelight dinner (4 pts.)
b) Fun/Theme Park (2 pts.)
c) Painting in the park (5 pts)
d) Rock concert (1 pt.)
e) Going to the movies (3 pts.)

2. What is your favorite type of music?

a) Rock and Roll (2 pts.)
b) Alternative (1 pt.)
c) Soft Rock (4 pts.)
d) Country (5 pts )
e) Pop (3 pts.)

3. What type of movies do you prefer?

a) Comedy (2 pts.)
b) Horror (1 pt.)
c) Musical (3 pts.)
d) Romance (4 pts..)
e) Documentary (5 pts.)

4. Which one of these occupations would you choose if you only could choose one of these?

a) Waiter (4 pts.)
b) Professional Sports Player (5 pts.)
c) Teacher (3 pts.)
d) Police (2 pts.)
e) Cashier (1 pt)

5 What do you do with your spare time?

a) Exercise (5 pts.)
b) Read (4 pts.)
c) Watch television (2 pts.)
d) Listen to music (1 pt.)
e) Sleep (3 pts..)

6... Which one of the following colors do you like best?

a) Yellow (1 pt.)
b) White (5 pts.)
c) Sky Blue (3 pts)
d) Dar k Blue(2 pts.)
e) Red (4 pts.)

7. What do you prefer to eat?

a) Snow (3 pts..)
b) Pizza (2 pts.)
c) Sushi (1 pt.)
d) Pasta (4 pts.)
e) Salad (5 pts.)

8. What is your favorite holiday ?

a) Halloween(1 pt.)
b) Christmas(3 pts..)
c) New Year (2 pts.)
d) Valentine's Day(4 pts.)
e) Thanksgiving(5 p ts.)

9. If you could go to one of these places which one would it be?

a) Paris (4 pts)
b) Spain (5 pts)
c) Las Vegas (1 pt)
d) Hawaii (4 pts)
e) Hollywood (3 pts)

10. With which of the following would you prefer to spend time with?

a) Someone Smart (5 pts.)
b) Someone attractive (2 pts.)
c) Someone who likes to Party (1 pt.)
d) Someone who always has fun (3 pts.)
e) Someone very sentimental (4 pts.)

Now add up your points and find out the answer you have been waiting for!

(10-16 points) You are Garfield:
You are very comfortable, easy going, and you definitely know how to have fun but sometimes you take it to an extreme. You always know what you are doing and you are always in control of your life. Others may not see things as you do, but that doesn't mean that you always have to do what is right. Try to remember, your happy spirit may hurt you or others.

(17-23 points) You are Snoopy:
You are fun; you are very cool and popular. You always know what's in and you're never out of style , you are good at knowing how to satisfy everyone else. You have probably disappeared for a few days more than once but you always come home with the family values that you learned Being married and having children are important to you, but only after you have had your share of fun times

(24-28 points) You are Elmo:
You have lots of friends and you are also popular, always willing to give advice and help out a person in need.. You are very optimistic and you always see the bright side of things. Some good advice:try not to be too much of a dreamer. Dreaming too big could cause many conflicts in your life.

(29-35 points) You are Sponge Bob Square Pants.
You are the classic person that everyone loves. You are the best friend that anyone could ever have and never wants to lose. You never cause harm to anyone and they would never not understand your feelings. Life is a journey, it's funny and calm for the most part Stay away from traitors and jealous people and you will be stress free...

(36-43 points) You are Charlie Brown:
You are tender, you fall in love quickly but you are also very serious about all relationships. You are a family person. You call your Mom just about every Sunday. You have many friends and may occasionally forget a few Birthdays. Don't let your passion confuse you with reality..

(44-50 points ) You are Dexter:
You are smart and definitely a thinker.... Every situation is confronted with a plan. You have a brilliant mind. You demonstrate very strong family principles.. You maintain a stable routine but never ignore a bad situation when it comes. Try to do less over thinking every once in a while to spice things up a bit with spontaneity!

Friday, October 2, 2009

October Already

September just whizzed by and now here we are already into October. Just where has 2009 gone? Some days it feels like we are all on fast forward without time to do anything but work.

I've had to pull out a herd of the many hats that I wear out the office today, graphic designer, receptionist, and software tech support.