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March 2007 Archives

March 1, 2007

Continuing along the positive road

Woke up to thunder this morning and the warning of a blizzard this afternoon. My first thought was whether Todd would make it home okay this evening. Of course he'll be fine! Started some laundry and encountered a couple of issues. Could feel my blood pressure raising so I tried to think of a happy song. First song that popped into my head:

It's a great day to be alive, the sun is still shining when I close my eyes, it's hard times in the neighborhood but why can't every day be just this good?

Then the hail started and Christopher came into the room, saying that Emily used their last blank CD and he was going to make one to listen to in keyboarding. I told him the song of the day was "it's a great day to be alive" and he took off for his room singing it. Happiness, even when forced, is contagious.

Pretty Business Cards

I still have a box of cards that say Lisa Whirrett - Web Applications Developer, but if I didn't, I'd look at business cards online. They have some really pretty ones and the ones I like are only $4.95 for 250. Maybe I'll take up a second profession so that I can get some. There's lots of cool ones in the sports and fitness category. I'll get in really good shape and become a personal trainer. Hey! It could happen!

New book today

My old friend, minister, and former colleague sent me a copy of his latest book today. He refers to himself as a Priestly Psychologist and his writing is very much in that vein. His style of writing is such that you can just flip open a page and find a verse that rings true. For me, it was this: "Don't 'should' on yourself." I'll leave you to think about that.

March 2, 2007

Dreaming of summertime

Most of Iowa had a blizzard yesterday afternoon. We received some snow and an awfully high wind that lingers yet today. My friends left for Maui today (assuming their flight has left) and all of this has me longing for summer. Yes, I usually love winter the most but these extremes are not what I like at all.

My days of running around barefoot are over, thanks to Todd, so I'll be needing sandals when the weather turns warm. Ever heard of rainbow sandals? They are a bit more expensive than your traditional walmart bought sandal but each one is handmade and uses parachute stitching for durability. I wonder if they are dog proof. That's a joke of course but our lovely Lucy does love a good flip flop.

Friday night and nothing to do!

Tonight was supposed to be the variety show at the high school but it's been postponed. Since we had nothing to do, Christopher and I watched some video from when he was 3 years old. We laughed so hard. Everyone was trying to convince him that Santa Claus had brought his presents while he was out of the room. First Uncle Bob told him and then Aunt Janet says "Yeah, he dropped them down the chimney just now!" then his dad got in on it and then grandma said "Santa brought that just now?? Was that the bells I heard??" and Christopher said "NO!! He mailed it to me gosh dangit!!"

I love that kid! My mom and I were talking about how funny he is and she said she didn't know I'd have only one kid but she was sure glad that one was him. At conferences last week the teachers commented on how funny he is. I wish I could take full credit for it but he gets his style of humor from his dad mostly. Time to go get funny boy out of the shower. This shower forever concept is new. Hard on the waterbill too. I think I'll have a shutoff valve installed to the hot water. Would make exiting so much easier I bet.

Aunt Rose, I see you got a whole lot of snow up your way. Hope everyone is doing okay. Holler if you need help getting dug out! Love you!

March 3, 2007

Learning as I go

As I continue to work the program at sparkpeople.com, I am seeing this at the end of each day: "Your current calories are so far off from your recommended range that it can negatively impact your health more than anything else you did today." I guess I am living testament to the research that says if you don't give your body what it needs, it will hoard it to protect itself. I work out really hard and don't have the nutrition to support that. The website at sparkpeople is really helping me to see where I am going and what I need to do. More fruit is a must. I really dislike fruit. Chocolate should be a fruit then I'd be okay. I also continue to struggle with the 8 glasses of water a day.

This morning we got up at 6, got the boy around and took him north to his dads then back down the interstate south to watch Emily's basketball tournament. They played at a college where other activities were taking place so we had to park in the back forty and walk quite a ways to get to the gym. Stood and watched basketball for five hours then went to Pizza Hut in the afternoon. Yeah, that sure fits in the nutritional guidelines. The bad thing is that my late lunch there ate up 2/3 of my caloric intake for the day and it's still sitting in my stomach I think. If you've ever gone to healthy eating and then thrown down a junk meal, you know what I mean. It just sits there like your stomach doesn't know what the heck to do with it. This isn't lowfat cottage cheese! This isn't lean ham! What is this?? hahaha But really, it's like that. So, more water. More fruit. No more Pizza Hut.

After Em's games, she said she could only hear me out of all of her cheering section. Does that mean I have a big mouth? I think it's because I sit closer and yeah, I have a big mouth. I get so excited watching her. She's got a lot of hustle and she steals the ball a lot. Some of the parents drive me so crazy. A lot of kids aren't allowed to just be kids and have fun because there is a parent coaching from the sidelines. I think they forget that A.) they already have a coach and B.) the prize is only a ribbon, not a WNBA contract.

March 4, 2007


So I'm trying to redo the look of this site and I just don't care enough about it to sacrifice time I could use for something else. I do this all day at work and I don't want to do it on the weekends for love nor money. It's like how mechanics tend to neglect their own cars. I have the idea in my head of how I want this to look then I open the templates and the CSS and think "Gee, I'd rather eat rocks."

Anyway, if you visit today, you'll see changes coming and going as I work a little then get distracted by more pressing things like eating rocks. *burp*

New Music

I've been listening to more independent music lately since "our kid" (joshua) has a band and are looking to get started in the business. Today I have been listening to Metalcore Bands at unsigned.com. Some of them are pretty good but I'd rather listen to rock or rap. You can browse through unknown/unsigned artists of all genres. There is even a christian rock group from Iowa with a page there. I didn't realize how much work goes into started until Josh and his friends began getting serious about putting out a demo. If you have a moment and want to hear something new, go to unsigned.com and help out a new band by hearing their stuff and passing it along.

March 5, 2007

Before I forget

Every weekend I try to find someone I know little to nothing about and learn more. This past weekend I chose Hedy Lamarr. In addition to being a beautiful actress, she was co-invented the first form of spread spectrum which is used in today's wireless technology. There's more but you'll have to go on your own from here as my lunch break is over.

Neat mortgage idea

This is a UK thing but what a cool idea. Combine your mortgage and your salary into one account and pay less interest. You always have access to your cash but what you do leave of your salary works against the mortgage like a payment. You can also pay extra money towards the mortgage without penalty or skip some payments if you are in a bind. Interesting concept.

Interesting person of the day

Tonight I read about Sarah Lockwood Pardee Winchester, an heir to the Winchester Repeating Arms fortune. She married into the family, had a daughter who died as a result of a childhood illness and lost her husband to tuberculosis. She inherited a substantial amount of money plus daily royalties and promptly went crazy. The real crazy part is that she believed there to be a curse and a medium told her the only way to fight the curse was to build a house and continually add onto it. The result turned into a 160 room mansion with staircases going to nowhere, fireplaces with no chimneys, lots of incorporations of the number 13, and other such oddities. You can read a lot of details here or take a virtual tour of the house here.

Life is precious

I've been plodding along having a fairly good day. Took a couple of walks and enjoyed the nice weather, listened to a lot of good music while I worked and had a perfect day as far as my balance of working out, proper nutrition and the 8 glasses of water. Was feeling pretty dang good about things then got an email from a colleague that he lost his wife to cancer today and wouldn't be working on our project for awhile. Now I'm winding down while pondering how fleeting life really is. : (

Enjoy the good days and turn the bad ones around. Never know how many you have.

March 6, 2007

Movable Type tool

If you use Movable Type to power your weblog, I'd recommend the Blog Janitor plugin to clean up and close old comments. Goes a long ways in combating comment spam.

Alfie Kohn

Alfie Kohn said:

"People have this idea that they'll work really hard in high school to get into a good college. Then you'll work hard in college to get into a good grad school. Then you'll work hard in grad school to get the best internship possiblities. And you'll just keep working and working and climbing the ladder until one day, when you're 45, you wake up in a tastefully decorated room and ask yourself, 'What the hell happened to my life?'"

That is along my line of thinking so he's my interesting person of the day. He's also against the idea that children should have to be in an academic setting all day then bring home even more academic work in the form of homework. I am going to read more about him later.

Single Parent Dating

There's a new single parenting dating site that matches up single parents with others like them. I love that idea since so many dating sites are geared towards the young and single thereby leading to extreme exaggeration of age and looks or downright lying. I know someone who thought he was going to get a beauty queen but instead got someone who looked like a beauty queen's grandma. How refreshing to see a site that is geared towards single parents.

Orthodontist - Round Two

C. made it to his orthodontist appointment today and got spacers put in to prep for the braces installation next week. It looked like a very painful procedure and he's since loaded up on tylenol and went to bed. The poor kid will get braces on top AND bottom this time. The really bad thing is he gets them the day before he has a trumpet duet contest. Having braces totally changes the mouth position and of course his lips will not be used to the metal. It's going to be interesting. I asked if we could change the appointment but they schedule them so far in advance that it would be a month or more before we could get back in. Bummer.

I have been dreaming of getting a step system for step aerobics and calf raises but they are too much money. We walked into Walmart tonight and immediately saw a display of step systems on sale for ten bucks! Hooray!! I just did a ten minute routine and it was awesome. Very cardio focused and fun to boot!

Lost a friend

After a long battle, a friend of mine succumbed to Huntington's Disease tonight. It is really a blessing as her quality of life has been gone for quite some time. I have been worried that she would linger a long time in a vegative state as some Huntington's patients do. Fortunately her road downhill was pretty speedy and she is in a better place now.

March 7, 2007

Yoga and Pilates

I cannot do ab crunches properly so I asked a trainer for advice and she suggested yoga or pilates. I have practiced yoga a couple of times a month for quite a few years now. It can be done while sitting at your desk at work. Learn about yoga poses and yoga health benefits and see how simple it is to "strike a pose" and strengthen and lengthen muscles. The boy makes fun of me for yoga but he and his dad are both cursed with tight hamstring muscles that cause them to shift most of their walking momentum into their hips, thus causing backaches. I have said yoga is the cure but recently C's physical therapist backed me up completely on that as did his toe surgeon.

Doris Barrilleaux

Doris Barrilleaux is often referred to as the first lady of body building as she was one of the first, if not the first, serious woman body builder. She pushed the sport into the limelight as a sport for both men and women and helped shape the world of body building for women as it is today. In her 60s now, she no longer competes but instead takes photos of body builders. I think she is also the same Doris in this article about people who invested in life insurance policies of terminally ill people.


Joomla is a CMS (content management system) that is open source and customizable enough to run personal homepages or power corporate websites.

The problem with most open source offerings is you often have to know quite a bit of code before you can jump into changing the look and feel. If you are interested in Joomla, Joomla Templates is a book detailing how to create a Joomla template in five easy steps. I do a fair amount of PHP / MySql work and even though the framework for each is free, having a step by step guide on hand is worth shelling out some money.

The Joomla templates book is available for download as soon as you make your payment so you don't have to wait on the UPS man. You can tear right in and start learning from the 91 page PDF. With the book purchase, you also get access to over 40 prebuilt templates for free as well as step by step instructions for building single column, two column and three column templates. As a paid member, you also get access to a cloud module. A "Tag Cloud" takes a list of your most popular articles and displays them as a cloud, the more popular an item is the bigger the link is to it

Yay! No braces before contest!

The band teacher gave us the wrong date initially so C. does not get braces the day before contest. He gets them the day after. Whew! I was really stressing over that big time.

When his dad and I were first married, we had really good friends who eventually hooked up and had a baby a year and a month after we had C. Their daughter and our son grew up together the first few years of their lives. The baby book has plenty of pictures of the two of them playing together. Both cuties! Now she will be his partner for the trumpet duet at contest.. playing together again... awwww.

Anyway, I was so freaked that if he had braces, he'd tank their score and ruin things for her. Now I have nothing to worry about. The band teacher told me tonight that they play beautifully together and he's sure they will do perfect.

March 8, 2007

Why didn't they have this when I was pregnant?

When I was pregnant, I was devasted when I couldn't snap my regular jeans anymore. My boss at the time showed me how to loop a rubberband around the button and through the button hole and back over the button to make an expander. (I actually still do this sometimes.) I remember on occasion the rubberband would break or would go flying off in the bathroom then I'd be stuck with my jeans gapped open. That's a lovely look. NOT!

Now there is a product to replace the old rubberband trick, hip & cool b-buckles. No more ugly maternity pants! They work by buckling around your belt loops and are nicely designed, unlike the tacky rubberband with belly poking out around it. I think I will get one of these for my god-daughter. The Rockstar Mama one is really cute. Does this look like a pregnant belly to you?? I went from flat stomach to basketball and flew right past this cute little bump stage.

March 9, 2007

Site was down for a bit

Don't know what the deal was but Dreamhost has it fixed now. Thanks for those who reported it.

Cellphone saga

Emily got a cellphone and it kicked off quite the heated debate in our house. We had told the kids no cellphones were necessary for them until they were driving. Otherwise, they are always with us or at the school near a wired phone. So Em gets a phone and boy blew a gasket. I think we may have to revisit our position in order to keep the playing field level.

It used to be that US Cellular pretty much had the monopoly on our area but the market has opened up a lot more recently. Sprint phones have a lot of really cool choices for phones and they do offer service in our area. I don't know anyone who uses Sprint though. I think that is because they don't have a physical storefront that is well known in our area. In rural areas in particular, a lot of folks would still prefer to walk into a mom and pop type store and get that one on one customer service when making a cellphone purchase.

I have looked over their plans and while the Sprint plans are fairly comparable with others on a minutes per plan basis, I don't see any special incentives for text or photo messaging. One of my friends told me yesterday that she went to unlimited texting with her carrier and sent 300 texts the first day. Sprint would do well to take note of that kind of customer and throw them a bone.

What a week!

This week has been so busy and has just flown by. Not real crazy about time going fast when I am this old. My tulips are coming up and track starts next week. The kid is going to run track. There is just something screwed up with that. In football, he hated running. Every day, bitch, bitch, bitch about the running. In wrestling, hated the running. Baseball, hated the running. See a pattern here? So he picks track. It's even better than that though. He wants to run distance! He is his father's child. Not in the sense of running but in the sense of doing things that make ya' go hmmmmmmmm. His dad says if he is ever seen running you better look behind him because there will certainly be something big and mean chasing him.

Anyway, it's three kid weekend with nothing going on. That will be a first in months. We are going to hang out around the house I hope. Maybe pick up some squishy poop from the back yard. This sudden thaw has made things pretty damn gross.

Shopping for pretty things

Perusing business cards again and think I will order some address labels. The only ones I have are Dr. Seuss and for some reason, Todd does not like them. The problem is they have too many choices. Selection is good but it makes my decision too hard. They are broken down into categories for easier navigation so that helps.

One really nice feature I just found on the site is pricing. You don't have to browse to a product to get it's price. You can just hit the pricing page and find it all in one location. I found that link tucked away along the top of the page in smaller print. If I weren't a web developer, that might have escaped my attention. I'm not a big fan of small print horizontal navigation. Perhaps it's my eyes. Very old, tired eyes. It's actually just me prefering left or right hand navigation. I'm old school, yo! haha

Just sad

My favorite musician is checking into rehab. That picture of him just breaks my heart. He was easily one of the best looking men in rock n roll for decades. I read somewhere else that he accidentally ingested meth that had been cut into some cocaine. Guess that is common with street cocaine. Anyway, that supposedly caused a meth addiction. I don't know how accurate all that is but he certainly appears to have meth mouth. That last link has really gross pictures. Don't say I didn't warn you.

And more sadness

The lead singer of Boston, Brad Delp, was found dead in his home this afternoon.

March 10, 2007

Gotta vent

Dozer has been taking cortisone to stop his itching. The side effect is that he has to pee a lot. I mean a whole lot. To counteract the side effect of weight gain and to allow him many pee trips AND to get the boy ready for track, C. has been taking him on many runs a day. This is good for them both but sometimes Dozer decides he's had enough of this running crap and will just stop. It's usually funny because C. almost falls over him but when they are a mile from home when it happens and I have to go get them, it's not funny! I had just taken a shower. Not just any shower but my Saturday shower where I take time to exfoliate, work over my eyebrows, condition my hair, put on the pretty lotion... you get the picture. Well, the last thing I want to do is go find the boy and dog. I figured they'd be muddy but Dozer, being low to the ground, was exceptionally bad. I had to pick him up and put him in the truck because, being low to the ground (and fat!), is not conducive to jumping up into trucks. So now I smell like Victoria's Secret Amber Romance and wet freakin' dog. GRRRRRRR!!!

The upside to this is that both dog and boy survived the truck ride home with one unhappy momma. How did your weekend start?

March 11, 2007


I have taken a whole lot of flack for this latest attempt to be healthy. People don't get how I can take sugar out of my diet. No cookies, cakes, or desserts of any kind really. No more Pepsi. No chips or pretzels. I snack on carrots. Do I like it? Hell no! I like how I feel. I have to get up earlier and go to bed later to get all the exercise in but that's okay too. The sugar cravings have subsided now. I feel good and the tape says I've lost 3.5 here and there in the last 9 days.

Tonight I am pushing myself one step further. I am going to eat spinach with my supper. I hate spinach. It is #2 on my list. Right there behind sauerkraut. I'm going to make myself eat it because it's loaded with fiber and other good thing I needs. If people on Survivor can eat rotten fish, I can eat spinach. Only a quarter cup though. *shudder*

My happiness


My family playing together and laughing. They are laughing because Ben got hit twice in the head with a basketball but still....

Sounds worse than it is

We were having fun until you came along and we had to start acting like good girls instead of poking beavers in the butt.

March 12, 2007

Money, money, money, money... MONEY!

Mortgages have to be paid, braces have to be paid for, car licenses are due... but the good news is that I don't owe the IRS $600! I get $5 back. FIVE BUCKS!! hahaha Beats paying in. Of course I had to pay way more than $5 to find that out but still....

I hate having to worry about money but with the broken toe and last years tax situation, I've done little but worry lately. Every year I say I will put back money into savings but every year is another year of living check to check. Thankfully we live pretty well but do struggle when the unexpected pops up. We've been here six years and still haven't gotten a roof put on the house or Emily's room finished. Maybe next year.

If you find yourself struggling too, check out these financial links.


credit Cards

debt advice

home insurance

March 13, 2007

Metal head

The braces are on the boy and look like the worst torture device ever made. They may be. We were ten minutes late to the appointment this morning because the truck was out of gas and we got behind every slow moving vehicle there was. This tardiness made the ortho assistant a little pissy so she might have added some extra wiring. Seriously, it does look really treacherous in that boy's mouth. Way moreso than the first round of braces. He's not complained near as much as I thought he would except about food getting caught worse.

Tonight I thought I'd lost him somewhere between grandma's and Scouts but it turned out he was at Scouts like he was supposed to be. The troop just went somewhere different than normal. It's another argument in favor of getting him a cellphone. I think my mom would've had the GPS chip put in my phone had there been such a thing when I was a teen.

Email Security

Today I had to create a new email account for someone who was overtaken by spam. All it takes is signing up on the wrong webform and look out. Concentric Groupware provides email security by stopping spam, viruses, DOS attacks, phishing schemes, etc. by protecting your perimeter. All of the protection is on their servers so you never have to worry about updating or patching software. You just continue to use your existing email infrastructure such as MS Exchange and they merely analyze your incoming mail before passing it on to your internal mail server.

CTS also provides DNS hosting and groupware tools for team collaboration. I will check those out later.

Overdid it today for sure

I lifted weights as normal this morning. They wouldn't let me stay back with C. while they installed his hardware so I wandered around Walmart for over an hour. I wish I'd worn my pedometer to know how much walking I did in there. (boring!!) Tonight my friend Lori and I took her cute little puppy and walked the trail. Couple of miles or more there at a really good clip. My legs were about to give out since I was doing lunges when she called to say she was on her way.

I just entered my daily food into sparkpeople.com and I just barely have enough calories for today. The really bad thing is that, while still being in my goal ranges, I had too much fat and not enough protein and carbs. Tracking all of my habits makes it easy to pinpoint which things affect me which way. Tomorrow I will be a slug.

Awesome Weather

The weather has been absolutely amazing here! (Sorry Moosie!!) I have crocus up and tulips and iris' have poked through the ground. Today the thermometer in the truck said 78. I have been putting some things back outside for the season including the wind chimes that Faith sent me some years ago.

Have you ever heard of rain chains? I never had until looking over seasonal things at Online Discount Mart. I'm quite curious if they work. I'm easily amused by noises. Maybe tomorrow I will bore you with my story of how the lake sounded when the ice was breaking up.

Speaking of wind chimes (have I mentioned I love them?) they have a lot of them. Oh! This bell! I could hang that down in the hedge trees.

March 14, 2007


Made some awesome chili tonight. I didn't have the usual can of tomatoes with green chilies or any chili seasoning mix so I just made up a recipe as I went along with various spice replacements. Dash of that, pinch of this. Todd hates chili powder so used red pepper flakes, some "hot salt", onion flakes, cayenne pepper and some worchestire sauce. Turned out really good. We've had to adjust our eating once again since braces are in the house. Nothing sticky. Nothing crunchy.

High Interest Saving Accounts

Back when we had a lot in savings, we used our local credit union because we weren't aware of any higher rates. Thanks to the internet, you can now compare online banking, find a savings account or checking account and earn more interest today with SavingsAccounts.com. This is a fairly new site but has rate comparisons for the higher interest banks. The bank I have my credit card through pays 6% for savings. (I didn't know that but it sure explains why my card rate is so high.) That's a really good rate for savings. I think most banks are around 3.5%.

Seed corn

Today I was thinking a lot about my aunt. You will see her in the comments as "Aunt Rose". When I think about her, I always think about Garst Seed because her family worked in that organization. The town they live in was so saturated with Garst that it was impossible to visit without noticing that the company and it's various offerings were mostly responsible for keeping food on everyone's table.

I don't remember much about Roswell Garst as I was young when he passed away but he was a fascinating man. He developed a hybrid seed corn and later went on to sell seed corn to Russia at a time when we weren't friendly with Russia. He hosted Nikita Khrushchev, then leader of Russia, at his Iowa farm and helped open communications with the Soviet Union. That's pretty cool for a guy who was really just a smart and opinionated farmer.

There is a family story involving me, a snake and Roswell's son, Steve Garst. I barely remember it but every time it is told I think "Wow, I've pretty much always been unafraid to approach anyone for any reason." No guts, no glory I guess.

Another neat thing about the Garst family is how they give some of their wealth back to conservation effots. You can read more about that here if you are interested. Every summer I want to take the kids for a weekend trip up to the area now known as the Whiterock Conservancy. Maybe this summer we can finally do that. I spent a lot of time roaming around there when I was a kid and wouldn't trade those times for all the money in the world.

March 15, 2007

Beautiful morning

I have been going to the lake pretty much every day for about 8 years. I used to go as an escape from work and the noise of home. Now I go to run with the dogs. Every morning is completely different and there is almost always something that makes me pause and give thanks that I can see it.

This morning there were several varieties of ducks and geese taking advantage of the newly opened water. The wind was just crisp enough to invigorate. Bright sun coming up over the horizon. Perfect morning.


I tallied up today that I have made $311.97 from blog marketing. That's in a period of almost three months. When I take out the taxes from that it works out to my goal of having enough to pay the orthodontist and the gas to get up there. Yay! My only frustration is that I miss all the opportunities posted throughout the day and have slim pickings left over when I get a chance to look over them at night. That is partially my own fault because I won't write about just any old thing. It really is a good way to make a few extra bucks a month so long as you do remember that you're responsible for paying taxes on your earnings.

If my page ranking were higher, I'd be able to snag really high dollar opportunities instead of $5 here and there. On the weekends I have time, I am trying to do things to increase the popularity of this site again. I can't get too popular or my hosting fees will jump. I ran into that in the early days and can't afford to do that again. I would like to make even more and start a vacation fund so that we can take the kids to a beach somewhere. C. was with us when we went to Virginia Beach for twenty minutes but the other two haven't seen an ocean. I would like to fly to California but I think I'll never fly. We can drive to Florida.

Of course I can't think of money without wishing I had new steps on the front and back of the house or electricity in the garage or a new roof. Oh yeah, I could easily spend every dime that came my way.

March 16, 2007

My kid... the suckup

He called his grandma this morning before school and I heard him say "Yeah, that's what I was calling you." It's bugged me all day wondering what she said first that made him say that. I asked when he came in from school and he told me she said she was going to the dentist. So yeah, he was calling her on the day of her dentist appointment. Riiiight. Concerned for her teeth. Uh huh.

New Advertising Method

I am trying to make some sense of www.headforthetop.com, a new method of web advertising. It seems an advertiser purchases a block of ad space (game piece) then chooses rock, paper or scissors and their choice is affixed to the corner of their game piece. This piece is then released onto the game board or advertising spot and into the game of rock, paper, scissors. Interesting concept but I am not sure if having your ad spot beat it's way to the top of the board means you will get any more exposure or what the gimmick is there.

March 17, 2007

The Show

Today is the last day of The Show by Ze Frank. Every show had something in it that would make me laugh outloud, usually to the point of tears. Now I will have to find something to replace it. Where do you go for your daily laughs?

Store Medical Info Online

Do they still make med alert bracelets? I haven't seen one for a long time. There is a sort of online version of this now with a new emergency card that stores all of your pertinent medical information online. The site leads you through the enrollment process and provides all the information you need to share with your doctor in order to facilitate getting your records online. The FAQ section of the site explains how to fax medical documents for inclusion in your online records and answers other questions. Pricing plans are shown. I hate websites that make you give out contact information before they will share their prices.

March 19, 2007

Feeling kinda sad

Today would have been my dad's 80th birthday. He died in 1999 from emphysema brought on by many years of smoking and inhaling car exhaust in his auto repair shop.

Last night there was a special on CMT with John Anderson and Big & Rich. They sang John's song "Swingin'" which reminded me of the time dad's neighbors called and said something was up at his house. I went over there and found my dad in the porch swing singing that song at the top of his lungs. After the chorus he'd yell "Jack!! Jackie!!!!!!". Jackie was my stepmom who'd had enough of the happy, singing drunk routine and left for the day. I sat with him and sang until he decided it was pretty silly and went inside. He drove me nuts but I sure miss him.

Thinking Florida

Still focusing on a Florida vacation and trying to wish it into existence. I think I deserve a trip for my big FOUR-OH.

For my friends in the UK, if you want to join me in my dream of a Florida vacation, check out this cheap flight to Orlando. If I picked Orlando, I would certainly go for the smaller scale attractions and not the tourist traps. I want to go somewhere and relax, not fight crowds.


Today for my lunch break, I played basketball. By myself. How lame is that? It was actually very fun and burned a lot of calories in 20 minutes. Also found out I cannot bend over backwards and see the hoop to make a backwards shot anymore. I wonder what decade that ability disappeared....


Email compliance is something I've wondered about with the HIPAA guidelines. I do some work for a few health care clients and had to sign forms for HIPPA saying that I wouldn't discuss patients in any way. If I walk through the dining room and note what residents are eating, I cannot tell you that. So how do these strict rules governing patient confidentiality pan out with today's technology? The agencies I deal with simply do not send private information via email and therefore are guaranteed safe.

Borderware offers products to ensure internet security such as content filtering, attachment scanning, and encryption, to name a few.

Teens can be interesting, too

Jay Souweine, a 13 year old from Teaticket, Massachusetts is trying to get "Taps" played simultaneously throughout the world on May 19 to honor veterans on Armed Forces Day.


Anyone use Vonage for voice over IP? My boss and I tossed around the idea a few months back but I basically tossed the idea out. Neither of us have the patience for broken up or dropped calls and I was afraid of that. Just read a review from the "Boonies of Alabama" that said they were pleased.

March 20, 2007

A headline not meant to be read with a headache

Delta Zeta Blames Media In DePauw Incident

Delta say wha?

Continue reading "A headline not meant to be read with a headache" »

First day of Spring

Today is the first day of Spring so I am getting the itch to start my flowerbed. Looking though Coupon Chief for home and garden deals. They have bargain links to Henry Fields as well as other outdoor/garden related stores that are running special deals right now.

I really like that they categorize the links so well so it's easy to find what you are looking for. It's a good thing they've taken the time to do that as their list of all stores has grown quite lengthy. A few weeks ago when I was looking through Best Buy coupons, they didn't have near as many. It's good to see the internet grow like this. Job security for ME! ha.

March 21, 2007

Kinda neat

My humble little home was linked on CBSNews.com today. Thanks Melissa!

Employee Evaluations

Every one of my job evaluations with my current employer has been done on the fly. Usually at the end of the day when my boss is on the road. We can afford to do this in a relaxed fashion since we are a small shop and give each other feedback pretty much every day as part of our workflow.

Larger companies with many employees could really benefit from software to keep track of employee evaluations. ManagerAssistant.com offers a total employee management package to track employee salary and benefits, activities, job performance reviews and attendance records.

March 22, 2007

The Princess

I told Faith this story via email and decided it's worth repeating here:

On Sunday I called Emily from Walmart and told her I was looking at the
comforter sets and couldn't remember if she liked the one with white
flowers outlined in pink and she said 'hmmmm... flowers... I dont
think soooo" so I reminded her that they weren't like granny flowers
but more like what you would doodle on a notepad or something. She
got on walmart.com and found it and said yeah, that one was okay.
Threw that in the cart and went to the clearance aisle where they had
this girl power camo stuff on sale.

They had a bed canopy net thing that hung from the ceiling and was
camo just like her dad's turkey blinds only it had random pink flowers
and pink fur around the top of it. I jokingly told her I was getting that so her dad
would have some influence in the room too. As I said it, I noticed
the same pattern only mostly pink with camo flowers in a soft blanket.
I told her about it and said I was getting that for real. Threw that in the cart and started
meandering around while continuing to chat with her on the phone.

She was really quiet so I asked what she was doing and she goes "So
this bedding... it's camo? Like hunting camo? With some pink?" and I
said "Yes but its so cute and soft" and she said "How much green
camo?" and I told her just a little and she let out this resigned sort
of sigh and said "Okay". I told her not to worry, it would be covered
by the comforter anyway and she said "What???!!! The comforter??" and
I said "Yeah, Em. The one you just looked up on walmart.com... with
the white flowers..."

She said:

"OH THANK GOD!!! I thought you meant you had put that back and we
were doing my whole bed in camo with some pink!!"

Really scared her for a minute. hahahaha

International Calling Cards

Eva just called a moment ago. It's been so nice having her back in the states where she can be located quickly and can call whenever she wants. When she was in Brazil, I kept us in calling cards so we could talk every week. I don't even remember the name of the service we used but it could get expensive and I could only call her from my home phone.

Pingo offers cheap international calling cards and affordable international mobile phone card calls and the best part... pinless dialing! Wish I'd have known of them sooner. I could never remember my PIN when I would call Brazil so I would have to find my confirmation email with the necessary numbers.

Another bonus: you will receive up to 4 hours of free International calls just for simply signing up for Pingo.com.

Allen "Hot Pastrami" Bellows

Allen Bellows is an author and illustrator and the genius behind DamnInteresting.com. You can learn all kinds of things at DamnInteresting.com such as a trip down memory lane when a Max Headroom imposter hijacked TVs in Chicago. Good site to waste your free time.

Graduation Gifts

Every year I say I am going to do something thoughtful for graduation gifts and every year I end up doing the old card with money standby. This year I have several special graduates that really deserve something better. I'm thinking about nameplate jewelry. I used to have really cool nameplate earrings but gave them up when I grew my hair long years ago. Found Emily's name for a pretty necklace. I generally don't like pearls but this pearl ring is very pretty.

As their domain name implies, you can also design your own custom jewelry and they will make it for you. You can view a wide variety of their custom work on this page. The cupcake pendant is a sweet story. (oh! Play on words!)

March 25, 2007

Very long day

Today Em had a ball tournament (the last one!!) in Missouri, a little over an hour away. Her team ended up finishing third out of ten teams. On the way home, we stopped at Taco Bell where I had the following discussion with Ben.

Me: Benj, we should take a long trip this summer.
Ben: Yeah! We could go to Kansas City!! (KC is less than two hours away)
Me: Noooo, think BIIIGGGG, dude. Like Florida to the beach or something.
Ben: Oh, I could live with that.

Then I told him I wanted to go to Saint Augustine, the oldest colony in the US, blah blah blah and how it would be educational and fun. He said "Lisa, you lost me at educational." HA!

Tonight was the local Pheasant's Forever banquet and we decided to take C. since he's a teenager this year. We bought a bunch of raffle tickets and he bought one for a pellet gun. Todd bought some tickets to win the big Browning Gold Fusion something or other rifle. For all of our raffle tickets we ended up with a giant spray can of lubricating oil and a "hoot flute" turkey call thing. C. did win the pellet gun but that's it. No new rifle for Todd. Oh darn.

Came home and opened the big box that Faith had sent to Em for her room makeover. Pink goodness inside that made Em very happy. The most important piece was broken so we have to figure out how to salvage that. The box was packed very, very well and I have never had UPS deliver anything broken before. Frustrating.

Received my first complaint(?) about justlisa being an informercial pimped out to sell links or something similar to that. It was from a friend who I've told to kiss my ass on many occasions. This time will be no exception. Anyone who doesn't like it is more than welcome to send $60 a month for the orthodontist payment and I'll stop pimping links. Simple as that. I do what I have to do and try to make up for it with interesting entries such as this one. haha

Payday Loan Blog

Payday Loan Lowdown is a blog covering payday loan news. As tempting as a payday or cash advance loan can be, they are really dangerous if they are not researched carefully. I took one years ago in Kansas to pay the rent on time and found out later the interest rate was outrageous. At the time I was in a panic and I did not even look. The one thing I learned the hard way was that the longer you keep the loan, the more it costs you. This site gives loads of good advice and warns of the common pitfalls such as not reading the fine print like I neglected to do.

Why I tolerate him

I am moving this to below the fold for people like Faith who don't watch TV live anymore. (these people are weird. hahaha)

Continue reading "Why I tolerate him" »


Today we took our ritual outing to Slip Bluff to shake off winter. Took a lot of pics like this one and expended a ton of energy playing.


Yes, I played. I love the swings and slides and jungle gym still. When my body phyically refuses to partake in these fun things, I'll stop. Until then, it's all fun!

March 26, 2007


Ben and I had a lengthy conversation about birds and which would have the longest bill. It's the australian pelican. Lots of links to bird facts here. Must remember to share this link with the kids. Right now I must remove stubborn teenager from bed. I miss the days when he got up at 6 and wanted to be at school by 7:15.

Finger issues


This would be my finger following an incident involving a door today. $116 and a splint later, I think I will live.

March 27, 2007

More financial info

I talk a lot here about money it seems. There's never been a time in my life when money has not been an issue. There is always something hanging over my head but thankfully it's been years since I've been in any real financial danger. The one time I was staring down the barrel of losing everything was so frightening and I made some bad choices that still impact my credit rating today.

It seems the UK is experiencing a debt crisis similar to what we have in the United States. The MoneyWize site is a repository of information about loans with sections devoted to Secured Loans, Personal Loans, and
Car Loans. If you find yourself in a financial jam, take the time to slow down and research your options so you don't unknowingly add to your problem by going for an easy quick fix.


I recently marked my four year mark without a cigarette. It was a quiet celebration this year as no one remembered except me. I suppose that is good in a way since it surely means the family no longer remembers the struggles I had while quitting. The first and second anniversaries were pretty big deals because I didn't kill or maim anyone. Those first two years were pretty tough. I can honestly say now that I only think of smoking as something I am thankful I do not do.

My best friend recently went on a trip to Hawaii and her plane flight was miserable physically because she could not smoke. I am so thankful that I no longer have to plan my life around the time between cigarettes. One of my best online friends is struggling with her addiction and I pray that she can find her way to successful quitting. Hard battle but well worth it. C. belongs to JEL (Just Eliminate Lies), a large group of teens against big tobacco. So proud of him. Anyway, to those struggling or looking for inspiration to quit, just look around you and keep digging until you find your motivation.

Just for fun

I just finished lifting weights and the old finger is really throbbing. I did not use it but I guess just getting the blood pumping affected it. I measured and the non swollen ring finger is just shy of two inches around. The ouch finger is almost three inches. No wonder it feels like it might split open.

March 30, 2007

New toys

I have spent my lunch break playing with jv16 PowerTools. It's a suite of tools designed to help manage Windows apps and registry. I used the software manager tool and while it took a long while to build the list, it found and listed things I didn't even know I still had installed. Also tried out the tool for startup management and found the pesky quicken leftover that gives me an error every morning when I turn on the computer. That was very helpful as I could never find that in the registry and I can't just go hacking through the registry of my work computer.

March 31, 2007

Kansas City

Today we took a road trip down to Kansas City. It's been 20 years since I lived there. Back then I was a naive 19 year old, scared to death and homesick. Now I wish I lived there again.

About March 2007

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

February 2007 is the previous archive.

April 2007 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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