Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Warning warning warning....

I had a wonderful Christmas. I wish I could have given more to more people but I am happy with what I was able to do. Christmas day Russel started feeling a little under the weather and even though I was housesitting, I wanted to check in on him and make sure he was doing ok and didn't need anything. Well, I got sick kissing Santa Claus.

I am a full blown biohazard now. I wanted to call in sick to work but since we're still on the holiday schedule there is no one available for coverage. I will do my best to stay conscious and aware but no promises!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Computers hate me...

If you know me, you know that me and computers generally don't get along. We have a love-hate relationship. When I touch a computer or any electrical device they seem to break. Not to the extreme in this picture but pretty close. I had some time off from work and I ended up working on computers the entire time. The home computer got a virus that is pure evil. I was unsuccessful at trying to cure it re-install will be coming soon. My aunt called me and needed help with her laptop because it wouldn't connect to the wireless.

While I was working on those two issues my portable external hard drive died. That had the back-up for all of the other computers. I cried and then Russel came in to save the day. He was able to recover the data from my hard drive and keep it safe until I could get another one. I promised I would never ever make weird faces or make fun of Linux again. So, here it is...I love Linux...mostly Tux but THANK YOU LINUX! for saving my butt twice already. Thank you Russel for everything!

Tux as Captain America.

My co-worker Matty came to the rescue to help me troubleshoot the problem with my aunt's computer so hopefully that will be up and running shortly. Thank you Matty.

Hopefully I will be able to get another portable hard drive soon. Until then other nemisis is at a standstill. Maybe if I ever get another computer I won't run into evil software problems.
I can almost hear Russel saying, "Let's install Linux on it!"

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Heavens...Take 1!....and Action!

My new goal is to get an outstanding picture of the Milky Way.

Last night was the Geminid Meteor Shower. Russel helped me set up his tracking mount for his telescope so I could try to piggy-back my sister's camera and getting the phenomenal shot of the Milky Way. FAIL!!!!!

Yeah my first attempt was pretty bad. And of course when I am around something will either get broken or scratched or not work. Two out of three of those things happened. I am hoping my next attempt will be better. I was so excited because the previews in the viewfinder of the camera were turning out really nice. When the pictures were downloaded they were out of focus and I was so entirely disappointed. I don't think the camera settings were right and I didn't double check the focus before shooting away about 5 gigs of memory.

There were some great things that happened last night so it wasn't a complete fail. I got to hang out with a really cool guy and watch "falling stars" all night. That really cool guy made me hot chocolate with marshmellows on top when it was pretty darn cold outside. Really, even though the pictures turned out crappy, I had a great night. Thank you Russel, your patience sometimes amazes me.

Here is the salvaged first attempt. The streak at the bottom is an airplane trail. I didn't capture any of the meteors....but maybe next time.

Catching Up

I haven't blogged in a while. I feel like I am just getting caught up. Laundry doesn't seem to want to wash itself. The computers all decide to die all at once and get infected with spyware. The truck likes to stay dirty unless I help her out and give her a bath every once in a while. I did get to go see the Lago Vista football semi-final game at the UT stadium the other night. I am disappointed that they lost to Cameron Yoe, but I had a great time. I felt like I got a do-over from high school. Russel was with me and when we got there my sister gave me some "spirit balloons" Russel made me a dog out of one and I attached it to the end of one of the others. I was hoping it was going to be a lucky dog but she didn't give much luck.

I was there with the cutest guy and I didn't have to wear a yukky uniform or march at halftime. I could just sit back and enjoy the game and I didn't have to worry about anyone talking in the hallway if I kissed him at the game. :-) It was awesome.

I also managed to get all of my Christmas gifts wrapped and ready to go. I can't wait to give Russel his gifts. So, I am off to see what else I can accomplish....

Monday, December 6, 2010

The heavens scooting by...

The other night Russel set up his telescope so I could be captivated by the heavens again. I decided to set up the camera and attempt some more star trail pictures. I didn't think that they turned out very well while I was taking them. The camera somehow moved (I blame user error or the evil camera fairies) so I figured I wasn't going to get anything that even looked like a star. I went ahead and downloaded them and stacked them just to see how horrible they turned out. I was pleasantly surprised. Russel says its time to move on to the next level of astrophotography. I am thinking I should stick to what I know. :-) Just kidding. You may have to look closely to see the small streaks.

Cassiopeia streaking around the sky

The bright streak is Jupiter.

A simply wonderful weekend

I had a simply wonderful weekend. Russel took me on a flight for the first time. It was so much fun and exciting. I loved every minute of it. We flew over his parents house and we could see his mom and dad waving which was really cool. I have to say, I did wave back even though I knew they couldn't possibly see me. It's going to be hard to top this great day. Here are some pictures from our flight.

Russel getting ready to start his checklist

It's smaller than it looks.

The plane

The Lake

Runway 2-9

Really cool vintage plane that landed after us.

I love this picture
Russel's parents watching us fly over.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Larger Font

For those of us who can't quite see the tiny font this is usually typed in, I went back and enlarged some of my previous posts. I hope this helps. :-)

Monday, November 29, 2010


I absolutely love this photo of James Stewart and Kim Novak from the Alfred Hitchcock film Vertigo. Russel introduced me to this movie and I really enjoyed it. The cars were fantastic, even if you look in the background of many of the shots. The only thing I didn't think was cool was that he should have fallen in love with Midge at the end. Afterall she was the one who went to visit him in the hospital and she was crazy enough to put herself out on the line with her "self portrait." To borrow Russel's thoughts on the could have been used on the cover of a romance novel.

I identified with her goofyness and her quick wit and less with the main character played by Kim Novak. So, thanks Russel, I enjoyed it. My world continues to grow. :-)

Monday, November 22, 2010

The first Christmas song of the season...

Today I heard it....I knew it was coming I was just hoping it would be closer to Christmas. I try to avoid Christmas music because it irritates me, unless it is played on Decmber 25th and its tasteful. Of course the local music station insists on being the #1 carrier of these recyled tunes and playing them 24/7 until January 1st. Someone cursed me and had it tuned in, in the women's locker room at work. So what was it you ask? I suppose I lucked out because it was one of the better ones. "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer"

So, now that I have that pesky Christmas shopping out of the way, I can go back to being a Grinch and saying Bah Humbug just for my enjoyment in watching the Christmas Elves cringe in disbelief. Carry on, Carry on.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Proud....very proud

Russel and his instructor Larry
Russel is officially a private pilot. I am so proud of him. I was so excited on my way to the airport and I didn't have anyone to really call and tell because everyone was at work. I called Mrs. Schultz. Of course, I didn't even realize I would be "stealing his thunder" so to speak but it was very cool to share that excitement. Sorry Sweetie. I can't wait to fly with him and take lots of pictures. Congratulations Babe. I love you!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Holiday Rush

It seems to me this year the holidays are rushing by. I got so excited about Halloween and then as soon as that came I start seeing Christmas commercials and the threat of playing non-stop Christmas music on the radio. UGH! I can listen to Christmas music on Christmas eve and Christmas day. I don't think I can take an entire month and half of non-stop Christmas tunes. The music is still the same no matter which singer is singing it.

Bob Dylan is probably the worst of them. Bob....seriously? Oh Come All Ye Faithful was supposed to be spiritual not sounding like you drug yourself off the bathroom floor and straight into the studio. If you want to torture your relatives make sure you order this one and put it in the shuffle mix for Christmas dinner. I can't wait to try it on my relatives. Ha. 

So between the horrible football schedule of 3 football games in 3 weeks including the A&M game on Thanksgiving, the scheduling of the housesitting jobs over the holidays and working on Christmas shopping within my budget I am ready for the holidays to be over. I usually feel that way though.

Maybe one day the holidays will be nice, relaxing and enjoyable. Of course that would mean a trip to Switzerland from November 1st-January 10th. LOL.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

....With Love

I just finished reading this awesome book. I was pretty much on the edge of my seat the whole time. It's not a very long book but it was well written and worded in a completely honest way. It is a tear jerker. Here is a spoiler though, He lived happily ever after.

...One of my least favorite things to do

Having a garage sale is one of my least favorite things to do. I am generally not a very good salesman and I don't like interacting with people who will try to talk you into selling a $50.00 item for 50 cents. I have considered putting some of the items on ebay, but thats a pain in the rear. Still, I might resort to doing that depending upon how this garage sale goes. So, I will be spending my days off sitting out in front of my house waiting for no one to show up and buy the things that only I think are treasures. Wish me luck, I am not optimistic.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

...An almost perfect fall night

It was an almost perfect fall night. The temperature is falling lower by the minute. At home we made caramel apples. Juan carved a pumpkin and we watched the Peanuts on TV. The only thing missing was Russel who, unfortunately, had a previous engagement. Wish I was off tomorrow and that would be the cherry on top. Oh well, I will take what I can get. HAPPY HALLOWEEN! My favorite holiday.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Even more spoiled.

My dad and Lupe brought this back from Colorado for me. It's a little warm for it now but I can't wait for cooler weather. Thanks yall. Yeah I am spoiled.
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Blessed and spoiled...

I think I am probably one of the most blessed and spoiled people in the world right now.

I received one of the most thoughtful gifts ever. A while back I blogged about my childhood memories, especially about the dishes my mom had when I was growing up. The crazy daisy pattern plates, bowls and cups. I actually made several trips to the area Goodwill stores looking for just one cup or one plate and I never found one. I kept looking on ebay, more or less just window shopping. Last night I was surprised by Russel's family with a beautiful basket full of those dishes. Overwhelmed? Yeah I think I was more than overwhelmed with love, memories, and thankfulness. Wow. I can't even express how awesome this is to me. I am so blessed to be loved by Russel and his family. They are all so wonderful. So, this quote seems very fitting...."My cup runneth over."

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Texas Stars Hockey

I absolutely love going to the Texas Stars Hockey games with Russel. We went to the game last night vs. the San Antonio Rampage. The Stars won in overtime 4-3. Woohoo. The only things I will miss this season is Matt Climie #33 the goalie and watching the Chicago Wolves play with Chris Chelios. The good thing about last night was Matt Climie has switched to playing goalie for the San Antonio Rampage now so I got to see him play.

Matt Climie in Stars gear

Now, let me say first of all, I know just about nada about hockey other than they use skates on ice and you gotta get the puck in the net. But its fun and exciting and if you are lucky you get to see a bunch of guys brutally slam each other against the plexiglass or beat each other up. Who wouldn't love to watch that?

The fans were almost brutal as the lady sitting in front of us yelled, "Climie you suck!" Wow, this is the guy that got the Stars to the Western Conference Championship last season and really did a kick ass job along the way. They also chanted in unison about 4 times during the course of the game, "Ref, you suck Ref, you suck, Ref, you suck!"

I also got to see a friend from high school. I suppose I am still recognizable. Ha. It was good to see him and his family there and introduce him to Russel.

I am looking forward to the next game we get to go to.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

...more public information

Seeing this video brought back a lot of adrenaline, maybe its just my imagination but it feels very real. "My boys" were the ones going in that building. Later it would be multiple agencies helping us clear buildings but at that moment I see our units go in my stomach just turns.

This is the Daily Texan link to the video along with a short article and lots of comments from the public. Some of them are a little unreasonable and some of them are constructive. It's very difficult not to comment with my response about what it was really like that day trying to keep everyone safe.

Friday, October 15, 2010

having too much fun

So, rather innocently Russel mentioned his coworker had a QR code posted on his cubicle with his contact information and he was thinking of doing the same. Well, I knew what a QR code was but I had never used the bar scanner app on my phone to see what it looked like when one was scanned. Since he mentioned it I have been playing with a code generator. Oh what fun I can have with this. There is a message encoded below inspired by Russel. :-)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Better than an art gallery

This is a really cool idea, cool sculpture and awesome photography.

...public information

This is one of the only ones that would let me embed. My sincerest thanks to my co-worker Kathy who held me together at the seams. She did a top notch job taking the first call, dispatching the units and never stopping after that.

More rules to live by

When I started this blog I gave the beginning of my list of rules to live by. I figure I should add more just because I feel like it. Ha. I don't remember what number I was on so I'll just wing it.

13. When you make a mistake, don't try to cover it up. Own up to it and be ready for the consequences. (This is something I tell all of the new people I train at work. Its just not worth it for the boss to find out after the fact and you try to cover it up and get in more trouble)

14. You reap what you sow. This is one that I try my very very hardest at. I try to be a good friend, a good co-worker, a good girlfriend. I never intentionally try to hurt someone and I give my very best to them as much as I possibly can.

15. In the words of Ruthie Foster....Getting back up is harder than the fall. Yep...that pretty much sums up life's little stumbles, falls and crashes.

....the mythical creature

I hear they are releasing the Back to the Future trilogy 25th anniversary edition this year. Wow, that makes me feel old. Just yesterday I included it on my amazon wishlist as one of the many things I am asking Santa to bring me this year and the years to come. Hey, Santa aint made outta money you know.

Anyway, this morning I was walking down the hill to work and I saw it! I've never seen this mythical creature up close so I was so excited. She was just sitting there just like she was watching over the other crappy Hondas and Kias. There are only about 6,500 of the orginals in the world. Talk about endangered. You could tell she had been cared for. It was nice to see. Yeah you can laugh because she wasn't all that she could have been but she is still a classic. Re-meet the classic DeLorean.....

Friday, October 8, 2010

My favorite time of year

Fall is my favorite time of ease into winter which is also my favorite time of year. Things always seem less stressed out and more relaxed when its not 115 degrees outside. October is my favorite month. I love Halloween even though I never seem to find anything to do thats more adult oriented. Usually I would take my nephew trick or treating and then go to sleep watching a scary movie. I love the idea that you can be whatever you want to be for one day and its perfectly normal. No one makes fun of you for wearing your Star Trek uniform that you secretly have hidden in your closet. No one thinks anything is out of the ordinary when you walk out in a poodle skirt like you are going to a sock hop. I am also glad that September is officially over. I seem to have bad luck in September from one year to the next. I am still a little unsure about the holidays. I had such a wonderful Christmas last year and haven't had one before that since before my mom got sick. I am hoping the rest of this year will just continue to get better. I have so much to be thankful for.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

mulching over....

So, this morning I slept in. Then I got up and helped Russel in the yard. Mulching. Hmmm it helps the things in my mind work a little better. Who would have thought a little cedar mulch could help clear out some cob webs and relax me so much.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

When it works out...

When (mostly) everything goes just like it should, people's lives are saved. I have always said I love my job, but at about 8:10am on September 28th, 2010 I wasn't quite sure I was liking what was happening. Then I realized that this is what I signed up for. I didn't sign up for the days when nothing seems to go right, but this particular day even my harsh criticism of myself turned out to be unnecessary I realized it did go right. It could have been so much worse. At the end of the day all of my boys came home safe. If you know me, you know the term "my boys" is a term of endearment for all of the men and women I work with no matter what agency they work for. No one else was injured.

I was given a wondeful piece of advice from someone after the event about beating myself up over what I felt I could have done better. She said, "If you wouldn't say those things to your co-workers why is it ok to say those things to yourself?" This one statement changed my entire perspective. I would never tell my co-workers, my team, my friends anything near what I was telling myself. After that, I gave myself a break. I can fix what I could do better.

I was preparing myself to hear all of the negative feedback from the media, the bosses and anyone else giving their two cents. I was completely not ready for the response we did get from EVERYONE. We have had such a wonderful amount of praise, understanding and support from not only the students but the parents of students, other agencies, and the media. Today I saw a picture of a group of students on the South Mall on campus who were collecting thank you cards, coffee, money, sandwiches and pretty much anything to show appreciation to the law enforcement agencies who were involved. They had huge signs like this:
Wow. I am not sure I have ever heard of this happening. Maybe for the first time in my life I might actually be proud to wear a burnt orange shirt with a "cow head" Just don't push it and expect me to paint my truck burnt orange. :-)
Here are more pictures of My Boys in action: