Friday, December 29, 2006

Hypocrisy Here? You decide

Is it hypocritical of me to talk about my neighbors and all the trash they generate if I have this in my driveway?

At first I thought so but after further pondering I realized that it would only be hypocritical if I kept this in their driveway ;) The whole reason why I comment on their trash at all is because they put the cans out in front of my house.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

24 Christmas Card

I sooooo wish I had seen this before Christmas so that I could have sent it out to the 24 watchers out there. Check out this great Christmas card from Fox: http://www.fox.com/syndication/24/24_24th_christmas_hi.asx

Speaking of 24, it's only a few weeks until the Day 6 premiere. As you know, I have recommended that you watch 24 from the beginning in order to truly appreciate EVERYTHING. If you have not done this by now, you are too late as you need to catch up on 120 episodes. However, if you still want to watch the season with us (and be apart of our weekly 24 debriefing) at a minimum I suggest you watch the season 6 trailer: http://www.24trailer.com/ (Note: If you are currently watching Season 4&5 to catch up and will make the deadline, don't watch this clip until you are caught up. If you have rented season 5, watch the prequel to season 6 on the bonus disk.

A little bit about 24:

An hour of 24 represents and hour in a day, events are real time. Each season is the equivalent of one day. (24 episodes)
Jack Bauer is the main character. He works for the Counter Terrorist Unit of the government.
24 is non stop action. If you don't like action this isn't for you.
24 is not predictable, main characters die, bad things happen.
24 won the emmys for best TV show and best actor this year.

This show was hyped up for me so high that I didn't think it would possibly meet my expectations. The reality is it way surpassed my expectations so go ahead and try it and see what you think. If you want to be part of the debriefing just let me know. (15 minutes every Tuesday starting the 16th of January)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Predictability=Bad News

The following is an effort to squelch any predictability on my part:

What I will do today:
(1) Go to Coffee Bean (where none of the baristas know my name) and order a double espresso
(2) While I am there I will sit and read the newspaper (and leave my phone in the car)
(3) After coffee I'll come home and make David breakfast. After he is done eating I will suggest he sit in his chair and watch TV all day-"honey, you shouldn't work while your on vacation"
(4) While David is snoozing and watching TV, I will turn on classical music and then proceed to dust the entire house
(5) I'll take Katie for a walk and then give her a bath
(6) Next, I'll ask David if there is anything I can bring him
(7) When he asks for a beer I'll volunteer to drive to Orange County and pick up a case of Yeungling (his favorite)
(8) On the way to and from Orange County I will drive the speed limit
(9) I will turn my cell phone off while I am driving because I don't want to be distracted
(10) Once home I will make dinner before checking email or going on the Internet
(11) We will eat dinner at the dining room table and talk about our day.

What I will not do today :
Watch TV
Go on the Internet
Check Email
Play with my mobile phone
Take any pictures
Call anyone
Go shopping
Go to Starbucks and order a Chai Tea
(Who am I kidding, I will have done all of these things by 7:00AM)

Trash Story Follow-Up

Back on Monday October 2nd I posted my first blog and it was about the new neighbors and the excessive trash situation over here. http://kim1champ.blogspot.com/2006/10/monday-is-trash-pickup-day.html

Several people have since asked about the situation and even more have asked for a picture of all their trash cans in front of my house. Well, I haven't posted a picture because frankly there hasn't been as many bins as there was then....until today. As I was getting ready to go after Christmas shopping I walked passed the dining room window and holy cow you should see all the trash cans! I immediately went to grab my camera.

Here is the view from the dining room (1) Picture taken this morning before we went out shopping (2) Picture taken this afternoon when I got home. (Yes, I am aware the grass is half dead-it got screwed up when we re-did the driveway last month)

Note a couple of things. The two trash cans on the right are ours (One Recycle and One Trash) the rest are all theirs! Notice the first recycle is even over flowing! I still haven't figured why all the trash or why they put the trash cans in front of our house. I guess I'll give the guy a break though, he's an electrician and he just helped David hook up my new jacuzzi tub :)

Monday, December 25, 2006

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

I hope everybody had a fantastic Christmas. Ours was perfect except for missing Rachel and Kevin. (They are In Hawaii with Kevin's family)

Yesterday, part of the family came over to our house for Christmas Eve. I still am not feeling that great so I just heated up a frozen lasagna (how pathetic is that?). This was the first time I really didn't cook-ugh, it was so far below my usual standards that it is almost too embarrassing to mention. After everyone left, David and I opened our gifts. I got a bunch of cool stuff for the kitchen, Garmin Nuvi GPS (I have been wanting it and I will discuss in great detail later) and some nice earrings. I did pretty well. (I also have to tell about my birthday gift..but that will hold for now...I will say though that an anonymous poster in the previous blog is spot on and therefore I think I am becoming too predictable-I hate being predictable)

This morning we all met at mom and dads around 10:00 for the annual 3 hour gift unwrapping session. Every year we have to hear about how mom "Cut back this year" and there is not as many gifts. Note the picture: I think there were plenty to go around. (At last count there were 142 wrapped presents)The presents were great (as always, mom loves Christmas and does a fantastic job on everything). The big gifts of the day were a video ipod for Andrew, a Nintendo Wii for James, David and I got a patio heater and I got those Tazman Ugg's I have been wanting for awhile (Remember: http://kim1champ.blogspot.com/2006/11/fallwinter-shoe-exchange.html)

After presents we managed to eat a whole bunch of food and then ended up getting home around 4:00pm.

Tomorrow, Becca, Mom and I will be doing some day after Christmas sale shopping. (Leaving early, I am a little worried about being out in the cold because my throat is still killing me. I just can't seem to kick this thing.)

One last picture: This is Joshua peaking around the fire engine car David and I gave him. He is just soooooo adorable. I need to get me one just like him :)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas (Eve)

You'll never believe what I got for Christmas!!!!!! (My gift was bittersweet)

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Party Tour is Over!

The Christmas Party tour this year was very fun. Every party was great and I have plenty of pictures from each of the events. I thought it was going to be really hard to choose a favorite picture to display on the blog until I saw this one.

This picture comes to you directly from the Phoenix Christmas party which was held on December 19th. You are probably thinking, what is so special about this picture? You are standing there laughing with Jane, so what? At first glance I would tend to agree but when I was looking at this picture I made the following startling observation:

I love this photo because one rarely gets to see what they would look like with a major deformity, for instance the loss of a limb. In this photo, which I have entitled, "Jane the Flamingo" she does a fabulous job of demonstrating that it is possible to still look good even if you have lost one of your legs in a tragic accident or mishap. Even with a missing limb she is not afraid to put on that short skirt, get out on the dance floor and have fun at parties.

Jane, your courage and positive attitude makes you a role model for amputees everywhere. You can hear more about Jane's story and see her one-legged navigation around Phoenix in the Premiere episode of the new TLC drama: "Life with Missing Limbs". (Premiers January 25th)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happy Birthday from Treo Central

I thought you would all like to know that the first birthday email announcement I received this year was from Treo Central! That solidifies my position in geek heaven.
Note: Details below:

from: TreoCentral.com
time: 10:01 pm (1 hour ago)
to: kim.thomas@gmail.com
date: Dec 21, 2006 10:01 PM
subject: Happy Birthday from TreoCentral.com
Message: Hello kim1champ,We at TreoCentral.com would like to wish you a happy birthday today!

XM Radio Winners!

Fitting that the XM Radios arrived the day I was home and wearing my XM Radio long sleeve T-shirt. I got the T-shirt earlier this year when David and I were invited to this exclusive XM Radio party in Hollywood. It was pretty fun, there were only about 100 people or so invited and a bunch of XM radio DJ's and executives.

Anyway, I have decided to draw 2 names and no this isn't fixed:

The winners are: Misty Wooley and Squidward! Congratulations. Squidward, I'll ship you yours and Misty I'll give yours to Rachel.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Thoughts on TSA & Radiation

Last week, a grandmother apparently mistook her grandson for a laptop and put the 1 month old infant into the grey storage bin for a full security x-ray. As the TSA agent noticed the outline of a baby they quickly (as quick as they are) pulled it out of the x-ray machine. The baby was fine, if you are interested, the full article can be found here: http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-me-baby20dec20,0,2575736.story?coll=ny-leadnationalnews-headlines

This got my mind going and I began to wonder if part of the reason TSA is such a disaster is all the radiation these poor souls are getting from the x-ray equipment. This could account for the lack of mental ability I commonly observe at these checkpoints. (I would like to hear from some Radiology Technologists on this subject)

According to the LA times: The baby that went through the airport luggage machine was exposed to less radiation than a passenger on a cross-country flight. Typical radiation exposures are as follows:

Luggage screener: 1*
Cross-country flight: 5*
Chest X-ray: 10*
Mammogram: 30*
* Measured in millirems, which takes into account both the amount of exposure and the biological effect of the type of radiation in question.

So in 2005, I had a whole bunch of radiology tests done and I am so neurotic that I was keeping track of the millirems so that I could properly assess any risks (watch out for those abdominal CT scans).....I'm sick, yeah, I know.

Considering all the traveling I am doing these days, I wonder if I should take this to the next level? I want to get one of those radiation badges that measure the amount of dosage you are exposed to, I would wear it every time I went to the airport. I think it would be a cool experiment. (I am so not an expert here so I don't even know if it would work) Would I care if people were looking at me funny? No, I think it would be a great conversation piece.

Happy Birthday to Me (4 days early)

I have only had a couple surprise parties thrown for me. I was somewhat clued in to them and was never totally surprised, until yesterday. The Central Phoenix folks gave me a surprise birthday cake and I was soooooooo unsuspecting. Carl's Jr. had called a "Leadership Meeting" over at the hospital and I was totally focused on what in the world the meeting was about, in fact, I was kind of freaking out about it (ask Plankton) so when I walked in the room I was truly surprised and very happy. It totally made my week. The team is so awesome! They even got me the cake that I have been wanting to try for months. (Thanks Dora for remembering the details ;) I first saw this type of cake at La Grande Orange and ever since I have been wanting to try it. Yay! Thank you all very much for giving me this great surprise, I still can't believe that I was actually totally surprised! CRAZY!




Lastly, what my team did not know was that most of my life I celebrated my birthday with my grandfather. His birthday was December 19th and yesterday he would have been 91. So, for me, as I reflect on the very nice thing the team did for me yesterday, I also reflect on my grandfather. He was truly a great and honorable man, I'd give anything for a 5 minute conversation with him. As you go about your day today, think of those that have inspired you and make the time to give them a quick call.

Monday, December 18, 2006

This Will Be Easy-Not

What enters your mind when you think of the word easy? Maybe a particular subject? Or a particular person? Or a particular activity? Many things pop into my mind when I hear the word.

What is not easy is for me is giving up my Treo700w. Today, as I slowly began coming to terms with the possibility of losing my Treo I became very very sad. If I am not living in Treo700w bliss, I need my Treo to bring as much joy to someone else as it has brought to me. When I read James' blog from yesterday, I decided that I would give him my old spare Treo 700w. So, I convinced him to stop by and when he got here I thought, well maybe he would want a blackberry instead. I showed him David's old Blackberry (yes, we paid the 40 cents and he got his new one the next day) and my spare Treo and he thought they both looked cool but then he noticed: (1) No touch screen on the BB, (2) No camera, (3) No picture contacts and he quickly chose the Treo700w. He was so excited!

As I was writing this, he called to ask me how to make the photo contacts zoom in on the contacts face. So I grabbed my Treo and walked him through cropping a photo. It was so easy! The device is intuitive, it is not hard to operate at all. Could cropping photes be that easy on a blackberry? I digress since most of the BB don't have photo contacts or cameras. I have never become so attached to a device, I am always looking for an upgrade, but not this time. Ugh, I am sick to my stomach.

Maybe, I will call Staples for help dealing with the potential loss of my Treo700w. They tend to have answers to the most perplexing problems, I don't know why but everything just seems to be easy for those guys.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Last Minute Christmas Gift

If you are still doing your Christmas shopping and need a good (practical) gift for the woman in your life, I have the perfect present. (Please get her something personal too. All practical gifts=not good) The best small appliance out there is the Cuisinart Griddler. There are several Cuisinart Griddle items out there so please make sure it's the "Griddler".

This appliance can be used daily. I wanted it two years ago and I loved it so much that my mom and both my sisters now have it. Interchangeable plates allows for griddle or grill. (Mine is always on the grill, I think I have only used the griddle once) I use mine mostly for Panini while Becca uses hers mostly for an indoor grill. It is as versatile as you are ;)

My two favorite Panini are as follows:

Sourdough bread very lightly buttered on the outside (I Can't Believe it's not Butter-Lite)
Tomato
Fresh Mozzarella
Pesto (I like making my own Pesto but recently I tried the Costco Pesto and it was fantastic as well)
Grill for 5 minutes (Yes, all it takes is 5 minutes)

Sourdough bread very lightly buttered on the outside (I Can't Believe it's not Butter-Lite)
Diced Green Chili
Cheddar

Deli Sliced Roast Beef
Grill for 5 minutes




Saturday, December 16, 2006

Mom's Organization Methods=Madness

This highlights my conversation this morning, at Starbucks, with my mom.

Mom: I accidentally deleted my Christmas list, did I tell you that?
Kim: No. Have you checked the recycle bin, Did you do a search for the file name?
Mom: No
Kim: I'm sure it's probably there, I'll look later and see if I can find it. Is it in excel?
Mom: No, it's in the box thing. The yellow box.
Kim: (thinking: well, this is a new one)
Mom: You know, where the calendar and phone numbers are.
Kim: Oh, Outlook. Why is your Christmas list in Outlook?
Mom: Well, I don't want anyone to find it so I just pick a day and put everything on that day
Kim: You what? (Incredulous and thinking: I bet that won't sync well with my Treo, I can't wait to write about this)
Mom: Well, this year, I put my Christmas list on August 27th

I stop the conversation there because you get the point. TOTAL MADNESS. I am absolutely out of my mind as I listen to this. Apparently, she handles other things this way too, she sets an appointment up on a random day for say all of her vacation planning and another appointment for lists and such. She puts all the data into the notes section of the appointment. The date is not even significant (like I said random) she just "remembers" which day she picked for what. I am totally amazed that this type of activity goes on, I quote an organizational expert from earlier this week, "We have rookie users everywhere". I am surrounded by people that are in desperate need of technology training.

Back to mom, I remember several years ago (when she was first "computing") she would start her excel spreadsheets on some random row like 568 so that if someone opened the file they would think it was empty. She is very serious about data security. LOL. Needless to say, when I discovered this I about died and I tried to teach her to use row number 1 and a file password. I am not sure what the current status is of these items but I am not very hopeful that we have reached a satisfactory resolution.

I guess, I'll go over to my moms later today and check her Outlook deleted items because there is no doubt, the mysterious Christmas list appointment, on August 27th is sitting in that folder.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Woot.com

One of my favorite websites, is http://www.woot.com They sell one product a day, until it is sold out. The product could be anything from an LCD screen (see today's woot) to walkie talkies or cooking utensils. Whatever it is, it's usually a great deal and you can buy a maximum of 3 of the items. The product of the day goes up at 10:00PM PST.

Since joining woot, I have bought two items. About six months ago, Ben and I both bought this great stainless steel coffee pot. It retails for $149.00 but we paid $59.00 for ours. Yesterday, the item was a Samsung neXus portable XM radio and MP3 player. It came with everything you see below in the picture and included one month of XM service. After that you will pay $12.95 per month. (BTW: I love XM radio) So I purchased the max (3 of them). I am going to give one away for sure, probably 2 (to my awesome readers) via a drawing on Monday. If you want to enter the drawing, just leave a comment on this blog entry and we'll draw some winners.

24, The Countdown Begins

One Month until the Season Premiere of 24! This is your last chance, watch season 5 now if you want to be apart of our 24 debrief sessions in January.

And of course I will add, there is still time to buy Jack's shirt (for over $500.00 at the 24 auction on ebay. http://stores.ebay.com/VIP-AUCTIONS_24_W0QQcolZ2QQdirZQ2d1QQfsubZ6QQftidZ2QQtZkm

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Photo Blog of Central Coast Trip

Here is a photo blog from the last two days:


Proof I went to the Bakersfield party. (Me and Tim)








On the way from Bakersfield to the Central Coast Larry and I ran into a herd of sheep.








I pulled over to take a conference call in front of this lovely place







You should have heard Larry listening to Glenn who told us the dinner was at "Cool Hand Luke's" but all Larry heard was "Cold Man's Boot"-LOL (In Larry's defensive the cell signal was low)









Glenn showing off his Christmas Gift










The View from my hotel room in Pismo Beach








Glenn and Larry playing "Giant" chess.








Me hanging out with the surfer dude in front of Splash Cafe in Pismo Beach










Better than the "Buggy Stop", this is where I took my conference call on the way home today. This is Refugio, Glenn's favorite vacation spot. (It's located about 1/2 way between home and the Central Coast) Also, Glenn, the answer is no, the Verizon Air Card does not work from this spot-Nice try, though.





Proof that Larry and I stopped at St John's.

Good Eats in SCAL-Parts 1&2 Revisted


Today I was able to go to two places that I wrote about in Good Eats Part 1 & 2.



Lunch was at Splash Cafe in the Central Coast with Larry and Glenn. Note the Clam Chowder, in the bread bowl with the seafood topping....(Reference:Good Eats Part 1 http://kim1champ.blogspot.com/2006/11/good-eats-in-southern-california-part-1.html)

Dinner was at Northwoods Inn with Randy and Jeff. We had both salads and the cheese bread and both Randy and Jeff thought it was great. (Reference: Good Eats Part 2 http://kim1champ.blogspot.com/2006/12/good-eats-in-southern-california-part.html)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Favorite Scenic WebCams

Here is a list of my favorite scenic webcams (I have run short on material tonight and at the moment, this is the best I can do)

Banff Canada-A great view from atop Sulfer Mountain. I wish I were in Banff!!!!!
http://www.banffgondola.com/webcam.asp

Jackson Hole-If I couldn't be in Banff, Jackson would do nicely.
http://www.jacksontradingco.com/webcam/current_cam2.php

Yellowstone, Old Faithful
http://www.nps.gov/archive/yell/oldfaithfulcam.htm

Yosemite-Half Dome near Sentinal Dome
http://www.yosemite.org/vryos/sentinelcam.htm

Yosemite-Half Dome from the Ahwahnee Meadows
http://www.yosemite.org/vryos/AhwahneeMeadowCam.htm

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Customer Service at Verizon

They are the worst! Today, we went in there so David could get a new Blackberry. (He does not need one but he wants the new one and you know that David always gets what he wants) Anyway, we go in, finally get called (you go into a queue there) and head up to the counter. The following conversation ensues:

Kim: We would like to upgrade his phone.
Customer Service Rep: Well, you may not be eligible, the phone he has looks pretty new
Kim: (Thinking: yeah no kidding, he does not need this, why are we buying it?) Says: Yes, we are eligible, I checked online.
Customer Service Rep: Yes, I see that you are eligible but oops we have a problem.
Kim: What's the problem?
Customer Service Rep: Well, your account is past due and even if you pay it right now, it won't show up on the screen for 24 hours so you can't get the phone today.
Kim: How could we be past due? We are on Verizon's Auto Pay Service.
Customer Service Rep: Well this is going to sound stupid but it looks like we took out 174.82 and you owed 175.22.
Kim: Huh? So, they didn't take enough out? And we are past due by 40 cents?
Customer Service Rep: Yes, that is correct.
Kim: Verizon, took out the wrong amount, I did not pay the wrong amount. I am prepared to spend $250.00 on a new phone right now and I can't because of this 40 cents, which again is your error, not mine.
Customer Service Rep: I'm sorry, but you can't get the new phone.
David: So, I can't get the phone?
Customer Service Rep: I'm sorry but until it shows zero in my computer I can't upgrade you and that will not show up as paid until tomorrow, at the earliest. All balances must be paid on time.
David: Is there anybody else we can talk to?
Customer Service Rep: No
Kim: Verizon Wireless, we never stop working for you. (Leaves the counter)

Saturday's Freakonomics Blog

http://www.freakonomics.com/blog/2006/12/09/the-difference-between-theoretically-possible-and-important/#comments

Great Blog from our friend Steven Levitt, the last paragraph was priceless. LOL.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

An Alarming Moment

An alarming moment is buying milk that expires on Christmas and realizing that you have not started your Christmas shopping.

This realization will send you directly to the mall. Unfortunately, once there, you will be surrounded by an incredible lack of urgency by 90% of the retail sales force. Ahh, Sense of urgency, the topic of one of my next blogs.

Joshua's New Hat

Here's Joshua today at Starbucks, with a Coach purse on his head.

Friday, December 08, 2006

"Electronic Devices"

First, let me warn you, this may be one of those stories where you just had to be there to think it was funny:

The other day when my flight from Oakland slammed into Burbank a calculator came flying down the aisle towards the back of the plane. The flight was relatively empty and there were only a couple of us sitting in the back so the guy across the aisle from me picked up the calculator and called the flight attendant. She came over and as he proceeded to hand it to her,he said "Somebody lost their calculator". She says I'll make an announcement. By this time, we are already up and waiting for the back stairs and she (standing next to us) gets on the intercom and makes the following announcement: "If you have lost an electronic device please be notified that I have it at the back of the plane".

The guy who had picked it up and I look at each other and just burst out laughing. Everyone on the plane is now looking through all of their bags in a half panic wondering if they had lost their cell phone, ipod, laptop, pda, headset, you name it. I doubt that anybody was looking for their calculator. Also, how many people on the plane even had a calculator (2??) versus how many had other "electronic devices" (80?). By stating that it was a calculator she would have eliminated a huge percentage of the population right off the bat, instead she had the whole plane freaking out. (Except for me and the guy in the back who were both still laughing as we walked through the airport.)

By the way, I looked up "Electronic Device" on the Internet and below is what it returned. I don't know why but I think it is really, really funny. I especially like the actual definitions for "electronic device" and "device". I am sure that as you read this you are thinking "she is crazy", chances are this isn't the first time that has crossed your mind and it probably won't be the last.

Noun
electronic device - a device that accomplishes its purpose electronically
answering machine - an electronic device that answers the telephone and records messages
beeper, pager - an electronic device that generates a series of beeps when the person carrying it is being paged
defibrillator - an electronic device that administers an electric shock of preset voltage to the heart through the chest wall in an attempt to restore the normal rhythm of the heart during ventricular fibrillation
device - an instrument invented for a particular purpose; "the device is small enough to wear on your wrist"; "a device intended to conserve water"
display - an electronic device that represents information in visual form
display adapter,- an electronic device that converts information in memory to video output to a display
generator - an electronic device for producing a signal voltage
deaf-aid, hearing aid - an electronic device that amplifies sound and is worn to compensate for poor hearing
computer mouse, mouse - a hand-operated electronic device that controls the coordinates of a cursor on your computer screen as you move it around on a pad;
artificial pacemaker, pacemaker - an implanted electronic device that takes over the function of the natural cardiac pacemaker
PDA, - a lightweight consumer electronic device that looks like a hand-held computer but instead performs specific tasks; can serve as a diary or a personal database or a telephone or an alarm clock etc.
repeater - (electronics) electronic device that amplifies a signal before transmitting it again; "repeaters can be used in computer networks to extend cabling distances"
digital scanner, image scanner, scanner - an electronic device that generates a digital representation of an image for data input to a computer
trackball - an electronic device consisting of a rotatable ball in a housing; used to position the cursor and move images on a computer screen; "a trackball is essentially an upside-down mouse"

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Ob-nox*ious Cell Phone Users

Being a very high cell phone user (3000 plus minutes per month) who is forever annoying my husband with my lengthy and numerous calls, I found this story...well...hilarious. Not only am a lengthy talker but I have been told that I am a very loud talker. (There is no question, it's true, I am pretty loud)

I have always loved the dramatics of these hidden camera types of newscasts. This story aired last night on ABC's Primetime Live. It is broken into four parts due to YouTube limits. It will take 6 minutes to watch the entire story.

Part One: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfTxnMrsR7A

Part Two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hnJ4W1GFMg

Part Three: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1Y4FTSc11w

Part Four: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esT1g4D7_oY

I hereby formally apologize to anyone I may have offended with my loud conversations. Going forward, I will try really hard to keep it down but if I'm loud I promise to try and keep it interesting. LOL.

Lastly, while we are talking about cell phones, I am really surprised that there are still people out there that are mesmerized by Bluetooth headsets. When I began sporting my first one (in the spring of 2004) I would get the stares (oh look, she's talking to herself) but the fact that I still have to endure this is absurd. Have these people been living under a rock for the last two years? Just this morning, as I was getting on the elevator at work (of course talking on my headset) this guy looked at me like I was from outer space. Get a grip man, it's almost 2007.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Short Photo Blog of Trip to S.F.

On the way up:

I got to take the Shamu Plane! (I love taking the themed planes)










While there:

Ben driving down the freeway talking on his Treo.










Toasting "The Edwards"











On the way back:

Mike getting lost in Oakland :)











I had to take this picture, the bay looked like a giant petri dish. Reminded me of my days in the lab and Microbiology.











Can you spot Northridge Hospital?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Adventures with the T.S.A.

I have now flown three times without my drivers license and have endured "special screening" just as many times. As you already know, at Sky Harbor, in Phoenix they let me board with my work badge. Yesterday, at Burbank, I used my expired license and just like at Sky Harbor, the TSA agent wrote several "S's" on my boarding pass and off I went to special screening. Today, at Oakland (which has to be the most rundown airport in the country, I mean this place is a dump) rather than send me through, the TSA agent sent me down to the Southwest ticket counter to get a new boarding pass.

Note the small "S's" down at the bottom right that printed on it. I guess this TSA associate was just too lazy to take that highlighter out of her left hand, transfer it to her right hand and write "SSSS" on the bottom of my boarding pass. Due to this annoyance, I missed the 11:50 flight and ended up on the 12:55 flight instead.

The special screening process isn't actually that bad. You usually get sent to a much shorter line and even though they need to go through your bag you are getting some undivided attention. You have to go through a pat down but overall the experience is much less stressful than the regular line. In the regular line I am in a constant state of annoyance. In the special screening line you avoid dealing with people that don't realize that they have to take their laptop out and put it in a another bin or the annoying woman I mention below, or the person who forgets to take off their shoes or the mother who doesn't want to take the baby out of the stroller. These people drive me nuts. Rather, you are dealing one on one with a TSA employee and this is easier than dealing with all those irritating people. Note my very thorough screener today in Oakland:

There was a woman in the next line having a fit because they wouldn't let her take on her $125.00 elbow lotion. LOL-This was quite humorous to watch. First, who has $125.00 elbow lotion? Second, why would you need to bring it with you to the airport? Third, Don't you know by now that you can't take a 9 ounce item with you. Fourth, Chances are if you can afford $125.00 elbow lotion you can afford to buy it again.

Today someone was stopped and told that their face was faded on their drivers license and they wouldn't be allowed to go through security the next time they traveled. Luckily, this person was prepared and able to quickly produce their passport which was hidden in "a special pocket in their Swiss army bag". This story still prompts a question for me: How does ones drivers license get faded? A drivers license is usually kept in a dark place, typically known as a wallet. Another thing intriguing me is the empty threat from TSA? Supposing she flies again next week, how will the TSA person behind the counter know that last week she was told "You won't fly again because your drivers license is faded". Did they write a big "FFFF" on her license indicating that it was faded? Nope. Do they have a big "wanted" poster in the break room with faded drivers license pictures? I think not. And lastly, if she ran into the same screener again, at Sky Harbor it is easy enough just to pass through a different checkpoint.

Wish me luck, I'm off to the DMV tomorrow to get my replacement license. Chances are you'll be forced to read about my adventures with the D.M.V. next. LOL

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Starbucks King

This was Joshua on Saturday at Starbucks. Isn't he just adorable? As you can see, we have developed a new use for the sleeves that go on the outside of your coffee cup. This is sort of like the crown you can get your kids at Burger King.

Recently, Dawn and I have been using these sleeves on our Iced Chai's. The sleeve absorbs the condensation on the cup which then stops it from dripping all over our desks.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Follow-Up from Thanksgiving

This is particularly for those who attended Thanksgiving at my house:

Item #1: Imagine my surprise when I was cleaning the top of my refrigerator (5 minutes ago) and discovered the wishbone that had been in the Thanksgiving Turkey. Who in their right mind would put the wishbone directly on top of my refrigerator? I will be blaming dad until someone comes forward to confess. (The wishbone is now at the bottom of my trash can so I hope you weren't expecting it back)

Item #2: Someone left a pair of black sunglasses in a fabric case on the washing machine.

Item #3: Terri, I am curious to know why you bought different types of canned corn? Were we going to compare Ralph's brand to Del Monte? Also, I have enough left over cans of corn to start an earthquake preparedness kit.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Good Eats in Southern California (Part Two)

As I said, in Good Eats, Part One, ( http://kim1champ.blogspot.com/2006/11/good-eats-in-southern-california-part-1.html) I travel around SCAL and Phoenix and am often treated to great places to eat. Below is part 2 of this 4 part feature of great restaurants. (With recent changes at work this feature will probably end up exceeding 4 parts) Part One included great places to eat from the Central Coast, Oxnard and San Fernando Valley. Here is Part Two:

Glendale Area-The whitefish/asparagus tempura at "Sushi on Brand" is unbelievable. It is only served at lunch and you can only order it via a sushi combo. It is sooooo good, the tempura sauce is perfect and this odd combination just works. When I was the lead responsible for the Glendale CBO, we ate here all the time. They are closed on Sunday, so, if you have a Saturday or are working near Glendale, check out "Sushi on Brand". Another great restaurant near Glendale is Ribs USA. It is actually located in Burbank right across from NBC and you can usually see some actors there. Suffice to say, they have the best ribs ever!

Pasadena Area-Marston's in Pasadena has to be one of my favorite breakfast and lunch spots. I typically take my out-of-town guests to Marstons for breakfast. The last person I took there was Bev and we split the French Toast rolled in Cornflakes...mmm. I love the place because it is cozy and cute. If I didn't work, I would go here every morning and have coffee on the front porch. Anything that you order will exceed your expectations. http://www.marstonsrestaurant.com/index.html?v=1 The next stop in Pasadena has to be Green Street. Their famous Diane salad (basically a Chinese Chicken) is fabulous. Make sure you order the half salad because the full salad is gigantic. (Maybe I'll go there next week and take a picture of it with my Treo so you can understand the enormity of the salad). Of course, being from Pasadena, I could go on...and on....and on....Pasadena is a great place for shopping, food etc. I will mention one more item here before moving onto another location. The Mediterranean Cafe (across from my office) has to be the most efficient restaurant I have ever been to. The guy who runs the place is seriously like the "Soup Nazi from Seinfeld" literally you can order kabos, salad, combos, my favorite, the Chicken Shwawerma plate and it is ready 10 seconds later. A couple of weeks ago (during the Treo crisis) Dawn and I ate food from there everyday. The garlic sauce is to die for and of course I appreciate the efficiency. This place is typically extra efficient for me because Dawn usually brings me my food so I don't even have to get up from my desk to enjoy it. LOL (Thanks, Dawn)

San Gabriel Area-Clearman's Galley, "The boat" is a very unique place. http://www.clearmansrestaurants.com/galley.html The food is messy, American, bad for you but the cheese bread is so good that they sell the spread in the grocery stores in SCAL. It is the best tasting cheese bread ever.I typically order salad and thanks to Elsie" (http://kim1champ.blogspot.com/2006/10/elsie.html) I mix the two favorite salads together and it is quite a good flavor. The two salads are "Bleu Cheese" and "Red Cabbage". OK they may not sound good together but believe me, they are. The salad, comes with two pieces of cheese bread. YUM! Also located in San Gabriel, Pizza Place, California is awesome. You will be hard pressed to find a dish on the menu that I have not tried so I will just highlight some of my favorites: (1) Turkey Ravioli with Tomatillo Salsa, (2) Seafood Linguini, (3) Chicken Ravioli. I would be chastised if I did not mention the "Angel Hair Pasta". Mark liked the Angel Hair Pasta so much that when we were getting outsourced there were about 10 of us that used the code word "Angel Hair" to convey that we had updated information and should meet here for discussion over lunch. Thinking about it now, I am dying of laughter.

Coming up in Good Eats in Southern California (Part Three): Downtown Los Angeles, Long Beach and if I can think of anyplace good to eat in the Inland empire, I'll mention it. (LOL)

Friday, December 01, 2006

December 1, 2006: 6:30PM-8:30PM

As I sit on the plane, heading home from Phoenix, this is a reflection of the last two or so hours:

After work, I went to a restaurant with a couple of the girls I work with. (Names are withheld for confidentiality) I had some wine (which is unusual for me) and now I remember why I rarely drink wine. Wine and I don't agree, it does not pass go, it does not collect $200.00, it just goes directly to my head. So after the wine, and the great conversation, we go outside and get the car from the valet. I am then driven to the airport for my 8:30PM flight. Here is a picture of the valet guy:

*Note: While we were at the restaurant, we discussed the fact that I did not like carrying a purse and I simply carry my wallet and Treo.*

Back to the story, I get out of the car at the airport and walk from the car up to security. At which point, I cannot find my wallet. (The distance from the car to security is only about 500 yards). I proceeded to tear apart my laptop bag, go through all my jacket pockets and I couldn't find it anywhere. Luckily, I still had my Treo so, I called the 'person that dropped me off' as I noted that the battery on my Treo was at 3%. It is at this point that I kicked myself for giving Jane McKay my super battery AND I let her keep her other one as well (which means I did not have my spare). I ALWAYS have two Treo batteries, but of course, not today. Anyway, so I get a hold of the 'person that dropped me off' and she pulls off the side of the road and searches her car for my wallet. Unfortunately, she was unable to find it. I retraced all of my steps, checked with security and was still unable to find my wallet.

I decided to try and get through security with my work badge. Shockingly, this worked but I was then subjected to some serious screening. I was hoping when they took every item out of my bag that magically my wallet would appear but unfortunately it didn't. Note all the marks and heart shaped hole punches they make on your boarding pass if you don't have a government issued ID:


My cell phone is now officially dead and so I find a pay phone. Frankly, I was surprised to even find one (What kind of a person still uses these things) and it took me a couple of seconds to remember even how to operate this archaic mess of a phone. I am now sitting on the floor, powering up my laptop, and calling my husband on the payphone. As you can see below, it is a very pathetic scene. My laptop needed to be on so that I could plug my Treo into it so it would charge. I informed David that he had to meet me at Burbank airport because I had no money to get myself out of the parking structure. I also told him he needed to cancel all of my credit cards. Luckily, this was my small wallet and all I had in there was my personal AMEX, my work AMEX, my ATM, Hilton Honors and Southwest card. Fortunately, before my flight this morning, I had taken all my receipts out otherwise I would have the AP police all over me.











So now, as I sit here, on the plane, I am left to ponder the following seven things:

(1) How am I going to get to San Francisco on Monday without ID or a credit card?
(2) Is it possible that the wine was the reason I lost my wallet?
(3) If I carried my wallet in a purse would I have lost it?
(4) How am I going to get my Starbucks tomorrow since I don't have any money?
(5) What possessed me to give away my great Treo battery?
(6) Why won't this stupid woman next to me stop talking? She is interrupting my blogging!
(7) If I was only in Hawaii, none of this would have happened..

My laptop battery is now dead, my IPOD battery is dead, my Treo has charged up to 7% and this blog entry is done.