just for fun

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

someone broke a bottle of cheap men's cologne right next to my desk. its been about an hour but the smell is still about to knock me out and my eyes still kind of burn...
on the radio this morning, the strange fact of the day was that the average person will go to mcdonald's approximately eighteen hundred times in her lifetime. that just seems crazy to me. especially since it doesn't cover trips to any other fast food chain. at first, i couldn't imagine the number of total fast food visits most people make in a lifetime. but then when i did the math, 1800 wasn't too bad. if you live to 70, then that is once every two weeks. as so many people get fast food for lunch nearly every weekday, and since so many people with kids go to mcdonalds way more than those without, i guess the statistic makes sense. its still a lot though...

Monday, October 29, 2007

a rant about china

i've been simply appalled for several months about the numerous products made in china that have been recalled. some of the stories have been mundane, simple miscommunications, poor product specifications. some have been horrific, the stuff of you hope is only urban legend like this story: to speed up the drying process, they would lay the tea leaves out on a huge warehouse floor and drive trucks over them so that the exhaust would more rapidly dry the leaves out. the problem there is that the chinese use leaded gasoline, so they were essentially spewing the lead over all these leaves. according to an article on NPR, in the past year, the FDA rejected a higher proportion of food shipments from china than from any other country. the problem is, the FDA only inspects about 1% of food imports, so while they are catching a whole bunch of stuff, its really only the tip of the ice burg. and don't get me started on all the environmental issues. did you see cnn's world in peril stuff on china??

andrew and i have often gone on rants about chinese imports, their lack standards, and how they are basically killing themselves with all that water and air pollution etc. apparently zoecat has been listening and really taking this to heart.

we had a world map on the wall, but for the longest time, have only been using the back side of it. andrew has a blossoming ebay business and he needed a plain white background for taking pictures of items to be sold, his G I Joes, transformers, micromachines, clixs men, etc. so the map would usually get tossed onto the floor and zoecat loves to play with it, as it crinkles and she can hide under it, and other cat sorts of things. the map has been destroyed time and again, we just keep taping it back together. this last time, however, we noticed that she had pretty much eaten all of china. its just not on the map any more. since we still occationally need a blank background, you'll notice the white paper taped over where china used to be. now, i would never advocate that china simply be wiped off the map, i just find it funny that zoecat actually did it...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

its nevada day weekend!

nevada day is officially 10/31. its always celebrated on the last friday of the month so that everyone but me can have a three day weekend, and then there are also all sorts of parades over the weekend. its not officially celebrated on the actual day nor is it celebrated on just one day, so yeah, its nevada day weekend.

despite the fact that nothing in this town is hardly over fifty years old, nevada is 143. i guess she's like me, looks young for her age. the state animal is the desert bighorn sheep, the state bird is the mountain blue bird, and the state flower is the sagebrush. all of which are fairly nice representations of the state.

strangely, our state moto is 'battle born,' but only because we entered the union during the civil war. please don't be under the impression that we have fought with anyone over anything. nv guard hasn't even deployed to iraq. see, ft erwin in ca deployed to iraq and nv guard deployed to erwin. we adopted the moto in the 30s and i really feel, time frame aside, its about the most inappropriate state moto ever (though i don't know all fifty...maybe someone else has a worse one).

this year's official state parade, held in the capital, is themed: the mysteries of nevada...area 51. yup. we are celebrating our state's birthday by dressing up like aliens. thinking about that should make you laugh...and i don't mean a polite 'laugh with,' really, its ok to 'laugh at'...

Friday, October 26, 2007

i'm an official slumlord now...

i've started a training program with my company and the first thing they threw at me was unit inspections. we have an audit coming up and the state wants to make sure we are building and maintaining high standards for our apartment homes. we want to make sure that if there are any problems, they are discovered and hopefully fixed prior to the audit. and that means, inspecting all the units.

my supervisor tried to scare me out of going on the inspections. "remember to wear closed toed shoes, there might be bugs" she said...but there were only two apartments, out of the eighty inspected, that had bug issues. and in one of those, i only saw the one roach, which i more or less killed in the stove top burner (i was testing to make sure the burner worked, and i guess he was being called into the light because he just hopped right into the flame).

our inspection team divided the different areas of the apartment and i got the kitchen. i checked the microwave light and vent, all four burners, the stove light, the kitchen light, garbage disposal, made sure both sink nobs worked and actual water came out, checked under the sink for leaks, and located the fire extinguisher. not a very large percentage of tenants clean their kitchen to the level i do, but i expected that. and really, i think i came out of the experience mostly unscathed. everyone sort of built it up to the point it seemed we were visiting somalia rather than apartment complexes, but at the end of the day, i don't need a tetanus shot and there was only one kitchen that i just couldn't bring myself to touch. given the number of kitchens i'd already touched, honestly at that point the level of germs already on my fingers was nearing CDC quarantine levels, you really have to think outside the box to imagine how awful this particular kitchen was.

the worst part was the smoke alarms. whoever was in charge of that inevitably managed to check the first one at about the time i finally got the third burner, on the gas stoves, to light. so every single time i just knew the whole building was bursting into flames. and also, after inspecting roughly eighty apartments, with three to four smoke alarms in each, my head really hurts.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

gettin some learnin

andrew is in grad school, might have mentioned that before. this is his first semester and so far, we don't think highly of UNLV. grad school there is about as challenging as our high school. sadly, really.

then andrew had his midterms last week. and came home crying. he thought his vietnam test was pretty hard and was very distraught that he might get...gasp...a B on the test. (please note my sarcasm and on the whole, not feeling really distraught myself about this).

all the tests were returned today. his lowest grade was a 92. and in the vietnam class? the possible B? yeah, he got a 98. well, technically he got an 83. the highest grade was an 85, so the curve was 15 points, making his 83 a 98. and as a very cheap shot, he signed his test srg. andrew garland (his teacher is a vietnam vet and they bore the class every week by swapping war stories together) so he got 2 bonus points for being a veteran. that's really what was written at the top of the page, +2 for being a veteran, and then also a smiley face. yeah, his official grade is 100%.

he has already magneted his tests to the refrigerator.

in case you missed this strange tidbit

according to MSNBC:

GAUHATI, India - Six Asiatic wild elephants were electrocuted as they went berserk after drinking rice beer in India's remote northeast, a wildlife official said Tuesday.

Nearly 40 elephants came to a village on Friday looking for food. Some found beer, which farmers ferment and keep in plastic and tin drums in their huts, said Sunil Kumar, a state wildlife official.They got drunk, uprooted a utility pole carrying power lines and were electrocuted in Chandan Nukat, a village nearly 150 miles west of Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya state, Kumar said.

"There would have been more casualties had the villagers not chased them away," said Dipu Mark, a local conservationist. The elephants are known to have a taste for rice beer brewed by tribal communities in India's northeast. Four wild elephants died in similar circumstances in the region three years ago.

13 questions

thirteen questions

(week #32)

there are questions that cannot be answered and questions that should not be answered. most of the ones in the first category only cannot be answered now or by me. i do not know the answer or no one knows the answer. just because science has not yet discovered the answer does not mean there is no answer. and other questions just should not be answered, either because the answer is not pleasant (or all the answers are wrong/self incriminating) or because the question is better, the asking more fun. some of these are questions that are asked by many people out there, and for some, i might just be the only one wondering...

1. why do hotdogs come in packs of 10 while buns come in pack of 8?

2. why do people try to pimp their toyota carolas or other similar non sporty cars?

3. why doesn't glue or honey or those sorts of things stick to the inside of the bottle?

4. if a store is open 24 hours, why are there locks on the doors?

5. what happens when an irresistible force meets an impenetrable barrier?

6. is it possible to collect all the cookie dough in chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and actually bake cookies from it?

7. is the universe infinite? it must end somewhere. but when it ends, there must be something on the other side...or some people say the universe is expanding, but what is it expanding into?

8. why do they put braille on drive through menus?

9. what hair color to they put on your drivers license if you are bald?

10. why does the glass have to be either half full or half empty? why can't people just pick a better sized glass for how thirsty they are?

11. why do i only splatter spaghetti sauce on white shirts? how does the sauce know what i'm wearing?

12. why does dealing with any type of government agency take so freakin long?

13. why are people so willing to run a red light but stop at a green light?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

an overpriced mug at the overpriced coffee shop

i met some friends at a coffee shop. it was a great time and the place was fairly cute, filled with little coffee nick nacks and such. for the record, the coffee wasn't anymore over priced that any other coffee shop/chain. i really wanted to buy this, but it was $13.99 and after having just paid a mint for the coffee i was drinking, i didn't have enough left for the mug. so instead i took a picture of it and maybe i'll paint up my own mug and fill it with my own coffee.

Monday, October 22, 2007


it has been years since i've purposefully watched a weekly tv show when it was actually coming on tv. i've watched a whole lot of tv only after it already came out on dvd. and i've watched a lot of random things on tv simply because it happened to be on the hotel tv and i felt like being entertained. but i think it might be since buffy went off the air in 2003 that i have kept up with and purposefully watched a tv show on a weekly basis on tv. and i probably wouldn't have ever started watching a show. i'm really not a fan of reality tv; sure, i'll watch the random episode of biggest looser or dancing with the stars or whatever. but i'm not going to follow the show or remember what time and station its on. i don't really care who wins in the end or the personal drama of any of those people throughout the season. there aren't too many comedies out there that just really make me laugh and we don't have cable, just bunny ears, and there are so many commercials and really i'm just starting to sound old. i never find anything good on because i believed before i started clicking that there wasn't anything good on.

and then a friend of ours mailed us the first season of heros.

we started watching on a wednesday and every waking moment not filled with work or school was spent watching until sunday when we finished. all this happened the week after this seasons first episode, so i'm a little out of the loop, but suddenly craving monday nights at 9pm on nbc. its completely unfair that i have to wait a whole week for a new episode and a whole year for the next dvd.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

magic chicken

i am not really sure why we came to calling this recipe magic chicken. it was originally called baked mushroom chicken, which doesn't really have a ring to it. we started making it back in the spring so this is my theory:

andrew needed to loose about 30 pounds in order to pass his PT test with national guard. he wasn't over weight by any stretch, but after getting back from iraq, we all baked and cooked and fed him extra cupcakes. returning warriors just need extra cookies. however, he got out of the army, so he stopped working out everyday, and there were all those extra cookies, and moving out here, and you know how this sort of thing goes. except that he also joined national guard and is up for promotion. in order to qualify for promotion, he had to pass the physical fitness test, which includes a weigh in. can you imagine going to your boss for your next promotion/raise and part of it is determined by how much you weigh?? yeah, i can't either. but we went on a south beach diet kind of regimen which got very old very quickly. in our branching out and googling for low carb recipes, we found this one and made it. and i guess it must have made us very happy, being new and different from the fifteen previous meals we'd eaten, so we started calling it magic chicken.

magic chicken (baked mushroom chicken)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup sliced, fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 cup mozzarella cheese
1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese

flatten each chicken breast to 1/4 -inch thickness. place flour in resealable plastic bag; add chicken, two pieces at a time. seal and shake to coat. repeat process for additional halves of chicken. in large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter. add chicken breasts, brown both sides. transfer chicken breast to greased 13 by 9-inch pan. in same skillet, saute mushrooms in remaining 1 tablespoon butter. add chicken broth, salt and pepper. bring to boil, cook for 5 minutes. spoon over chicken. bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. sprinkle with cheeses. bake 5 minutes longer or until the chicken juices run clear. this is great with faux mash potatoes made from cauliflower. enjoy!

Friday, October 12, 2007


The PGA is here in las vegas, summerlin actually...and to be even more specific, next door to my office. at first thought that sounds like fun but then when you try to come into the office on a work day and suddenly have to fight with caddies for parking spaces, it becomes a little less fun. TPC is tournament players club, which is a fancy schmancy country club for all the rich crazies that live in summerlin, the newest part of town. everything about vegas is all about how much money you have, and summerlin is very much no exception to that. why is my office here? honestly, i have no idea. i think we bought the land a hundred years ago before it became expensive. i don't know if anyone good is playing here this weekend, but it all benefits shriner's kids. and the PGA tries to do a bunch of stuff for the military, which often just means giving away free tickets to events and passing out autographs, but i guess you gotta start somewhere.

here is a picture of TPC's first hole:

Thursday, October 11, 2007

thirteen worst smells

week #31

a few weeks ago, i did thirteen great smells, so i guess its time not for the flip side. to every ying, there is a yang.

1. wet dog

2. rotten potatoes and/or rotten potato peels

3. stale coffee, which is so sad because brewing coffee smells so good

4. i love texmex food, but fresh cilantro just makes me gag

5. burnt popcorn

6. fish. most all fishy smells except fish-n-chips.

7. cat pee

8. sweaty feet

9. dirty socks, which is like sweaty feet but still somehow smells different

10. stale cigarette smoke

11. mildew

12. diesel fumes. this is especially awful when i see the big cloud from the truck wafting my way. having time to brace for it doesn't make it any better.

13. pig farms

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

educational radio?

on the morning commute, i learned that during the lifespan of the average shopping cart, it will travel approximately thirty thousand miles. after revealing this wonder, the big question from the radio people was how is this possible, especially since they all have one broken wheel and can barely travel from the store to the car?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

leftist propaganda

my uk wildcats lost to south carolina on thursday. that ended our winning streak which was a bit sad. however, the game was actually on espn and since its probably going to be the only one we'll be able to watch all season, we still had fun.

my trigg county wildcats won last night. going into the game, there were three undefeated teams in the state. the other two played each other last night, green county vs metcalf. donno which won, but either way, there are only two undefeated teams now. we nearly passed out from laugher listening to the game commentating. i think it was during half time, the announcers told us about the other game and whatnot. for some reason, one of the guys had driven through green county recently. he got off the exit, probably looking for a potty and a beverage, like everyone else, and couldn't help but notice all the farm gate dealerships. so the guy is going on about all he saw was bill's gate shop, joe's gate shop, big tom's gate shop...why does that county need so many farm gates? we couldn't believe that the country bumpkins of trigg country were seriously talking smack about how hick the people in green county must be!

then trigg county won, and we danced around the living room. we are 6-0, and for some reason, instead of traditional spirit fingers, i starting making sixes with my fingers and very quickly switching back and forth between hands (five on one hand, one on the other. one on the first hand, five on the other). then andrew tried to do that too, but really couldn't very well. he couldn't switch very quickly, would end up with both hands making five or both with just one. this clearly reinforces my belief that lefties are superior. i live in a right handed world, so i have to use my non dominate hand way more often than righties do.

in conclusion, my team won and lefties are better

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Thirteen cooking tips or how to avoid the fire department

(week #30)

1. don’t start dinner and then completely forget about it, whether that is a pot on the stove or a dish in the oven

2. if you want to blog, don’t multitask by making dinner at the same time

3. don’t drop the pot holder into the oven or toaster or grill master

4. unless you use really a whole lot, butter is not good nonstick items to fry chicken in. you’d be lots better off with a little olive oil or non stick spray

5. don’t forget to set the timer

6. if you are trying something new: do some research. Don’t just guess. Water chestnuts are not the same thing as chestsnuts and it might be nice if you know that before you are at the grocery store.

7. unless you are trained to do so (in a school or by your mom) don’t mix alcohol and fire. Flambé should be left to the pros

8. don’t try to grill items in your gas fireplace (this is also toxic. So really really don’t do it)

9. do not take a nap or go for a walk while you are cooking (unless you have a treadmill in the kitchen)

10. don’t add a lot of instaflame to the grill after it is already lit. I know, the grill isn’t heating up fast enough, you are starving to death hungry, but no, just don’t do it. only add it before you light that first match.

11. know when measuring is important and when its not. The six cups of water used for boiling mac n cheese, probably ok to eye ball it. the ¼ t baking soda in the cookies, maybe you should measure.

12. if you drop a bunch of food onto the burner, you might should move on to using a different burner, at least until you can clean off the first one.

13. you should not spray kitchen cleaner on said dirty burner either while it is still on or while it is still hot

view other thirteeners here