Powerball Jackpot Winner? I wish!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I’m not happy today. I don’t know why…maybe it is the hump day blues, or maybe it is because I gained 5 pounds over the past 2 weeks or maybe it is because I’m tired after a long night. Whatever the reason, even a salted caramel hot chocolate hasn’t made it better.   But you know what would make it better? Winning the $500 million jackpot tonight in the Powerball.  It only takes one ticket.  Could I bet holding the lucky ticket? I really hope so but my numbers aren’t that great.  They are all even and the highest number is 26.  So probably not…but stranger things have happen.

So what if I win $500 million tonight, what would I do with it?  Let’s see first things first I would buy a new house…but not a big McMansion, just a nice 4 bedroom house with a large fenced in yard, maybe close to the ocean.  Yea I know there are hurricanes but with $500 million I can afford to build a few new houses if mine gets destroyed. Secondly, I’d buy a dog for the large fenced in yard. Maybe a beagle named Banjo (I love that name) or a golden retriever (no name for the golden retriever but Banjo doesn't seem to fit).  Thirdly, I would by a new car, nothing too fancy, but it has to be fast and not a sports car either, they are death traps. Finally, I’d travel around the world, touching each continent (even Antarctica). I know what you are thinking, how is travel last on my list? Well it really isn’t last. There are other things I’d do with the money, like give some to church, family and friends.  But there are so many other things to add to the list that this would go on and on and I don’t want to bore you.

I saw in the news today that you will now be able to buy Powerball and Mega Millions tickets at the gas pump. Seriously? And you don't actually get a ticket...they "text" your numbers to your cell phone...and the biggest kicker is they automatically deposit your "small" winnings into your bank account.  Crazy!  I'm not sure if this is such a good idea. Could you imagine the fraud? The gambling addictions?  Yikes!  What a crazy world we live in.

In other news, I’m slowly recovering from the busy weekend.  Saturday we went touring around Omaha.  First stop was Whole Foods for gelato, then Von Maur to see Samantha working, then Trader Joe's (Hiram takes us to all the fun places) and then finished up looking at the decorated Christmas windows in some uptown like area.  It was really nice.  After that we went to Chris and Leilani’s house because we pink swore with Banyan that we would come visit her.  She even threatened our lives if I didn’t come over.  We played Apples to Apples (which the only card I got was “Fat n’ Sassy”…seems fitting) and finally I got my Chick-fil-A at around 8pm.  They opened two locations near Bonnie’s and Chris’ houses.  It was delicious as always.  I can’t wait until they move up here (besides the one at the airport)…if they ever move up here.

Sunday we went to church, eat lunch, visited Starbucks (again!) and drove home. We got home around 8pm, just in time for my show. It was nice to get home and see Swirl too. Eric hooked up the new TV which is beautiful.  What a great investment.

Last night was a very BUSY night.  After work I had to get ready for my first concert of the Christmas season.  It was at the inside amphitheater at Edinborough Park in Edina. It was pretty good considering we didn’t know about the concert until 24 days ago and we hadn’t practiced since the Thursday before Thanksgiving.  The crowd is always good there so it is fun to play.  Greg, Celeste, Evelyn and Greg’s parents came to my concert. I didn’t talk to them too much because I had to rush off from the concert to Central Middle School in Eden Prairie for my 9:15pm volleyball game. It was rough. I was tired and cold and all I wanted to do was wrap up in a blanket at home and watch TV.  But it was fun playing so it is all good.

Today is Evelyn’s 3rd birthday. We are going over to their house after work for a birthday party. Fun! Fun!

Only 27 days (17.2 days of work) until Jamaica! Let the countdown begin. :-)

Triple shot to the Achilles Heel

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!  I know I’m a few days late.  I’ve had a great holiday week. Monday and Tuesday were rough days at work…because I had to be there. LOL!  Wednesday we drove down to Omaha. It was so warm we had the AC on for a while.  I’m thankfully it was an uneventful drive.  Once in Papillion we made our first trip to Wal-Mart for water. Soon after we got to Bonnie’s we went to Wal-Mart to pick up food for Thursday. Like tradition, we had Juliette-cotti for dinner.  

We woke up at 4:30am Thursday morning to see if we could get the $97 TV.  Well that of course didn’t happen.  There was a line down the street!  This is crazy, it is Thanksgiving morning!!!  As we tried to get in the door, a woman banged her shopping cart into my Achilles heel. Really woman, why do you have a shopping cart in the line to get into the store…did you have injury me?  Neither one of us were getting the TV and we already knew this! ARGH! We picked up some birthday presents for Evelyn. After that we drove past Best Buy to see if there was a line and there was.  This was 7:30am on Thanksgiving Day!  Seriously people!  We went to Wal-Mart and got kicked out.  Well we got kicked out of the Christmas tree area.  We were looking at the Christmas trees in the garden center and they happen to be storing all the TVs for the 10pm sale in there. Eric started counting them and a very crabby Wal-Mart woman came back and said “what are you doing here, you need to get out here, this is a restricted area.” Um we are looking at Christmas trees and there is nothing saying this is a restricted area. After she bitched us out she put the restricted sign up.  Stupid woman!  After we got home from that we took Michael to Starbucks.

Thanksgiving dinner was great.  The whole family was there. It was great.  Soon after dinner Juliette, Eric and I started our Black Friday Shopping.  We started at Wal-Mart. We got in the really long line for the 32” TV.  The one that they guarantee would be in stock for an hour.  I left Eric and Juliette in the line and I went looking for a present for mom.  While I was walking around a woman with skunk hair did a double hit to my Achilles heel with her shopping cart.  That is 3 times today my Achilles heel has taken a hit.  Good news is we got the TV and got out of there.  After that we went to Best Buy.  We saw the line and decided it wasn’t worth it.  It was out the front door, around the side of the building around the back wall. Wow!  So we went to Starbucks (trip #2 of the day) at the Hy-Vee store, we got there just in time because they closed at 11:55pm.  We went to Target and it was dead.  They had been open for 3 hours already and you could tell it must have been busy at 9pm because the place looked like it had been trampled.  We went back to Best Buy but the line was still really long and the store had been open for over 15 minutes so we decided it wasn’t worth it.  We went to Kohl’s and the checkout lines were ridiculously long so we just went home.

Yesterday Eric, Juliette, Adam and I went to Kohl’s and Best Buy to pick up the things we decided weren’t important the night before.  We made another stop at Starbucks and went to spend time with Chris and Leilani.  Eric and Chris watched the Nebraska game.  When it was done they went to Starbucks.  Juliette, Morgan and I went to Panera Bread and eventually made our way back to Chris' house.  We had some quality family time by watching Maury and then Juliette, Morgan and I went to Victoria Secrets, Bath and Body Works and Claire's. Morgan was so excited to go to Victoria Secrets.  We spent the whole night at Chris' house and got back to Bonnie’s around 11pm.  It has been a very busy holiday week.

...and back to Shorts

Sunday, November 18, 2012

This past week has been loooonnnng. We have finished our quarterly requirements last week so this week was slow.  I'm working on projects for year end and that keeps me fairly busy. But in the back of my head I know that I have 22 working days left before Christmas vacation to get this stuff done.  That really hurts my motivation and productivity.  Why do today that which can be done in the next 22 days?  So I work on these projects and then light bulbs go off in my head. So I stop what I'm doing and do a little research on these ideas that pop in my head. For example, what is my plan for Black Friday shopping? How do I get from my Jamaican hotel to Rick's Cafe?  Is there a Catholic Church near the hotel so we could go to Mass on Sunday? What kind of restaurants are at Montego Bay airport?  The answers to some of the questions are quite funny.  Black Friday is still in a tentative phase. I need to finalize the plan with my niece Juliette.  So far we are doing Best Buy and Wal-Mart for cheesecake. As far as the questions about Jamaica, We need to take a route taxi; there is a Catholic church about 1/2 mile from our hotel that is run by Franciscan Friars from Cincinnati, and the airport has many restaurants to choose from including Dairy Queen.  Eric is excited to have a Blizzard in Jamaica on Christmas day. I told him he better not wish for a Blizzard, God might get confused and give us the blizzard in Minnesota and then we can't get out of here. Fingers crossed that doesn't happen.

Tuesday was another volleyball night.  Eric had to babysit for my friend, Jenny. Her husband had to work.  Her kids love Eric. He is the one that taught Haley to climb a tree.  So we were both busy that night. 

Wednesday morning I woke up with a sore throat and felt awful but we had a happy hour after work so I had to go to work!  I really wish I would have stayed home, I was miserable. 

Thursday morning my sore throat developed into an awesome cold.  Again, I wish I could have stayed home but I couldn't because it was band day. I can't call in sick for work and then show up for band practice...my boss is in the band! I had to go to band practice because it was the last one before our next concert.

I still didn't feel good on Friday but I went to work anyways.  But I came home and crashed on the couch. I also got Eric sick.  We take the whole sickness and health thing seriously. We also like to share.

As a result of both us being knocked out with colds we really didn't have an exciting weekend. It is unfortunately because it was such a beautiful weekend. It was almost 60 degrees yesterday and today. Yesterday we went to church.  An old lady came in during the Sign of Peace and left immediately after Communion.  LOL!  "Express Mass." Today I went to grocery shopping and had all the windows down in the car and sunroof open...listen to Christmas music...on November 18th.  That is just odd.

So as you can tell it was one exciting week. I'm really looking forward to my 2 day work week.  Tomorrow is my "Thursday". We leave for Omaha on Wednesday. Woo Hoo Turkey!!  

Shorts to Winter Jacket

Monday, November 12, 2012

This weekend was very strange.
Friday night Eric and I went swimming laps at the school.  It was so nice to get back into swimming.  It is one of my favorite workouts.  But man the water was cold.  Last year the pool was always so warm so it was a shock when I jumped in.   
Saturday was a beautiful day.  The high was 70 degrees, it was sunny and just plain amazing day. I had the windows open in the house and it still got very warm inside.  We met Byron and Paula at Jim’s Apple Barn. They came up for the Vikings game but were staying by Paula’s sister. It was nice to see them again.  I came home from there and made an apple pie and lasagna for Nancy and Greg.  Dinner was great.  My lasagna is so good!  After dinner we went to Mystic Lake Casino.  We were going to stay for an hour.  After 5 minutes Eric and I both burned through $20.  I was stupid; I forgot to change one the machine from a nickel to a penny.  No wonder I lost so quickly. I was betting $2.50 at a time, not 50 cents. Oops! We walked around and eventually found a bench by the Bingo Hall. We got some free pop and then sat outside. It was so nice out.  It was over 65 degrees at 9pm!  None of us won.
Saturday night thunderstorms rolled through…yes thunderstorms on Nov. 10th. There was some nice thunder and a great lightening display and pouring rain! Our satellite went out! There were even tornados in Burnsville and Eagan!  The last time we had tornados in November was in the 1950s. 
Then the bottom dropped out…Sunday morning it was 30 degrees.  It was so cold! Nancy and Greg left early for the Vikings game and Eric and I went to the new James Bond movie, Skyfall.  It was good but I’m not going to another James Bond movie…they killed off Judi Dench! Eric will go on his own now.  After that we walked around the mall and then came home and did nothing. We sat on the couch and watch TV.  I wasn’t feeling good, must be the excessive salt from the popcorn and nachos. 
This morning I had to drag out the winter coat.  It was 20 degrees with a wind chill of 10. It was so cold. It is hard to believe 2 days ago I was in shorts and t-shirt and was warm and now I’m freezing. It is going to be a long winter. I’m not ready for this.
But in 43 days I'll be soaking in the sun in Jamaica!

Access Denied

Friday, November 9, 2012

So I’m working on my team’s new SharePoint site at work.  We recently switched to Outlook from Lotus Notes (the devil) and as a result a lot of our Lotus Notes databases are going away too.  Many of the databases are being shifted over to SharePoint sites.  So when this project came up, my coworkers thought I’d be the perfect person to take over creating and maintaining the site.  It is true, I’m really good at making websites.  So I’ve downloading hundreds of documents from our lotus notes databases and adding them to “libraries” on our SharePoint site.  Now as you would expect, there are some documents that are confidential and therefore require special access.  So as the owner, I created a library for one of these items.  After trying to restrict access, I must have somehow restricted my access too.  I’m not sure how, I’m the owner and I created it.  Every time I click on the library link I get an “Error: Access Denied.” I emailed our help desk and asked them how it is possible considering I have full access and created it…how can my access be denied?  Ugh!
This week also featured the election.  Or course Obama won which didn’t make Eric happy.  And the Facebook statuses that followed made him even happier…sarcasm! I’m just glad it is finally it is over.  No more nasty ads, no more flyers in the mail!  Only 3 more years until it will start all over again. Oh the joy!
I just hope the economy doesn’t go further in the toilet.  One day this week I looked up the hyperinflation that struck Germany in the early 1920s. It was so bad that prices doubled every 2 days.  In 1919 a loaf of bread was 1 Mark, by 1923 it was 100 Billion Marks.  Could you imagine?  The cause of this hyperinflation was that the German government owed a lot of countries money and to “pay them” they repeatedly printed more and more money...just like the US is doing now.  As a result the German Mark became worthless and foreign troops started occupying the industrial region of Germany to ensure that the reparations were paid in goods, such as coal. Inflation was exacerbated when the workers went on a strike and the German government printed more money in order to continue paying them for striking. And the problem just escalated from there. Most people think that we should just print more money and the problem will be solved, but if you look at history, it is usually followed by hyperinflation. That could seriously happen here. So go stock pile your house with food because you might not be able to afford it soon.

A beautiful Sunday drive

Sunday, November 4, 2012

It has been a really uneventful week for us. Last Sunday Eric (and I) were working on his paper that was due that day and the Halloween candy bowl was between us. It was a dangerous situation. :-)  

I finally carved my pumpkin on Monday. As you can tell it is Swirl inspired.  It wasn't too hard to do when you have an outline.  I almost decapitated the head though.  Whoops. 

Tuesday was a double header in volleyball. Our old captain, Amanda, played with us. She has deserted us this year as she moved all the way to Canada (aka Elk River).  

Wednesday was Halloween. We had about 20 kids. It is so sad that we didn't have more.  But we don't have much candy left so that is good.  Swirl is really funny. He would sit by the door.  GROWL and run upstairs. 15 seconds later we had a trick or treater at the door.  He did this over and over again. He is such a silly cat!

Thursday was the typical band night.  We are playing lots of Christmas music. That is the one disadvantage to playing in the band...Christmas music in October.  

Eric had class Friday so I had the whole evening to myself.  I went for a run at the community center. It wasn't too bad.  I've really cut down on running...shame on me.  After that I watched a marathon of "Becoming a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader." I know terrible!  But it was very interesting. When Eric came home from class I was still watching it. He was a bit surprised that I watch that show.  

Yesterday Eric had class most of the day so again I was home alone.  I had a Band council meeting but other than I did nothing. After Mass, we went to Greg and Celeste's for dinner. They had the amazing chicken pot pie from Costco. They are so good but huge.  We had a nice evening. 

Today we went for a Sunday drive to Hinckley.  We started at Interstate State Park in Taylors Falls, MN, took the back roads to Wild River State Park.  It was closed!  Stupid deer hunters...We weren't allowed in because of a controlled hunting.
We ventured to St. Croix State Park next and then we went to Grand Casino to meet my Mom, Aunt Bev, and Aunt Grace. We had a nice dinner and I broke even on the machine.  It was a good day (besides the closed park)