Saturday, July 29, 2006

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Can you believe that this handsome man is 82 years young today?

Happy Birthday, Dad! I can't wait to celebrate with you on Wednesday! I love you!

I'm Home!

Aaah. Finally home.

As you can tell by the lack of blogging, it's been a quiet week. The final week of an audit tends to be a busy week. I don't care how far ahead I think I am, things invariably come up at the last minute and it's all of these little fires that have to be put out before I leave the site. So it's been a week of long hours and staying out of trouble. Honest! I behaved this week!

The best part is Friday night coming home.

Ron picked me up at the airport and we headed for dinner. I chose Longhorn Steakhouse just because I had a hankering for one of those fabulous raspberry margaritas they have. What I found out was that the Longhorn Steakhouse in Elyria Ohio is nothing like the Longhorn Steakhouse in Topeka Kansas. Who'd have thought that a chain restaurant would have different menus at different locations?

In Topeka at the Longhorn, I fell in love with not only the raspberry margaritas, but they have a new dish of grilled Tilapia with a cajun sauce that was absolutely to die for. I've been anxious for Ron to try it so I had every intention of ordering it last night. Guess what? The waitress didn't have a clue what I was talking about. No Tilapia for me. I was not happy.

The food was ok, but once you have your tastebuds ready to wrap around one taste, you substitute another taste in there and your tastebuds won't be 100% happy about it. Oh well.

After dinner, we came home for a nice quiet evening. I went through all the mail (mostly bills, thank you very much) then upstairs to watch tv and play Pogo.

I've blogged before about my love of my DVR. While at home, I don't watch much TV in real time. It's so awesome to tape it and then watch it later if for nothing else than to fast forward through the commercials. After traveling for so long, I almost forgot how wonderful the buttons on my remote control really are! There is the "fast forward" of course. Then there is the "hold that a minute, I have to pee" button. That's always been my favorite. And the "back that up I didn't hear what he said" button. How do people live without this most important buttons??

Man, it's good to be home.

Monday, July 24, 2006

That's Just Wrong, Page 6

Last week, I saw this guy at the hotel, who had to weigh 400 pounds if he weighed an ounce.

He was wearing a t-shirt that read "I Beat Anorexia".

Dude! You may have eaten a few anorexics, but you sure didn't beat anorexia!

That was just wrong.

Gone To The Dogs

I’m telling you, I need to get over this fear of dogs. I can’t seem to get away from them.

Last Thursday night, I walked out of my hotel room to go down the hall for some ice. What do I encounter? Yes, a dog. In a hotel that has a specific no pet policy. And there is a dog in the hallway. As soon as it sees me, it’s lunging at me and baring its teeth. The owner has the audacity to tell me it’s ok, just c’mon through. Yeah, right.

People! I know you love your dogs! That’s fine by me. Just please understand that not everyone loves your dogs, me included! I don’t want a dog baring its teeth at me in a hallway! And, when a hotel has a specific NO PET policy, you shouldn’t think that applies to everyone with pets but you! Grrr.

Ok, so I thought I got over that one. Then today, what does the lady sitting across the plane from me have? Yes, a dog. At least this one was just a little ankle biter that she kept in the carrying case most of the trip. Part of the trip the dang thing was on the pull down tray in front of her. Ugh.

You know how this is going to end up? You’re going to see me in like forty years, being that crazy old lady that lives at the end of her block with 12 dogs, 20 cats, and puts her gold fish bowl in a red rider wagon to take him for a walk every day. That will serve me right for not liking all these dogs I am running into now!

Thursday, July 20, 2006


There is a bank across the street from the building in which I am working.

When I left work last night about 5:30 p.m. the temperature displayed at the bank said 109 degrees. Yes, that's 109 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fifteen minutes later when I made it across town to my hotel, I was delighted to see the temperature had gone down. Down to 107 degrees.

My next audit better be in the Antartic!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I was just in the ladies’ room. What I heard in there was absolutely unbelievable. May I never be so popular as to have this happen to me.

The bathroom I was in has two stalls. Obviously, I was in one of them. A second later, I hear someone come in and enter the other stall. We’ll call her Mary (names have been changed to protect the peeing). Then I hear the door open again, and woman # 2 comes in and says:

Woman # 2: “Mary, are you in here?”
Mary: “yes”
Woman # 2: “Oh thank goodness I found you! I just wanted to give you an update on what I’m doing.”

People, people, people! I don’t care enough about what ANYone is doing that you need to come in while I’m peeing just to tell me that you finished a report. That’s what sticky notes are for. Fill one out. Leave it on my desk. Do NOT search for me in a bathroom!

There isn’t a word strong enough to convey what I’m thinking. So I’ll stick with – eww!

I Play Well With Others

A few posts ago, I told you about following the same lady from the shuttle bus at the airport all the way to my hotel.

Yesterday morning, I went to leave the hotel on my way to work in the morning and who is sitting outside? That same lady! And, her name is Linda.

Linda and I were still laughing about all of the coincidences in the last few days. Since we were now face to face again, we decided to make it official and set a time for dinner. We decided to meet in the lobby last night at 7:00.

At 7:00, we met like we were old friends. A quick decision on a place for dinner, (Chili’s right next door) and we were off. We talked about nothing important. We talked a lot about traveling for work, a little about work, and where we’d been and who we’d been and all kinds of trivial little things.

It was an awesome way to spend an evening, so far from home. We sat and ate like old friends, and we each even enjoyed a margarita with dinner. How can you not like someone who likes margaritas? We exchanged numbers and e-mails and I even got an invite to go visit her in Las Vegas! Hey, if you have to have friends out of town, Las Vegas is a great place to have a friend!

I wonder how soon I can schedule my next vacation!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Who Is That Woman?

Last night at dinner, I was sitting in a booth. On my right was a partial wall about shoulder high, and on the other side of the wall, down a step, was another booth. Since we’re not at eye level with each other, the noise from the adjoining booth is really minimized. You hear them but you don’t really hear them.

I was sitting there, enjoying my dinner, minding my own business, when I saw flash bulbs. Darn paparazzi find me no matter where I go! Actually, it was the table next to me having a party. As I looked over, I saw them hand the camera to the waiter who was going to step back a few steps and take a group picture of the people at the table next to me.

Well, even though I’m a step higher, I figure at least my head and shoulders are going to be in their picture! What to do? Look away and hope they aren’t frightened when they see my mug in their shot? Oh what the heck. I love anonymity!

I heard the waiter yell “THREE, TWO, ONE!” As he hit “one”, I turned towards him, gave him my biggest cheesiest smile along with a wave and he snapped the picture! The waiter lowered the camera and gave me a shocked look. I gave him the “shh” sign and went back to my dinner.

Just wait until these people have that film developed! Too bad I can’t order my own 8x10 glossy of that one!

Monday, July 17, 2006

What Are The Chances?

When I travel for work, the standard procedure is to leave on an early Monday morning flight and return on Friday on a late afternoon flight. When I was making my travel arrangements for this week however, the early Monday flight was booked solid. So, I actually came in last night.

My flight was scheduled to leave Cleveland at 8:40 p.m. I was early enough to the gate so I was sitting there enjoying my book. (This one’s about a bank robbery. In case anyone was going to lose sleep wondering what I am currently reading.) I noticed a woman sitting directly across from me that was almost the spitting image of my sister, Cathie. I mean this woman looked a lot like she should be Cathie’s sister than I do!

She and I ended up chatting for awhile, simply because she was terrified at the thought of traveling on a plane. I know all about fears, so she and I had a nice talk, mainly to help her focus on things other than the upcoming flight. I gave her a good pep talk as we were walking on the plane, told her what to expect in turbulence and tried to calm her fears. I think I did a decent job as we caught up again in baggage claim in the Kansas City airport. She thanked me for the pep talk and said she really appreciated it as she wasn’t used to traveling. I assured her that I am one of the most afraid people out there. I can almost always get someone to help me in my time of need (remember the dog on the plane a few weeks ago?), so it was my turn to return the favor. After I pointed her in the direction she needed to go to for her shuttle bus, I headed out to where I needed to meet my shuttle bus. I’m a sucker for happy endings.

Outside, there is nothing to do but wait. The busses come regularly, so it all depends on where they are in their rounds when you walk out. When the Enterprise shuttle showed up about five minutes later, there was one other lady already on the bus. I got on and I have to tell you, we had the greatest shuttle bus driver ever! He joked and had us laughing all the way from the airport to the facility. He was a hoot and I told him so. This lady and I got off of the shuttle bus still talking about him.

Once inside, we both registered for our cars. She was finished first and out of the door. I followed a few minutes later. It was now just after 10:00 p.m. local time. I’m tired, it’s dark and I still have almost an hour and a half drive ahead of me. I hit the road.

I’m cautious the whole way over here. I’m afraid of getting lost in the dark, since I do it so well when it’s light out. A couple of blocks from the hotel, I pull over to grab a sandwich to take to my room with me. I pull up to the hotel, just as a woman is walking into the hotel. I thought she looked familiar, but didn’t recognize her until I walked in to the hotel myself. It was the woman from the shuttle bus getting her rental car at Enterprise! I approached her first saying “I swear I’m not stalking you!” I mean what are the chances, late at night, that we are headed to the exact same hotel an hour and a half away?! We joked about that a bit, stating that we should have split the cost of the car and just taken one instead of two.

The more we talked, the weirder it got. I said this is my fourth week here with one more to go next week. She said it was her fourth week here and she would also be here next week! Now splitting the car was sounding even better! She was checking in first, and when they asked her what company she was with, she stated she was an independent contractor working for . . . yes! The same company I am here auditing! We were howling at this! I’m here auditing, she is here in Marketing, but what are the chances that we came from two different placed to come to the exact same place at the exact same time for almost the exact same reason. Serendipity.

So we decided to try to get together at least one night so we could go to dinner together. Here’s hoping we can make it happen!

That’s a lot of excitement for one evening. I think maybe I need to rethink my whole philosophy of leaving at Oh-My-God-O’clock on a Monday morning to catch a flight and just catch all of the excitement of leaving on a Sunday night.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Something Is Bugging Me

Something was bugging me yesterday as I was leaving the audit site to make my drive to the airport.

As I headed to my car in the parking lot, there are two very large bugs buzzing around the driver's side of my car, sort of concentrating on the area of the side mirror. At first I thought they were bumble bees, as they were that big, round with the big wide wings.

As I was standing by my car, afraid to open the door, one of the bugs flew into the side of the car with a thump. He knocked himself silly! He actually fell to the ground and was legs up trying to right himself. It wasn't a bumble bee after all, but a hard shelled bug that was irridescent green. I wasn't getting any closer than that to see what it was. Finally, the one on the ground righted itself, shook it off and was back up and flying towards my side mirror.

Now I do have a dilemma. The weather in Kansas right now is horrific. The temps are in the high 90s with the humidity also in the high 90s. When you open your car door, you have to stand there for a minute until some of the built up heat escapes. That's all I need is to know one or both of these bugs flew in my car and are hitching a ride with me over to the airport. I think not. So I stood there like an idiot.

Finally two women went to walk by and they sort of looked at me funny like what was my problem. Finally I said "bugs!" The one woman saw them and was amazed. As she walked towards me to get a better look at them, the suddenly took off. She may have been disappointed at their departure, but I had the good sense to thank her from the bottom of my heart.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Random Musings

I have nothing to blog about today so I’m just going to write about a couple of quick thoughts.

  • Last night I went to Ruby Tuesday’s for dinner. I think their food is substandard, but I do enjoy their salad bar. Hey, I’m a sucker for some raisins in my salad.

    I was at the salad bar behind this very elderly gentleman. I swear, he was 90 if he was a day. We ended up having a good old time filling up our plates together. This guy is like me in 50 years. He had an opinion about everything, from what was offered on the salad bar to what I was putting on my plate to the hostess walking behind us. I was having a ball with this guy.

    We get to the peas. He put a nice pile on his plate and then couldn’t believe it when I decided to pass on these little morsels. As most of you know, I’d rather eat worms than peas. But I didn’t want to tell him that! He said his favorite way to eat peas was to have them covered with honey and he asked if I ever had them that way. While I never have eaten peas with honey on them, I couldn’t stop my mind from racing on to how anyone would have discovered this combination and trying to decide in my head if this was a good idea or not. Then, the gentleman looked at me, and with a twinkle in his eye, said “yeah, the honey keeps them from slipping off of the knife when you eat them”. Ok, maybe you had to be there, but this guy absolutely made my night! We couldn’t stop from giggling at the salad bar.

  • Last night was not a good night for sleeping. I went to bed around 10 or 10:30, and fell asleep pretty quickly. My phone rang at 12:14 a.m. with a wrong number. C’mon people. If you feel the need to dial at that time of night, at least dial correctly! By the time I slowed my heartbeat down from being frightened awake, a storm had rolled in. Thunder, lightening, the whole works. I wish I would have slept through that.
  • I heard a bit of trivia on the radio this morning while driving to work. Campbell’s soup uses 44 billion stars a year in their chicken and stars soup every year. Yes, that’s 44 billion with a “B”. That’s a lotta stars!

  • This has been driving me crazy for a week. Most of these things we probably see daily or at least weekly, but I can’t figure out but a few of them. Type your answers in the blocks, hit “check” at the bottom, and you can tell which ones are correct. I don't even know half of them!

Ok, that's enough goofing off. I better get back to work. It's almost lunch time.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


I forgot about a story from yesterday. I didn’t remember it until I was talking to Ron last night and I told him about my flight over here.

In the Cleveland airport, the Continental Airlines regional jets take off from the “D” terminal. To get to this terminal, you walk half way through the “C” terminal, then down an escalator that is two stories high, through a long tunnel with moving walkways that take you under the runway and then up a two story high escalator into the “D” terminal.

I stepped onto the up escalator behind a woman that was trying to carry quite a load. She had her son, about seven years old, two large suitcases each with a smaller suitcase hooked to the handle plus a large bottle of water.

The son got on the escalator first. Then the woman pushed one of the large suitcases in front of her, then her, and then she pulled the second large suitcase behind her. She was trying somehow to also hold this large bottle of water. In thinking back, I think it was the water bottle that started the whole thing, but it all happened so fast, I’m really not sure.

First, she is juggling the water. I see it going, but I am not able to catch it and it goes by me because I next see her suitcases closest to me starting to fall. As she is trying to grab them, she is losing her balance and starting to fall as well. So I grabbed the suitcases closest to me, and kind of put my weight behind them so as to hopefully prevent her from going ass over tin cups down the escalator. On top of all that, the suitcases on the other side of her are also started to fall on top of her. What a nightmare in a short amount of time!

I tell her not to worry about the lower suitcases, as I had a hold on them. She just needed to worry about righting herself and the upper suitcases. Luckily, she wasn’t holding on to her son, he just watched with wide eyed wonder! She thankfully was able to brace herself against me and the lower suitcases while she got herself back to her feet and steadied the higher suitcases. Poor woman was in a tizzy, which I can’t say I blame her. As she was straightening herself up, she said something like “thanks! I can’t believe after all that all I lost was my water bottle!” Then, the guy behind me spoke up and said he was able to catch the water and he passed it up to her.

As scared as I was for a moment thinking this woman with four suitcases was going to fall on me . . . can you IMAGINE what was going through the head of the guy behind me? He not only had to be worrying about the lady with four suitcases falling, he had to worry about ME falling on him first! And I thought I was having a bad day! Think of the nightmares HE had that night!

Here is a good lesson in perspective. We were all on the escalator at the same time.

  • From the son’s perspective, this may be a funny show he is about to witness.
  • From the lady’s perspective, she is worried about the embarrassment of falling plus the possibility of getting injured.
  • From my perspective, I am seriously worried about her falling on me and me falling and the pain of the injuries that will come from all of that.
  • From the perspective of the guy behind me, if we all fall, he probably will be crushed to death!

From now on, I’m getting on the escalator first!

Monday, July 10, 2006

I Am Alive!

Hello again from Kansas.

It's been a crazy time with the traveling and the holiday. So much has happened since I've last written, but just haven't made the time to sit and write about it.

Let's see if I can give you a recap.

The holiday weekend was wonderful but it went by way too quickly. We jammed a whole lot of fun into a couple of days.

Saturday Ron and I got to take a really long motorcycle ride heading to one of our favorite restaurants, Bahama Breeze. A great lunch with friends was a nice way to start the weekend festivities.

Sunday we headed to Mike and Mary Jane's to visit with family. I got to meet the new members of our family, Noah and Grady. Man, this family seems to make some beautiful kids! It was truly my honor to meet the boys for the first time and my absolute pleasure to see everyone else. The food was fabulous, as always, and you sure couldn't beat the company.

Monday we scored big. Mike and Mary Jane had to give up their theater tickets for Monday night and they asked us if we'd like to use them. So Ron and I headed downtown in our Sunday finest and enjoyed a great show. I've been singing the music from the show ever since in my usual way. Loudly and badly. So, I'll never make it on Broadway. That's ok though. It was a great time.

Tuesday found us at a cookout with friends. Good food, good company, and since our friend Larry was involved, a LOT of laughs.

See? It was a great weekend! We were running and gunning every day and like I said, we wrapped a whole lot of fun into four days. I sure did need that.

The next three days were for me spent working out of my local office. There never seems to be enough time to do all of the administrative work that goes along with this job. So, three solid days in the office helped at least my frame of mind on some issues.

The only bad thing I could say for this week is my laptop for work has started to play games with me. I'm the only auditor in my company that I know who has been on the same laptop for three years. My boss for example, is on his third laptop in that time! I've had a Sony Vaio and really had nothing but good luck with it. The only down side to it was there was no wireless card in it. Oh well.

For the last month or so, my screen has been flickering. Mainly when I boot up in the morning. It's progressively gotten worse. When it actually started to "crackle" when it flickered, I thought maybe it was time to make a call to my IT department. I thought he would just have an easy fix for me to do. Not so lucky. He said he'd set up another laptop for me and have it to me by last Wednesday. So, I said, "Oh, a loaner until you fix it?" Then he dropped the bomb on me. Not a loaner but a replacement. Grrr.

This IBM Thinkpad was delivered to my office on Wednesday. All I did with it Wednesday was turned it on to make sure it worked. Remember, I am the authority on the O.N.O.F.F. button. Once I made sure that worked, I saw that this laptop had a wireless card! Bonus!

The thought of transferring all of the files from my old laptop to my new one just overwhelmed me. So, in typical fashion, I waited until Sunday to start it. Once again, thank goodness for Ron because I never would have done it without him. IT should never assume that us idiots in the field know anything. An instruction manual would have been a BIG help. Luckily Ron knows just about everything and really helped me out. Thanks, honey!

So, today was day one with the new laptop. I have buttons I don't know what to do with yet, but so far, I've pushed just about everything and still haven't blown anything up yet. So far, so good!

That's about all the news that's fit to print on this Monday from Topeka Kansas! But, you know that when I travel something usually happens to me.