Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Real Bumper Stickers

I see so many bumper stickers on cars that I can't believe are real, I decided I need to start posting them. When I see them I'm usually driving, so even if I have my camera handy I doubt I'll be able to get many actual photos. I will just have to try to recreate them as best as I can.

Most of the ones that I see I can't believe that someone actually purchased, let alone put on their car. I saw this one on a car yesterday. I love my car too much to defile it with a sticker, no matter what.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Beautiful Florida Sunset

Despite my hectic work schedule last week during my trip to Ft. Lauderdale, I did manage to find a quick minute between meetings to snap one picture.

It may not be quite as endearing as a friendly snowman picture, but as I said, I was between meetings.

I did have an interesting event on my flight down to Florida. Once we landed, we had to sit on the plane, at the gate, for almost 40 minutes. Our pilot told us all he knew was that there was something going on involving the FBI. From my window seat I was able to see several police cars with their lights on pulled up next to the plane. Next, we were told to get off of the plane, but to leave everything on the plane--coats, purses, carry-ons. If you took your cell phone with you it had to be turned off. All passengers were kept in the gate area which had been cleared for us, and which was surrounded by more police. A K9 officer and his dog came through the area about 1/2 hour later, checking every passenger individually. We watched out the window as all of the checked luggage was spread out around the plane and checked by more dogs. After another 1/2 hour, we were allowed to go back onto the plane 3 rows at a time to retrieve our personal items and then we could leave.

I made friends with one of the officers who was "guarding" us, and on my way out I asked him if he could tell me what happened. He said that they had received a call from Washington informing them that there was a bomb on our plane. Apparently it was just a false alarm.

I think after that I deserved a little time by the pool, don't you think?

3/3/08 Update: The airline just sent me a nice letter apologizing for the inconvenience, and included a $50 travel voucher. Considering that it really was something out of their control, apparently, I think it's great that they stepped up and took responsibility for it. This was my first experience on AirTran, and given this response I think I'd use them again.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Florida in February

I'm heading out to Florida today for a business trip. Florida in February is never a bad thing, but I do hate the travel part. In order to get decent direct flights, Philly was the only airport choice.

I have had awful experiences flying out of Philly, and also pleasant ones. One thing I always do is make sure I am at the airport VERY early. I think traveling is stressful enough without adding the extra stress of rushing and potentially being late. I don't mind sitting at my gate for 1 1/2 hours if I have to. In fact, the last flight I took out of Philly was on Southwest and it departed at 7:30am--I was through security and at the gate by 6:15. Plenty of time to enjoy a coffee and a soft pretzel for breakfast.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Logical Absurdity

With a post on the infamous Lehigh Valley Ramblings dedicated to this humble blog, maybe one or two people might stumble over here today. So I figured I would use this opportunity to briefly get back on the grammar soapbox and vent about the mistake that is probably my biggest pet peeve--I'm not sure how I left it off of my first post about grammar: irregardless.

Although you will find it if you look in the dictionary, I think this note from Dictionary.com says it best:

Irregardless is a word that many mistakenly believe to be correct usage in formal style, when in fact it is used chiefly in nonstandard speech or casual writing. Coined in the United States in the early 20th century, it has met with a blizzard of condemnation for being an improper yoking of irrespective and regardless and for the logical absurdity of combining the negative ir- prefix and -less suffix in a single term. Although one might reasonably argue that it is no different from words with redundant affixes like debone and unravel, it has been considered a blunder for decades and will probably continue to be so.

"Logical absurdity"--I like that. Maybe the next time I hear someone use irregardless I will point out the logical absurdity of it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ahh, Smoothies

I'm a big fan of Ellie Krieger. Ellie has a show on The Food Network, and her focus is on healthy eating with a very realistic approach. She apparently is a former model-turned nutritionist, so when you first tune in you might expect something different. But I find her very down-to-earth, and most of her recipes that I've tried are quite good. Her ideas are usually simple and just basic common sense, but for some reason when it comes to eating right many people have trouble applying common-sense.

So after reading her book Small Changes, Big Results: A 12-Week Action Plan to a Better Life one of the changes I made was to always eat breakfast. When I was younger, breakfast was totally optional. Even as a kid, the only times I can remember sitting down and eating breakfast at home were weekends. In college it was definitely only a weekend activity. I guess I just got into the bad habit of not eating breakfast and convinced myself I wasn't hungry that early.

Even though I now always eat breakfast, I'm not a big morning person. I'd rather sleep for 15 more minutes than have the time to prepare a meal before I leave for work. So that's why I am completely hooked on the breakfast smoothie. It has become a morning ritual for me that I am so addicted to it even carries over to weekends, when I actually would have the time to cook.

My basic recipe consists of: plain, non-fat yogurt; some juice (pomegranate is my current favorite, although OJ is fine too); 1/2 of a frozen banana; frozen blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries; some flax meal; and some honey (Weil Bee-ings is yummy). I just toss it all into the blender, no measuring, and puree for a couple of minutes. Just long enough to get my shoes and coat on. Pour it into an insulated mug, insert straw, and I'm out the door.

I've been drinking a smoothie every day for just over a month, and I swear it really has made a difference in how I feel. It might be partially in my head, but if it works who cares?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Bad Dog

I don't have just one unbelievably cute but sometimes very bad dog. I have 2.

Luna is just a year old, and essentially still very much a puppy. It's easy to justify her behavior. Besides the incident with the Christmas tree, Luna has also destroyed an arm of the couch, a windowsill, and the occasional shoe.

I blame part of her behavior on her role model: her older sister, Gypsy.

Yes, they look adorable. Innocent even. And on the average weekend they sleep for a good 18--20 hours a day. But let your guard down for just an instant, and that's when they strike. That's how Luna got up close and personal with the wooden windowsill in the living room. And that's how Gypsy got an unexpected extra meal yesterday.

I thought I had pushed the giant cinnamon muffin far enough back on the counter so that it was out of reach. When I returned a couple of hours later, it was gone. After determining that no human had eaten it, I realized that it was Gypsy. She left no evidence--not a crumb, not a scrap of the paper--but I took one look at her face and I knew she was guilty. She spent the rest of the afternoon snoring away on the couch, belly full and content. I just hope she is still happy when the muffin paper...well, let's just say when it reappears.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

What is a firkin?

February 7 is Firkin for the Furkids night

Trivia question-- What is a firkin?

Answer-- An English unit of measure that equals about 11 US gallons.

At 5PM on February 7, the Bethlehem BrewWorks will be tapping a firkin-sized cask of a unique recipe of beer that they are brewing just for The Center for Animal Health & Welfare. This special microbrew is called Hair of The Dog.

Each pint of beer is $4, and all proceeds benefit the shelter. Don’t miss this chance to come out and enjoy a fun evening and a very special beer!

Bethlehem BrewWorks
569 Main Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018

Friday, February 1, 2008

This is hard!

Good bloggers make this look so easy! When I started this I felt like I had a lot of good ideas to write about stored up. I got going pretty well, things were flowing, it was fun. Now I feel like I've hit a dry spell, and it's become a chore.

Part of the problem, of course, is time. I never seem to have enough of it. I usually try to limit my weeknight meetings to no more than 2 a week, but lately that has been stretched a bit.

Coming up with good topics is the other challenge. I read a few blogs that have pretty specific niches--politics, complaining about things, food, etc.--but I don't feel strongly enough about any single topic to devote every post to it. Maybe I do, actually, but I just haven't found it yet.

It doesn't even matter that no one reads what I write. That's not why I decided to start this. I wanted to do it for myself, for that part of me that way back in the day actually was a journalism major for a very brief time. I won't give up yet.