Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I Think He Missed The Point

Destructo has been counting down to Halloween for over a week now. Last night when he went to bed, he knew that when he woke up it would be Halloween.

Sure enough, he was wide awake sitting on his bed when I went in there at 6:50 this morning.

"It is Halloween, right?'

I confirmed that it was.

He ran around the house waking his siblings and informing them that today finally is Halloween.

The Wildcard, who is easily annoyed at that time of the day said, "It's not all about trick-or-treating. It's about scary stuff too."

Which is why Destructo has spent the past fifteen minutes chasing us around the house with his electric toothbrush.

Because, to a 3 y/o, there is nothing more scary than a Sonicare.

Monday, October 29, 2007

How To Piss Me Off Today

This morning the Hubster let me in on a conversation he had with his mom over the weekend.

Apparently there is a house for sale in their neighborhood, and the owners are selling it at a bargain price because they have already left town.

The Mother-in-Law reminded the Hubster that we have "the bulk of the grandchildren". And it would be so nice to have them close by.

The Hubster forgot every conversation he has ever had with me over the past twenty years, and told her to get in touch with the realtor to see if she could take a look.

The Mother in Law obviously pays more attention, because she mentioned that I have never wanted to live there.

The Hubster said he'd work on me, and he's brought the subject up about five hundred times today.

It's not working. I adore my in-laws, and will be the first to admit that I won the prize in the in-law lottery. I would love to have them nearby, but it has to be somewhere else..

(There's a reason people in South Florida smoke crack.)

Never, ever, ever, not in a million years would I want to live there. How can THAT not be clear?

((No offense to anyone who lives there, but it is just NOT me.))

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Movin' On.....

So, last week the Hubster had to submit a list of his choices for out next duty station. We were told last summer that we WILL be moving next year, so we've been discussing our options.

His first choice?

Southern California.

The next day the entire area went up in flames.




Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Check Yourself

I'm normally a Do It Yourself type of person, which is why head for the self-checkout line any time it's an option.

I love that the lines are short or non-existent.

I love that I don't have to interact with a cashier who doesn't want to be there any more than I want to be there.

I love that I can pack my stuff into as many/few bags as I choose.

Bottom line, I love getting in, getting my stuff, and getting out as quickly as possible.

So, needless to say, I was thrilled when I learned that our commissary was opening six self-checkout lanes.

Unfortunately, the self-checkouts have disappointed for two reasons:

1. The self-checkout technology came with a pissy attitude.
2. People are idiots.

First, the technology. When it works, it is awesome; unfortunately, I seem to only catch it on days it is PMSing. And I swear that automated voice comes with a secret snicker.

" I'm.....sorry....(snicker) Please....remove....your....TOMATOES....from....the....bagging....area. (snicker) Please.....weigh....your....TOMATOES....again. (snicker, snicker, snicker)"

" Please....remove.....some....of....your....items....from....the....bagging....area. (Items are removed from the bagging area; alarms and flashing lights go off.) ....transaction. (snicker)"

Then there are the idiots.

We have six self-checkout stands. At any given time three are closed, which makes absolutely no sense to me.

Yesterday I was in the commissary buying about 15 items. The Express lines were long, as was the regular line.

I headed to self-checkout, where there were only three people waiting for the three available lanes.

Lane One was Produce Lady. She had half a cart full of produce, and couldn't seem to find any of it on the lookup list on the screen. She would attempt to locate one item, give up, summon the cashier to help her, then bag the item. Then she would move on to the next item, with the same result.

Lane Two was Distracted Mom. She was trying to scan and bag her items with the help of her two young children. The kids were scanning things and putting them back in the cart, pulling bagged items and trying to rescan them, and just being overall pains in the ass.

Lane Three left us all speechless. There were two women working together, and they had THREE carts FULL of groceries. Not just full, but packed, overflowing, and even had more crap stuffed under the cart. As if that wasn't enough, they had intermingled their groceries in the three carts and were trying to separate them as they scanned them. Their system was to choose an item, discuss which of them it belonged to, either put it back in the cart or scan it, then bag it and move on to the next item.

No wonder the technology came with the pissy attitude.

Monday, October 22, 2007

My New Baby

I love it.

(Of course I got a bigger lens, because size matters.)

I've taken it everywhere since the nice UPS man dropped it off on my front porch about ten days ago. I'm well past 2,000 pictures, which is more miles than I have put on my car since I bought it almost two months ago. Photography has become my new obsession, again.

And what is my point, you ask?

It's time to revamp the Blog again, to make room for pictures. When I started blogging a few years ago, my plan was to do a Photoblog and I want to get back to more of that.

I've started shuffling things around, as you may have noticed, but it'll take a while because (1) I don't have that much time to devote to it, and (2) I suck at tweaking HTML.

I've been playing with different layouts and templates, and updating all the bad links I've had for a while.

The main difference, and my point in the whole revamp, is to have a daily photo page. It's something I've always wanted to attempt, but I've been scared of the challenge. I put a "Daily Pixels" tab at the top of the page and a teaser at the top of the side column. If I stay on track (and I suck at that too!), I'll be posting a new photo and teaser every day. But don't hold me to that!

Hopefully I can get everything finished by the end of the month and start posting daily photos November 1. Well, that's my goal. (And meeting goals is something I suck at lately.)

Yet another excuse to never leave home without my camera....

Friday, October 19, 2007

Doesn't Play Well With Others

(That would be me.)

In a moment of madness, I signed on to hike The Pillboxes with an organization that I belong to.

I should have known better. I enjoy hiking. I enjoy the outdoors, the challenge, and the solitude. Why I thought it would be a fun activity to do as a group is beyond me.

Regardless, Destructo was dropped off at his "school" and I met the group at the designated place.

I knew immediately that it was a bad idea. I had made a 3-hour reservation for child care, which would allow one hour to hike out, one to hike back, and one hour drive/photo/dawdle time. The group had other ideas.

They lingered in the parking lot over coffee and bagels, chatting about purses and whatnot. Finally, fifteen minutes later, we headed off in the direction of the trailhead. We strolled, chatted, waited while someone returned to their vehicle for a cell phone, then strolled some more.

By the time we reached the trail twenty minutes later, I was ready to gouge my eyes out.

So, I ditched them.

I made it to the end of the trail in about an hour, stopping to take a few pictures along the way. It was early, and I didn't want to miss the morning clouds over the Ko'olau Mountains:

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Or the last of the sunrise over the Mokulua Islands (aka The Mokes):

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I saw a few of these, some sort of cactus plant that I had seen before....but I had never seen the flower open:

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And finally, just for perspective, this is the first pillbox (on the right). It's a little less than halfway along the trail, and provides an awesome view of Lanikai, the Mokes, and a good part of the Windward side of Oahu.

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Oh, and that first pillbox? It's where I came across my group as I was heading back down the trail. They were on their way up and had stopped for a break.

Exactly why I don't play well with others.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Living Up To His Name

With the Blonde One's birthday this past weekend, Destructo has suddenly gotten all spun up about HIS birthday. He knows that his is the next birthday in our family, but he also knows that we first have to have Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas, and THEN his birthday.

He has started making requests, and has been carrying the Toys R Us flyer around to make his point. His first choice gift is the Power Wheels Mustang, although he wants a red one. (Fat chance, no matter the color!) He keeps reminding us that he is "almost four", and has become obsessed with the number 4.

So, today when a package arrived in the mail he assumed it was for his birthday.

I tried to set it aside unopened, with no luck. It was a CPE (continuing professional education) course I had purchased in order to meet my licensing requirement. Unless he had developed some odd interest in Advanced Tax Planning, he was going to be very disappointed.

Finally I gave in and just let him open it. There was the book, some loose papers, and a test booklet. Boring stuff to an "almost 4 y/o".

I put the materials on the desk and went to make a quick phone call. Before I even finished my conversation, Destructo burst through the kitchen door with a fistful of torn green papers and a huge grin on his face.

Green, of course, being the color of my Advanced Tax Planning book AND the color of in, the CPE course was freakin' expensive.

Look Mom!!! It was for me! I found all these pages with a "4" on them!! It is my book for my birthday! Because I'm going to be 4!!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Angels Among Us

Destructo has been looking forward to the air show, especially the Blue Angels, for weeks now. I have to admit, after seeing them do their trial runs, I am hooked too. The precision and choreography while flying at hundreds of miles per hour is absolutely amazing. If you ever have the opportunity to see them, definitely take advantage of it!!!

Now the down side.

The Hubster called me from work on Friday and let me know that he had invited some people over for a get-together for the air show. The kids were already having friends over, so he figured that a few more people wouldn't make a difference.

Now, the kids' friends are easy. They hang out outside, and I can simply stock the garage refrigerator with soda and ice cream sandwiches, toss out a couple bags of chips and be good to go. The Blonde One's room is just inside the back door and he has his own bathroom, so there is no traipsing through the house.

Adult guests mean a bit more house cleaning (especially when they aren't people I know well). The Hubster also mentioned something about appetizers, so I needed to make a trip to the commissary and do some cooking that I hadn't planned on.

As if to make it all okay, the Hubster said he would stop by the store and buy some beer.

Whatever. I was slightly annoyed at the sudden, unexpected change of plans. This lasted less than a day....until I talked to a friend of mine.

Me: He invited people over. At the last minute. Now I have to run to the commissary, do some cooking, and clean the house.

Her: Is he at least getting the beer?

Me. It's the manly thing to do, right?

Her: Do you want to hear what mine (her Hubster) did?

Me: Uh oh...this can't be good.

Her: He issued an open invitation at the morning meeting.

Me: That's a couple dozen people?

Her: No. He told everyone to invite all the Marines in their units. That's pretty much the entire base.

Me: (I got nothing - I'm speechless at this point.)

Her: He said we'd have chips, cookies, soda, beer, and would make Margaritas.

Me: Okay, he totally outdid the Hubster. Is it for the pre-show on Friday?

Her: No. He told them to come whenever they wanted. Friday. Saturday. Sunday. It didn't matter. Just stop by any time from 9-5. No RSVP.

Me: Crap. I think I totally love the Hubster because he didn't do anything like that. Is yours at least helping out?

Her: Yeah. He went out and got a keg.



And, of course, a few pictures (did I mention that I got my new camera?):

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I like this one:

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But I really love this one - it's my favorite:

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Monday, October 08, 2007

Wholesome Friday

This is one of my favorites from my trip home a few months ago.

Nothing says 'Wholesome' like fresh, clean air and kids in bare feet spending hours making their own fun.
Sibling Rivalry

The Blonde One's birthday is this weekend.

The Blue Angels are coming to the base this weekend.

Destructo LOVES all things airplane.

Destructo thinks the Blue Angels are coming because it is the Blonde One's birthday.

Destructo's birthday is in a few do we top bringing in the Blue Angels for his brother's birthday?

(I'm thinking he is going to be disappointed with ice cream cake and a trip to the aquarium.)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Random Thoughts

This morning I had an appointment in town, so the boys were left in charge of Destructo for a few hours. When I returned home and asked how things went, I got the usual non-committal grunts.

Later in the morning I had this conversation with Destructo:

Destructo: The Wildcard said I'm painting the butt.

Me: He said what?

Destructo: He said I'm painting the butt.

Me (after summoning the Blonde One): What is he talking about?

Blonde One: Oh, he didn't say he was painting the butt.....he said he was a pain in the butt.


Last spring the Diva was totally miserable at college, so she applied to several other universities, thinking that a change in environment might be best.

Today I received this e-mail from one of the universities she had been accepted to:

"Thank you for your interest in the University of *****. You were admitted for the current academic term and our records show that you did not matriculate (attend) for this term. Since your admission is term specific, we have administratively canceled your application to the U of ***."

I'm thinking they could have used either "matriculate" or "attend". It really wasn't necessary to use the big word, then have to explain it.

But that's just me.


Finally, my MLS photo of the week.

When you are selling your house, pictures are an important selling point.

Or not.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Photo Therapy

I told the Hubster that I'm still mourning over my lost photos, and I'm only partially kidding.

He couldn't understand why I was so upset, and why I spent so much of my free time for the past four weeks trying to restore things. (I ended up getting about 25% back, the rest are gone forever.....I'm a huge advocate of daily backups now!!!) I tried to think of some way to explain it to him - a way to relate it to something in his life, but I couldn't come up with anything.

He 'sort of' got it this weekend.

He had just talked to his parents, and they are planning their next trip out here for the Blonde One's graduation in June. His mom mentioned the trip we made to Maui with them last spring, and that she would love to have some of my photos from the trip. He, of course, told her I would send them to her later that day.

When he told me this, I gave him the "Do you hear what you are saying?" look.

I told him I didn't have the pictures from Maui, and reminded him of my mourning period.

His jaw dropped.

Lately he's been a bit focused on his dad's health, and worries about his parents getting older. He really enjoyed having them here in May, and in the back of his mind he always wonders if they will be able to make the trip again next year.

I think he got it.

Anyway, part of my Photo Therapy is to start fresh, and I hit the ground running on that one.

Less than an hour after I discovered my stuff gone, I had to take the Wildcard to swim practice. I always drop him off and head to one of the beaches with Destructo to kill some time until practice is over. I wasn't in the mood for it that day, but Destructo was pacing and waiting like an anxious puppy, so I grabbed the camera and we headed off.

He played as the sun set, while I tried to find a bright spot in all this.

I think I found a few bright spots that evening:

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(Destructo likes that one best because it has an airplane in it....)