I tried to schedule the appointment so that it would be soon enough before dinner time that Emma isn't distracted by thinking she needs to eat, but still late enough that we do not have to wake her too early from her nap. Last night however, while watching the news, we heard that Joan Rivers is going to be at the Mall of America this afternoon. In fact her appearance began about fifteen minutes ago, so we decided that we had better leave early so we could find a place to park and still get to the portrait studio in time. In fact, someone from the Sears Portrait Studio just called us a little while ago to advise us to arrive early because the mall is getting very crowded.
I think we will probably leave an additional fifteen minuted earlier than we planned. We do not want to get there too early though as Emma could get a bit anxious waiting for our turn.
Then this morning, after dropping Emma off at daycare I filled my car's gas tank. Afterwards, I was once again driving along this road which was somewhat snow-covered this morning. The speed limit on the road is 30 miles per hour, but just 25 miles per hour on the curve. After rounding the curve, I was accelerating back up to 30 miles per hour despite the snowy conditions. The road was not so snowy that it necessitated driving slower. Well apparently the guy in the truck behind me thought that driving 30 miles per hour in a 30-mile-per-hour zone on somewhat snowy roads was too slow, so he decided to use the turning lane as a passing lane. Not only that, but the driver of the car behind him decided to perform the same maneuver. I honked at the first of the two drivers to show him my displeasure with his illegal maneuver. I thought about signaling the same sentiment to the second driver using an alternate means, but I decided against it. I only hope that there is a police officer down the street, as there often is, to witness these two making their way down the road at speeds approaching 40 miles per hour!
Weight: 213.4 lbs.
Change since last week: -2.0
Pounds to goal: 14.4
Since we weren't able to go to Iowa, I used the time I had available in the afternoon to complete our tax returns. Things actually turned out pretty good for us, although I was not too happy about the cost for e-filing the state tax returns, $19.95 per state. Oh, I know I could have mailed the state tax returns in, but by e-filing we will get our refunds faster, and there is less chance of error in the processing of the return. Fortunately we should only have one state tax return to file next year.
Today with the taxes done, and knowing how much we would be getting in refunds, we went bike shopping for Mel. She has ridden with me on RAGBRAI the past two years, but she has problems with riding a road bike for extended periods. Since last summer she has been wanting to buy a recumbent bike. We looked at a few recumbents at the Erik's Bike Shop in Woodbury. There was one there that was alright, but she wanted one with larger wheels, but it had to be special ordered, so she ordered herself a new bike. It should arrive in a week or so. Once she gets used to this new bike, she should be able to ride much more comfortably which will be quite a benefit the next time she goes on RAGBRAI.
This evening I finally got around to completing my online registration for this summer's RAGBRAI. I found out on Wednesday last week that my project manager at work was able to make the necessary adjustments to the project schedule to free up my week for RAGBRAI. I am glad that it worked out as this summer will be my tenth time riding my bike across Iowa on RAGBRAI. I am a bit concerned though as only two people besides myself have signed up with my RAGBRAI team so far. I do believe we have a backup plan though in case our current plans fall through.
Other songs on the album include:
- "Jizz in My Pants"
- "Lazy Sunday" (featuring Chris Parnell)
- "Dick in a Box"
- "Space Olympics"
- "Natalie's Rap" (featuring Natalie Portman and Chris Parnell)
Now I could just buy the select songs that I know I like from iTunes, but maybe the entire album will be worth buying. Besides videos of several of the songs are included with the entire album.
Weight: 215.4 lbs.
Change since last week: +1.2
Pounds to goal: 16.4
Emma has been pretty busy playing, and watching the Handy Manny marathon on the Disney Channel this morning. In fact, there are blocks and a lot of other toys strewn about the living room floor. Right now Emma is napping. I am taking advantage of this time to check in on a little bit of work, although mostly I am just doing some blogging and checking out Facebook. I think I may go downstairs to play some Wii when I am done with this blog entry. It is so hard to play with the Wii when Emma is awake. Oh, she does not get in the way or anything like that, she just likes to pull CDs, DVDs, and video tapes of the shelves, and to play with candles and other decorations in the room. Now I just have to figure out what I am going to play.
Emma does not have daycare tomorrow because of staff development at the daycare center, so we thought we would use this three-day weekend to get her to quit using the pacifiers, thinking that she would break that habit in a few days and be just fine without it by Monday night. Apparently we were a bit delusional in our thinking. Friday night when Emma asked for her "pasur," as she calls it, we resisted, letting her scream for nearly forty-five minutes. Mel eventually ended up rocking her to sleep. Then around 2:45 in the morning, Emma woke up again. We tried to get her to go back to sleep without her pacifier, but after an hour of screaming Mel decided to let Emma sleep with her on the couch.
So Saturday we gave it another shot. Emma once again kept screaming and screaming when she should have been napping after lunch. This time we relented and gave her a pacifier, however Mel cut off the tip of the pacifier first. One of her coworkers suggested cutting the tip of the pacifier off, and then cutting off a bit more every few days until nothing was left of the pacifier to put in her mouth. So we are going to try this method to gradually wean her from her pacifier. Last night at bedtime, Emma told Mel that her pacifier was broken, and she did not take it as readily as she had in the past. Perhaps this will work. Things did go fairly well last night, although Emma did end up waking up at 4:45 this morning. While that is earlier than she usually wakes up, it is not outside of the span of times in which we would anticipate her waking. I ended up getting her to go back to sleep lying with me on the couch. She ended up falling back to sleep and staying asleep until about 6:15.
Emma napped fine today, but did give us a bit of trouble going to sleep tonight, although I do not think the pacifier was the issue. Once we opened her door a crack to let some light in, she seemed fine.
There are several advantages of riding with the group with which I have ridden since 2000. First of all, our bus has its own shower and toilet, so I would not have to wait in line for either. Oh, I would have to wait to shower, but I would be able to sit at our campground waiting instead of in a line away from camp. I also know the people with which I would be camping, assuming that many of them return. And then there is also the sense of loyalty to the group with which I have been for so long.
There is one potential disadvantage though of riding with this group. Last year there was an incident involving the choice of camping location which caused some major problems, including necessitating moving our camping area after tents had been set up and with most of our group away from the camp. That caused a lot of discord, resulting in some of our group leaving. However, I imagine that our driver learned from that experience and will strive not to repeat the same mistake this year. I am also concerned that, with the late notice about the team, many members of the group will have already made other plans. I can see this resulting in not enough people signing up to go with us to cover the expenses of operating the bus. I do not know what would happen in that case. Although, one person has already signed up since the email we received late last night, and more may do so before I know if I can go.
As for my possibly not being able to go on RAGBRAI this summer. As I was preparing to email the necessary managers and others at work earlier this week requesting to take the week of RAGBRAI off, I noticed that there is a task on one of the projects I work on that is scheduled to be worked on by either me or a coworker of mine during the week of July 20, the week of RAGBRAI. My coworker is likely going to be at an off-site meeting all that week, leaving the task to me. The manager in charge of the schedule said she would see if the schedule could be adjusted to accommodate my request. Since it is still several months away, it is quite possible that the schedule can be changed. So hopefully I will be able to ride on my tenth RAGBRAI this summer.
After lunch we each had our separate meetings with our new manager. I think the meeting went well. She wanted to know what I saw as ways I could grow professionally. She also wanted to know what concerns I have with my job. The only real concern I shared with her, in fact it is the major concern I have about work these days, is that lately I have not been really busy with work. It seems like I have a lot of free time. With the economy as it is right now, I have seen not being busy at work to be a major point of concern. I would hate to think I might get laid off. Now while I have not been all that busy lately, it is probably a very temporary situation which should end soon, so I really should not be too worried. However, worrying about things is something I am really good at.
This evening, my coworker and I met our manager, or rather our former manager, at Old Chicago in Coralville for dinner. We spent about two and a half hours there. We stuck around for as long as we did playing Buzztime Trivia. I actually won one of the rounds! That was a lot of fun.
Tomorrow morning we plan on heading back to Minnesota after eating breakfast. We should be leaving by 9:30.
Now I know that many people think that this bill is full of wasteful spending, while others think that the spending will help the economy and the American people by providing much-needed jobs. Regardless of your opinion on the bill, using a word such as "spendulus" must make is sound like Fox News is editorializing in what otherwise appears to be a news article. I have no issue with someone such as Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly using such a term, and I do not know if they do, I am just using them as examples where it would be more appropriate. The reason why it wouldn't be an issue for them to use the term is that their programs are not news programs, but rather are political commentary programs. The "news" story I linked to and showed the headline of above is not an opinion piece, but rather reports on the status of the bill.
So much for Fox News being "Fair & Balanced" and their other slogan, "We Report, You Decide!" At least they didn't use Rush Limbaugh's term "porkulus."
I have found a recipe online for chili con queso that is supposed to be similar to theirs. I think I will need to try to replicate their con queso if Mel should become pregnant again. Either that, or I need to convince the powers that be at Carlos O'Kelly's corporate office to open a location here in the Cities, preferably in the southeast metro, although most anywhere in the metro would be better than driving all the way to Rochester.
Today I found a few other options that might work. Two of them would require driving all the way to Burlington, Iowa, prior to the ride. That would be a drive of over six hours, and we would have to find a place to stay there overnight since they load the bikes Friday night. There is also a group that leaves from Ames or Des Moines. That would be a possibility as well. I would really like to go on RAGBRAI this summer, so I hope I find an option that works for me.
I find the last of basic math skills of the supervisor to be quite discouraging. It isn't just her math skills that are in question, but her lack skills in logic. She can not follow the argument that the customer is making, and finally sums it all up as a "difference in opinion!"
Here is a transcript of part of the conversation:
Customer: "Do you recognize that there's a difference between one dollar
and one cent?"
Customer: "Do you recognize that there's a difference between half a dollar
and half cent?"
Customer: "Then do you recognize that there's a difference between .002
dollars and .002 cents?"
Someone involved in this case, besides the perpetrator, must be a fan of Star Trek or at least have a fair amount of knowledge regarding it. Otherwise how would the police have been able to refer to the weapon as a "batleth?" (Please note, the actual bat'leth in this case was not recovered, and this photo is not actually related to the robberies.)
Oh, and I have 500 quatloos for the first person to translate the title of this blog entry into English. Put your translations in the comments.
After initially writing this entry, I found a video of a news report of the 7-11 robberies from KKTV News. I wonder if the robber needed some money to expand his collection of Star Trek collectibles, and did the male anchor at the beginning of the story say "Star Track?"
Weight: 212.8 lbs.
Change since last week: -0.4
Pounds to goal: 13.8
I did also find the ad for Universal Studio Parks to be cute.
Besides the regular ads, there were trailers for several movies that I think I will want to see. Firstly, I will definitely be seeing Star Trek when it comes out in May.
The trailer for Transformers 2 also looked good. I haven't seen the first Transformers movie though, so I should probably see that prior to the sequel.
I also thought that G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra looked pretty cool.Finally, while I was not much of a fan of the TV series Land of the Lost when I was younger, the movie starring Will Ferrell could be good.