Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I'm done, I'm done

Woo Hoo....I finished my final Christmas shopping last night. All I had left were a few stocking stuffers for DH but they had been looming for days now. I also didn't have to go to the mall or target so the traffic wasn't too bad. I am way later than I normally am with shopping but still feel great to be done. There were a few items I wanted to get but could not find so I ordered them from and they will come after Christmas. I really need to remember to use more next year....they literally have everything.

On a totally different subject. Our car got keyed sometime between Friday afternoon and yesterday. There is a clear key scratch that runs the entire lenght of our trunk lid. It is all the way down to the metal and just looks terrible. We don't know exactly where or when it happened. I am so mad that someone would do that for the hell of it. Why? DH and I are going to stop by the body shop on our way home from work today to get an estimate on fixing it. I'm still so pissed at this.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Random thougths for today

  1. It was so nice to catch up with two of my closest friends for dinner last night. We hadn't seen each other in over 6 months so it was great to catch up and reminise. It was a great time.
  2. I have the best DH in the world. Last night on the way home from work he offered to cook his specialty baked Zitti for Jeff and Danea to reciprocate for the wonderful meal Zee cooked for us this weekend. (Since I don't cook DH knew I was going to need help with this one....but he just came out and offered - what a sweetie)
  3. My nieces and nephew will be celebrating Christmas without me. I wish I could be there with them.
  4. Jim's Christmas gifts are still not quite complete. I have got to get that done tonight.
  5. I am realy jonesing for a cutting maching. Right now I'm thinking about the wishblade but still looking at the pazzles one.
  6. More HOTP paper came for me yesterday that will be perfect for the assignment I am working on. I also leared that my contact is the creator of the Sarabook. That's cool.
  7. Only 2 more days of work left until the break. Then I am off for 11 days. Woo Hoo.
  8. Two of my engineers have a management presentation to give in 30 minutes and I haven't seen it yet. I am slacking off and letting them present without looking at it first...the good news is they have both given a similar presentation in the past so it should be OK.
  9. I have to schedule some interviews for the week after New Years.
  10. It's only 9:30am and I am already getting hungry. It's going to be a long wait till lunch today!!!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Do you think before you speak?

My parents tired to teach me to think before I speak. Of course there are many occasions when even I am surprised at what comes out of my mouth, but for the most part I do OK. Especially at work. It doesn't take much, just a tiny bit of restraint to make sure all those random thoughts don't come out for all the world to hear. A little self filter, like the 3 second delay on tv. I could have made some serious career limiting statements if I just said what was on my mind all the time.

I swear sometimes people can say the such stupid things it blows my mind. I am still shaking my head at what someone said to me today. I started to write out the gory details of this mornings saga but quickly realized that it would probably bore anyone reading this to death. In summary one of my co-workers basically came into my office and announced to me and the majority of my team that overheard his decree, that all my group does is play around with excel spreadsheets and has no real impact to the company. I have never felt so professionally demeaned. What made it worse is that he was so loud the majority of my team heard him. This was so demoralizing to them.

I was just so shocked at his comment I got a little lost for words. I was able to get out that I thought he was being a bit presumptuous about what my group does, and that he clearly does not understand what we do or how much we influence the strategy of our department. He did apologize, but not in the loud voice he used to announce his opinion in the first place. It didn't really matter....the damage was done.

Of course, about an hour after the confrontation I now have the most eloquent and powerful comeback perfectly drafted in my head. He is long gone and probably has no recollection of the events of the morning and clearly no idea how his words were so disrespectful. Ironically this guy doesn't even know how much we actually impact the activities of *HIS* own group.

This kind of stuff happens all the time. People say whatever dumb-ass random thought they are having. It really does make me want to scream. "Please, think for 3 second before you blurt out another word"

Dudes, I am so glad it's Friday!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I'm Lucy!!!!

OMG, Wendy posted this on her blog (she is Schroeder) and I just thought it was too funny. I am Lucy

Here is the link to the site so you can see what character you are:

Domain Spoofing

Yikes, I never thought I would be saying those words. In fact I didn't even know what that term meant until Monday of this week. Domain spoofing is when somebody hijacks your domain name and sends out spam that looked like it came from you.

Jim and I have a registered domain name. Several years ago Jim and I were thinking about starting our own consulting company and I wanted to develop a website. So we got a domain name and I started playing around with the website. We quickly realized that it was just not practical for us to leave our current company and go out on our own. So I haven't touched the website in almost 5 years, but I still use my email from that site.

On Monday morning I went to check my email and saw over 300 emails that were bounced back from various email accounts that were 'undeliverable'. They were all in reference to a message that looked like it came from "Christine" from my domain name advertising male enhancing drugs. Obviously I did not send out this message so I have no idea why so many of them were being returned as undeliverable.

After a call to my internet provider and web hosting company I was informed that my domain had been spoofed and there is very little that can be done about it. They told me that usually ~5% of the messages are returned to the sender as undeliverable. Since I got about 300 returns they estimate that ~6,000 emails were sent out with my domain name on them.

The good news is that it looks like the hacker only sent one message from my domain and has moved on. Some people will stick with a domain name and use it over and over until it is shut down. Since it is an illegal activity you can get the FTC involved, but since no money is being lost there is not much they will do about it. Especially since the majority of hackers are not from the United States they don't have much autharity to do anything about it anyway.

I just hate the fact that my domain name was used to distribute such spam, and hope that I am not spoofed again. I feel really bad for real businesses that rely on the reputation of their domain name - if they get spoofed it looks like some reputable company is sending out spam.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

It's Female Rah-Rah time for me

Being one of only 2 females on our departments staff of 20 is sometimes a real drag. Since technical females fall into a special hiring class at this company there are a lot of special events and activities aimed at recruiting high level technical females to our company. When it comes to supporting these activities they always look to the current employee base. Since our department only has 2 female department heads the two of us always get roped into supporting this kind of crap.

Later this week I will be one of the companies representatives at this years WITI conference. This is nothing but a big female Rah Rah session. My biggest problem is that I do not support these kind of groups at all. As a hiring manager I want to be empowered to hire the best candidate for the job regardless of race, color, or gender. My current team is made up of 4 females and 6 males. This is a very good mix for a technical enviornment. However not a single one of the women were hired because they are female and I didn't have to do any speical recruiting to find them. I would hope I have my current job because I was the most qualified not because I am female....the fact that my company's policy on hiring makes me question this makes me so frustrated and mad.

So looking forward to this conference just puts me on edge. Yuck. I hate it. I did try to get out of it, and quite hard. In the end I decided not to make a big stink about it and just go ahead and attend. But I will basically just make show up make sure that I am seen being a "role model" and then I am headed back to the office to get real work done.

Here is a link to WITI so you can see the Rah Rah hell I will be living this week.

ooohhh I think the worst part of this entire thing is that I have to wear business suits for 2 days. Yuck.

Monday, December 05, 2005


Woo Hoo. Another 3 pages were requested by CorrespondenceART for the Jan/Feb/March issue. The best thing about the request is that one of the layouts was a MMM entry (watch out world). So of the 5 layouts I did for MMM so far 3 of them are picked up. The second request is for a layout I did well over a year ago using one of the first collections of BasicGrey papers. This has always been one of my favorite layouts (my niece sitting on a vintage fire truck). The last layout they requested was a new one "remember this moment" with the picture of W and S hugging.

I am seriously hoping this magazine makes it. With all the publication and distribution problems I have my doubts, but darn I am really hoping they pull through. I know a lot of people who have stopped submitting to them because of the problems. I know this will hurt the quality of the publication if they don't get back on track quick.

Of the issues that have been published I have been so impressed with the content. They still seem to embrace the lumpy, shabby, vintage scrappers.....and I still LOVE that style. So the bottom line is I really hope they get things with publication and distribution fixed so I can see my pages in print.

Friday, December 02, 2005


Woo Hoo, I am so glad it's Friday. This has been a bit of a tough week. Jim was out of town from Monday until last night, and I have had a mild cold all week. When Jim is out of town I usually get a lot of scrapping done, take nice long bubble baths, and just pamper myself. This week was a little different. Because I had a cold all my energy was zapped so I basically sat around and did nothing. The cold is not terrible just a sore throat, runny nose, and some caughing....typical cold symptoms. I have been popping vitamin C all week and I know that it has helped keep the cold mild.

Now that Jim is back and I am starting to feel better I am really looking forward to the weekend. I do plan on sleeping in and getting some extra rest, but I am hoping to make up for all the lost scrapping time I wasted just laying around.

On Sunday Jim and I are going out with some friends to see a Laurence Juber concert. LJ is one of the best fingerstyle guitar players in the country. Jim and I have seen him several times before, but I am still really looking forward to Sunday's concert.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Stitches, Stitches, Stitches....

No not the medical kind, but the UK scrapbook convention kind.

OK, Wendy and Zee both told me to get off my lazy ass and get this blog updated. No they didn't use those exact words but that's what the sentiment once. Thanks girls....I want to keep this blog going and you gave me EXACTLY the kind of encouragement I need.

Now back to Stitches. This is the annual UK craft convention. From what I can tell it is very similar to our CHA (although I'm sure much smaller). Most of the US companies don't go, but they use their distributors to show off their new goods. This year I am doing all of the layouts and cards for the ScrapGenie display.

So I have been hard, hard at work for the past few weeks and expect another two months of the same. The good news is that I am almost 1/3rd done. Here is a sample layout from the companies I have completed so far:

All My Memories

Pebbles Inc:

Karen Foster:


Daisy D's (keep in mind this company gave me very little to work with so it's mostly paper)

Monday, November 07, 2005

Political Indecision

With the California Special election tomorrow I am frantically trying to read the props or initiatives and decide how I am going to vote. I have always been one to read the actual initiative as well as the Pro and Con arguments before making my decision. I will never vote No or Yes just because political leader who I like or dislike shows his/her support (just because I am a democrat does not mean I will vote against Arnold on everything….in fact I voted for Arnold in the recall election). While I consider myself a fairly informed voter with strong personal views I often get very wishy washy with these kind of initiatives. I can usually see both sides of the argument and have a hard time deciding which will really be better. Sometimes I envy those who have an opinion and will argue until they are blue in the face that it is the right thing to do (I can do this with some ideological values I have), but for me I am just not that sure about these.

I am going to tread on thin water and give an example that may be controversial. Prop 73. Waiting period and parental notification before termination of a Minor’s pregnancy. Now I am 100% supporter of a woman’s right to choose and will always fight for this right. However I’m not so sure how certain I am of a “girls” right to choose. I am not a parent, but I do think if I had a minor child that wanted an abortion I should be notified. On the other hand I would hate have any barrier that would lead kids to Mexico and back alleys for illegal abortions. Then I struggle with the fact that a teen and her parents could have different views. What happens if the teen wants the right to choose but the parents are against it. Can they force their daughter to carry a child to term? On the other hand can a 14 year old girl really be mature enough to make such an important decision that will impact her for the rest of her life. I can honestly argue with myself over this one for a long time. In the end I will probably vote No on this one just because I don’t want to do anything to limit the right to choose….but I’m not 100% certain this initiative is a bad thing.

This initiative is not an exception. I can argue with myself on almost all of them….and it is like this with every election for me. This really makes me question if I have weak political views.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Man, I hate this time change.

I don't mind winter weather so much as I do the time change at this time of year. It just gets dark too early. Yesterday when I left work it already looked like is was the middle of the night. I always feel more tired and lazy when I get home from work during the dark winter nights. For the first few weeks after we put the clocks back it is nice to be able to drive to work with some light (we leave the house at ~6:30am), but as the days get shorter this will soon be dark as well. There is just something about coming and going to work in the dark that makes me feel like I am working longer hours. Yuck.

Over the past two weeks I have had virtually no motivation or desire to scrap or even play up in my craft area. I know this started before the time change, but it is certainly not helped by it either. I have a hard time scrapping at night when it is already so dark at night. I know that is just silly, but every year I seem to slow down in the winter....and it's not all related to holiday activities.

The good news is that I did get some scrapping done last night. Just a quick page for fun....I intentionally stopped before I finished the title last night in hopes of motivating myself to work again tonight....I hate having an unfinished page waiting for me.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

It really is a small world!!!

Most of you who read this know that I grew up in a teeny tiny town about 50 miles north of New York City. Orange County New York is a very rural community with many farms still active. Over the last 20 years the population has grown a bit as some NYC commuters, but for the most part this area is still small town living. As a kid, we lived in a couple different towns within the area and my mom moved to her current house in Montgomery (population ~3,000) when I was a junior in high school. When I left for college they has just built a McDonalds in the town (you would have thought I won the lottery with how happy I was at that) and a few years later they build a grocery store both of these saved my mom the 20 minute drive to Middletown.

During a visit to see me out here in California in late 2001 I introduced my mom to scrapbooking and cardmaking. She instantly picked up the hobby and became just about as obsessed as me. The problem for her is that the closest craft store is a 20 minute drive and there were no LSS at all. About a year later I was going through the store listings in CK and saw a new store listed **creative gatherings in Goshen, NY** Woo Hoo, that is only a 25 minute drive from my mom's house. I am amazed at how good this little store is for having no competition (other than the big craft stores) not to mention the owner and staff are really nice, helpful, and friendly. My mom makes a lot of trips out that way and I go at least once everytime I visit.

Just this past Thursday I was lurking at 2peas pub and saw a thread titled "Fairyscrapmother I am taking your classes in Goshen, NY". I had to read it 20 times to believe that I was reading a thread about this tiny little town. You know how quickly topics drop off the main page over there so it is just amazing to me that I just happen to be lurking when this was posted.

No back to my small world theme. Fairyscrapmother is Suzy West from Fremont CA and runs a kick ass store out of her garage. She is the lead designer for canvas concepts and has been published all over. Danea and I went to the store a few months ago and I am hoping to go back today. So not only did I see a post on 2peas about my moms LSS, I actually know the person giving the classes.

I sent Suzy an email and asked when she was going to be out there and what she would be teaching. She prompltly sent back a "no-way" message and some details about the 3 classes she is teaching at creative gatherings next Saturday. So I decided to surprise my mom with a full day of scrapping on canvas. After checking with my stepdad that nothing was planned for the weekend I called the owner of the LSS and booked my mom for all 3 classes. I did tell my mom that I had a surprise for her and she needed to plan to be away all day. She is so excited now. I will call her later next week and tell her what is going on so that she can gather pictures and the supplies she will need for the class.

I just can't believe that Suzy West from Fremont CA is going to be teaching a scrapbook class in Goshen really is a small world!!!!

Friday, October 14, 2005

For a short week it sure was long

It never fails.....for every single day of vacation it seems like two days of work pile up on my desk. I was out of the office on Monday and Tuesday of this week, just two little days, and it was like all hell broke loose. I came in to a very large handwritten note from my bosses boss saying "welcome back, can you attend a meeting with me from 8-10am, SV". Lucky for me I got into the office early and had plenty of time to get to the 8:00am meeting. What I didn't realize is the meeting was with his boss...and he wanted me to present something I had put together over a month ago. Although I am very familiar with the topic being discussed I wish I could have had a bit more time to dust the cobwebs off and refresh myself on the content....especially when presenting to a VP of our company. The good news is the presnetation went fine and I came out with only a few small things to work on (not bad given the usual outcome of meetings with the big boss). Unfortunately the next 3 days were just jam packed with cathing up on other work and new fires to put out. What make this even worse is that I am taking 4 days off next week as well. I can't tell you how many people asked me how much vacation I have.....geez, I have been with the company for over 10 year and have 4 weeks of vacation of which I have taken less than 1/2.

The good news is I am home now and getting ready for a 5 day visit with my mom. I am so excited for her visit and we have a lot of fun things planned....and I am not going to think about the work that will be waiting me me until Friday morning!!!!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

"it's Aunt Missy"

Woo would think I won the lottery with how happy I was to hear those words. My mom had William and Sarina for a sleepover this weekend so I decided to give them a call. William answered the phone like a big boy, "hello". I said "Hi William, what are you doing" he preceded to tell me all about playing hide and seek with Grandma and making cards for mommy and daddy. Then I hear my mom in the background ask him who was on the phone. With great enthusiasm her said "it's Aunt Missy". I had not said who I was, so he recognized my voice and knew who it was. Woo Hoo....this is the first time he has ever done that. William is well over 3 years old and very familiar with all his family that he sees regularly, but since we only see them 2 or 3 times a year he has trouble remembering us. So when he recognized my voice and was obviously very excited to talk to me I was overjoyed. It really brought a smile to my face today.

Good News, Bad News

The good news is the Redsox lost last night and are now eliminated from the playoffs. The bad news is the Yankees lost last night 11 to 7. Now the yanks need to win tonight to stay in the series and then go to Anaheim and win one more....they have a tough road to climb out of this one.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Let's Go Yankees!!!!

Both Jim and I are sports fanatics. Next to March Madness (which no sporting event can top) the world series is one of my favorite events of the year. First is signifies the start of fall, which is my favorite season, and I just love that crisp cool feel in the air when we get close to world series time. This year my beloved Yankees have won their division and are in the playoffs. They are currently tied with Anaheim 1 to 1 in the first playoff series and are headed home to play the next 2 games. If they win tonight and tomorrow they will advance to the league championship series. What's even better about being a Yankee fan this year is that Boston (the evil arch-rival) is getting it's butt kicked by Chicago. So the league championship series will not likely be a rematch of last years epic Yankees/Boston matchup.

For most baseball fans the Yankees are a team that you either love or love to hate. They have an outrageous payroll and with so many past world series victories they are often hated by their rivals. Being a Yankees fan in California is sometimes a hard role to have, but I just love them.

Now I have to find and excuse to leave work a little early so that I can make it home in time to see the game tonight. Our big $$ pitcher Randy Johnson throws tonight, so I am hoping for a big victory.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

{hip} is expensive!!!

Woo Hoo....I am getting so excited for Memory Trends this weekend. Danea, Susanne and I are going to hit Vegas by storm (still so sad that Wendy can't make it).

Now getting to my point. I have seen so many pictures of CHA and other trade shows were everyone is dressed in the hottest fashion and the cutest new cloths and I want to fit in. Unfortunately my wardrobe made for an Engineer does not lend itself well for this purpose. So I pleaded with Danea to go shopping with me this past Saturday to pick out so {hip} {hot} cloths for the coming weekend.

It was a great day. We started with lunch where Danea treated me for my birthday, then a quick stop at the LSS where she used to work to pick up the new foofala and MOD papers. Then it was off to Loehmanns. Whoa, this store was great and after 3+ hours of shopping I was walking out the store with a heap full of cloths, feeling good, but still needing a "few" more things. After dropping Danea at home I decided to swing by dress barn for a quick look. That was a very quick trip and I came out with 2 new pair of jeans, but still needing a "few" more things. Later that night Danea and her MIL were at dress barn when I happened to call her...since this is literally just around the corner from me I went to meet them and take another quick look. With two more enablers to find things that looked good for Vegas I came out with another pair of jeans and 2 more tops, but still needing a "few" more things.

Fast forward to Tuesday. Work was really slow and I was able to get out a little early. DH was in Arizona for the day and wasn't going to be home until 6:30pm. So I thought I would run by the mall to see if I could pick up a "few" remaining items I needed. I called my self titled personal shopper, Danea, who agreed to go with me again. This time 3+ hours of shopping with stops a target, Nordstrom rack, and a bunch of little stores in the mall yielded me a couple more shirts, some bling, sunglasses, a clear strap bra, and a pair of shoes (this deserves it's own paragraph), but still needing a "few" more things.

A sidebar about finding shoes. I will admit that my normally conservative self has had a hard time accepting that I can wear "cute" cloths....I love the way they look, just not on me. But I kept an open mind and was really happy with my purchases, but shoes are still an issue. Danea kept picking up shoes with bright colors and lots of sequins and beads and I was picking up comfy "clark-like" shoes. At one point she said to me "if it looks like something even close to what you already have, don't even pick it up". After looking at a zillion pair of shoes we finally found a pair that we both agreed on...but I still need brown ones.

What makes this even funnier is that I originally Danea that I didn't want to spend a lot on cloths that I would probably only wear this weekend, and would like to get 2 outfits for the and stay under $100. The budget was out the window with the leather jacket I picked up within 10 minutes of being at the first store. I will now also have to change 3 times a day in vegas to get a wearing out of all my new stuff.....and I STILL need a pair of cute brown shoes. I really don't want to see my credit card bill this month....Yikes!!!

I better darn well be the most {hip} dressed person at MT!

I have joined the 21st Century

I have never been good at keeping a journal or diary, I have started many times just to go a few day or at most a few weeks then stop. But once again I am going to throw my hat into the ring and start a blog. I more than welcome gentle encouragement if I start slacking on my blogging responsibilities. Now I just need to figure out how to make this personalized and I'll be off to a good start.