Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Yard Mateys!

Recently Shawn's purchased himself 2 new yard tools. These tools would be as follows:
Skil Shrub Trimmer and Fiskars Momentum Reel Mower

The Skil was purchased via Woot! about a month ago. And it was purchased specifically for the stupid devil weed (aka Asian jasmine) that is in the front yard. Shawn's used it about 10 times now and every time he uses it he cannot stop talking about how great that thing is and how he's so glad he got it. Admittedly, it does make quick work out of trimming the edges of that damn plant.

[aside] Shawn managed to get his parents to step into the 21st century and purchase something via woot. They purchased on of the vacuum cleaners that was featured around Father's Day. [\aside]

The Reel mower was purchased at Lowe's this last weekend. Shawn's mowed the front yard and the backyard with it and is STILL talking about how much he loves that mower. He can't wait to mow the yard again, and if we didn't need the rain to water our grass so badly, he probably would be pissed that it's been wet out. The main reason for purchasing the mower was really because with a reel mower he can start mowing the lawn at 7 am instead of waiting until 9 am. A secondary reason is that every time he mows with the gas mower it throws up dust and grass and what have you and then he's sneezing the rest of the day. And of course there's always the carbon footprint thing (though one does have to take into account the carbon footprint of creating the new reel mower vs the using of the older mower which was owned by the neighbors Shawn grew up next to). One of Shawn's coworkers pointed out yesterday that there's really no need to wait for the weekend to mow when you have a reel mower. And now Shawn's all excited about getting up extra early one day a week during the workweek to mow the yard so he has the ENTIRE weekend to do nothing.

I think I need to find some new chores for him, don't you?

Also, I feel the need to add this edit since there's some rule about the FTC getting all bent out of whack if you do not clearly state such things: I was not paid or compensated for this review of products and we did purchase them for ourselves. AND I'll have to try out the products so I can do my own review as opposed to just re-typing everything that Shawn's said.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Katina, P.E.

I found out 2 weeks or so ago that I had indeed passed the professional engineering exam. I knew this because a) I had checked scores on the Texas P.E. board website, and b) they had emailed me saying that I needed to get my rubber stamp. In that email, they stated that they would be mailing out snail mail letters and everyone needed to be on the lookout for them.

This is the order in which I received the snail mail letters (and indeed the postmarks show that they were mailed in this order):
  • 8x10 license (this is the thing you're supposed to frame and hang in your office. like a doctor, only not.)
  • wallet sized pocket card
and finally
  • Dear Examinee, we are pleased to inform you that you made a passing score on the April P.E. exam...
Now then, maybe it's just me, but I find it odd that the "Congratulations! You passed the test!" letter was the last one sent. Partially because in the letter it says to be on the look out for the other 2 snail mails which will arrive within the next few weeks. The other two snail mails which I received the day before.

Odd, that.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Baby Jesus Wear

I had a coworker once who mentioned that she thought it was idiocy to give people anything other than plain onesies for their babies because onesies are something that all babies can wear all the time. Shawn took this one step further and said he didn't see a reason for onesies even. He would have the kids wearing "Baby Jesus Wear" (TM circle, C circle, whatever).

Baby Jesus Wear is created thusly:
  • go out and buy (or find, or steal, basically somehow acquire) a hand towel
  • Fold towel in half (hamburger wise)
  • cut a hole in the fold. Make sure it's big enough for baby's head to fit through. You may find cutting an X easier than estimating your kid's giant noggin.
  • Slip towel over baby's head.
  • Secure below arms (the actual plan is to use rope of some sort, but if that scares you, you can use velcro, or safety pins, or duct tape).
  • Voila! Baby Jesus Wear. Now you have an outfit that the baby can make a complete mess out of and you won't really care because it's just some old towel you had laying around. That and you always have something handy to wipe spit up/drool.
  • ADDED BONUS: Depending on how messed up the towel gets, you could have the kid wearing the same towel for years--it would go from being dress like to being more like a shirt. Then all you have to do is fashion pants of some sort. Don't worry, I'm sure this would be fashioned out of a towel or something similar as well. Possibly a pillow case.
So yes, IF we ever have kids, no need to give us any sort of clothing, a nice set of towels will do wonderfully.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Story Arcs

I realize that I've had some story arcs that I haven't really ever given a conclusion to.

One of these was the Cable story arc, which I wrapped up here.

Another of these story arcs was Gray Kitteh! Gray Kitteh continued to come around, but became less and less intrigued with Quazi and Ivy. And, unfortunately, Grey Kitteh! went the route of disliking all other cats. Eventually Gray Kitteh! stopped hanging out in our yard. One day, when I was out front watering the plants, Gray Kitteh! showed up and he had been neutered and had an abscess on the side of his body removed. A week or so later, the neighbor (who is also from Colorado) came by to ask if we had seen their 8-year-old chihuahua who had gotten out the night before. I said we hadn't seen him, but we'd keep an eye out for him. I did also warn her that our fence in the backyard had a hole in it that the cats had been using. and that's when she told me that our cats are friends. I must have given her a funny look because she clarified that the gray tabby kitten, Remmy, was theirs, and that Quazi would come and visit them every once in a while.

Bike to Work month (or whatever the hell it is): We both signed up for it, Shawn did like 6 rides, and I did 8 (I got 2 extra trips because I rode my bike to the doctor's office). We live too far away from work to commute by bike every day (now, if we lived in the neighborhood I think we should move to, we could bike to work). Some of the problem is that we've really condensed our errands into one big errand trip so it's not like we're going to the grocery store and only the grocery store, it was more like we were going to go to the Sprouts grocery, and then to the garden center, then to the library, the bank and finally the regular grocery store. Or we'll go to the grocery store on the way home from work. Plus Texas is hot and trying to ride anywhere after 9 in the morning is idiocy.

Cow/Bread updates: The cow did, in fact, meet his demise on Friday June 18. And, because we went shopping at Sprouts last week when they had a sale on their in-house breads, we bought two loaves. This means that the bread making experiment is going to be put on hold until after we finish them. Shawn has decided that he'd like to try the whole wheat bread recipe that came in our Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer recipe book. I would like to try Kristie's Dill Rolls. We did learn that King Arthur flour at Randall's is $2 more than at H.E.B. Also, potato flour is freaking expensive.


Sometimes I can be a total idiot. Usually these times are somehow related to numbers. Scary I know.

The other day, getting ready for the boat trip, one of my coworkers asked if I had change for a $20. He wanted to give me $10 (for food), and give Kevin $10 (cost for bringing a guest on the trip). I needed to give $10 for a guest. I had a $10 bill and a $20, David had a $20.

Are you keeping track?

So I made David give me personally his $20. I put $10 in the food envelope. And then I walked over to Kevin and handed him my $20.

And yes, this transaction took me like 10 minutes to figure out the logistics. And after I explained it all to David, he was like "why don't I just walk over to Kevin, hand him my $20, and you put the $10 bill in the food fund?"

And I kid you not, I said "no, that won't work. Give me your $20."

He handed it to me, and as I'm standing there with 2 $20 in my hands, I must have had that look of dawning understanding because David just sat there laughing at me. David. The man who's brilliance has given us comments such as "I thought the Canadians spoke Spanish because they said 'eh' a lot," and "Mother Goose totally wrote Green Eggs and Ham," and most notoriously, "why the hell would I want salad dressing on my chicken fried steak?"

I guess it's a good thing they don't ask questions like this on the P.E. test.

Now, I'm off to work out that "if you have a 5-gallon bucket and a 3-gallon bucket, and you need exactly 4 gallons, how do you do it?" problem. It'll take me like half the day, I'm sure.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Picture of Bob and Elsie in front of their old house. Taken minutes before pulling out for the long trip down to Texas.

Friday, June 11, 2010


As some (okay most) of you already know: We're ordering one quarter of a grass fed local cow and splitting it among 8 people. This cow will meet its demise in one week. We will be able to pick up our meat on July 9th. You'll notice that I keep calling it "the cow." This is because I can't bear to give this cow, which I will never even see, a name for fear that I'll refuse to eat it when we actually get the meat. Because I am weird like that. Maybe we could call the cow "Dinner" or "Porkchop" or something. No, I think I will stick with "The Cow."

The reason for getting this cow is because I read In Defense of Food, we both watched Food, Inc., and Shawn read Food Rules.

Shawn still thinks it's all a crock though--the buying of a grass fed cow by the quarter. Since I went in with friends on getting the cow behind his back, he didn't find out about it until this last Saturday at a party. Good news: If your spouse finds out that you're ordering a quarter cow while at a party, he's less likely to kill you.

The one thing that has come out of Shawn reading Food Rules is that he wants to try his hand at making homemade bread. I think that will be something that happens this weekend. Maybe I'll even throw in making homemade pasta.

The thing that has NOT come from reading these books is the desire to eat more veggies (I, for one, think we need to eat more veggies. Shawn, while agreeing that we need to eat more veggies, does not agree that it should be in the form of fresh veggies).

Case in point: Farm to Work produce.

Now then, for $25 one usually gets an amount of vegetables and fruit that a family of 4 would eat in a week (give or take). When I do Farm to Work, I'll usually split the basket with a coworker so that there isn't a massive amount of veggies we have to go through. This is mostly because it's damn near impossible for us to go through a full basket of veggies. Especially when the basket it made up of kale, mustard greens and Swiss chard.

Anyhow, as mentioned before, I ordered the basket last week. And we managed to use all quick-perishable items (in fact, this will be the first time ever that we didn't have to throw something away because it went bad...we did, however, give away some of the veggies to his parents, also mentioned earlier). The only thing left from the order this week is the potatoes, which will last a while. The thing I didn't mention earlier is that this basket of veggies caused "The great produce crisis of 2010."

On Tuesday, for some unknown reason, Shawn got it in his head that there was no way we were going to eat all the veggies before they went bad. Because of this, he went and decided to freeze what amounts to one serving's worth of green beans. I don't know why. I would have made the green beans the next day when I cooked the corn, but whatever. So now we have one single serving of frozen green beans. Green beans that were not prepped other than being washed and having tops cut off. One serving of green beans, apparently, is the difference between "We're never going to finish it in time!" and "okay, we can eat all these, no problem."

That Mr. Shawn, sometimes he's a weird one.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Oh Yeah. THAT!

Time spent studying for the P.E. exam: 120 hours
Time spent taking the P.E. exam: 8 hours plus lunch and instructions
Dreams about the P.E. exam: 4
Time waiting for the results: 7 weeks 4 days

Passing the P.E. Exam: Totally and absolutely AWESOME.

In other news:
-CU has left the Big XII and gone and joined the PAC-10. The water cooler talk at work basically has said that the reason for this is because Nebraska was complaining about Texas and they said they were going to join the Big-10, Texas junior senators started worrying that if Nebraska left the Big XII and others followed suit, then Baylor would be left in the Big XII but CU, OU, OSU, UT, A&M and Tech would all go to the PAC-10. This is, apparently, some problem or something so he started lobbying to keep Baylor with the other Texas schools, which would have meant that CU wouldn't have been allowed to join the PAC-10. Thus CU is the first to jump ship and preemptively join the PAC to make sure they didn't get left in the cold.

-I have joined the FIFA World Cup Bragging Rights Only betting group. Basically it's a bunch of guessing which teams will do well in the World Cup and which won't. I don't know anything about soccer. Good thing it's for bragging rights only.

-And finally, the Blackhawks have won the Stanley Cup. First time since 1961.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Rock your socks off

Recently I've been wondering where my socks have been disappearing off to. I do laundry maybe once a week and usually the socks can go a week or two (depending on sandal wearing) longer because I have a lot of socks. But all of the sudden it was like my sock drawer started eating my socks and I was running out of all my newer socks... the ones that aren't threadbare and full of holes.

This has probably been going on for a month or two.

Now then, I am lazy, and when I'm tired I tend to say "screw it, I'll separate socks tomorrow" and I'll throw all the clean socks in a pile on the floor and I'll fold them later. I, however, have been better about this...probably for a month or two.

I'm sure you can see where this is going.

Tonight is one of those nights where I decided to just throw my socks on the floor rather than fold them. And I found all my other socks. Sitting on top of a box by my nightstand, underneath one of my workout shirts.

Who said being lazy didn't accomplish anything?

"Spring" time Farm to Work

This last week, after guaranteeing that the Farm to Work basket would be food we would eat versus food we wouldn't (so squash vs. mustard greens), I went ahead and ordered a basket. Just for the two of us.

[aside] My family would be surprised to find out that squash is on our 'to eat' list. Mostly because growing up I never ate it. Ever. I remember the neighbor had an out of control zucchini plant and so they gave us zucchini and we gave them tomatoes. Those zucchinis sat on top of the fridge for about 2 weeks before my mom just threw them away. I tried spaghetti squash once in high school because the neighbor across the street loved them and told me I should try them. I think I took one bite and then threw away the rest of my dinner. So yes, it's quite the surprise that I'll eat squash now. [/aside]

The basket of food this week consisted of regular tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cabbage, zucchini, yellow squash, blackberries, kale, green beans, red potatoes, corn, cucumber and green onions. So far we've used a zucchini, half a yellow squash, half the blackberries, the green onions, a handful of green beans, a handful of cherry tomatoes and one regular tomato.

I gave my inlaws the cabbage, 3 cucumbers (Shawn won't eat them and I can't eat them all myself), a zuchinni and a yellow squash, and half the green beans. I also gave them a handful of green onions, lemon balm, and parsley from my garden. My mother in law seemed most saddened by the fact that my tomatoes aren't setting fruit. She recommended that I get some of the fruit set spray, which I told her probably wouldn't help much at this point in time since we are very quickly arriving at the point in time where the tomatoes won't set fruit no matter what (74 degrees and above night time temperatures mean that tomatoes won't set fruit. Fruit set sprays do seem to help with too cool of temperatures).

Since we've managed to already add squash, tomatoes, onions, green beans, and blackberries to our meal last night; it means we may actually manage to get through an entire basket of stuff before anything goes bad.

Thursday, June 03, 2010


Overheard at work:
"I thought the Canadians spoke Spanish because they said 'eh' a lot."

Also heard at work:
"My grandma's crazy. She uses rain barrels, is into organic gardening, and bakes her own bread but then she goes out every night with her rifle and shoots the armadillos in her yard."