Saturday, January 31, 2009

Does every gym have a Tats?

QG (Quartergoddess for short) has posted about "Tats" a man at her gym. Evidently, he provides nice eye candy for her.

I'm new to going to a gym. (Yes, QG -- I'm one of those newbies that annoy you when they use your favorite machine.) I noticed a well built man with tattoos today... quite the muscle bound guy. Not my type, but interesting to look at.

My gym has all of the cardio machines facing windows. So you can stare at the built-in TV, the outside world, or your reflection in the TV if you have it turned off. So, no staring at my local Tats while doing cardio... but I had to wait for him to get off the darn weight machines today. Kinda annoying that every machine I went to use was set at really heavy weights, but at least I had something to look at.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Kelly!

I planned to call you to wish you a happy birthday. By the time I had a short break at work, it was 5pm. Because that means midnight in London, I didn't call and wake you.

I love you very much and miss you!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Obama can't fix it without all of our help.

Why does the election and inauguration of Barack Obama move me so much? Yes, he is the first African American president; but, that's not the reason for my emotions.

For the first time in my life, I feel hope for my country. Obama inspires me, and I'm hopeful he will inspire our country. As individuals, we have become "Me-Centric", very selfish and materialistic. We stopped believing in our government, and that our country was something to be proud of. We need to think about others, and do what's right because it's right - not because it's easy or self promoting.

I believe that only through a significant change in American attitude can this country salvage our future.

If we do nothing, our planet will die from global warming.
If we do nothing, our country's treasure will continue to flow to our enemies as we buy their oil.
If we do nothing, our greedy corporations will continue to control our government and lives.
If we do nothing, our health care system will serve less and less citizens; our schools will fail more children; our middle class will continue to erode; and our hungry will go unfed.
If we do nothing, we do not help stop the genocide, hunger, and disease running rampant in other lands.

Our government can't make these changes. People need to do it, one step at a time. Through volunteering your time and talents. Through giving money to those in need. Through buying American products even if they cost a little more. Through living "green" to limit our dependence on foreign energies. Through being healthier to limit the stress on our health care and financial systems. Through mentoring a child. Through being a better parent. Through living within or below our means.

So, why does this man move me so? I think it's because I see the possibility of a better nation if he can truly inspire us all to change.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Spinning kicked my butt..

I just started working out - again. Only this time, I'm going to stick to it! I have no lofty goals. I merely want to be stronger, my lungs better, and to cultivate a new habit of self-care. If I happen to lose some weight (or inches) in the process, that's just a pleasant bonus.

I joined a gym, even though I have both a treadmill and an elliptical machine at home. I joined with a friend, in hopes of motivating each other. Well, Tom moved out of town and I still have a membership. It's an awesome gym - at the Waunakee Village Center. Clean, bright, not too crowded (except on Saturdays at 10am), brand new building and machines, people of all ages, and CLEAN.

Well, folks, in my enthusiasm to get started on a healthy habit... I enrolled for a Spinning class. I thought, how hard can it be? It's just riding a stationary bike, right? WRONG. It's darn HARD. On average, my 50 minute class will burn 500 to 600 calories if I push myself at 60% exertion. No lie! Well, I exerted and exerted but I still couldn't get out of my seat for those standing hill climbs for very long!

Oh well -- the 65 y/o woman on the bike next to me couldn't do the standing climbs either. It made me feel good to know that at least I could keep up with her. And by class #10, I'll be so much stronger!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Why do I even pause on Fox News?

Why do I even PAUSE the TV channel on Fox News? As part of the inaugural coverage, commentators were saying how unusual it is to see the new and former presidents be so cordial and friendly. Handshakes and smiles are typical, but embraces and gift giving are very unusual.

FOX News said it's a testament to the Bushes. They are just "bred" to be gracious and giving... and "maybe the Obamas are learning that about the Bushes"

Huh? Who brought who a gift? Oh yeah, that was the Obamas presenting a gift to Mrs. Bush.
Huh? Who was usually the first to hug? That's right, the Obamas.
Huh? Whose lips could you read by the helicopter, saying "thank you so much"? That's right, Michelle Obama thanking George W.

Suck it Fox News.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dreaming of Island Living

I watched two epidsodes of House Hunters International. It's a show where people look to buy real estate in a foreign land.

I really yearned (yes, YEARNED) for one of these beach houses. I saw homes in Roatan (island off of Honduras) and Curacao (in Dutch Antilles).

It just confused me motivationally....

Do I run to the gym because I'm motivated to look good in a bikini?
Or do I eat fast food and work 16 hours a day to earn enough money to afford one of these beach homes?

I can't do both. There are only so many hours in a day!

The shows remind me of Toad Hall in Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, where I was married. Gorgeous ocean views, trade winds, private 6 acre compound with open air living spaces, private swimming pool.

I want to live there.
Except, I'd miss the kids.... darn it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Geese are dangerous

A US Airways flight crashed into the Hudson River today, after hitting a flock of geese. It appears all passengers are safe and unharmed. They surmise the geese got caught in the two engines, causing them to fail. I just heard a reporter equate the incident as "being similar to when you stuff too much into your garbage disposal and it stops working". Yuck! We're talking chopped up bird parts falling from the sky! This is more disgusting than the Palin turkey butchering video.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


At my age (43), you'd think I would have a better handle on total life balance. What I mean by "life balance" is the way one balances work, self, family, friends, and other obligations.

As a child, my family was usually faced with financial difficulties... so being self-sufficient and financially secure have been a big part of my adulthood. Maybe that's why I give WAY TOO MUCH of myself (time, stress, and mindshare) to my job.

Well, on to the story. ALL OF MY EMPLOYEES melted down on me on Friday. Every one of them literally lost it during individual conversations with me, and I had a couple of unhappy customers contact me. WOW. Yes, this is our busiest time of the year. Yes, we lost half of our staff in a corporate downsizing last month. I understand everyone is stressed and working well beyond what is normally expected of them. But really?? We need to spend 45 minutes to get you to understand I need a simple email listing of what you plan to sell this month? (YOU ARE IN SALES YOU KNOW!!!)

I let it get to me after a solid 12 hours of complaints and emotional meltdowns. Trying to be healthy, I went to the treadmill to work out my stress. Little did I know that my husband was home and able to hear me! I RAN, not walked. I shadow boxed the people I was angry with. I yelled at them too. (I had my IPod on, so I didn't hear myself.. :)

Anyway, when I came upstairs after my workout I found my husband looking at me tentatively. I was surprised to see him and asked if I was too loud. He responded with "Yes! I thought about video taping you, so that in case we ever got divorced I could show the judge that you are truly INSANE."

Well, all I can say in my defense is that a short RUN on the treadmill does wonders for your stress level. And, I am not letting the team's stress fall on me any more. They don't have to like me. As the boss, I just need to help them be successful even if it's painful.

Lazy? No!

I left the house at 6am for work and drove right over the 2 inches of snow that had accumulated in my driveway last night. I didn't get home from work until 7:30pm.

Should I have been a good citizen and shoveled the sidewalk? Probably. But it was DARN COLD - negative 15 below zero!!

I haven't cleaned my house since before Christmas. It's a pigsty in my opinion, (although others think differently). Instead of shoveling, I cleaned the house from 8pm until 11:45pm. Whew -I'm tired!! (It is very satisfying to see the direct result of my labor.)

Yes, I'll go outside tomorrow and shovel the white stuff. Just didn't want to do it in the dark and bitter cold. Somehow it seems warmer in the daylight, even if the thermometer proves differently. :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Do I know how to make a good first impression, or what?

As some of you know, I have a new boss who works in a different state. I used my wonderful SpotMe gizmo to find him and introduce myself.

Found him with the gizmo. (Cool.)
Walked up confidently, extended my hand, and said Hello. (Ok so far...)
Then I proceeded to say Hello to another man standing beside my boss, and introduced myself to him as well. (Thought it was the right thing to do....)
Guy #2 says very warmly, "Why, Fern it's good to see you again!"
When he saw my confused look, he quickly said "It's John."
And then... I did it. I bent forward so I could see his name tag, and said "I'm sorry, I didn't recognize you John."

And just who is John??
My senior vice president! Who I've met several times before. Heck, I even had dinner with him once. And, he just approved buying me a Blackberry Bold for Christmas.

Damn. I'm sooooo smooth and waaaay cool.

Monday, January 5, 2009

My internal Geek is showing

I'm at a three day sales meeting with 900 of my closest peers. When I checked in, they gave me the usual ID badge that I have to wear to access the meetings. (blah) Bad thing is they scan you when you enter the meetings, so you know they are taking attendance.

Then they took my picture and gave me a "SPOTME". This is AWESOME! You can text any of the attendees with it, view the agenda, presentations, access maps of the facility with it too.

But two things are extra cool....
1. You can point it at someone else's SpotMe and click - You now have their business card data on your device. Cool, but not inventive.

2. Better yet, it has a "stalking application" that lets you locate people. Very Cool. I select a person's name and have the device vibrate when the person is within close proximity of me. Then, I can follow the map to the person (like a GPS only with pictures) or set it to buzz me later when the person is around again. It's so cool when I want to find a person - like my new boss. But WAAAAY COOL tonight if I want to AVOID someone when I'm at the bar. :)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Bush's New Dallas Neighborhood Barred Non-Whites Until 2000

Posted on Huffington Post on December 8, 2008:

As was reported this week, George Bush has bought a new house in a wealthy part of Dallas, called Preston Hollow, to live in after he leaves office. Preston Hollow homeowners are used to having well-known neighbors; the area is already home to Dallas Mavericks' owner Marc Cuban and former presidential candidate Ross Perot.

While many of the Bushes' new neighbors seem perfectly happy and excited to welcome the former first couple, a few of them, reports the Wall Street Journal, have some significant reservations: "The impending presence of a former President is ratcheting up security fears. 'I am afraid with all the negative press the president has been getting, the whole neighborhood is going to be a target,' said a woman, who wouldn't give her name. She carried her King Charles spaniel Friday past the Bushes' new abode."

But Raw Story reports that the area had some issues long before Bush made it his new home. Until 2000, the neighborhood association's covenant said only white people were allowed to live there, though an exception was made for servants.

Enacted in 1956, part of the original document reads: "Said property shall be used and occupied by white persons except those shall not prevent occupancy by domestic servants of different race or nationality in the employ of a tenant." The entire covenant is available in PDF format via the Raw Story link.

When asked about his new home in an interview with The Dallas Morning News, Bush "played coy" in response to Tod Gillman's question. "Todd, why do you care?" Bush responded. "You live in Washington, D.C."