Children, cooking, marriage, random stuff, funny stuff, photography, dogs, cats, depression... Whatever you're looking for, you might find it here! The modern 5 and dime.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Here comes the rain

Finally, southern california seems to be getting some much needed rain!

Things I'm loving this week:

Unwrapped on the Food Network. If you haven't checked out this show before, it's a must-see. My family enjoys watching the history of different foods and how the foods are made. It's pretty cool. Tonight's episode was about Brunch. I always love seeing people with titles like, "Eggs Benedict Expert". Imagine your business card.

Girl Scout Cookies are here! But umm, I seem to have, umm, over-ordered Thin Mints for myself. In case I am stuck at home for an ungodly amount of time, I can always survive on Thin Mints.

Sirius Satellite Radio Now, I know nothing about XM radio, but I have had Sirius for 2 months and am hooked. I chose Sirius because it had Radio Disney (yes, people, the child must be entertained in the car, and I won't put in a DVD system- the TV must be off sometimes!), but I find Sirius has plenty to keep me entertained. With 65 channels of commercial-free music, plus NFL, NBA, NHL, Martha Stewart, Howard Stern (have no opinion on his radio show- haven't listened to it, not that I don't like him- I just have never had the opportunity), news, traffic, weather, and even comedy- this radio package has it all. I can listen in my car or in my home or in my office. What I think is wicked cool is to be able to drive across the country listening to the same radio station all the way. Not that I would do that, but the fact you COULD is pretty awesome.

Next time you're on a cruise, you could be helping to advance the science of oceanography.

Things I am *not* loving this week:

Dan Brown accused of plagiarism: was the premise of the Da Vinci Code lifted from another book? PLEASE don't let this turn into another James Frey fiasco... Story here

Creative math on the part of Enron. New York Times article (registration required)

I should've put this first... our broken washing machine has now joined forces with the myriad of home improvement projects we have on our list, but because it has broken it has butted its way to the front of the line. As a result of my unwillingness to really admit it is broken, I have a huge pile of laundry waiting to be done.

Friday, February 24, 2006


Were you surprised by O'Donohue and Hall's departures on AI last night?

Were you surprised when Sasha Cohen and Irina Slutskaya BOTH fell on the ice, giving up their chances for a gold medal?

Despite Cohen's falls (yes, plural! twice!), I was really impressed with how she came back with gusto. She did not give up, and after that 2nd fall, she gave quite an amazing show. That made me feel really good to see. And I also thought Slutskaya was disappointing in how she handled winning the Bronze. It was almost a display in unsportsmanlike conduct, when there were plenty of other athletes that would've been thrilled with the Bronze.

As for Shizuka Arakawa, well, she's so far Japan's only medal of the games. I thought while her athletic skills were kept very conservative (she definitely played it safe! a bet that paid off for her), she was a beautiful skater and her happiness as she skated with the Japanese flag and her medal, well, that was just worth seeing.

I did manage to catch the last half hour of Survivor- darn it, my husband has finally gotten me hooked on this show, too- and was not surprised to find Ruth Marie going home. Who are your favorites this time around?

I hope you and yours have a fantastic weekend!

Photo of the Day

My boys.


As this week winds down to a close, the weekend is just beginning to get into high gear. My daughter has her first slumber party tonight, and she is about to burst with excitement. I am trying to remember my first slumber party, and my earliest memory of one is with my Girl Scout troop at my best friend's beach house in Galveston, Texas. I remember sleeping on the porch of the house, outside- I have no idea why. But I also remember being told I had to wash my own dishes and never having done that before (I'm so young in this memory I don't even have glasses yet).

That beach house later was destroyed in a hurricane, and they never re-built. To this day I have friends that live in Galveston, who were fortunate enough to survive last year's hurricane season, and they're aren't so sure they want to stay. I can't blame them.

The tie-in here is that I was watching a special on Hurricane Katrina on CNN last night and I was sad AND angry by the time I couldn't bear to watch anymore. A portion of the episode was how people couldn't get money from their insurance (I'm sure the insurance companies stood to go bankrupt from the devastation) but also how our government has not come through for its own people.

I just am shocked how much time has gone by and people still have nothing. I feel so badly for these families, and feel so thankful for everything I have. But why don't we hear more about this in the news? Where's the outrage? Where's the support of other people? Is it really just easier to not look, to not know the devastation. This was the first report I have seen on Katrina in a while, and I'm still left with feelings of sadness and of anger.

The people that aren't stepping up- the insurance company CEO's and FEMA- I just don't understand how they can sleep at night. To my readers in the south, my first home- I send you my best wishes, prayers of insurance claims accepted, and FEMA trailers that can be used for more than weight in the swamp. To my readers here in Southern California that relocated here after Katrina, I hope you have found a warm welcome and a promise of a good life here come true.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Things I am loving this week

Dan Brown, author
I am a total fanatic right now, having finished 3 of his 4 books in recent weeks. I just finished "Digital Fortress" and loved it. If you've read "The Da Vinci Code", you might be a fan, too! Check out his fun website at

The Olympics
Well, this has plenty of feel-good moments, doesn't it? I enjoyed watching Kimmie Meissner skate on Tuesday night- she went in hearing all of these comments about how there was no way she could win, and she skated like she was having so much fun. She made 5th place, which is incredible even if she doesn't medal tonight. I love hearing all those stories.

American Idol
I admit it. Who's your favorite AI this year? Results show tonight- I'll be flipping channels between here and the Olympics.

Toys R Us
I always love a good sale!

Grey's Anatomy
Yes, I am also hooked on this show. Hey, I read as much as I watch TV at least! :-)

Which leads me to....

Joshua Radin
At least Zach Braff's blog finally tuned me in to the great musician featured on hit shows like "Scrubs" and "Grey's Anatomy". You can download his entire freshman album on iTunes. The album is called "We Were Here".

Girl Scout Cookies
These yummy, once-a-year treats are almost here. If you ordered from a local troop, your cookies are arriving early next week. If you buy in front of your grocery store, expect to see the girls out and about beginning the first weekend in March! Yummy, thin mints!!!

Comments and the little blog that could

I've heard of it from other bloggers. Nasty e-mails or nasty comments. Didn't think I was saying anything here that would offend anyone.

But alas, I have had to change my comment settings. Anonymous comments will no longer be accepted on this blog. If you have something to say, I will post comments because I welcome discussion and debate, but at least have the courtesy to identify yourself. A account is free, come and join the discussion and debate- it's what this great country is built on.

Negative, nasty, and mean comments will not be published- this is not the proper forum, and not what I am trying to achieve.

How to Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

OK, some of you reading this may have at one time in your life been a victom of identity theft. Last year the number of identity theft victims surpassed 1.5 million. How can you protect yourself?

The FTC is an excellent resource. Your bank's website probably also lists suggestions.

Check your credit report annually for anything fishy. Here are the top credit bureaus:

Equifax: 1-800-525-6285;; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374- 0241

Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742);; P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013

TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289;; Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790

How identity thieves get your personal information:

They get information from businesses or other institutions by:
stealing records or information while they're on the job
bribing an employee who has access to these records
hacking these records
conning information out of employees
They may steal your mail, including bank and credit card statements, credit card offers,
new checks, and tax information.
They may rummage through your trash, the trash of businesses, or public trash dumps in a
practice known as "dumpster diving."
They may get your credit reports by abusing their employer's authorized access to them, or by
posing as a landlord, employer, or someone else who may have a legal right to access your
They may steal your credit or debit card numbers by capturing the information in a data
storage device in a practice known as "skimming." They may swipe your card for an actual
purchase, or attach the device to an ATM machine where you may enter or swipe your card.
They may steal your wallet or purse.
They may complete a "change of address form" to divert your mail to another location.
They may steal personal information they find in your home.
They may steal personal information from you through email or phone by posing as legitimate
companies and claiming that you have a problem with your account. This practice is known as
"phishing" online, or pretexting by phone.

How identity thieves use your personal information:
They may call your credit card issuer to change the billing address on your credit card account. The imposter then runs up charges on your account. Because your bills are being sent to a
different address, it may be some time before you realize there's a problem.
They may open new credit card accounts in your name. When they use the credit cards and
don't pay the bills, the delinquent accounts are reported on your credit report.
They may establish phone or wireless service in your name.
They may open a bank account in your name and write bad checks on that account.
They may counterfeit checks or credit or debit cards, or authorize electronic transfers in your
name, and drain your bank account.
They may file for bankruptcy under your name to avoid paying debts they've incurred under
your name, or to avoid eviction.
They may buy a car by taking out an auto loan in your name.
They may get identification such as a driver's license issued with their picture, in your name.
They may get a job or file fraudulent tax returns in your name.
They may give your name to the police during an arrest. If they don't show up for their court date, a warrant for arrest is issued in your name.

If you find you have been a victim of identity theft:

Close all accounts that you believe were used fradulently

File a police report

File a complaint with the FTC

What you can do:

Don't carry your SSN card; leave it in a secure place.
Treat your mail and trash carefully.
Don't print your SSN or Driver's License number on your checks.

For more suggestions, please read the full FTC report:
Taking Charge: Fighting Back Against Identity Theft

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The feel good story of the day

8 meat processing plant workers split record $365 million Powerball Jackpot

If you haven't seen this story, you must.

The 8 co-workers opted for the lump sum, and after taxes will take home $15.5 million each.

Quick, go buy a lottery ticket and cross your fingers!

Story Here

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Of hail and movies that make you gag

So this President's Day weekend we visited my folks in the OC. (And anyone who doesn't live here should know how much we HATE being called the OC. Stupid TV. Living in the OC is nothing (NOTHING!) like how it is portrayed on television.)

We got some monumental rain for about 5 minutes on our drive over, and it continued with the on and off rain for most of the weekend. Sunday morning it actually hailed! I couldn't believe it. I had never seen it hail in Southern California, and I haven't seen hail since I lived in Chicago. I showed my daughter, she thought that was pretty weird.

I did somehow manage to convince my father to take me and my husband to see "Date Movie". I more enjoyed watching my husband laugh than watching the actual movie- there were several scenes that actually made me want to throw up. If that's what they were going for, they succeeded. There were some funny parts, but overall the audience was pretty quiet during most of the jokes. My daughter saw "Curious George" with Grandma, I think maybe I should've seen that, although she said the movie made her cry.

If you'd like a good laugh today, check out Zach Braff's blog- Zach Braff

Friday, February 17, 2006

Shopping is always an adventure

My husband and I decided to go to the mall last night to pick up a few things. When did the parking lot at Wal-Mart become so competitive??? Geez. And we weren't even trying to go to Wal-Mart! I was amazed by the crowds at Wal-Mart and the rest of the mall was eerily quiet. Even Michael's was quiet, and that usually doesn't happen (the cashier explained there was no coupon this week, and hence it was deserted).

I did finally find some cool things at Cost Plus (love that store!) but was frustrated with my experience at Petco- so I will say it here- have people in East County not heard of the check card? People still pay with a check! I only find this experience in East County, I don't understand. The check card is just that- a credit card that takes funds directly from your CHECKING account! No need to write a check! No need to keep that long line behind you waiting! Especially since I was holding one item. One item! Or at the very least- write out most of the check before you get to the register.

OK, enough complaining about that... I have another busy day ahead of me and I hope you all enjoy your President's Day weekend, go catch a good sale and have some adventures in shopping!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I can barely keep my eyes open

I am just swamped today, so please forgive me if my post is unusually short. Between work, my daughter, and my thesis, I am so tired I can barely keep my eyes open. I didn't turn the computer off until 10pm last night, and when the alarm went off this morning I wanted to throw it out the window :-) Amazingly I did NOT hit the snooze button!

There is some news here. The Scandinavian Aviation Academy released the names of the student and instructor pilots- both were Swedish males, age 23 and 22. I feel so badly for their families, and for the family of the La Jolla orthodontist. My husband went by the dog park yesterday and said they were having a memorial service at the park (I still do not feel ready to go by there). I know they are also having a memorial service this Saturday in La Jolla.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the NTSB released a preliminary report today. They still don't know what caused the accident, basically. Interestingly, a professional pilot saw the crash from Mt Helix, and said he saw an Eastbound plane strike a plane travelling Southwest, although the report does not identify which plane was travelling east or southwest.

It sounds as if it will take quite a long time before a full report is released, which is expected in 6 months to 18 months.

So, I know the families, like me or even more so, have lots of questions, and those questions will unfortunately have to remain unanswered for now.

In other news, the park, like I inferred above, is open again, and my husband said they did an excellent job cleaning it up. I will probably still wait a while before returning.

I'd like to thank the El Cajon and La Mesa police and fire departments for their swift actions to protect all of the people and the land of the area, we all really appreciate their hard work.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Of fine dining and chain restaurants

We had a very nice Valentine's yesterday. My daughter was thrilled with all her cards and candy from school (two cupcakes even! gold for a 2nd-grader) and loved the Barbie my husband bought her. My husband loved the popcorn I got him- I even decorated the red tin myself, using paint pens. He got me some amazing chocolates and a giant winnie-the-pooh card, which for anyone who knows me, is absolutely perfect for me.

Then he took me out for Indian food. The sign on the door said, "No menu or buffet tonight," so we're thinking, "what on earth will we eat then? the napkins?"

It turned out they had a special fixed price 6-course dinner. We spent $63 including tax, tip, bottle of wine, salad, appetizer, the most delicious tomato soup I've ever had in my life, entree (I had chicken tikka masala- hot! very very very hot), Naan, and chocolate cake for dessert.

Ok, the chocolate cake was really stretching it, it's not like I've ever seen that on the menu at an Indian restaurant before. But it was a really beautiful evening, the restaurant was draped in shades of red, from the neon lights at the front window. The tables had tablecloths (not their usual attire!), candles, and flowers, and there were even little valentine's balloons floating around the room.

I commented that I actually felt like I was in New York City, it felt like the kind of restaurant you find there. I also found it interesting to watch customer's faces as they, too, realized the buffet was closed. The regular customers had never seen such a thing! No buffet?! What to eat, then? But for those who stayed, I bet they were pleasantly surprised such as we were.

We were laughing about how hard it was to get a parking space. It's in the same complex as a Red Lobster, and their line was right out the door. We didn't have a reservation nor did we have to wait for a table, and I bet our dinner was much nicer than the one at Red Lobster. I also think we probably ate that huge meal and left before most people were even able to get a table at RL.

All in all, we have become very tired of chain restaurants. I miss the eclectic nature of restaurants in Chicago, the mom and pop restaurants. The food tastes so much better at the local stores, and even a local chain is better than most US chains. I have found Italian food so delicious I don't ever feel like setting a foot inside an Olive Garden again. I've also found the chains aren't even a discount anymore. Some of the best discounts can be found at my local mom and pop stores.

What about you? Are you a foodie or are you happy with the Olive Gardens and Red Lobsters of the world?

I'm just hoping more foodie oriented restaurants are coming our way.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Will you be my Valentine?

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! I won't yet reveal what I got my sweetie, since he doesn't know yet. We're going to try for Indian food this evening, our favorite! I say "try" because of our difficulty one year of being able to get into a restaurant, ANY restaurant, so we had to settle for waiting in a long line at a Souplantation (which is fine, you know, we love souplantation, it's just a very ordinary every day kind of place that we frequent A LOT. Like yesterday.)

What I was struck with this morning was the excitement on all the children's faces over valentine's. They were clutching their bag full of little valentine cards and little valentine candies. I remember being that small and being so excited for Valentine's day. I always remember how my parents tried to make it special for us kids too, with a card and candy or a gift. How I always loved that. So I tried to make it special for Rachel also, I got her a heart-shaped box of conversation hearts (her favorite this year) and a Hello Kitty card (ditto), and a set of hugging valentine's teddy bears. I hope she likes them.

I also am trying to remember back on all the many Valentine's Days over the years. I remember Valentine's dances, I remember Valentine's dinners, I remember a fun Valentine's party for Rachel and her preschool classmates. I remember some Valentine's balloons my parents had at home, and how I loved playing with them. One really interesting memory I hadn't thought of in years- my first real boyfriend was junior year of high school, and our first date was the Valentine's dance. He brought me a white rose, I think out of nervousness that a red rose was too much for a first date, but he was so nervous he gave me a card with the flower and didn't write anything on the card or the envelope. Somewhere, I know I saved that card. It says everything without saying anything. I'm not even sure if he worked up the nerve to kiss me that night.

Can you remember those days? Being so young, so nervous.

I prefer the days now- now I'm so excited to see my sweetie and give him his present and see the look on his face, and hopefully he'll love it. I can't wait for him to come home, I truly miss him when he is gone, and I'm just grateful to have him by my side every day to share all of life's adventures with me, the good and the bad. And for the record, I have saved everything he's ever given me. One valentine's he gave me a heart-shaped box of chocolate. I have the box, and now I put little things in it from him (I ate the chocolate- Durh!). Even though we just got married, our 5 year anniversary is this time of year, also. If it weren't for being single on Valentine's day, we never would have found each other.

So I wish you and yours a very happy, loving Valentine's Day.


Monday, February 13, 2006

A new week, a new start

I tried my hardest to relax this weekend. I did go see a great show, "School House Rock Live!" which I really enjoyed (I last saw it maybe a decade ago in Chicago). My daughter really loved it, so that was definitely the highlight of the weekend.

No news other than they released some details on the student pilot and instructor, mainly that they were from Sweden, and their Swedish flight training school has not released their identities. My hats go off to our friends in Sweden, my grandmother was Swedish.

Anyway, the NTSB has yet to release their report, perhaps tomorrow. The park remains closed, although I have not gone over there to see if they still have it physically roped off or if their website is behind. I figure it won't be open until after the NTSB has all the info they need for their report.

On saturday we saw a looky-loo circling around the park in his plane. I'd like to tell them it really made me and my husband upset. We were also deeply upset and saddened to hear the news yesterday that another small plane had crashed into a house in Sacramento, virtually destroying it.

Right now, we're both having nightmares and having trouble sleeping. I suppose it will take some time. Kona the dog misses the dog park tremendously, and a walk around the lake was filled with what I'm sure were displaced dog park users. My daughter fortunately does not understand the weight of the incident, and has been very sweet to me, making sure I am "feeling better".

In the meantime, in appreciation of the many gifts we have, enjoy these fine photos of being alive the day after.

A beautiful day in Southern California Posted by Picasa

The husband with Kona Posted by Picasa

Cute dog Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 10, 2006

The day after the day after

I will try to pass along news here on my blog as I discover it, forgive me for being slow to post. Yesterday we were both kind of in a daze. It turns out my daughter did see the smoke from her classroom, but they didn't know where it was coming from. I think she must have been far enough away that the noise didn't seem as threatening. When I asked her if she was OK, she said,"Yes mommy, I'm fine, I'm safe."

The NTSB said yesterday that they will release their report in 5 days. Some details that have been released:

The second aircraft was NOT a helicopter. One of the planes was an experimental plane that was commented to "look weird" and hence witnesses thought it was a helicopter. The two aircraft that were involved were a Cessna 182 (which was a solo pilot on a pleasure flight) and a Cessna 172RG (which was a student pilot and the instructor on a training flight).

They still have not released the identities of the student and his teacher, but they have released that the man on a solo flight was a 68-year-old La Jolla orthodontist.

They also have reported the debris was in a 1-mile square area, not a half mile square area like I previously had heard.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the two planes both left Gillespie field in El Cajon, CA about a minute apart, the training flight took off first. The accident occurred 3 miles from the airport and occurred at an altitude of 2,300 feet.

Now to make this story weirder, there are some reports of yet a THIRD plane. I am not sure how reliable those are- I did hear there were three planes unaccounted for from the airport, but the airport stated that it is not uncommon for planes not to file with the tower. The majority of photos of the debris I saw show unidentifiable pieces, except for two wings and a major piece of the body of an aircraft.

They did release 911 tapes last night but I have not listened to them. I had no phone with me, no purse, no I.D.

As for how hubby and I are doing? Well, we are so grateful for being able to walk away with just some scrapes on my knee. I let the dog sleep with me in my bed and I never do that. We are talking a lot about the incident with each other, trying to laugh about certain things. He says I will forever be known as the hysterical woman in the dog park. But hey, I knew instantly what could have happened, how close we came to being seriously injured or killed.

The park is closed indefinitely. I don't know that I'll be able to go back there for a while, don't know that I want to see any physical reminders, don't know if I can sit again in that fenced in space under the flight path. I'll have to keep Kona entertained in another way for now.

Last night I woke up in the middle of the night with a horrible migraine, a physical manifestation of my stress. I spent the day yesterday wondering, "What do you DO after you survive something like that?" I mean, is there something special YOU would do? We just tried to enjoy our family, enjoy our home, enjoy the gifts we have, appreciate every day.

More news as I have it...

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The scariest moment of my life (Updated 2-9-06)

Tonight we took our dog to the dog park, like we do quite often. We were just getting ready to leave the dog park when we heard a strange noise above us. It sounded like "tick tick tick BOOM", my husband turned around, and I noticed a lot of people in the dog park looking up in the sky. I instantly felt dread and fear.

My husband stood up and grabbed my hand and said, "RUN!" with an urgency like I have never heard before. The dog park was full of people and dogs because it was after 4:30pm. Everyone was clamoring to run away, including the dogs. My first thought was, "Oh god, we're fenced in, the only exit is TOWARDS whatever is going on" and then my next thought was, "Oh god, there's a giant dog in front of me" and the next thing I knew, I was down flat face down on the ground.

My husband is still screaming, "RUN! RUN!" and he's trying to pull me up and when he realizes I'm hurt, he jumps on top of me in a desperate attempt to shield me.

I'm screaming, "What happened? What happened?" And no one will tell me.

I looked and saw black smoke. From the parking lot. I hear people saying, "Diesel" and "Explode" and "Cars on fire". Again, the exit is toward the parking lot, and I don't want to go near it.

My husband later said if he had to he would have pushed me over the fence.

It turned out a small plane and a helicopter collided with each other mid-air, right over the dog park. Which is near a playground, park, and high school. It was PACKED with people, because it was such a beautiful day.

I finally started to gather my thoughts and realized I didn't know where my dog was. A little corgi, he's much smaller than all the other dogs at the dog park today. I'm panicking because I can't find him, but it turns out he was happy as a clam, following all of the other dogs out the exit. My husband managed to find him, but I'm still crying as the horror of it all begins to sink in.

By this time, people had started to exit the dog park. The smoke from the parking lot is coming from where our car is, so now I'm screaming, "Did it hit our car?" Fortunately, it didn't. But a wing from the plane is on fire and laying next to our car.

My husband is saying that we need to get out right away. He goes and gets the car and drives it over to where I had escaped. As we drive out, he's telling me not to look at the other wreckage. It's maybe 50 yards from where I had held my daughter's birthday party not 3 months prior. It miraculously missed where all the people had been congregating. From what I hear, no one on ground was hurt. But it seems there are no survivors on either aircraft.

As we are driving out of the park, I'm crying big, heaving sobs, and my knee stings from where I cut it when I fell. We see many, many cars trying to make their way in the park, either to see the wreckage or to get their children from the high school, we don't know. As we drive the few blocks to our house, several fire trucks pass us.

I'm just feeling so fortunate that it missed us, it missed our car, it missed all the children. I'm so glad my daughter was not with us, because on any other day of the week she would have been with us. Watching the news 20 minutes later at home, the parking lot at the dog park is nearly empty- most people there had bolted like us, trying to get away from that terrifying scene.

Just those few seconds between the explosion and the crash were the most horrifying of my entire life. I'm so sorry that lives were lost. But I am so grateful that so many more were saved.

UPDATE1: As of 9:40 am this morning, the news channels are reporting that three people on board the two aircraft perished. Miraculously, no one on ground was injured. There was some damage to a home when a piece of the plane clipped it, and started an attic fire. But miraculously there, too, no one was home. They have confirmed one plane was a Cessna 172-RB. No confirmation on what the other aircraft was, original reports were it was an R22 Helicopter, commonly used for flight training. The authorities have determined a half mile square area to search for debris.

For local news sources on this still developing story, and if you are interested in photos, please visit my favorites:

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Spud Trooper

This one's for you, Spud!

The Star Wars Spud Trooper Mr. Potato Head.


Monday, February 06, 2006

Photo of the day

From the Orange County Register:
"Firefighters hold flames at tollway
Santa Ana firefighter Ron Lara hits a fire burning in the median of the 241 Toll Road as a brush fire is blown across the road.


The way a 7-year-old sees the world

"Mom, the squirrel saw his shadow."


"I mean, the groundhog."

Friday, February 03, 2006

Photo of the day

Baby, you can drive my car

Good news!

If you work or play in the San Diego Gaslamp Quarter, a new valet service is in town.

The Valet Girls have come to one of America's most conservative cities. They are famous (or infamous!) for valet parking while wearing bikinis. That's right, no pimply faced teenage boy in a red jacket for you.

Opening night they kept their team of 12 babes in matching pink sweatsuits.

For your convenience, their website says they also will work at your "Bar Mitzvah or Wedding".

I also found it interesting that one of the more conservative news networks have used this service for their private parties.

Check them out: Valet Girls

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Budgeting, schmudgeting

Budgeting is never fun nor is it easy. It's easier to simply not do it.

Annoyingly, there are websites with tons of advice for budgeting. "Use OUR budgeting tool! Simplify your life! Save money! Find money you didn't know you had!"

They all promise grandiose dreams. Like saying, "Monthly Savings Goal". I'm assuming most Americans are like me. I don't have a savings goal. My first goal is paying all of the bills. When those are done, there's nothing left, and I'm lucky if the ink isn't red yet.

It's no wonder I'm obsessive about celebrities, and their abilities to plunk down cash on one item in a store that could pay off my entire mortgage. Or better yet, BOTH of my mortgages.

Why am I fretting today? It's tax time again people. Not April 15th taxes, mind you, but worse. Property tax season. In southern california.

It's enought to make me want to cry. Or scream. Or gallavant about laughing, because there's nothing you can do about it.

Mayhaps next year will be better. We won't have the supplemental tax next year. (OK, so that saves us not even a house payment).

Maybe we'll win the lottery. (Yep, that's a sound investment plan!)

Photo of the Day

Don't forget to support your local Girl Scouts!


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Photo of the day

Shawn in Maui, November 2005.

Stupid person of the day

I was driving home from dropping off the kidlet at school, waiting for the train to go by. Genius person was stopped underneath the train arm and STOPPED on the tracks. We were all honking at him, the train stopped in time and was honking at him too.

He still did not budge.

Someone finally got out of her car and walked up to him and told him to move!

He did (he didn't stop because of car trouble).

He was just a stupid person of the day.