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Dec. 25th, 2008 12:02 am
spiffikins: (Default)
oh winter. you really shouldn't have. really.

trapped in a winter wonderland - over a foot of snow overnight here. this generally means that we're stuck for 3-4 days until the snowplow goes over every single street in town at least three times, including the street at the end of our cul-de-sac, before finally deigning to take a cursory sweep through our circle.

the neighbours have an SUV, and he made it out into the middle, and escaped - but of course he didn't make any trails remotely near our driveway. I shovelled out a pathway for my mom's car this afternoon - our driveway is long and very wide - you could easily park a dozen midsize cars on our driveway.

now that the snow has stopped falling, I went back out tonight and shoveled the *street* - another driveway-length out till I met up with the tire tracks that had been made by the neighbour.

this gives us a fighting chance tomorrow of escaping the cul-de-sac and venturing out into the Rest of the World in order to pick up my brother from the airport in Vanouver.

maybe.

we shall see - Vancouver apparently got even *more* snow than we did, and are possibly less equipped to deal with it.

it's supposed to start raining tomorrow evening or friday morning - at which point the snow will be come 50x heavier - it was actually not that bad today -cold enough that the snow was light and fluffy and not saturated with water(the normal condition around here).

though I believe very little of what the weather people say - the theory is that tomorrow is supposed to be sunny, and then it's supposed to warm up and rain for the rest of the year. which is a good thing, as I do need to fly back to california on the 31st.

despite my travel fears, I had a smooth transit from SFO to YVR - apparently flights leaving vancouver were the ones being delayed - flights arriving were doing okay.

because my brother travels tomorrow, we're not having our big turkey dinner until friday - assuming he makes it home tomorrow :) if we can't escape the snow prison, he'll stay with friends in vancouver and we'll play it by ear and see when we can get him.

of course, now that I've shovelled the street, the snowplow will come around tonight :)

I'd be okay with that.
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What a difference a year makes - last year, we flew all the remote people into town for a week of training and meetings, culminating in a big party in a private room in a restaurant in town. Everyone got an itouch from the company and we all drank and ate and had a grand time!

This year, in light of the fact that we laid off 1/3 of the company a couple of months ago, and are counting our pennies to keep the remaining folks, it was determined that it would be in bad taste to have any extravagant party this year. So the CEO decided to host a modest get together at his house - there was lots of food, some nice wine, and the gift from the company was a gift card to Starbucks :)

It's the thought that counts, and it's very much appreciated to be able to spend time together outside of work, and to have an enjoyable evening. It's also good to be able to meet the spouses of my coworkers - although, it's sort of sad that we only usually see some of them once a year

Dinner was mexican - beans, rice, tortillas and tons of chicken and pork to make your own burritos. Afterwards, the hostess was bemoaning the fact that she "has an entire pig" in her oven - we barely made a dent in the masses of food provided by the caterers. There were about 20 of us, and they had told the restaurant they wanted food for 15 people or so - and we probably only ate about 1/4 of it - sooo much food.

I made out like a bandit - I have a ziploc freezer bag full of pulled pork - just divine!

I have more to write, but I'm tired now :)
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For some reason, I'm abnormally excited about going home for Xmas this year. Not sure why, but I'm looking forward to the break and to being at home and visiting my mom and brother. My other brothers live about an hour away from my mom's so I probably won't see them too much over the holidays - I will have to make a point of going and visiting them at their apartments too.

Our company Christmas party was excellent. We are a small group - probably just under 30 people, including guests and spouses, so we don't really "fill" a whole restaurant. We ended up at a restaurant nearby, that was able to put us in a separate room so that we felt like we were in our own world. My boss' wife, who organized it, had them set up 4 long banquet tables in a square, so that everyone was seated at the "same" table, rather than the normal small groups of people. She also set it up that we had to switch our seats 3 times during the meal - this was to encourage people to sit and talk to more than just the people they chose to sit next to.

Thank goodness I didn't end up seated to either of the two people in the company that I just cannot stand. Speaking of mcwhineypants, I had emailed him earlier in the day, saying "gee, since you'll be in town for the party, why don't you take this as an opportunity to return the laptop bag that you 'borrowed' a couple of months ago". Of course, his reaction was "awwww...but it fits my laptop so nicely, can't I just keep it? I don't like the one I bought, it's too big for my 14 inch screen laptop". Possibly I was a bit nasty, but my response back was "No, it belongs to the laptop here, that it was purchased for. The one, that is a tiny, 12 inch screen laptop? I'm not sure why this is such a problem that I've had to make the request four times now?"

The laptop bag was on my desk the next morning. I win!

But, the party was a success - much spiffy food and drink, good conversation and laughter. We did the gift exchange, which was hilarious as no one seemed to understand the rules, though they weren't that hard. When it was your turn, you either chose a gift from the pile *or* you could choose a gift that someone else had already unwrapped. Amazingly, people thought that you could choose a gift, unwrap it, and THEN decide to keep it or choose again. Duh. Hilariously, my co-worker told me the next morning that she left the party "very upset" because she had misunderstood the rules and instead of opening the gift she chose off the pile, *had she only known* she would have grabbed the gift I ended up with. Given that she was the VERY LAST PERSON to choose a gift, I have no sympathy for her, as the rules were not that complex to understand.

Plus, I liked my gift :) It's a stained glass star to hang in my window. My iDog went over well, a couple of people were fighting over it :) Of course, someone didn't bring a gift, and still decided to play, so we were one gift short, until my boss threw in a second gift he had just happened to bring along. However, the gifts he brought were the "Bullshit detection machine" and the "Fart Machine Version 2.0". He also ended up taking the fart machine home with him, since "we only have version 1.0 at home!". The next day, whilst on the phone with him, he played me both v1 and v2 farts, so I could tell the difference. Version 2.0 comes in "boombox sound" and is much richer and fuller. gahd.

I'm currently ripping some cd's to fill my mp3 player for the flight home later this week. Hurray for nice shiny new pc's that have disk space!
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(no subject)

Dec. 11th, 2005 09:23 pm
spiffikins: (ty)
Success!

Thanks to a couple of helpful people who work at Target, and who actually were willing to spend 2 minutes to answer my question, I was able to procure an iDog. For those who are blissfully unaware of what iDog is, it is a small dog-shaped plastic toy that you can plug your mp3 player or stereo into, and it will "listen" to music and blink happy lights on its "face" and wave its head around.

It is fun for about 10 minutes.

Which makes it the perfect gift for my office gift exchange - we're having our Christmas Party on Tuesday, and it was decided that we would do a gift exchange where everyone brings a random gift, and then people will pick a gift from the pile, or the last gift that was opened.

So, iDog purchased and wrapped. I also am going out for dinner with a friend of mine, Monday night, so I got her gifts (a nice rubber stamp - she's the one who introduced me to this whole stamping thing, and a gift card for a book store [yay books!]) and I managed to get her Christmas card made (using my stamps, of course!)

Can I just say, for the record, curling ribbon IS TEH COOL.
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photos!

Dec. 10th, 2005 08:48 pm
spiffikins: (Default)
My brother came to visit me this summer, and we did all the tourist things while he was here. A couple days, I had to work, so he went over to San Jose on his own and did some of the museums and tourist traps on that side of the hill.

For Xmas, I've decided to make him a scrapbook of his trip - I still have all the receipts, and pamphlets and maps and assorted propaganda that he accumulated while he was here. I also got him to send me his digital photos, and merged them with the ones I took of our trip to Alcatraz together, and picked out 84 photos to print out.

I then realized that I've never really printed out any digital photos. I did one 8X10 for my mom one year, but I had my co-worker print it out on his huge, expensive ($9000) printer. I asked him (since he's photo guy) where he goes, because he actually doesn't print all his photos on his huge, expensive (did I mention $9000) printer - he uses Bay Photo. They have this Java applet software that's pretty cool - I spent 40 minutes picking photos, zooming in, cropping etc. Then I got to the summary page - for 84 prints it was going to cost me $46.94 (plus taxes).

Um.

So I went out to snapfish.com, whittled it down to 64 prints, and hit the checkout button. $5.88 plus shipping.
I chose to have the prints done right away and pick them up at the local Walgreen's - total price, $13.14.

$0.12 per print, vs $0.55 per print.

Yeah, I don't think I'm going to Bay Photo any time soon.
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So I scanned the Black Friday ads online yesterday and found that OfficeMax has 1 gig USB key drives on sale for $40, instead of $90. I had already decided to get one for my mom for Xmas, and figured this would be a good gift for my brothers too, plus I want a new one ( mine is only 256 megs and it's always full). Then when I went to my friend's house for Thanksgiving dinner, there were 2 people there who got all excited, and wanted one too.

adventures in shopping )

I was home by 9:30am and I'm done my Xmas shopping, both for family and myself :)

Now I'm going to hang out, make a birthday card for my mom and then go to [livejournal.com profile] mortaine's potluck this afternoon. Woo! More turkey!
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Saturday was fun - we went to Stamp Camp! It's basically just a stampin' up get together, hosted by our demonstrator, and 2 other demonstrators, where we do 3 "bigger" projects - so we stamped snowflakes onto square glass jars to make gifts. We also stamped onto candles - very cool, and likely to be my Christmas gifts this year for co-workers and such. And we made little gift baskets for holding gift certificate cards. Plus, I won the best raffle prize - a set of Christmas stamps - the other prizes were just paper and such.

Today I'm going to go find a couple dollar stores I've been told about, and hopefully a new Big Lots, in order to poke around (I love dollar stores) and hopefully find more cheap crafting supplies. I need to figure out what to get to hold my craft stuff - currently it's in shopping bags under my bed. Not very organized.

Then it's back to the Raid-scented kitchen (another invasion of ants this morning) and I need to cook some food for this week - the last 2 weeks of eating out every day were very very bad and thankfully over. I need to be back on a sane eating plan.

My monitor is still awfully cool :) The hostess' husband is a gamer and he was drooling over the specs. So was the female geek I went with. It was all good. My friend who isn't into computers just nodded and smiled and was happy that I was happy. It was all good :)
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