Sunday, December 27, 2009

Thank you, Lisa

A few weeks ago, my good friend Lisa -- over at Grandma's Briefs -- posted a clip from "Joyeux Noel (Merry Christmas)." I promptly put it on my queue. Then waited, hoping to watch it for Christmas.

It arrived in the mail the day after Christmas, but it was still a perfect way to wrap up my holiday.

Based on actual events during World War I, "Joyeux Noel" tells the
story of a spontaneous truce declared by Scottish, French and German troops in the trenches on Christmas Eve 1914.

Click over to Lisa's site to watch the video. Then immediately add it to your Netflix or Blockbuster queue. Even if you are a bit Grinchy about holidays, this movie just might make you believe in Christmas miracles. And if you have any interest in history, make sure you watch the interview with the film's maker.

Thanks for turning me on to this movie, Lisa. I loved it. Two thumbs up.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

To sleep, perchance to dream

Lately, I've been feeling pretty tired and run down. I went to the doctor. She ran a bevy of blood tests and came up with nothing. I figured it was my thyroid, because it goes crazy every now and again. But it wasn't that. I'm still waiting on the results of one of the blood tests. Maybe it will hold some answers.

In the meantime, based on all the information I gave her, my doctor prescribed a sleep study. If you've never had to do one, I suggest trying not to. Even though I've been so tired I feel like I could fall asleep anywhere, I had a lot of trouble sleeping there. For one thing, I was covered with electrodes. Plus, there was a camera on me all night, and they asked me to sleep on my back. Which isn't all that comfy. I ended up taking a sleep aid so when they woke me this morning, I felt really groggy. The S.O. drove me there, so he picked me up and took me for coffee. Still, it wasn't until after lunch I started feeling somewhat myself again. Just a few hours later, and I'm already starting to fade.

The rest of the evening will be spent watching movies and relaxing. Tomorrow, we are cooking Korean food, playing video games and watching movies. I know I won't hear anything until next week, so -- despite my inclination to worry about everything all the time -- I'm going to try not to think about it. I'm actually more worried that they'll say there's nothing wrong. I know that sounds silly, but at least when they find something, you can work toward fixing it.

I found that when I'm lying awake in a strange place, my mind works hard to entertain me. In my head, I am one awesome guitar player. But then, I bet you knew that.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My thoughts exactly

Mutts by Patrick McDonnell

Although it does look like we might get an actual, honest-to-goodness, real white Christmas for once, so maybe it's not such a bad thing. I can stay in, drink hot cocoa, read, have some of the chili I made yesterday. Maybe not a bad thing at all ....

until I have to go out in it later. Please don't make me go out in it later.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas to me!

I bought myself another guitar. It's slightly used -- but just slightly. Mostly, it was played by my guitar teacher. It's a Washburn, and I really like it.

I know that it won't magically turn me into a great guitar player. But I know it will help me play better. It's not just the tools we use, but good tools can help.

Isn't it pretty?

Friday, December 18, 2009

How cute is this?

Last year at this time, I whined about not getting a care package from my mom. My lovely sister-in-law took that as a challenge and sent me a box of goodies. Being the amazing people they are, my brother and sister-in-law once again sent a Christmas care package, stuffed with the World's Best Sugar Cookies, among other items. Tucked in the box was an ornament just for me.

Check out this guy, decked out in a top hat and Christmas scarf. He's like a little Bob Cratchit hippo rushing home to Tiny Tim.

Here he rushes to the Gingerbread Bakery for treats for his hippo kids at home.

You might notice my favorite book, peeking into the frame back there!

We haven't put a tree up yet (and may not), but Bob here will have a place of honor for Christmas regardless. He's so goshdarn cute. I can't stand it. And my family is so goshdarn good to me. I can't stand that either.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

In which I love the snow

The S.O. and I headed for the hills this week for some skiing and much needed R&R. Unfortunately the S.O. didn't get much rest, as I'll discuss shortly.

We went to Copper Mountain for an early ski outing. I say early because as of yesterday, the mountain only had seven of 23 lifts open and 30 of their more than 100 trails open. But it was the middle of the week, early in the season, so we didn't have to deal with a zillion and a half people.

The trip ended up being a more expensive outing than originally planned. Here's why. My first run down the mountain I couldn't feel my left foot -- at all. It was totally numb. Obviously, there was a problem with my boots. I decided to buy ski boots a couple years ago, thinking I would be so much more comfortable in MY own boots, rather than rentals. Turns out, I was wrong, at first anyway. Apparently, the first pair was sold to me by the newbie in the shop, and he sold me boots that were about two sizes to big. The best part of that was I could have lost my toenails! Yay!

A more experienced salesman helped me find the proper fit and exchanged the boots for me. I think we only managed to ski in those boots once or twice and they seemed fine. It's been a couple years since we skied, mostly because life has a tendency to sometimes get in the way. So, did my feet change in the intervening seasons? Did my calves get even bigger? I don't really know. But I did know I couldn't ski like that. We asked around and ended up at SureFoot. They suggested orthotics to put my foot in a neutral position. The S.O. was suspicious of the sales pitch, but I went for it anyway. More than $200 later, I have custom orthotics and a much more comfortable skiing experience.

I also took a private lesson at $75 (but hey that was half price, so it's a bargain). Nearly 10 years ago, when I first came to live in Colorado, I took a group ski lesson. It was a miserable experience. Two of the women could ski and needed little help. One woman could barely stand on her skis and demanded all of the instructors attention. Apparently the instructor assumed I was with the first two women and basically ignored me the entire time. Add to that it was April and icy and you'll wonder why I ever went back to a mountain.

Cut to yesterday. After just a few minutes with my instructor, Mike, I was skiing more efficiently and confidently and having more fun than ever before.

So, it was more money than I'd planned to spend, but I'm skiing better and more comfortably, and we're just two days into the season. So it's worth it.

On the downside of money spending, the windshield has a nasty crack that started from the most wee little star ever. It's too big to have repaired, so there's another expense added to the trip.

And the S.O.'s company cannot function without him, so he spent most of our two days away troubleshooting -- even though he was on vacation. They knew he'd be gone. Either they really can't function without him or they really hate the fact someone may be having a good time. Maybe they should ban cell phones from the mountain. I threatened to throw his phone out the window of our moving car, but it wouldn't really have solved anything. And he would have ended up having to buy a new one and added to our expenses.

All in all, though, it was a great little getaway. Our room was cozy and quiet. The snow wasn't great, but it was great fun. I'm ready for more.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Looking for the Ghost of Christmas Present

I'm having a hard time finding the holiday spirit this year. And it's not for lack of trying. I'm learning to play a Christmas song. I've been listening to Christmas music. I've donated to my favorite charities. I've wrapped gifts and drank egg nog.

I listened to Tim Curry read "A Christmas Carol." And really, if hearing/reading/watching "A Christmas Carol" doesn't put you in the holiday spirit, what will? (He realizes the error of his ways! He connects with his nephew! He gives Bob Cratchit a raise! He saves Tiny Tim! "God bless us, everyone!")

I've sent out some cards -- along with "gifts" to nieces and nephews. Maybe it's not seeing them open presents, even though they're all teenagers now and probably are too cool to get excited about Christmas. Maybe it's the lack of family gatherings.

Anybody have any ideas of how to find my Christmas Mojo this year?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

In which I once again talk about the weather

Dear Colorado,

If I wanted to live somewhere with sub-zero temperatures and snow-packed roads, I would have stayed in Illinois. Yes, you have those lovely mountains, but what am I supposed to do with them if I (1) can't get to them because you've made the roads treacherous with your snow and ice and such and (2) can't stand to be outside for more than a few seconds at a time?

I know tomorrow is supposed to be a balmy 27 degrees, but at the moment the thermometer is sitting quite firmly just below zero. That's quite enough of this silliness, Colorado. It's time to get serious and raise that temp up to the 30s or 40s. The mountains will still have their snow, and I'll be able to drive to it and enjoy it -- without freezing my butt off.

Thank you and have a nice (I mean it!) day,

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Ha. Ha. You can stop now

When I moved to Colorado nearly 10 years ago (!) I was told how temperate the weather is here, how cool the summers and how mild the winters. "Oh, yes, it snows," they told me, "but it melts off the very next day." Something like 300-plus days of sunshine, they told me. It's mostly warm and dry, they told me.

They forgot to add, "Unless, of course, it isn't." They forgot to mention that the weather will do whatever the hell it wants, whenever it wants, just like every other part of the nation. And it will do it on the days you really need to get stuff done. Yeah, they forgot to tell me that part.

Granted, I wouldn't want to still be living in Central Illinois, where you can go a full month without seeing the sun. But promises were made, people. I expected sunshine. Where's my effing sunshine?

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Just get on with it, would you

Come on, weather. Snow or don't snow. This half-hearted stuff is just not cutting it.

I see snow in the air but I think it's just blowing around. And does it really need to be this cold? 18 degrees? Really?

The worst part is I have to go out in it in about 10 minutes. Yuck.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Puppy went home

Ripley was never really sure what to make of the stubby-legged Corgi puppy. In the end, she tolerated him. And after he left, she seemed worried that we had gotten rid of another pet. There's just no reasoning with her.

"I'm going to pretend to not care, but when you're gone, I'll miss you!"

Monday, November 30, 2009

Final day

Today is the last day of NaBloPoMo, and I made it. Granted, I posted plenty of photos and random crap. But then, isn't that why you visit my blog?

Don't worry, today will be no exception.

It's also the last day of our adventures in puppy sitting, and I've reached a couple of conclusions. I am not cut out for puppies or babies. I'm too old and impatient. What do you mean you have to go outside at 2 a.m.? What do you mean you can't hold it as long as my 9-year-old dog? Ack! You had an accident! What is wrong with you? (Yes, I have unreasonable expectations. I also expect my own dog to be able to understand why she shouldn't bark at people outside on the street and to speak English.)

Just imagine how I'd be with a human baby. Don't you have a job yet? When do you start school so I can go back to blogging and chatting online?

Now, this isn't to make my dear friend feel bad, because I volunteered freely and with no pressure. I know it would have been easier if I hadn't felt so crappy off and on all weekend. Because despite the pooping and peeing -- and one pretty big (smelly) accident -- I have to admit. He's awfully damn cute.

And, puppy-sitting has not put me off the idea of getting a kitten. Go figure.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas is coming

And I have just two ideas for gifts for the S.O. One is totally practical but fairly pricey. The other is more reasonably priced but not all that practical (although I think it's something he wants). He is nearly impossible to buy for and very rarely gives me good ideas. Strike that. He often gives me good ideas, but one of two things usually happens when he gives me good ideas: (1) The item is so far out of my price range as to be impossible to buy or (2) he buys the item himself two days after giving me the idea. (Do all guys do that?)

If he reads this -- which I doubt he will -- maybe he'll give me some good ideas for Christmas gifts for him. If any of you have any brilliant ideas, let me know.

The title of this post refers to the following poem/nursery rhyme. Mom used to sing it to me as Christmas grew near.

Christmas is coming
The goose is getting fat
Please put a penny in the old man's hat
If you haven't got a penny,
Then a ha'penny will do
If you haven't got a ha'penny,
Then God bless you

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Look! Pie!

For the past few minutes, I was working on a post about how I didn't feel good and WebMD can turn me into a hypochondriac with every condition from the flu to lyme disease. But that post felt whiny and boring. But I have just a few days left of NaBloPoMo and I'm not about to fail now. So look at my beautiful Frozen Pumpkin Mousse Pie and enjoy the recipe below.



  • 30 small gingersnap cookies (about 7 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil


  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 pints (4 cups) frozen low-fat vanilla yogurt, softened (see Tip)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan with cooking spray.
  2. To prepare crust: Combine gingersnaps and raisins in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add oil and pulse until blended. Press evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan.
  3. Bake the crust until set, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. To prepare filling: Combine pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a large bowl and mix well. Add ice cream and stir until blended. Spoon the mixture into the cooled pie crust. Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours. Let the pie soften slightly in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.
  • Tip: To soften ice cream quickly, microwave on Medium-Low for 30 to 60 seconds.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Two things

1. Thanksgiving dinner was wonderful. I highly recommend all three of the recipes I tried from

2. While Ripley still has no social graces and doesn't really appreciate the wee one visiting, both dogs enjoy our back yard. See? Pictures!

She might not notice if I stay way back here.

Oops! She noticed.

Please be my friend.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

After yesterday's miserable failure at trying to cook chestnuts, I took a giant chance and bought a new batch from a different store. This morning, I roasted them (cut an X on the flat side of each nut, spread them on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes). I'm guessing I got bad nuts the last time because these came out beautifully. Really, this picture doesn't do them justice.

Chestnuts are odd. They taste a bit like bacon, so they should taste good in the Brussels Sprouts. My pumpkin mousse pie also looks lovely. If nothing else, our table will look great. And even if the food ends up tasting less beautiful than it looks, I will still have plenty to be thankful for today.

Things like:
my friends (furry and otherwise)
my family
the S.O. (who counts as both -- friend and family, but not furry)
cheesy SciFi shows
silly video games
my health
the S.O.'s job
and a beautiful sunny day in which to enjoy the little things in life.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chestnuts roasting on an open FAIL!

I guess I thought I was Martha Stewart, imagining that I could cook my own chestnuts for my Thanksgiving dinner. Silly girl. I followed directions (from a recipe Web site) for roasting them in the oven -- to no avail. I followed the S.O.'s experience with steaming chestnuts -- nope. They are hard little rocks. Not something that will evoke thoughts of home.

So, despite my best efforts to have everything I need for tomorrow's dinner, I have to run back out to the store.

What's on the menu

I'm trying to include some healthier side dishes in our Thanksgiving dinner this year. In addition to turkey and stuffing -- which the S.O. makes and are delicious -- I am making:(All from I'll let you know how they turn out. But they sure sound yummy. No Tofurkey in this house!

Activities on the menu are playing with the S.O.'s new Playstation 3, board games, several episodes of Farscape and playing with Ripley and my dear friend's puppy.

It promises to be a fun day.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Vanity, thy name is Pammeey

For some reason, I got it in my head that I need to whiten my teeth. Honestly, I think it's television and the movies. Have you seen how blindingly white actors' teeth are these days? Whatever the reason, I picked up some teeth whitening strips. (Don't judge me.) Because I'm all about trying to save a buck or two, I bought the Target brand equivalent of the Listerine Whitening Quick Dissolving Strips. I doubt there's much difference and I'm not planning to find out.

I have to wonder if vanity is worth it. The strips are quite sticky, and you aren't careful (and yes, I speak from experience) you will end up with your jaw stuck shut for several minutes while the strips dissolve. And the dissolving process is kind of gross. You'll look a bit like a mad dog for a few minutes.

But once they've dissolved, your mouth will feel minty, then it will feel normal. I'm only on my first day of trying the strips so I can speak to their actual effectiveness. But they're kind of weird.

And it's all for the sake of vanity.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ripley gets new food

I suppose it's an age thing, but Ripley has recently developed bad doggy gas. Sometimes, she'll run up the stairs and toot. It's kind of cute, because she'll stop and look around, as if to say, "What the heck was that." Not so cute is when she's curled up in my lap (as she is while I type this) and passes gas. At those times, she tries to play it off like nothing happened.

So, in the interest of her well-being and not having to smell dog farts, the S.O. and I took a trip to the pet store to look for a different food. She's been eating Iam's as long as I've had her, but lately it obviously isn't agreeing with her. The new food is a lamb and rice formula that contains no corn or soy. Apparently those two ingredients can mess with doggy digestion. We have to slowly introduce the new food, mixing it with the old, so it'll be at least a week before we know if the new food makes any difference. Let's hope it does.

While at the pet store, I replaced Ripley's old tag with a stylish new one. I usually try to go with more tough stuff, but this was so cute -- and the S.O. picked it out.
I know I've been posting about the dog a lot, but I don't have kids. This is all I have, people.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ripley helps with laundry

Maybe that should be "helps" with laundry -- and maybe I should also say this isn't voluntary. But it's pretty darn cute.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Resisting temptation

With an early deadline for my test drive next week, I decided to work on it over the weekend. That way next week will be open to just relax and fix the big meal.

I thought it would be easier to get out of the house. So I headed to Barnes & Noble, where there is free WiFi and (of course) Starbucks. The holidays are coming, and Starbucks has its signature holiday lattes on offer -- sticky sweet coffee drinks with a ton of whipped cream on top, like gingerbread latte, peppermint mocha and caramel brulee latte. They all sound and look delicious -- and full of really unnecessary calories. So I resisted and got tea. yum.

No. I love tea. But gingerbread latte? Come on!

UPDATE: I have to add that Starbucks is packed and noisy and not doing much for motivating me to work on this test drive. Also, is it so unusual to see someone typing on a laptop that you have to stare at me?

Friday, November 20, 2009

It Takes a Village

The neighbor's gate malfunctioned yesterday, and her dog was wandering the street in front of my house. Knowing the dog's name, I went out and called to her. When I started toward her, she decided Chase is the funnest game in the whole world and ran from me -- right into the street, with cars coming from both directions. Thankfully, they saw her and stopped. I finally caught her and walked her to the neighbor's house. She wasn't home, so I brought the dog back to my house.

I put her in the back yard, then opened the back door and let her come inside. Ripley and she have met -- the neighbor's daughter has watched Ripley when we go out of town -- but dogs have short memories. So much sniffing and circling ensued. Finally, the neighbor dog decided things were cool and went into the classic Let's-Play stance. Let me pause here to mention the neighbor's dog is a full-grown Black Lab. Ripley, lacking social graces and being endowed with little dog syndrome, mistook Let's-Play for Let's-Fight and got all barky and snappy. It is her house after all.

Back outside went the neighbor's dog, none to happy about it. I spent the next few hours looking out the back window to make sure she didn't pull a Houdini on me and looking out the front window to see if the neighbor had come home. I left messages on her answering machine and a note in the door but I worried she'd see the open gate and panic.

About 4 p.m. the neighbor's next-door neighbor got home, so I talked to her about taking the dog. The S.O. was gone and I had to leave shortly. I just didn't feel comfortable leaving the dog in the back yard alone. This neighbor had watched the dog before so she took her to her house. Later in the evening, I got a phone call from the dog owner:
I understand you found my wayward dog. Thank you for finding her and keeping her. Like I told K, it takes a village. We're working on that gate.
I know I have a prejudice against Labs. They're sweet, beautiful dogs but they also have to be the goofiest creatures on God's green earth. I think it really does take a village with a dog like that.

My dog -- a rat terrier, you know -- is anti-social when it comes to other dogs. She's content to hang out in the sun and soak up the attention of one or two people. Huh. Maybe dogs and their owners really do come to resemble one another.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Culprit, Part II: Attack of the Inanimate Objects

A while back, I broke my good vegetable peeler. (I was trying to peel thin pieces of cheese for a recipe. It was a tip from a cookbook, so don't judge me.) It was guaranteed, so I knew I could get a new one. In the meantime, I bought a cheap one to use.

Big mistake. This one is like a weapon. Its serrated (!) blade grabs anything that comes near -- peels, dish towels, human skin. I managed to slice a chunk out of my index finger without even trying. I can't even blame slippery turnips for it.

It has a cover on the blade for storage, but even putting the cover on is a dangerous endeavor. It grabbed my thumb like a thistle and took a painful, tiny bite.

I have since received a replacement for the good one, so this vicious thing is going in the trash -- or possibly, hazardous waste.

The culprit

I was all set to write a post about the scary vegetable peeler I bought a few weeks ago -- and will get to that in a minute -- then my dog created a new post for me with the same title. Somehow, she got into the bag of candy I have for my kids at tutoring. As I passed from the bedroom toward my office, I saw her holding something in her front paws and setting to work chewing on it. My first thought was that the S.O. had given her a rawhide bone to chew on so he could sleep in. But we never give her that bone in the morning. So my second thought was that the killer had caught a bird and brought it into the house to devour. Ew. Then I realized it was a Tootsie Pop miniature. She was holding it by the stick and trying to chew the wrapper off. And she'd chosen chocolate. It was pretty cute and I would have gotten a picture if I weren't more concerned about her health and safety.

Bad dog.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Six Words

DOVE Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate PROMISES

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mandatory Pet Pics

Ripley crashed out on a pillow in the sunshine, wearing her little doggy sweatshirt.

I obviously disturbed her by taking her picture, so she changed positions. Still cute.

She actually enjoys wearing the little sweatshirt when it's really cold out. And don't worry, she still looks tough in it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I can't stop thinking about this

Colorado Springs has a shop called Vacuums and Dragons. They don't have a Web site, so I can't share that with you. They sell and service vacuum cleaners AND they have "historical medieval replicas and gifts." If you want proof, you can look at a picture at this blogger's site.

There's a commercial on TV for this shop, with the focus on the vacuum sales and services. It's just such a strange combination, I think I really need to go in there. I've gotten kind of obsessed with the idea of a shop that sells vacuums and dragons. I even dreamed of it last night.

I have a test drive this morning, maybe I should take the car up to this shop, just to ease my curiosity. I'm picture dragons actually using the vacuums.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Contemplating a career change

Today, I'm thinking about a career change. Or maybe I should say, I'm thinking about a career embarkation, because I don't really have a career now, per se.

Having spent the past several months working with a personal trainer, I'm wondering if it's something I could do, if it's something I'd want to do and if I'm really in good enough shape to motivate someone else.

I feel like my part-time job as a site coordinator for the Children's Literacy Center is really important. I feel like I'm making a difference. But it's just a few hours a week and doesn't pay much. Not that I think I'd make much money as a personal trainer either.

I think my high school guidance counselor failed me. I still don't know what to be when I "grow up." As long as I can remember, I wanted to be a writer. Unfortunately, in today's world, with "citizen journalists," bloggers and the like, there doesn't seem to be as much call for actual writers. Unless I can figure out the next big thing -- as a colleague and I once discussed, "Mary Kotter" seems a bit obvious -- and write a huge best seller and option the movie rights, I don't think my writing career is going to rake in the big bucks.

With the snow coming down in fits and spurts today, and the sky alternating between partial sun and slate gray, I'm contemplating what to do next -- with my career and my life. These are pretty deep thoughts for a Sunday afternoon -- thoughts driven by another Monday looming, another aimless week, another a test drive of a car I've driven before, another winter that seems to be shaping up to be dreary and cold.

So I definitely need some kind of change, right? This doesn't feel like a buy-some-new-shoes kind of funk or a red-wine-and-chocolate-can-fix-anything sort of mood. Then again, maybe it is the cloudy sky, and I'll feel better when the sun shines again.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Focus on the positive

Knowing that the gloomy, wintry weather would probably keep me housebound this weekend, I got in a Saturday workout with Joe and a couple Boot Campers I don’t get to see other days of the week. We did a lot of boxing, which can be a lot harder than some of our normal exercises. It’s also very empowering. There’s nothing quite like punching something as hard as you can — safely, of course.

As we were finishing up, I commented to one of the other campers that she had great legs. Her response: Who me? It made me realize (1) many of us are not very good at taking compliments and (2) we have a tendency to focus on the negative things about ourselves.

When you look in the mirror, do you see the good things or do your eyes immediately settle on your trouble zones? I know that my eyes settle on my midsection — the part I like least about myself. Joe suggests taking a full-length photo of yourself. With a Sharpie, write your goals on the photo. Additionally, you should write good things on the photo. How about things like “I want to tone my middle” and “I love my strong, toned arms.”

I know “self-talk” is a bit of a cliche, but sometimes we have to say nice things to ourselves. We have to remind ourselves that we’re stronger, have more energy, feel better and yes, look better thanks to our workouts. Maybe your trouble area isn’t as toned as you’d like it to be, but I bet you can find something about yourself you do like. Give it a try. You may feel silly at first but you may realize there are a lot more positives than you originally thought.

Cross posted

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

And now for some real controversy

And to wash the angry out of my mouth ...

It's true. They are.

In which I get controversial*

Yesterday, I read something that reminded me a billboard here in town that shows a young boy leaning against a disembodied pregnant belly. The sign says, "A person's a person, no matter how small."

I hate that billboard with a passion and it makes me so angry every time I see it -- because of its imagery and for highjacking Dr. Seuss for a self-righteous, misguided message. You see, the message I take away from it is this: A person's a person, no matter how small -- unless it's a pregnant woman. Then she's just a belly -- a vessel for carrying the real person.


*to some people

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Do re mi fa so la ti do

After having a discussion with my guitar teacher yesterday about how our brains in our heads don't always communicate with our fingers, I proceeded to rock the hell out of the Ionian (or Major) scale. That's do-re-mi. Thank you very much, "Sound of Music."

He said he's never seen anyone play it so well in just a week. Woo! I guess I'm a scale prodigy.

He then assured me that learning scales and practicing them will help with every other aspect of the guitar. Good to know. Because I still feel like I can't play a song to save my life.

Still, I bet now, I could kick butt on Guitar Hero. Do they sell a scales-only version?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I think God would edit this

There's a church near my house that always has a "clever" saying on its sign. This week's says:
If a grave I'm nexting, it's because I drove while texting.
I have grown to accept that "texting" is now a real word -- as is "texted." I don't like it, but I'll accept it. I will not -- ever -- accept the word "nexting." What exactly is that sign even supposed to mean?

I would have accepted: If a grave I'm next in, it's because I drove while textin'. Or even a skewed rhyme of next in/texting. But not "nexting."

Because if that's the way our language is headed, there is no God!

UPDATE: I drove by the sign again yesterday, and tt's worse than I had originally remembered. It actually says, "If a grave I'm nexting: It's because I drove while texting." Made up words AND bad punctuation. God help us.

Monday, November 09, 2009

I whine about the same old things

I will readily admit that I am a huge procrastinator. It's practically an art form. I will sometimes wait until Wednesday mid-day to finish up -- heck, start -- a story that's due by close of business Wednesday.

Still, I don't like being made to wait. For the past several weeks, I've gotten my test drive assignments at the last minute. Last week, I got the contact's name at noon on Wednesday. I can't push my deadlines back too far because these stories go to print Thursday.

This week, I got the contact information this morning (Monday) and called right away. Then called again a few hours later. I'm still waiting to hear back from the dealership. So, can I drive the car tomorrow or will it have to be Wednesday morning? On top of that, it looks like next week's test drive is still up in the air.

If I procrastinate on making phone calls or starting my story, I can only blame myself for feeling rushed. When I'm waiting around for other people who are procrastinating, I can blame them. I'd rather blame myself. Whining is so unbecoming.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Today in weird products

Current TV's "Infomania" (which you can watch here) has a segment called "We've Got You Covered." Which gives an overview of what's happening in magazines. Within that segment, they have something called "How the @#*! is this a magazine?" In that vein, I bring you "How the @#*! is this a real product advertised in a magazine?"

In the back of the S.O.'s "Men's Fitness," there is an ad for this product: The Goatee Saver. It's a template to help guys shave their goatee. Or as the Web site says, "an innovative grooming tool designed to give you the perfect goatee every time you shave."

I'm thinking the model on the Web site may have Photoshopped his goatee. I don't know any guy who has facial hair that looks quite like that. I'm also thinking if you need some kind of pattern to help you cut your goatee -- a template that you appear to have to hold in your mouth while you shave, no less -- maybe you should forgo the facial hair all together. It's just a thought.

On the other hand, "grooming perfection makes a perfect gift for that hard-to-buy-for guy."

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Continuing the doggy theme

Now I get it.

Click comic to enlarge.

She's trying to rob me blind, not get yogurt!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Yogurt tastes good, part II

As I said yesterday, Ripley loves yogurt. And even when I don't have yogurt for breakfast, she expects to have some -- to the point of not leaving me alone until I prove to her there's no yogurt.


I guess I understand. I get like that about my coffee. Mmmm, coffee.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Yogurt tastes good

Ripley is the creature of habit. If you do something once, she remembers it forever. The S.O. let her lick the bowl after he finished his morning yogurt one day. Now, she begs for it everyday. Days we don't eat yogurt for breakfast are like torture. She'll whine. It will take us a bit to figure out why she's whining.

Of course, we have to have a conversation with her to try to figure it out.

Ripley: Ehnnn. Ehnnnn.
Me or the S.O.: What? What's wrong?
Ripley: Ehnnnn. Eeeeehnnnnnnn.
Human: What? What is it Ripley?
Ripley: Rarf! Rarf!
Human: What's that? Timmy's in the well?!?
Human: Well, that's not even possible. We don't have a well.
Ripley: Ehn.

But when we do have yogurt for breakfast, it looks something like this:

T. Rex doggie closes in on its prey.

Nom. Nom. Nom. Yogurt tastes good.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Baby what now?

I have a lot of paid work to keep me busy this week, so ticking "write personal Blog post" off my to-do list seems like what I should really be doing right now, doesn't it?

One of the things keeping me busy is a story on the "Top 10 Kids' Gifts for 2009." I got lists from a certain toy store and will pare it down to 10. Pretty simple. As I'm looking at some of the toys and some of the trends, I see one trend is "Retro Rewind," with toys like the original Tickle Me Elmo, Strawberry Shortcake and Bop It. But what seems really retro to me is the name of a doll on the list: Little Mommy Baby Ah-Choo.

Little Mommy? Really. I know most boys don't play with dolls, but maybe that's because they're called things like this. Or maybe it's because boys are told boys don't play with dolls. The name makes me cringe, but the description makes me laugh.

Soak it in:
Baby Ah-Choo sneezes, wheezes and sniffles as kids squeeze her tummy in an attempt to nurse her back to health. Toddlers will love making Baby Ah-Choo “all better” with accessories, such as “a spoonful of medicine” and a thermometer that interact with this baby doll to elicit fun reactions. Featuring over 30 sounds and phrases, such as, “Can I have a tissue?” and “My nose is running,” Baby Ah-Choo comes with a box of tissues and medicine bottle, offering kids everything they need to “cure” the common cold. 3 “AA” batteries required (included). Ages 2 years and up.

I just can't get over the idea of squeezing "her tummy in an attempt to nurse her back to health." Bask in its awesomeness.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Why so serious?

My niece as The Joker. She looks amazing. Apparently, I have no Halloween pictures of her when she was little. Weird.

So, instead, here's her aunt -- yes, me -- age 4, in a homemade "gypsy" costume. I think this was my favorite Halloween costume of all time.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Have you seen this?

It's a crazy British show called "Green Wing" and it's hilarious. Well, hilarious if you like British humor -- crass, sometimes raunchy British humor, that is.

I think this blurb from Wikipedia describes it quite well: Green Wing's plot revolves around the lives of the staff of the East Hampton Hospital Trust, an NHS hospital with staff ranging from the slightly unusual to the completely bizarre.

You can watch the entire series on Hulu. The S.O. and I watched the first season on BBC America. Then got to see the first episode of season two while we were actually in London. But BBC America never brought the second season to our shores. So we languished, never knowing what became of our crazy Green Wingers. Now, I can see it all.

Yesterday, I sat around all day, recovering from my dear friend's Halloween party and watched three episodes of the second season. I'm seriously considering starting over from the beginning.

As I said, it does take a certain taste in comedy. So please don't blame me if you watch it and don't like it. But if you like British television, you should give it a try . You might like it.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Giving it a try

Last November, I missed out on the start of National Blog Posting Month and wasn't able to post every day in November. I signed up for e-mails so I would be ready this year. Am I ready to post every day for a month? Probably not. But I'm off to a good start. Right?

We attended a Zombie Halloween Party last night. Here's a picture of my costume:
Yeah, sometimes I look like this in the morning -- minus the neck wound.

I went as a doctor who had been bitten by an infected patient. The S.O. was an intern who got bitten by me. It's important to have a back story, you know.

Friday, October 16, 2009

And the award goes to ...

Me! Yay, me. Well, I do have to share the award, but that's OK. Any award is worth accepting.

The award comes from my very good friend Lisa, who blogs over at Grandma's Briefs about the love of her life, her Bubby.

Here's my award:
I'm sharing it with two other good friends: K at Won't You Be My Cubemate, whose sharp wit always keeps me on my toes, and Heather at Jackadillo Princess, who writes hilariously about the antics of her toddler. You'll have to read her site to learn more about her blog's name.

So, here are the rules:

1) Present this award to 7 others whose blogs I find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged me.
2) Tell those 7 people they’ve been awarded HONEST SCRAP and inform them of these guidelines in receiving the award.
3) Share “10 Honest Things” about myself.

Like my friends K and Heather, I don't know if I can come up with a full 7 blogs I regularly read -- that will care. But I do have a few I can mention.

The rules don't say I can't re-Award, so I'm awarding Honest Scrap back to Lisa at Grandma's Briefs. I will also award Won't You Be My Cubemate, for the reasons stated above. Likewise to Jackadillo Princess.

Next award goes to my friend Melissa at You Drive Mommy To Write, whose precious and precocious children inspire her musings and always bring a smile to my face.

I will also award MoArdy at A Motivated Notion, because she consistently makes me laugh and she inspired me to run my first ever 5k.

So, that's only five, and while there are many brilliant blogs out there, these are five I consistently read that aren't giants of the industry.

Now, the hard part: My 10 Honest Things.

1. I consider being told I'm funny the highest compliment, followed closely by being told I'm snarky, bitchy or cute.

2. Since my mom died, I have very little sentimentality about my family. I feel like friends are a choice, and I can choose to be friends with my family. But I don't want being around my family to feel like an obligation simply because we share genes.

3. I hate admitting when I'm sick. I almost always say something like, "I'm fighting a cold" or "I'm trying not to get sick." Very seldom will I actually come right out and say, "I'm sick."

4. I'm sick right now.

5. I am terrible perfectionist. Terrible because if I can't do something perfectly, I generally won't do it at all. Which leads to ...

6. I am a classic underachiever. I do -- and have always done -- just enough to get by. Lucky for me, I'm smart and got through school with mostly As. Give me a task and I will do it, quite capably usually. But I never really went in for anything that took a lot of extra effort.

7. I'm not good at relationships. I have multiple divorces. My current relationship is a record -- more than five years with the same guy!

8. I'm dying to get a tattoo but don't want to be like everyone else.

9. I only cry at movies when I am by myself because I don't want anyone to think I'm weak.

10. I am self-deprecating -- probably to a fault. Which probably makes it hard to give me a compliment or take me especially seriously when I give you 10 Honest Things.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Should I get his autograph now?

The S.O. gave me a guitar for my birthday this past January, and in March, I finally broke down and started taking lessons. They've been going well, and I'm starting to feel like I can actually play and am not just learning.

Yesterday, my guitar teacher tells me he's moving to Nashville at the beginning of the year to pursue an actual career in music! He has assured me he'll find me a new teacher and even has someone in mind. I know, though, that this new teacher will not be as much -- and there's no way he'll be as cute -- as my current teacher.

I just can't believe he's not taking my needs into consideration. He just has stars in his eyes. Sure, he's talented, plays guitar well, has a good singing voice -- and did I mention he's cute? So he'll probably be a big hit, and I can say I knew him when.

That's not going to teach me how to play guitar though. Geez. Some people are so selfish.

The cat came back

Our sneaky little night visitor made another appearance -- today at 2 a.m. This time, the little bugger made himself quite at home inside our house.

The S.O. -- suffering from insomnia -- was up playing computer games, when he heard the dog door flap. He says the cat was making himself at home then zoomed out through the doggie door without hesitation at the site of the S.O.

Makes me wonder how many times the little bugger has visited us.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Hello, may I come in

This morning, as I prepared to brave the fog to go to "Boot Camp," I noticed little paw prints in the snow (yep, I said, "Snow.") on the back deck. My first thought was, Oh, good, it didn't snow anymore after Ripley's last trip out last night.

Then, I looked a little closer and noticed that these paw prints (1) didn't actually head into the house and (2) weren't doggy prints. So, at some point in the night a cat took a stroll around the deck, stopping to peer in through the back door. I'm thinking we should probably lock up the dog door at night to prevent a nocturnal visitor.

I'm pretty sure it's an actual flesh and blood cat and not Inky coming back for a visit. For one thing, he knew how to use the dog door. For another, I'm really hoping Inky's off in kitty heaven enjoying fresh tuna and catnip and not haunting our back deck in the snow.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Seriously? Why?

Someone made what I thought was a joke on a site I was reading earlier. He said there's a Marmaduke movie in the works - you know Marmaduke, giant dog, terrorizes the neighbors, eats everything, one-panel "comic" strip that hasn't been funny since I was a child -- and probably wasn't actually funny then.

But it isn't a joke, people -- Look!

The worst part for me is that Lee Pace is going to be in it -- the Pie Maker, he of the beautiful eyebrows. Look, Lee, I already took Jason Lee off the list for "Underdog" and "Alvin and the F***ing Chipmunks." Now, you? After "Wonderfalls" and "Pushing Daisies," you've come to this?

Thanks a lot, Hollywood.

But wait. Maybe it'll be great. Maybe it'll be Oscar worthy. Yes, maybe. And maybe I'll win a Pulitzer Prize for this blog entry and they'll turn it into a movie. And the part of Pammeey will be played by Winona Ryder and Lee Pace will be played by Jake Gyllenhaal and the blog itself will be played by Jack Black.

Hey, I've seen worse.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A very Basic book

In the vein of Awful Library Books, I bring you Donated Books Are Hilarious.

Our tutoring program accepts donations for our "trade books" -- little libraries of books kids can take home, read, then bring back to trade for another book. Using donated books means we don't have to worry if the books never make it back to our "library." We've found there are kids who don't have shelves full of books at home -- some don't have any.

That said, I don't think we should try to pawn off crap books to these kids either. Sure, as long as they're reading, I don't care if it's comic books or the newspaper or classics. But yesterday I pulled a book from our trade books shelf that is only appropriate for one thing: Making adults laugh.

It's not that the book is naughty or inappropriate in any "adult" kind of way. It was written in 1985, and while plenty of books from that decade and earlier are still worth reading (I'm thinking Newberry Award winners and other classics), this book is nothing short of ridiculous. It was probably a bit silly in 1985.

I give you "The BASIC Book" by Seymour Simon.

"A computer will do what you want only if you give it exact, step-by-step instructions.
A step-by-step list of instruction for a computer to follow is called a program.
Programs have to be written in a 'language' computers understand.
There are many different computer languages. BASIC is on language most home computers understand."
Just imagine giving this book to a kid today. Check out the "computer" these kids are working on. Not only is it gigantic, it's all in one piece. It's possible some kids grandparent has one of these in the attic somewhere, but unless the kid is a huge fan of the movie "War Games," he probably doesn't know what it's for.

I brought it home to show the S.O. He's kind of a computer geek, you know. I even offered to let a friend take it for her computer class at college. I thought maybe she could get extra credit.

It's a bit of a precursor for text messages. The kids surprise Adam with a birthday message on the computer -- at a party they're all attending together. And Adam writes a program to thank them all.

"Then Adam types RUN and presses the RETURN key. What do you think everyone sees on the screen?

The very best part? On the back is a message from the publisher. The first sentence says it all:

"Children want to be up-to-date."

I don't think this is the book for them.

Monday, September 21, 2009

So long, summer

It's actually spitting snow out there today, along with the rain. Which means it's time to snuggle up and wait for the sun to come back.
We're debating whether or not to get a kitten. Ripley is getting really spoiled being an "only child." But there are things I miss about having a cat -- the purring, the kitty massages, the cuddling. Although, as I type, the dog is curled up on my lap because she doesn't like the wind, rain and snow. She just needs to start purring.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Smarter than we give them credit for

Yesterday, I stopped by the vet's office to pick up Inky's ashes. I plan to bury them in our little aspen grove in the backyard. While there, a man came out of the exam room with his little black cat. He put her down on the counter where I was standing, and she promptly proceeded to curl up against my chest and submit to my petting. Her name is Desert Storm, and she's blind (or at least mostly). She's 18 years old.

While owner paid the bill, DS sat quite contentedly against me, arching her back slightly against my hand as I pet her. As much as I try not to anthropomorphize, I can't help thinking this little kitty knew I need some purr therapy.

Ripley has also been acting a little different lately. She and Inky weren't exactly buds, but obviously Ripley is aware that something is different. She alternates between begging for extra treats -- because she expects to be spoiled as the only "child" -- and being nervous and clingy.

Again it's probably anthropomorphizing, but I really think animals know when something is up, when we need a mood boost or just a cuddle. They seem to be quite intuitive. That's on top of being lovable and cute, of course.

Friday, September 04, 2009

And then we said goodbye

He fought the good fight, but in the end it was just too much for him. He was going downhill quickly. We didn't want him to suffer, and with the long weekend ahead, we didn't want to say goodbye in the office of an emergency vet. Instead, we got to hold him and say goodbye and be comforted by the compassionate doctors that know us and him.

I imagine Inky's heaven is filled with black pants that he can cover with hair, bathroom sinks that run water nonstop, wall-to-wall catnip, a sunny window, a warm lap and someone to rub his ears.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The cat lady is cautiously optimistic

After several days of visiting the vet and receiving fluids subcutaneously, Inky is up and about. He has an appetite and has even begged for treats.

He's still a bit weak -- but still tries to jump on the counter -- and thin. But he's showing some of his old fire. There's a spark in his eyes that wasn't there last week, and he was waiting by the door this morning for his breakfast.

I'll keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Crazy cat lady

This is Inky.He's been in my life longer than any man I've known (excluding family). I brought him home from the barn where I took riding lessons, way back in 1995. When he looked like this:There was no way to resist that little face. Since then, he has made the move from Illinois to Colorado with me -- traipsing back and forth from the Western Slope to the Front Range. He's been a constant in this sometimes crazy life.

Today, his kidneys are failing. It's so common in cats but never easy to hear. We're giving him fluids subcutaneously in hopes of flushing out the waste the kidneys can't handle. The look on the face of the vet and the tech wasn't very encouraging, but I left him in their capable hands for the day.

The look on Inky's face as I walked away was heart wrenching. I hope he knows I'm trying to help him fight.

All I can do is pray that the protector of sick kitties is watching over him.

Monday, August 24, 2009

How to tell if you're wearing too much cologne

If your scent is wafting out of your car window and can be detected by a person in another vehicle on a crowded road, going more than 50 miles per hour, you might be wearing too much cologne.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I'm sure there's a logical explanation

In case you didn't know, I'm a huge "Ghost Hunters" fan. New episodes started this week, so I was pretty excited to watch the show I recorded last night. When they find something they can't explain, I get goosebumps -- and there was plenty unexplained on this week's program.

Moments after the show ended and I turned off the TV, I heard a strange whirring noise. At first, I thought it must be one of the neighbors running some kind of machine outside. As I walked upstairs from the TV room, I realized it was coming from my house. I followed the noise to the S.O.'s office where I found the shredder running. I'm guessing something fell off his desk and hit the on button. But the only thing near by was a piece of paper. So, maybe it was on and the paper set off the sensor. Does that happen? I hit the off button. And just to be safe, unplugged it. (Yes, it was plugged in).

To top this story off, I had to squeeze my arm behind the S.O.'s huge desk to reach the plug. And almost couldn't pull my arm back out. Yep, home alone with my arm stuck behind the desk. I could see the S.O.'s cell phone perched on a shelf ... just out of reach. Lucky for me, Boot Camp really is paying off, and I was able to shift the desk just enough to pull my arm out. So, that was dumb. But I really didn't want the shredder to come on again. And. If it comes on now, I really can't come up with a logical explanation.

Hello, Taps?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The waiting is the hardest part

One of the things I do to help pay the bills is write vehicle reviews. Well, "reviews" is a loose term. What I really do is drive cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, then write glowing articles about them. I don't really get to critique them. I do get to drive a new vehicle every week, and it does give me some money.

The worst part about this particular job is waiting around for some car dealer's general manager to call me back. Some are better than others. And some car dealers just have me call a marketing manager. There are a couple dealers that I won't name who are notorious for not returning phone calls. I understand being busy, but delegate. And the fact that this is part of your advertising budget, should mean something. They act as if they're doing me a favor.

So, I'm sitting here this morning -- the day before my deadline -- waiting to see if I'll hear from the dealer. And yes, I've already checked with the sales rep at the newspaper and my "editor" to see if someone -- anyone -- can light a fire under this guy.

Those of you who know me, know patience isn't one of my strong suits. But I'll wait. And wait. And wait.

*slow burn*

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Thinking I'd get organized, I've been going through photos -- both on my computer and in old boxes. One of the features in iPhoto is something called "Faces." It allows you to put names to faces on your photographs. When you name someone, the program suggests other photos in which that person might be. I'm not exactly sure how it works (I'm thinking magic) but it's pretty darn accurate, finding faces that share a resemblance. Sometimes it finds a similar expression or hairstyle. It also allows you to confirm a number of faces at a time.

As I was adding my mom's name to old photos, these two came up:

The first photo is my 15-year-old nephew. The other is my mom. She was probably 7 or 8 here. I'd never noticed it until these pictures came up side by side, but they sure share some features.

My mom used to always say none of her kids looked anything like her. Actually, I think it was something along the lines of, "If I hadn't given birth to you, I wouldn't know any of you were mine." Yet, here's photographic evidence of a family resemblance.

And there are worse people in our lives to resemble.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Smarty pants

I realized awhile back that parents really don't it like when you compare the antics of your pets to the antics of their children.

Well, this study shows I'm not so far off the mark:

The canine IQ test results are in: Even the average dog has the mental abilities of a 2-year-old child.

The finding is based on a language development test, revealing average dogs can learn 165 words (similar to a 2-year-old child), including signals and gestures, and dogs in the top 20 percent in intelligence can learn 250 words.

Border collies, poodles and German Shepherds are among the smartest, according to the tests. Dogs are as smart as 3 and 4 year olds when it comes to math, the story says. And they surpass even teens when it comes to social skills (but are we really surprised by that?).

Granted, I don't see rat terrier on that list, but I'm pretty sure my dog is still as smart as most toddlers.

For one thing, she's totally potty trained.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

I'm going to stick with kids' movies

Or just keep reading books.

Yeah, I know I should never hold out hope that a movie will live up to the book it's based on. But I still do ... sometimes. "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" was great, right?

I wanted to see the movie version of "The Time Traveler's Wife." But based on this information, I won't. Happy ending? Bleh.

Thanks to the Internet, I won't waste my time. Oh, I'm sure the movie version may jerk a few tears, but they'll be sappy, happy tears -- tears of joy, even. And I don't appreciate a movie that tries to hijack my emotions. Eff you, movie version! I will stick with the book.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Today in inappropriate quotation marks

If you haven't seen the "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks, you really should check it out. Especially if you're a "fan" of bad grammar or bad punctuation and other silliness.

I witnessed an example of unnecessary quotation marks this morning. Unfortunately, I was unable to snap a picture of it, because it was inside a locked restaurant, and I only had my camera phone with me.

A hand-written notice on a whiteboard declared: We do not accept "checks." Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

I can understand why they wouldn't accept "checks." There may not be any "money" in the "account." They may want to consider not accepting "credit cards" or "cash" as well.

For more fun with inappropriate quotation marks, be sure to check out Cake Wrecks and the fun with grammar there.

I was on the way to the dentist so I had to look for the funny in something.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009



We took the Cog Railway to the top of Pikes Peak yesterday and ate doughnuts at 14,110 feet above sea level. Mmmm... doughnuts.