Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Night Sky

C and I have had the rare opportunity to view (with our naked eyes) the International Space Station and the Space Shuttle Atlantis from our backyard the past two evenings. In fact, we're headed out again around 10:15 for another quick show. Click here for upcoming times specific to your location. Happy viewing! Science is COOL!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Chamois, Hose, and Heels...Oh My!

I spent over 2 hours Monday evening washing and detailing my car, including scraping all of the nasty bugs off the front with this magic solution I got for Christmas from Uncle P. I chamoised, vacuumed, dusted, and washed windows inside and out (missed a spot on the back). My car looks almost as good as it did 4 months ago when I drove it off the lot! I even checked the weather to ensure that my efforts would not be in vain...for a few days at least.

Today's weather was partly-to-mostly cloudy with a temperature in the mid-70s - truly a great day to spend outside. No rain was in the forecast. My entire drive home from work was, in fact, conducted in the sunlight. However, about 3 minutes into my 15 minute drive, it inexplicably began to rain. Hard. All over my clean car. And the only thing I could think to do was scream "STOP RAINING" at the top of my lungs while speeding down the interstate, which truly gave meaning to the futility of yelling at the rain (I think there's a saying about this but Google won't find it for me).

When I finally pulled into the garage, I immediately whipped out the chamois to dry the car as quickly as possible. Having just come from work where I spent a good part of the day interviewing candidates to replace my assistant, I was resplendent in a black floral-print dress, pantyhose, and heels. Truly a sight to behold.

By the way - hope you like my new "skin." I'm experimenting, so there may be more changes forthcoming. Feedback is always appreciated!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Bottoms

I grew up in Central Kansas near Cheyenne Bottoms, the largest natural wetland in North America. Typical of many Midwesterners, it is difficult to recognize greatness when it's in your own backyard. Only recently has the nearby highway been deemed a Scenic Byway, and there are plans to build a visitors center so that more people can understand the impact of Cheyenne Bottoms on the local ecology. Central Kansas has been deluged with rain this spring, and most of the creeks and rivers in the area flow into Cheyenne Bottoms to replenish the wetlands. However, never in my life (and, I've heard, not since the 1920s) has the Bottoms been this full:

It's like a lake. Notice the large tree in the middle and the bird in flight. Roads are impassable. There's water on the other side of the highway. It's definitely more "wet" than "land." Amazing. I also made a short narrated video, but I'm too embarrassed to post it. I was really excited and ended up speaking with a chipmunk accent.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Don't Eat Poop

I subscribe to K-State's daily news release - a collection of articles prepared by K-State's media relations office available for publication in local newspapers. It's a great resource to learn about what's happening on campus, especially since I'm no longer active in the campus community. You can imagine my surprise when this article came through earlier this week promoting the following websites:

Personally, I can't wait to buy the t-shirt.

Click here for a link to the full article.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Penneys & Starbucks

Sometimes I drink mochas on the weekends, and last Sunday was no exception. I stopped in Barnes and Noble for some book shopping which is greatly enhanced with a mocha in hand. After B&N I headed to JCPenneys to exchange a t-shirt and to look for a cream-colored shell to wear under my new (bargain!) suit. Clothes shopping is NOT greatly enhanced with a mocha in hand, especially when trying to juggle the mocha, the giant purse, the previous purchases, and the shirts to be tried on. Sometimes, in fact, you have to set the mocha down, perhaps on shelf where shirts are displayed in their folded state, so you can see whether you should go with the Medium or the Small.

This time, however, as I attempted to remove the mocha from the shelf, I hit it just right, spilling at least a third of it on the carpet at Penneys! Thank God I missed mostly missed the merchandise! A half-full Kleenex purse pack was not sufficient to soak it up. I could not leave it there - how rude - and the guilt would kill me. I was mortified. MORTIFIED. None of the sales assistants were around, so I finally asked another shopper if she could alert one of them that I'd made a huge mess. No one came! I finally approached the girl at the register to show her what I had done. And she laughed! She assured me they would be replacing the carpet in December because it was already so dirty (which it was - by this point the fresh mocha stain sorta blended in). She refused to take my business card, even though I offered to pay for cleaning and damages. I was so embarrassed!

My Trip to Chicago

I took a quick business trip to Chicago at the end of last week. All in all, it wasn't a bad trip - the conference content was top-notch and mostly relevant to what I do every day. And, I was half a block away from some of the best shopping in America. Some observations:

One night at my hotel = One round trip flight from Lincoln to Chicago. Therefore, my standards were particularly high. They were not met. Hair all over the bathroom, suspected pube stuck on the power button of the remote control, and someone else's lipstick stain on my water glass in the conference center. Nickeled and dimed for everything. Bright spot: they forgot to charge me for internet access. Of course, since I needed to travel lightly, the Clorox wipes normally stored in my purse were left at home. Also, a friend warned me about not drinking from the glass cups in the room (generally, not just at this hotel) because she once watched housekeeping merely rinse them rather than send them to the kitchen for sanitizing. So I used the styrofoam coffee cup wrapped in cellophane for my bathroom rinsing cup. Newly invented travel tip - the cellophane covering the cup, once unwrapped, creates a rectangular-shaped bag in which the remote control fits perfectly, avoiding the need to touch the remote (which I've read is one of the nastiest things in a hotel room).

Also, I think I saw Albus Dumbledore on Michigan Avenue. He was wearing a deep purple velvet cloak.

Apparently savvy business women pack a pair of flip flops in their purses so as not to kill their feet walking to work. Except flip flops aren't very supportive for walking long distances. Whatever.