Monday, December 22, 2008

Staying Warm

Things that I am thankful for during a freezing weekend:

  • Videogames
  • Homemade vegetable soup
  • Space heaters
  • Blankets
  • Cats who sit on your lap

Friday, December 19, 2008

The health factor

Three more things I am thankful for:

  • Working eyes and hands so I can do my job
  • Working knees and ankles so I can still play soccer
  • The fact that I haven't had to deal with the flu this year

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Theme attempt

Every week I will try to list at least three things I am happy or grateful for. So far:

  • Dark chocolate
  • An awesome, loving, supportive husband
  • A boss who believes in me

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Shopping Weekend

This past weekend my family did our shopping/golf trip to Branson, Missouri. We usually go to the Ozarks, but Branson is closer for those travelling from Oklahoma and there are 3 outlet malls instead of just 1. The 3 shopping centers are not all as large, but even discounting duplicate stores, I think there was more to see in Branson. Overall, it was a great trip. The girls were able to shop all three outlet centers as well as a normal retail strip along the river. I wasn't keeping the record for shopping bags this time, but I believe the total was somewhere around 60. (Amy can you confirm?)

Anyway, the other fun thing is that I got to run a Dread scenario. It's a role-playing game that uses a Jenga tower instead of dice, and I've really come to enjoy the tension and antics that it creates. I hope to create my own scenario and run another game sometime soon.

Monday, October 06, 2008

More pictures from Burning Man

My friend Paul has one of those really, really nice, really, really expensive cameras and took a ton of pictures at Burning Man. They've finally been sorted and posted and I can share the link: Burning Man 2008

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Burning Man

I know I am way behind on updates here, but a lot of that is because we were preparing for, and then attending, Burning Man. I'm trying out a new way to post pictures so check out my lousy pictures here.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Challenge is not yet over!

Well, I was begged today to get back on the bowling team for Corporate Challenge. I'll be competing tomorrow, which means there is no time for practice or anything. Wish me luck!

Random Thoughts for the Day

  • When did life get so busy that I can't even find time to write my thoughts down?
  • When you are busy, why do people think that constantly asking "How can I help?" is actually helpful?
  • Note to self: Indian food makes me burp a lot.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Last Challenge Update

Well, we played soccer Tuesday night. The women's team started off fantastic and we won our first game 4 to 0. The men on the other hand, lost their first game. It being a double-elimination tournament, both teams headed into their next games with some optimism. The women did not do as well and we lost like 4 to 3. Our next game was a forfeit which gave us a long 45 minutes before our final game of the night. We got to watch the men win their 2nd game which helped give us some steam as the women headed towards our fourth match up. Unfortunately, the long break made several of us get cold and tighten up some which did not help as we tried to keep up with some young girls who had some obvious ball skills. I was further chagrined when I realized that one of the ladies on the team was the person I played (and beat) in my first racquetball game. She obviously had more soccer skills than racquetball. We did score two, but compared to the other team's 7, it just didn't cut it. Thus, the women ended their competition with 2 wins and 2 losses. The men ended up winning their third and final game, which means they will continue playing again tomorrow night. Some of us will go to cheer them on.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Can I be the biggest loser?

A coworker has brought the concept from a reality TV show to work and we are starting a weight contest next week. Normally, I don't like diets, but now there is competition involved so I think it could be fun. He sent the request to the entire IT department, and so far quite a few have signed up. Once all the names are in, teams will be randomly selected, which will make it all the more interesting. The first weigh-in is next Tuesday, so I'm getting all my bad eating habits out of the way - I went to Stroud's yesterday and am going to Five Guys today. After next week, I won't be back to those places until after August 10th.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Finally, some vacation pictures

Yes, I know these are LONG overdue; and even now I don't have a lot of time to type up a nice story, so this will be short and sweet.

The first picture on my camera

While standing at the pizza/video place, I took this picture of the resort we stayed at. This bay marked the country borderline on this side of the island -- our resort was in Dutch Saint Maarten, while the pizza/video store I'm standing in on the north side of the bay was in the French Sint Martin.

This is the aforementioned pizza/video store (in the lower right-hand area), where we rented DVDs almost every night but only ate the pizza once.

We watched some wind surfers one day

I tried to catch this guy in one of his jumps, but this is the best shot

I really enjoyed a lot of the colors we got to see at the butterfly farm. What follows are only a few that stayed still long enough for a picture.

More of the beautiful ocean

This is one of the spectacular views we saw as we were geocaching on the island. Can you imagine living in a house like that in a place like that?

There was a cool fort not far from our favorite French city Marigot.

I finally managed to catch a photo of one of the many geckos we encountered.

Mediocre Challenge Performance

Okay, so I didn't do as well at racquetball as I did at disc golf. I showed up and was immediately nervous when my first opponent was noticeably younger than myself and seemed to be in much better physical condition. Luckily, however, she does not play racquetball very often and I was able to get into some rhythm and actually won that match, keeping her score to under 5 for each game. My mounting optimism was soon squashed when I met my next opponent. This girl was younger still and a physical therapist by profession. Not only was she in top shape, but she played volleyball in college and thus, as a collegiate athlete, was much more agile and coordinated than I. To further sway the scales, her first opponent forfeited so she had not even played yet and thus was completely fresh and ready to go. Needless to say, I did not win the match, but at least I scored 8 points in both games I played.

Next week is soccer, but as a team event, I should have some good support. Plus, we've actually been practicing, so I am optimistic again.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Corporate Challenge Update

I can barely move today. That is because I had practice for both soccer and racquetball yesterday. Man, I had better plan things ahead next year so I don't have to squeeze so much practice in at the last minute. I actually compete in racquetball on Saturday, which is tomorrow. I hope my body can recover by then.

Monday, May 05, 2008

A great Challenge update

Well, it seems that all my nervousness was for naught, because my partner and I came in first place this weekend at the Corporate Challenge Disc Golf competition. Most of the women there had either never played before, or played very little. Our score was 11 strokes ahead of second place in our division. Out of all divisions, there was only one other team that scored 3 less than us, and two other teams that tied our score. The best part is that my partner had a lot of fun and has promised to buy her own discs and keep playing. I love brining in new people to this fun sport! Which reminds me, if anyone wants to play sometime, please let me know. I had almost forgotten how much fun I have throwing a disc around in a park.

Oh, and I should also remark that the two "volunteers" I rounded up for the men's team also did very well. They ended up tying for third place. This puts our company ahead in our division for the overall competition after only 3 events. I hope we can keep up the pace.

I may be playing pool next on May 14th, but I'm hoping to find a substitute. After that, it's on to racquetball and soccer in June. Keep wishing me luck!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Challenge Update

So I have been trying to get ready for Corporate Challenge. The first event is disc golf and I'll be in my first official tournament next Saturday. Yikes!! I've been out to practice only twice so far and will go again one more time before this weekend. Hopefully that is enough.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Random thoughts

So I wanted to test using email to blog from work – the idea is that I’ll actually post more often that way. Ever heard the saying, "Don’t mix friends and business", or something to that effect? Well, I am trying to deal with that lately. I like to be on good terms with my coworkers, and I am currently blessed that I really like the people on my team right now. That means that most of them I would actually consider my friend as well as coworker. Lately, however, this has led to stress on my account when one of my colleagues doesn’t something really stupid. In fact, one person in particular has basically screwed up our application in so many ways lately that it is starting to cause me nightmares. How should I approach this person? He is so happy-go-lucky, that I don’t think he is bothered with the mess that we are dealing with. But I am bothered. I take great pride in my work, and thus in the application that I develop and support, and when it isn’t working right I feel responsible and want to work hard to correct the situation. How do I tell this guy he is a screw-up and I never want to work with him again, but yet I still want to be his friend because he is happy and fun to be around?

Way way WAY behind

I'm hoping some of you out there have been wondering what happened to me and/or my blog. Let me answer a few questions real quick: Yes, I am still alive. Yes, I have been busier than heck (especially at work), but things are starting to calm down. Yes, I got to take my vacation to the Caribbean and yes, it was wonderful. Yes, I did take pictures, but no, I have not loaded them into the computer yet. I plan to try and do some serious updates to this site in the coming weeks, so let me know (via comments or email) if there is anything specific you want to see.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Two Feasts!!

I'm still trying to catch up to current, so enjoy and extra feast today.

Feast 182

If you could be any current celebrity for one whole week, who would you want to be?
Bill Gates -- I'd take control of Microsoft, make the company produce better applications, then donate most of my money to improving the education system of this country.

On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being highest), how much do you enjoy talking on the phone?
About 3. Phones sound horrible anymore, which means I can't understand what people are saying most of the time. Furthermore, it seems people always want to call when I'm busy driving or doing some other activity that requires two hands. I prefer e-mail.

Name a charitable organization to which you have donated (or would like to).
I have donated money to United Way, food to Harvesters, coats to Project Winter, toys to Red Bags for Children, and sweat to Habitat for Humanity. One of these days, if I ever have more free time, I'd like to do more one-on-one volunteer activities.

Main Course
What is a food you like so much you could eat it every single day for a month?
Well, I practically do that with pasta already. Seafood is another that I absolutely love. But I think this question was trying to get at something more specific. So spaghetti would be my easy back-up, whereas crab would be my first pick.

Have you or anyone in your family had the flu this year?
Not yet this year <knocks on wood>

Feast 183

On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 as highest), how much do you like your own handwriting?
I guess a 6. My handwriting is okay, and legible for the most part, but rather boring.

Do you prefer baths or showers?
Showers, but because they are faster. I do like baths but it takes so much time to fill up the tub and then empty/clean it afterwards.

What was the last bad movie you watched?
Nothing obvious is coming to mind -- I need to put up recent movie reviews anyway. Stay tuned for more next week!

Main Course
Name something you are addicted to and describe how it affects your life.
Food -- I absolutely love it. I eat too much more often than I should. If there is food in front of me it doesn't matter how hungy or full I am, I will want to eat it. It doesn't even matter if it is a particularly delicious food. I just really, really, really enjoy eating. Thus, my weight is more than I want it to be and thus I am at a constant battle with my body to find the right balance for health and satisfaction.

Which instrument is your favorite to listen to?
Since techno is my favorite form of music, the synthesizer is what pops to mind. Some people might not call this an instrument though. If you exclude anything electronic, then I'd probably have to go with the drum.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Feast 181

Who was the last person you hugged?
My husband.

Share a beauty or grooming trick or tip with us.
These areas are not my strong suit. The only "tip" that comes to mind is that drinking lots of water will help keep your complexion clear.

What does the color yellow make you think of?
The sun; corn on the cob; summer time! I am so sick of winter right now.

Main Course
If you were to make your living as a photographer, what subject would your pictures revolve around?
The contrast of nature in the middle of industrial civilization. We need more trees.

What was the longest book you ever read?
Hmm... I remember The Grapes of Wrath being really long, but Amazon lists the paperback as only having 464 pages. I also read Mists of Avalon in high school and that paperback has 912 pages, so I guess it wins.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Feast One Hundred & Eighty

Have you ever played a practical joke on anyone? If so, what did you do and who was your victim?
I am not the most comical person I know. However, I can be a little bit devious from time to time. The most recent "big" joke that pops into mind is when I coordinated a bunch of coworkers to fill a particular person's cube full of balloons.

What do your salt and pepper shakers look like?
Little glass mugs. Justin and I don't use salt or pepper very often, so I've never bothered to actually shop for set that fits our style -- these are ones I think we got as a gift when we were married.

Where is the next place you plan to visit (on vacation or business)?
We're going on vacation to the island of Saint Maartin in the Carribean on March 29th for a week!!! I can't wait!

Main Course
What kind of lotion or cream do you use to keep your hands from getting too dry?
Justin is very particular and thus we have a lot of bottles of Neutrogena Norewgian formula fragrance free body lotion. However, I will use anything that has the word "lotion" on it, so my side of the bathroom sink has all the inferior bottles of various brands that I can't even remember.

Make up a dessert, tell us its ingredients, and give it a name.
I'm not that creative and don't really want to take a lot of time to think about it when I'm trying to eat more healthy lately. That being said, I can describe Justin's "Sickness Brew", a concoction of chocolate cake with ice cream on top in a big bowl submerged in milk.

Friday, March 07, 2008


Another thing I have been really lax about lately is posting my movie reviews. Some of that is because I don't feel like I see great movies very often, and some of that is related to the general work stress and seasonal depression. But since I'm in the mood, I figure I might as well post a few recent ones.

We had some friends over and watched Reign of Fire last night on the new projector. (Oh yes, we finally upgraded to a Play Station 3 and HD projector so that we can view Blue Ray movies.) I still really enjoyed it and will rate it an 8. I mean, who can scoff at dragons?

We also recently watched Shoot 'em Up, a kind of action movie farce that had me laughing hysterically. Despite the moments of pure humor, I will only rate this one a 7 because there were a few strange scenes that felt unnecessary to me.

The challenge is on!

Other big news is that my company is participating in Corporate Challenge this year. Of course, I signed up for a bunch of events -- the most exciting of which is Disc Golf!! I am really jazzed that this was added to the event calendar, and I can't wait to compete for the first time in a real tournament. I will keep posting about that and other events and things gets closer.

Belated Belated Updates

Yes, I haven't updated this blog in awhile. This is mostly due to the fact that work has been crazily overbearing in the last month, and it has just made me tired and unmotivated for much of anything else. Furthermore, this is always the hardest part of the year for me anyway -- the post-holiday-seasonal-affective-depression stuff. But the problem I've been wrangling at work for two months now looks like it will finally be resolved this weekend, and this morning I was able to wake up to sunlight, so I'm in a somewhat better mood. To start things off, here's a feast from a few weeks back:

Feast 179

Name one thing that is unique about you.
Well, there are a ton of little things I'm sure. What popped into my head first is the scar on my knee. I had a calcium deposit removed when I was in seventh grade.

Fill in the blank: My favorite _________ is __________ but I like _________ too.
My favorite ice cream is chocolate chip, but I like strawberry too. I think it's pretty revealing that the first thing that came to mind was ice cream.

What type of wood do you have for your home’s furnishings?
Our home furnishing are actually mostly metal. Our kitchen cabinets are maple, I believe. We tend to go with the palest wood we can find.

Main Course
Who do you talk to most often on the phone?
Phone? Do people still use that device? I'd have to pick a particular business owner at work though, as he prefers to contact me using the phone. Even at work, I try to use e-mail most often.

What level of responsibility do you have in your job?
I am responsible for creating code with minimum defects; creating documentation for such code changes; supporting the code once it is running.... eh, I could go on and on with a lot of business-speak, but who really cares. It's a job and I enjoy writing the code most of all.

In the next few weeks I hope to post a couple more feasts until I catch back up to current.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Feast 178

What is your favorite kind of cereal?
Like most foods, it changes with my mood. I really like Wheat Chex and Grape Nuts just about any time. But sometimes I get a sweet tooth and then I crave things like Frosted Mini-Wheats or Peanut Butter Captain Crunch. Then again, sometimes I'm in a fruity mood so I like things like Raisin Bran or Berry Special K.

When was the last time you purchased something for your home, what was it, and in which room did it go?
Not too long ago I bought a set of plastic drawers that are now under the desk I use for my computer. I like desk drawers, but our computer "desk" is really just a big inter-metro shelf and I've had only one drawer to use for the last few years.

What is the funniest commercial you’ve ever seen?
It must be really sad that it took me quite awhile to even remember any commercial that made me laugh. Then I remembered "No pinch".

Main Course
Make up a name for a company by using a spice and an animal (example: Cinnamon Monkey).
Basil Tiger - The stain remover guaranteed to clean even the toughest lasagna spots.

Fill in the blank: I haven’t ______ since ______.
I haven't eaten since last night. (Since food is now on my mind after the last question!)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Feast 177

How many times per day do you usually laugh?
Not nearly enough, though I have to credit my husband for trying valiantly several times every day. In the end, maybe once or twice is about average. I need to improve that.

What do your sunglasses look like?
They have a thin, bronze rim and a brownish tint on the lenses. They are small and oval and fit in the outside pocket of my purse. They cost about $5 at Walmart or Target and awhile back I bought like 5 pairs all the same. The ones I am using now are the last of that bunch. So when these finally break or get lost, I'll have to go find another batch of cheapies.

You win a free trip to anywhere on your continent, but you have to travel by train. Where do you go?
The concept on riding in a train a long time doesn't necessarily bother me, as long as the train has some nice restaurant and sleeper cars. So my first thought was Alaska. Then I figured -- it's a free trip, so why not go for broke and go all the way to Panama!

Main Course
Name one thing you consider a great quality about living in your town/city.
I know there was a question not long ago about what do you like best about your hometown. I can't remember how I answered that, and I'm too lazy to look it up right now. Really, the things I like best about Kansas City is that my family is here and the economy is such that I can have a well-paying job and still afford travel to other places on a regular basis. If my family and long-time friends weren't here, I'd definitely move somewhere warmer.

If the sky could be another color, what color do you think would look best?
Pink of course -- which I do get to see occasionally with just the right sunset.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Feast 176

What is your favorite beverage?
Depends on my mood really. I drink mostly water and I really like that, but when I crave something carbonated (very rarely), it's usually Diet Rite I want. If I need something hot, it's usually tea and sometimes hot chocolate.

Name 3 things that are on your computer desk at home or work.
At work: my big mug of water (32 oz. that I carry everywhere), Purell bottle and typing gloves (ones with the fingers missing). At home: another pair of typing gloves, a joystick (for playing WoW), and my camera (don't ask why -- that's just where I keep it).

On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being highest), how honest do you think you are?
I wish I could say 10, but I'm going to have to go with 9. Unlike Justin who I am certain is a 10, I have a tendancy to occassionally omit details or "spin" things, especially in the corporate world where office politics make it almost impossible to be honest.

Main Course
If you could change the name of one city in the world, what would you rename it and why?
Uhh.... why would I do that? Hmm.... okay, I'd name some remote city "PinkCoder's World" because that would just be fun.

What stresses you out? What calms you down?
Work stresses me a lot. I take a lot of ownership and pride in what I do and it drives me crazy when the company I work for continually wants to cut corners or do the impossible in a short amount of time. My husband can also stress me at times, but to even it out, he is very good at calming me too. Also, I like to watch movies to relax.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Feast 175

Sorry this is late -- I wasn't feeling well on Friday and I forget about these things over the weekend. Hope it is worth the wait.

What is your middle name? Would you change any of your names if you could? If so, what would you like to be called?
My given middle name is Kathleen, but now I consider Ayers to be part of my middle name too. I don't think I'd change any of my names because I've lived with them all so long that I am used to it and my name is really a part of who I am. However, my online handle is 'PinkCoder' which is the name I chose for the Internet world.

If you were a fashion designer, which fabrics, colors, and styles would you probably use the most?
Well, pink of course. As far as fabric goes, it would be casual, hearty stuff like cotton, denim and linen. Style? Uh, do I even know what style is?

What is your least favorite chore, and why?
Boy, my life must be pretty good, as I can't even think of some really bad chores. I mean, of course no one likes washing dishes or cleaning the bathroom, but when I think about it, those things don't bother me that much. Lately I have been helping my mother-in-law get her house ready to sell, and I can tell you that peeling wallpaper is a really ugly chore so it's good I don't have to do that often.

Main Course
What is something that really frightens you, and can you trace it back to an event in your life?
You know, I continue to try and fill out this questionairre in a short amount of time. I keep thinking that most of the questions are easy (like the next one) and that I can come up with answers off the top of my head. However, time after time I find that some of these are actually not easy to think of an answer (like the last one), and here again is one that has me vexed. I mean I can think of a few things that make me scared, like certain horror films or haunted houses, but when the question says "really frightens you", I feel like I have to come up with some serious phobia, especially when it may be linked to an event in my life. When nothing just pops to mind, and I have to sit and ponder for awhile, it makes me feel like my life is really boring and I must be a simple person. Oh well.... call me Simple Simon I guess.

Where are you sitting right now? Name 3 things you can see at this moment.
Oh, this is an easy one! I am sitting in my cube at work -- I can see all sorts of things like the building next door through the window; all kinds of stress-reliever-desk-toys sitting nearby; my coworker across the hall; and a bunch of little Beechies gum packs that someone lined my cube with on Friday.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Feast 174

When was the last time you received a surprise in the mail, and what was it?
The mail? Do we still use that system of communication? Let's see... umm..... well.... I really don't read the mail much. My husband goes through it and filters out all the junk. I did read all the Christmas cards we got this year. And I remember the thank you we got from my sister for her wedding gift. But none of these were really 'surprises'. I think I'm going to have to say I can't answer this question.

If you could have a summer and/or winter home, where would you want it to be?
Assuming I have the right job to go along with it, I'd like a winter home probably somewhere in Arizona. I haven't travelled enough to know where for sure. It would need to be somewhere warm, but not too humid, and not overgrown with tourists.

Pick one: pineapple, orange, banana, apple, cherry.
Cherry. Although strawberry would be a better choice if it were available.

Main Course
Describe the nicest piece of clothing that you own.
I still own my wedding dress, which I believe is still very nice. Of course I haven't opened the sealed box in over 14 years, so it could be disintigrating inside there, but for the sake of argument let's assume it is not.

If you could forget one whole day from your life, which day would you choose to wipe from your memory?
Umm.... I forget days all the time. Days like the one before yesterday, which even now I can barely remember. So assuming the question was meant to make me choose a particular day that I actually do remember, I don't think I would want to pick any of them. Seeing as how those memories are special in some way, even the painful ones, they make me who I am and I don't want to just erase any of it.