Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I'm a super saver shopper!

Good morning. It's currently 17 out. brrrrrrr, going for a high of near 30. Yesterday was fairly uneventful. We did some grocery shopping, going to 3 different stores to do it. It seems you can't get everything you want at one place. Meijer, by far the largest grocery store around, just doesn't carry as much variety you'd expect. Fortunately, all 3 stores are on the same main street and only about a mile apart. So we started at Kroger where they had boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.89 lb. A very good buy. We also picked up some turkey sausage and light Alfredo sauce Meijer doesn't carry. Then to Meijer, for most of our shopping, they have the best produce, and on the way home, Shoprite, for their 10 for $10 2 liter diet coke. It's $1.49 each at Meijer, and $1.79 at Kroger. But with the stores close together, it's pretty easy to save a few bucks.
I also on Monday, I picked up a bag for my new laptop. I didn't like all those black briefcase looking things, so I found a messenger bag that will do the trick, and a lot cheaper too! I like I can carry it on my shoulder, and it has several zipper pockets for extras.
It even came with a cell phone pouch that will be perfect for my cordless mouse. And since it didn't have as much padding as a regular laptop bag, I got a nice cushy sleeve at Target on sale for $5.
I also did some Internet research for Craig's upcoming birthday. I won't say here yet, cause I never know when he might sneak a peek at my blog, but we're taking a short trip that I think he'll like.
And I'm going in to work early today, to dismantle the Christmas tree. I usually do it on Sunday when I clean, but my first appointment isn't until 10 am, so I decided to to it today. And it's not near as busy at work this week. We don't do many party do's anymore. There's not that many big bashes, and more events tend to be more casual.
So I'm off to get ready for work.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It was just another Monday

Good morning.
We had a fairly busy day yesterday. If you remember from this post, when Craig left his checkbook in his cargo pants that then went through the wash, well, he also had his new prescriptions in there as well. That paper didn't hold up as well as the checkbook. So our first stop was the doctors office. Of course, no one was there. I called and left a message. They called back later in the day, and we'll pick up the new ones this morning. We then went to the bank, made a business deposit, and also deposited all the Christmas gift money. Better to make 1.35% in a money market account than sitting at home right? Maybe not, but at least it's safer in the bank than laying around the house.
Did some grocery shopping, came home, and I cleared the snow from the driveway, while Craig did bookwork and laundry. We had gotten about 3 inches of snow overnight.
I then worked on a couple of soiled areas on the carpet with this handy little Bissel spot cleaner. First time I'd used it and it seems to work really well. I'll know later this morning when it's totally dry.
So another exciting day in Wayne's World. Or not.....
And for dinner, a new recipe,
Spicy Pork Tenderloin.
This was easy, and even though the ingredients seemed odd, it was really tasty! And we served it with fried potatoes and broiled asparagus.
And I know, we eat way to large of portions, but we usually only eat 2 meals a day. And the first one is usually a late morning homemade breakfast sandwich. We've just never liked eating when we first get up, and enjoy preparing a nice dinner.
That's it for now!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Isn't she pretty?

Good morning from a cold Lansing. We got a couple of inches of snow last night. The roads were very slippery when I went to clean the Salon this morning. No salt trucks out that early. We finished up with work fairly early yesterday and almost went to do some shopping, until we saw all the traffic, so decided to go home and relax.
Played games on the puter, and Craig fixed Chicken cordon bleu for dinner with noodles Alfredo and steamed zucchini with Parmesan cheese Very yummy. Also we finally got the lap top skin Craig ordered Dec. 15th. Can you believe it, 11 days to arrive? Anyway, my new laptop has a kind of herringbone pattern on it with a high gloss shine. It's absolutely beautiful except for one thing. It shows every fricken fingerprint. In no time it looks a mess. So, Craig remembered seeing skins on his Coke rewards site. So we took a look and they offer a code for 1050 points to use for any skin at Skinit.com They have thousands of skins for every type of electronics. Even for vehicles and walls. So I finally settled on one and here it is....

Before.....

and after....

Is that one wild skin? I love it! And what's really neat, is you order the skin for your exact brand and model number. Not a one size fits all.
It came with a cutout for the name badge and......
even fits around the hinge. A real custom fit! And it runs $29.99 on the website, but with Craig's coke reward points, it was free! and free shipping too! So thanks to everyone who sends me their Coke codes. Maybe I'll get a skin for my cell phone too!
And once lazy Craig gets his butt outta bed, and we have our coffee and read the paper, we're going out to find me a laptop bag.
Later!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

2 necks!

Good morning and a happy day after Christmas.
We had a nice quiet day. Craig made his usual Turkey with White Castle stuffing. Click the link if you want details on the recipe. Since Craig doesn't like them, I boil up the giblets, and snack on them while waiting for dinner. This year I got a bonus! 2 necks! Yummy!
Everyone knows I like gnawing on bones, and neck bones are really cool. I know, I'm a freak, get over it.
We also watched some Christmas specials, and I downloaded more games and loaded them on my new laptop, and played some games on my puter.
We were fortunate not to get any of the bad weather here. We ended up with just rain, which melted the little snow we had. We're expecting some snow today.
We did very well with Christmas tips. Even with business down over all, the customers were very generous. We save our Christmas tips for our mo-ho gas fund. We ended up with just over 2/3 of what we spent last year. With my spring plant sale, we should have more than enough to fund all of our trips this coming year.
And although most of you are having an extended holiday weekend, it's back to work this morning for us. I have a full schedule for today. Like Derek, we don't get paid when we don't work. So enjoy your weekend.

I'll be back later.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

a disaster averted!

A quick post this morning before my 11 hour work day starts.
Yesterday, after we got home, I sat down and loaded more games and apps on my new laptop, while Craig did laundry and bookwork. He went to get his checkbook, and it wasn't in his bag. He then remembered he took it with him to pay the doctor. He put it in his cargo pants, which were right then in the washing machine. He retrieved it soaking wet! The checks and the check register looked like solid fused blocks. As he attempted to peel a page in just disintegrated. I said hold on, let me check the Internet for a fix. Sure enough I found where they said to lay it on paper towels and carefully press out as much water as possible, then with a blow dryer on hot, dry the first page until it separates from the others. And it worked like a charm! Each page came apart as it dried. And fortunately, he uses gel pens so none of the ink ran. Lucky him! He really just needed the check register, so he threw out the checks. He has more of them.
What did we do before the web?
I then vacuumed and cleaned and played on the puter. Craig made us turkey burgers and oven fries for dinner.
But now it's time to get ready for my long work day. See you later!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

a good trip

A chilly good morning. Winter has settled in for the long haul. It's 24 out right now as I write this. Still only a couple of inches on the ground here, unlike many places south and east. Oh, and you can keep it! We made it to and back from Muskegon yesterday. About a foot of snow there. Muskegon is about 90 mile due west of Lansing, and right on Lake Michigan, so they get that 'lake effect' snow. The highways were salted, so a fairly easy drive. Took mom to Red Lobster where I had their wonderful Salmon New Orleans. I've gotten this off and on for several years now and still lovin it. We split some stuffed mushroom caps and Mom had the Tilapia, and Craig had Scallops and Shrimp Scampi. Everyone said it was good, even though we ate too much. Then we stopped at the store to get mom some supplies, and then to the VFW for Monday 1$ drinks. That's right $1.00 for beers and well drinks. The place was empty when we arrived at 1pm, but was nearly packed at 3:30pm when we left. And the pull tabs? No luck at all this time. But not a complete waste. The VFW gets a third of the profits from the sales. Mom says it's been a life saver for the clubs, generating much needed revenue for repairs and upkeep.
Today, Craig has a routine doctors appt. and then grocery shopping for the week. And no extended holiday vacation for us. I've got an 11 hour work day on Wed. and about 7 hrs on Christmas Eve. Off Christmas day, and a full schedule on Saturday. You gotta work when there's customers, because it'll slow right down starting around the middle of Jan. as all our snow bird customers will have left for the winter.
That's all for now. Have a good week.

Monday, December 21, 2009

My new baby

Yep! I finally caved in and bought a new laptop. After much research, I settled on a Gateway. (sorry John, but macs are very expensive) Not just because all my desktops have been Gateway, but also for what it has for the price compared to other models, (and it's not an hp), and the reviews it got.




Check it out!

Gateway - Laptop with Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor - Night Sky Black
Model: NV7802U

Product Features
Intel® Core®2 Duo mobile processor T6600Features 2 processing cores, 800MHz front side bus, 2MB L2 cache and 2.2GHz processor speed per core.
2 high-performance processing cores to run multiple demanding applications simultaneously without hesitation.
4GB DDR3 memory for multitasking power.
Multi format DVD±RW/CD-RW drive with double-layer support
Records up to 8.5GB of data or 4 hours of video using compatible DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL media. Also supports DVD-RAM.
17.3" LED-back lit high-definition wide screen display With Ultra bright technology and 1600 x 900 resolution brings movies and games to life.
500GB Serial ATA hard drive (5400 rpm)
Offers spacious storage and fast read/write times.
Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD. Features up to 1759MB of Intel® Dynamic Video Memory Technology 5.0 and supports Microsoft DirectX 10. HDMI port for connecting peripherals.
2nd-generation Dolby Sound Room audio enhancement
With Dolby Headphone, Dolby Natural Bass and Dolby Sound Space Expander for a lush sound scape.
Built-in web cam and microphone
Make it easy to chat with family and friends.
Multi-in-1 digital media reader Supports Secure Digital, Multi Media Card, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO and xD-Picture Card formats.
4 high-speed USB 2.0 ports For fast digital video, audio and data transfer.
Built-in Intel® WiFi Link 5100 (802.11a/b/g/n)
Wirelessly connect to the Internet.
Built-in Ethernet LANWith RJ-45 connector and 56 Kbps modem for quick and easy wired Web connection.
Weighs 7.4 lbs. and measures just 1.4" thin For portable power.
All this for $599.00.
And remember, this is my portable puter. For our trips in the mo-ho, for work on slow days, and burning DVD's. And this baby is fast! My old laptop would take nearly 3 hrs to burn a disc and this one does it in less than an hour!
So I didn't need top of the line, but I think this one is very good for the price.
So I spent yesterday checking it out, loading new apps, and taking it for a spin. And today, I'm off to Muskegon to see my mom. That's it for now!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

busy, busy, busy

Good morning.
We got a fresh dusting of snow last night. Less than an inch. We seem to be dogging all the storms that have gone through. The snow has been going north or south. Fine with me. Winter will be long enough.
Work has been crazy busy. The phone has been ringing off the hook. But that is good. All our Christmas tips will go into our mo-ho gas fund. ;-)
I was informed yesterday by her husband, that I no longer need to go to the Alzheimer facility to do her hair. That is somewhat a relief, since she has been less cooperative more and more each time I saw her. I think her husband has finally accepted the fact she's not going to get better, and is progressing with this disease. I feel real bad for him having to watch his wife of so many years slowly fade away.
Craig worked very late yesterday, so I decide to surprise him and prepare dinner. I don't cook a lot, especially on work days, so it's hamburger helper to the rescue! I did jazz it up with chopped sauteed onions and mushrooms. I also used light hot Italian sausage instead of ground beef. Craig was happily surprised and said it was tasty.
And after another busy day at the Salon today, we go to Craig's nieces home this evening for his family's Christmas. Both his mom and dad are gone, but his sister from up north should be there, maybe his brother, (I won't hold my breath on that) and several niece's and nephew's and their family's.
Have a good weekend!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

no, no no, no, no

A quicky post for this evening.
I don't normally post this late. Usually I'm too tired after a 10 hour day, and just want to veg in front of the TV with a cocktail. But a customer told me a story today, that was just so unbelievable, I had to share it.
She works for a division of community health. She consults pregnant unwed mothers. She was working with a young unmarried lady, ( a teenager of course) to get support from the supposed father. They had to do a DNA test to be sure. They found out he wasn't the father, she was shocked, as she hadn't had sex with any one else. Upon further questioning, the young lady, and her boyfriend were in a parked car with another couple. Apparently love was in the air, and they soon discovered the two couples only had one condom between them. So the first couple used the condom and did their thing in the front seat, and when they were done, handed it to the second couple. He turned it inside out because of the disgusting stuff in it, and then used it on his girlfriend. Do you see where this is going? And some how........she gets pregnant! And to make matters worst! The first guy who never even had sex with her is now the legal father to be! What were they thinking? Don't these kids get enough info from friends and the Internet to know better than to share condoms? And the thought of even sharing a condom.....EWWWWWWWW! And doing it in a car with someone else there? wtf!
.
And then she tells me another story. This one girl not wanting to lose her boyfriend, after sex, while he was asleep, got the used condom, and went to the kitchen, got a turkey baster, and shot the sperm as far up into you know where, so she would get pregnant so he wouldn't leave her. And it worked! Baby wise anyway. When he found out, he left town and hasn't been seen since. What are these kids thinking?
Okay, I just wanted to share this. We hear so many interesting stories in the Salon.
Good night....

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

compaq tear down

The tear down of my laptop.
Okay, I've exhausted every other fix for this lap top, and the last one seems very odd. The forums suggest the video card has become separated from the gpu causing failure. So I did what they recommended, got some copper shims to seal the gap. This involved taking the lap top completely apart. I was a little nervous about this, but since the lap top is worthless the way it is, why not?
It is a lot more involved than the you tube videos show. But here I am tearing apart the lap top.


Boy, there is a lot of stuff in here!

Here's the graphics card that needs the copper shim, so they say....
Craig got cute and took this pic during a potty break.
And here's the puter all back together. But why do I have 5 little screws left?

And I let it set over night to 'rest' and turned it on this morning and YAAA! it started right up!
But of course, it was not fixed. When I went to restart it .....nothing again. So back to square 1. I'm not sure it's fixable. It sometimes starts, and most times not. I hate puters!
Well, after spending the entire day with this, I at least was able to look forward to a tasty dinner of pork cutlets over stuffing and veggies, with a barbacue glaze. Yummy!

So I'm thinking of geting a new lap top.

Monday, December 14, 2009

food and fun

Reason number 763 why I hate winter. Salt! No, not the kind you put on your fries, the kind you put on the sidewalk. And then it gets tracked into my Salon. Leaves nasty white stains all over the floor as you can see in these before and after pics.







So that means going in extra early and moping the floors before we open, every day it snows. And it's always a long winter.
Now there is a non tracking ice remover. We use it at home. But our cheap landlord at the strip mall I'm in certainly won't. Oh well.
On Saturday, after work, Craig made his tasty home made pizza. Yesterday, was kinda low key. I did some cleaning, touched up some painting, and mostly played on the puter. Craig did laundry, book work, and made a turkey rice casserole. Enough so we'll have leftovers during the work week. And we finished the evening with cocktails, and movies.
Ya, we have a real exciting life, don't we?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas time

Just a quick post this morning.
I took a few pics on the way to and from the cocktail party we went to last night at Harem. It was fun. Food drinks and conversation. The main shopping district is one block from the capitol. They put a stupid round-a-bout in the intersection. But they decorate it nicely during the year. And for Christmas, they put these ginormous ornaments there. Looked nice. And they've got white lights lining the tops of all the buildings. Very festive.
And on the way home, I took a pic of the state Christmas tree.

You can see it in front of the capitol, and just past the ginormous ornaments.

Here's a closer pic. I don't care for led Christmas lights. The yellows don't show up as much as the blue. They just don't look right.
And now it's time to get ready for work. I've got to be there by 7am. Have a good day!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Brrrrrrrrrrrrr

Hello from a bitter cold Lansing. Currently 12 out. That's right a bone chilling 12 degrees. Although we've managed to miss all the snow that almost everyone else in the region got. We have maybe 2-3 inches on the ground.
Work has been steady, nothing too exciting going on.
I got a call from the doctor on the results of the 'spot' he removed. It was a polyp. It's called a HyperPlastic polyp. Is that some odd name or what? Anyway, he said it's a non-cancerous type of polyp that is increasingly found in 'older' men. Thanks doc for adding that last bit of info there. So I'm good for another 5 years.
And this evening after work, we are going to a little cocktail party down town at Harem. It's called an urban lounge. Click on the link to see pics. Craig has a customer he's done for years that is also our lawyer when we need one. It's a barter relationship. He cuts his hair for free, and he gives us legal advice when we need it. A few year ago, he joined a new law firm, and they throw this Christmas party for all their clients. Free food and drink! But we won't be there too late, I'm back to work tomorrow at 7:30am.
So that's all I got for now.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Christmas, bah humbug

Good morning from a snowy Mid Michigan.
Yep! We have our first substantial snow fall last night. Enough to completely cover the ground. And it looks to be a messy week. Rain today turning to sleet this afternoon, and then back to snow tonight. Should make driving home fun.
Yesterday, I put up our little tree in our TV room. That's about all the decorating we've been doing the last few years. We don't seem to have that 'Christmas spirit' we've had in the past. We use to decorate the whole house and lot's of lights outside. Now maybe a tree, that's it. Here's our tree. But we still decorate the Salon. Being a business, you kinda have to. And if your interested, here's the link to the Salon.
Other than that, I didn't do a whole lot. Mainly played some new games I downloaded. Children of the Nile, and Ports of Call deluxe. Craig did bookwork. Trying to figure out where the money will come from for all the stuff we've been doing. He says we'll be fine. I trust him. He's been doing the bills for 33 years and I still get to buy pretty much what I want. And we were so lazy, for dinner Craig made an easy quick Hamburger Helper.
And it looks to be a busy week at the Salon. So I need to hope in the shower and get going. Have a good rest of the week.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Colon update!

Colon update! The procedure was a breeze! They now have HD monitors for your viewing pleasure. It was like trekking through a cave, but not finding any 'treasures'. Seriously, no polyps, although he did see a little dark spot that he took off to have examined. He said he didn't think is was a polyp, but probably a dkfrmbtxhdfe. I know, I didn't understand what he said either, but he said it was only about a millimeter across, and most likely nothing, but better to be safe than sorry. I agree. I watched as he took this tiny claw like thingy and ripped it out! I swear, I saw a chunk of my colon torn away! But didn't feel a thing. Now that was weird! He said he'll call me within a week for the results. So after that, Craig took me to Finlays for ribs! I think I could live on just a diet of wings and ribs. They have some awesome ribs. I think I have this thing for gnawing on bones. Maybe it's from a previous life as a cannibal or maybe a dog, who knows.
So that's over for I hope another 7 years. And as a special treat for me tonight, I get wings, YAA! and guacamole and chips. Almost as good as wings.
Craig does spoil me. I'm a lucky guy!

The big C day

Today's the big day! Not that I'm looking forward to it, but since I've already gone an entire day without eating, went through the ever enjoyable prep, it'll be good just to be done with it. And then we can go out and eat!

But here's a little vid, It's an oldie, but I always get a chuckle out of it of when it's time for another Colonoscopy.




And for those of you who have no idea what a Colonoscopy is, you can read more about it here.

I'll update the results on my return....

Sunday, December 06, 2009

week in review

It ended up being quite a good week at work. Which it should be with the holidays fast approaching.
Friday I had a oh f#^k moment.
After finishing up at the salon, I was due to go to the Alzheimer facility to do my bi-weekly customer. I packed up the necessary things I'd need since the one chair salon there has everything locked up. So I need to bring everything. Which includes shampoo, conditioner, towels, capes, and any styling tools and such. Instead of my truck, I always take Craig's car since that's the one we use for business trips. He has a pocket calendar in there where we write down the mileage. We get to pay us 55 cents per mile for business related trips. It doesn't seem like much, but when you add up all the trips to the bank, supply store, house calls, etc., it adds up to quite a sum.
Anyway, I get to the facility, and see the customer coming down the hall. I greet her, but she doesn't seem to know who I am. Nor does she want to go into the salon room. She wants to go for a walk. So I let her go and proceed to set my stuff up in the room. Then I go hunt her down to see if she's ready to have her hair done. I find her wandering the halls, going no-where in particular, but she doesn't want to go with me. So I go back to the room and wait. I'm getting paid for my time whether I'm working or not. Shortly, a staff member walks her into the room. I'm thinking, 'how did she get her to come here when I couldn't?' But it really doesn't matter. She gets her to sit in the chair so I can do her hair. Again, she wouldn't let me wash it. So I got my irons, and curled it up. I had to work quickly as she was getting impatient. But I did finish, and off she went to wander some more. I'm wondering how much longer this is going to go on. I know her husband likes me to come here to do her hair. I suppose its to try and give her some familiarity, but I think she's getting to far gone for that. We'll see.
So, I pack my stuff up and head back to the Salon, where I put everything away, grab my money bag, and files and leave for home. Craig was working late that day. I get home, and as I empty my pockets, there's Craig's car keys. Oh f#^k! I forgot to give him back his keys. So now I have to drive back to the Salon. Was not happy.
Saturday went by smoothly, and we relaxed the rest of the evening with cocktails, and a Chicken Cordon Bleu dinner.
Today, I've already cleaned the Salon, and plan on doing some Christmas decorating at home. I'm also on a liquid diet today, in preparation for the big C tomorrow morning. More details later!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

to tip or not to tip

Good morning from a very cold mid Michigan. It's currently 21 out this morning going for a high of only 32. By far the coldest temps of the season. We haven't been this cold since March 12th. One more day of work before our weekend and it's been a pretty good week busy wise. And the Christmas tips are starting to roll in. There's a lot of controversy over whether, or how much to tip. I always tell my customers, it's completely up to them. Of course, I'm not going to turn away tips. It's not like I'm charging a premium price for my work. Our prices are right in the mid-range for Salons in our area. Some customers tip well all year, and don't tip at Christmas. Some don't tip all year, and just at Christmas. Some don't tip period. And a few tip well all year, and again at Christmas. And those customers get in when ever they want. Yes, like with anything, money talks. I provide a service, and those who go out of their way, like tipping, will get them preferred service. Not that I don't give everyone the same quality haircuts, but my preferred customers get premium time slots, and extra time. And as for the amount of a Christmas tip, some customers are very generous, but most tip the equivalent of the price of a haircut. Some just give a few dollars more. And of course, you don't give a Christmas tip to someone you don't go to on a regular basis.
So as a person who provides a service to the public, I say tip, unless they are already charging premium prices, or unless they have a sign specifically forbidding tipping. And how much to tip? That is completely dependent on your own financial situation. Customers who do tip, average 10-20%. But believe me. Any amount is appreciated.
Sooo, do you tip your stylist?

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

the calm before the storm

After the furnace installer left around noon, we spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning up. I caulked the pipes that went through the ceiling, and folded and put away all the drop cloths. Good thing I had a mess of old paint sheets, because he didn't bring a thing. I guess he's use to mainly working in basements, not the middle of a carpeted house. And as we worked on dinner in the evening, I saw this out the front window......

A full moon very low in the sky. It looks so large when it's low like that. It was a very pretty calming sight. But the forecast isn't looking pretty for the rest of the week. They say we may get that nasty white stuff, which also means colder temps. I need to break out the winter coats I think. yuk!
And for dinner, we had Panko Chicken, with broiled marinated Zucchini, and fried potatoes. And for those interested in the details, of course it's over here.
And it looks to be a fairly busy week at work. I hope so, I have a furnace to pay for! ;-)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Out with the old, in with the new

We've got the new furnace completely installed. It took a lot more than I thought. Here's the old one.
And here's the new one.

You can see the new one is shorter and wider than the old one. You can also see 2 pvc pies coming out the top. They go through the roof. One is to vent, the other is an air intake. They don't vent out chimney anymore since at 95% efficiency, all that's expelled is water vapor. And that would apparently not be good for the chimney.
They also had to put a liner in the chimney for the water heater for some reason also. And notice that the old furnace had an air return on the front beside one in the back behind the water heater. He thought the one in the front was to close to the water heater, and the increased inflow might suck out the pilot on the water heater. So he had to move that to the right and out the wall for better air flow. Now I have 2 air filters to replace. I'm amazed how quiet it is sitting right in the dining room/hall. So this year, we've replaced both the water heater and furnace. Not to mention new tires for the mo-ho, and a new roof top heating/air conditioning unit for the Salon.. I hope this is it for a while.
Oh, and that disk thingy above the chimney isn't a flying saucer, it's our omni-directional antenna. We don't have cable or satellite, but with digital, we get roughly 30 channels. Good enough for us!

the good and the bad

A couple of updates.
First, the good. Our new furnace is almost completely installed. Of course, with no basement, Our furnace sits in a closet in the middle of the house with the water heater. Not much extra room in there. The new furnace is shorter and wider than the old one, so there was quite a bit of work to get everything in place. He did get the furnace running before he left, so we do have heat, but he's coming back this morning to finish the air return ducts. I'll have pics when he's finished.
And while Craig did his running around, I pretty much spent the entire day on the puter. Read blogs, surfed, and played games. Have you tried Bejeweled Twist? Pretty addictive.
And now the bad.........Also I got the new cmos battery for my lap top, installed it, turned it on............nothing, keyboard lights up, fan spins, but no windows. So I turned it off, and decided I need to call Bill. He's the husband of a customer of mine who's pretty good with puters, and very reasonable. But......... this morning, just for the hell of it, I tried the puter again. IT BOOTED UP! Yaa! Don,t know why, but don't care, it's back! So I downloaded and installed updates, and then rebooted...........
And now again........nothing..........WTF is with this piece of crap! Okay, now I'm calling Bill this morning.
I'll update when I know more.

Monday, November 30, 2009

A good Monday morning to you.
Yesterday, unlike last weekend, the cleaning bug infected me and I cleaned up a storm. Craig did his usual bookwork, laundry, and boiled the turkey carcass for some very tasty broth. We'll use the broth instead of water to make mashed potatoes, rice and noodle dishes. Really adds a lot of flavor.
They've had some really good sales out there this year, but nothing to make me get out and fight the crowds. Though I'm temped to go to Staples today for a 21 inch LCD monitor for my desk top puter. It's on sale for only $109.00. That's really good! I've got a 19 inch monitor now, and since I play a lot of games, bigger is better, right? We'll see.
We also have Abbey heating and Air coming this morning to replace our furnace with a 95% energy efficient new one. Our cost? $2731.00. But we'll get a $819.00 tax credit, and a $370.00 Consumers energy rebate, so our final cost is $1542.00. A pretty good deal! And it should also lower our heating bills a bit, I hope. This is what they're installing....

Soooo, while Craig does the banking, shopping, etc, I'll be home, probably on the puter all day. Craig doesn't like people in the house when we're not there, so one of us needs to be here. He thinks if we're both gone, they'll be digging through our stuff, instead of working. Whatever I say. He's always been paranoid about these things, and after all these years, it's just easier to go along. I know what fights to pick, and this one I wouldn't win. But I think I'm way ahead at that game anyway. And the staff at work thinks I get everything I want. I don't, but I get enough. ;-)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday post

A good morning.
Finished another work week. Friday and Saturday were steady, but not overly busy. It's usually that way after Thanksgiving. But I'd rather be at work, than out with those crowds. I did that once, never again. On Friday we had another turkey dinner with leftovers, and then I stripped the carcass and froze the leftover turkey meat, and wrapped the carcass up and put it in the fridge. Craig will boil it today for broth.
Saturday, really needing to cut back on all the eating, we had vegi burgers from Morning Star Farms. These are really some tasty burgers! Our favorites are, Asian Veggie Patties, Mushroom Lover's Burger, and Tomato & Basil Pizza Burgers. Not like regular hamburgers, but with a taste all their own. We usually have sliced onion, salsa, and fat free sliced cheese on them. And served with oven fries. Potatoes cut into strips, marinated in a bag with olive oil, paprika and garlic, spread on a cookie sheet, and baked at 450 for 25 minutes, then flip and continue cooking for another 15-20 minutes til golden brown. Very good.
Today, It's house cleaning time again. And for dinner it'll be a pork stir fry with lots of vegies.
I finally got an e-mail saying my cmos battery has been shipped. Anxious to see if that will bring my laptop back to life. Can't believe no one in the entire Lansing area had one in stock.
Well, I'm off to clean the Salon. Have a good Sunday.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey Day

And a Happy Thanksgiving weekend to everyone!
We had a mostly uneventful Thanksgiving.
I got up at my usual early 5:30, and went into the salon to decorate for Christmas. I refuse to put up decorations before Thanksgiving. Of course, the lighted snowflakes I put in the front window, wouldn't light, So I dashed over to Meijer, where they were having a Thanksgiving day sale. It was very busy. I saw the ad on Wednesday, and didn't see anything of a great deal, but there were a lot of people with full shopping carts. Anyway, They didn't have the ones I wanted, but found an acceptable substitute. Got back to the salon, finished up, and got home in time to shower, and wake Craig. He wanted the turkey in by 10. He showered while I diced the celery and onions for the stuffing. He got the Turkey prepped, stuffed, I seasoned it and sealed it with a foil tent. We use a disposable foil roasting pan, and I taKe aluminium foil and make a domed tent to cover, but not touch the turkey. It seals in the moisture and makes the turkey very juicy. We remove the foil about 15 minutes before done to brown the skin nicely. I then made us lattes, and we read the paper and looked at the ads. Then we watched the Thanksgiving parade. And after that, I played on the puter. About 4 hours into cooking, I heard this noise coming from the oven, It was on fire!
The pan was overflowing with juices, and caught fire from the electric element. I quickly turned off the oven, and opened the Windows so our smoke alarm wouldn't go off. The foil pan we got was smaller than the usual ones, and this was a 16 lb turkey instead of our usual 12-13. So Craig misjudged how much water to put in the pan. This turkey released a ton of water to over flow the pan. Fortunately, we have a large electric roaster. I brought that out, cleaned it up, and transferred the turkey to it.

It finished cooking nicely there, though it took a little longer because of the delay. But it turned out just fine. Here's what we had. scalloped corn, home made mashed potatoes and gravy and of course, turkey!



And yes, you see it right. It took 2 plated for our meal. We stuffed our selves more than we stuffed the turkey. But it was so good! And we still ate pie for desert! And finished the evening, with a movie and more turkey for a snack. It was a very nice day.
Now most of you probably are enjoying a long holiday weekend, but we have to work today and tomorrow. And I'll go in an hour early to finish with the decorations.
So enjoy you long weekend, I've got to get ready for work.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A trifecta

Good morning. Well, I don't know what's wrong with me, but I made it all weekend without doing much. 3 days off, nothing.
I did put another year on my phone. Did that online, it's so easy.
I have a Tracfone. My new phone is on the left, old one right. I had the old one for about 5 years, and the little antenna was about to break off, and they were running a really good deal on a new on. Got the phone for $19.95 with double minutes for the life of the phone. So instead of 400 minutes and 200 bonus minutes I usually get each year, now it's 800 with 200 bonus. So I'm now getting 1000 minutes a year instead of 600. Not that it matters. I don't use the phone very much, so the minutes keep rolling over, and I now have 2780 minutes. But at least I have them if I need/want them.
And with the 1 year service of $99.00, it ends up being like $8.25 a month. You can't get a cell phone for that rate anywhere else!

The other thing I did yesterday was put air in the truck tires. I must have a very slow leak in the passenger front, because I need to put air in it about every 3 months. I need the truck ready in case we get that 4 letter stuff later this week. And Craig won't drive his Honda in the snow. Here's a pic of his baby.


It's a 1998 Honda Accord. It's never seen the snow. Not that it wouldn't drive okay in it, It's just that Craig doesn't want the rust from the salt. So at 11 years old, it still looks brand new. The color is called black currant.

So other than that, I was a lazy bum again. Maybe I felt I need to rest up for today. I've got customers from 9am all the way through until 8:30pm. I will be one tired puppy when I get home tonight. But I'll have tomorrow off.
So now I must get ready for work. Later!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I did it again

Well, yesterday wasn't any different than Sunday. I was a total slug again. I really planned on working outside some....but it never happened. Oh, we did go to the bank, did some grocery shopping, but came home, read the paper, and got on the puter, and there I stayed. All afternoon. Playing one game after another. Maybe it was because I did so much work last weekend, or because the Salon was so busy last week. Or maybe, I was just a lazy butt.



The picture above is from the latest game I was playing, Tower Bloxx. It became quite addicting. You can read more about it here. And if your interested in playing it, you can download the full version free here. I uploaded the game to Rapidshare. It's a file sharing site. Just click on the free button, wait for the clock to run out, then save it to your computer. I save mine to 'my documents' for easy finding. Then double click the file to start the installation.

And while I played on the puter, Craig did more laundry, did some surfing, and made a delicious Beef Stroganoff for dinner. His recipe is, of course, over at Cooking with Craig.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday

And a good morning.
I'm a little late posting this morning. I've been busy figuring out some new software on the puter. And as I said yesterday, I was a total slug all day. Spent nearly the entire day on the puter, nothing else. Played some new games I downloaded, caught up on blog reading, and surfed. Craig did his usual laundry and book work. He said we had a profit last month so I could get a new lap top. I said I wanted to try one more thing before I give up on it. I'm going to replace the little battery on the motherboard. That's sounding like it might fix my issues. We'll see.
And just on cue, our Thanksgiving Cactus is in bloom.

Now we don't get a lot of flower's because this is a northerly exposure, so not a lot of sunlight. But it still gives us some blooms in Nov. and the again in April. I also have a Christmas Cactus that will bloom around Christmas, and then again in the summer. It's funny, they look the same, but bloom different. And for dinner, Craig made us a delicious Spaghetti Pizza Casserole.
What you See here is what's left. He makes enough so we'll have leftovers. And I'll need it Wednesday as I'll be working till about 9pm. Ugh! I hate that! But with us closed Thanksgiving Day, I've got to put the people somewhere. And I'm happy we have the people to put!
Oh, and for any one who wants it the recipe is here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A lazy Sunday

Good morning.
So far November has been a very nice month temp wise. It has allowed me to get all of my out side projects done without freezing my fingers off.
Today, I've all ready cleaned the Salon. And after I take my shower, get lazy bones Craig up, have our coffee and read the paper, we'll go out and get our 3rd turkey. They're soo cheap this time of year, we like to stock up on them.
We also are having a new furnace put in on the 30th. The quote came in very good. $2750.00 for a 95% efficient 2 stage furnace, installed, with a programmable thermostat. We'll get a $819.00 tax credit, plus a $360.00 rebate from our gas company. That makes the new furnace only $1571.00. A pretty good deal I would say. And, it should bring down our heating costs some. So a win, win.
And as far as today goes, I think I'm just gonna take it easy. Maybe a little dusting, but not much else. I'm feelin lazy today.
So that's all for now!

Friday, November 20, 2009

sometimes it's tough

Today was a busy day, and after work, I ended it going to Clare Bridge, an Alzhiemer care facility. I have a customer there. Her husband doesn't like the on staff stylist, so he has arranged for me to go there every 2 weeks and do her hair. It's quite the challenge most visits. Today, she just didn't want to lay back in the shampoo bowl so I could wash her hair. So I just curled her hair without washing it. I though I was doing pretty good talking to her, but I think I need a book to better understand this type of patient. They apparently have 'good' moments and 'bad' moments. She still seems to recognise me as someone she likes, so that helps me to get her to do what I need her to do. But before I got there, she had a 'tiff' with her husband, and she told her him to leave. So I didn't have him to help me. This was the first time she wouldn't let me wash her hair. But I'll keep trying.
In other news, we tried a new recipe for dinner. Spicy-sweet pork tenderloins. They were very good! We had them with pan fried potatoes, and marinated broiled Asparagus. Very tasty! The recipe's here.
And since I'm not a night owl, I'm now tired and need to go to bed. Goodnight...

funny friday and a rant

Well, it's been busy at work this week. It should get steadily busier as we go through the holiday season. Glad I don't work at a store. They've been playing Christmas music for 2 weeks already. And for me, a little Christmas music goes a long way. And now another reason I hate shopping at Walmart. Actually I do occasionally shop there. They do sometimes have better prices on some things, but, this is an example of their advertising tactics. Their Wednesday flier in the paper showed frozen turkeys for $.40 per lb. The cheapest in the area. Meijer's was around $.45, and Kroger, $.49. We usually but 3-4 turkeys. 1, I love turkey. 2, They are by far the cheapest meat you can buy, especial right now. And 3, I love the smell of it cooking all day in the oven. And we eat one on Thanksgiving, one at Christmas, one in February, and one in March. So anyway, I sent Craig over to Walmart after work to pick up a couple. He comes back, no turkeys. He said they were all sold out. I said, 'all sold out'? The ad just came out today, and is good through Thanksgiving! And of course, the ad said select varieties, while supplies last. And that's the kicker. Get them in the store for a deal, but knowing you don't have many at that price, and hope they'll just pay more for another. I hate when stores do that! So, I'll get my turkeys at Meijer. I know they'll be in stock when ever I go there. Just another reason I hate walmart.
So now on to our ff............



And for this ff, with Thanksgiving coming up, how pumpkin pies are really made..........





Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's Alive!

Ummm nope, it isn't.
If you remember, my laptop started acting weird. I would turn it on, the fan and lights would come on, then after 10-25 seconds, would turn itself off, and then right back on. It would cycle like this forever until I held the power button down to turn it off. So anyway, everything I read on the Internet led me to believe it was a problem with the graphic card/motherboard configuration, but I kept thinking, why would it all of a sudden start doing this? Then I ran across a post about the BIOS and the clock. Now my battery died a couple of years ago, and since I always plug it in, I thought no problem. It would beep at me when it started with a message about wrong time. I for a while would correct the time, but later just stopped doing that. Well, the post said something about screwing up the Bios if the clock isn't right, so I got into the bios, and the clock read 2006. I changed it to the present date, exited bios, and bingo! Windows loaded! I thought All right! I just need to get another battery! So I left it plugged in, and put it into sleep mode. This morning, when I opened the case, nothing.........black screen, nothing......Tried the bios thing again, nothing........I'm back to the beginning of starting over and over again. So now I'm thinking it's the cmos battery. I guess I'll try replacing that, and go from there.
But in other news, I was a cleaning freak yesterday. I don't know what got into me, but I cleaned and cleaned. Kitchen cabinets, counters, floors, bathroom, TV room, dusted, and vacuumed. It looks great! I even spot painted.
And it looks to be a very busy week at the Salon.
So I'm outta here!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

bundle up, it's getting cold!

Good morning.
It's been a dreary cloudy cold couple of days. Sunday, I did some more weatherizing of the house. We have a trap door in the hall that goes into the attic. I decided to put another sealed door over the other to increase insulation. With Craig's advice, I ended up buying a Styrofoam panel rated a 10. Cut 2 pieces out of it to fit the opening. That would give me an extra insulating value of 20 total besides the existing door and blanket insulation on top of that. After I wedged the first panel into place, I could feel cold air coming through one edge.
So I was right in thinking the trap door
with blanket insulation on top wasn't enough!
And since you can't possibly cut Styrofoam perfectly,
I used pipe wrap insulation to fill in the gaps.
I tore sections of pipe wrap, and with a
screwdriver wedged it in the cracks
to form a good seal.

Here's the finished job.
I also redid some of the weather stripping around some doors. And with the furnace on now, I won't need the vent fan in the bathroom, so I took off the cover, and stuffed a bunch of insulation in there too. I think we're pretty much good for winter now.
On Monday, Craig and I went to Muskegon to visit my mom. I cut her hair, took her to Applebees for lunch, and then to the VFW for some pull tabs and the $1 drink specials they have on Mondays. And guess what? We actually won $150.00! Cool! My mom could use some extra cash. I read in the papers how VFW's are struggling around the country, but this one has actually gained memberships. For a Monday afternoon, there were maybe 20-25 people there. But they do a lot to encourage visits. They do Nascar parties in the summer, dinners a couple times a month, with proceeds to charity, football and basket ball parties in the winter. They seem to have something going on all the time.
That's all I got for now......

Sunday, November 15, 2009

It's Sunday

Good morning.
The work week ended up busier than expected, so I still haven't got a haircut. But I did get out of work early yesterday, and with a one day of temps in the low 60's, I went home and cleaned all the windows. Inside and out. They sure look good! I should do this more than once a year. :-)
I then got out the caulking and re-caulked around some of the windows.
Then for dinner, Craig made his home made pizza. Yummy! Click the link if you want the recipe. Today, I've already cleaned the Salon, and after this post, take my shower. Poor Craig's on the floor in the living room with the heating pad. His back just isn't getting better as quick as it has in the past.
Today, with temps back down in the low 50's, I'm going to do some more winterizing of the house.
Have a good day.

Friday, November 13, 2009

funny friday and such

Good morning.
It's been very cold in the morning. 23 yesterday. In the 50's during the day. Work has been busier than expected, so I still haven't had my haircut yet. Maybe today. We've got someone coming over next week to give us an estimate on replacing our furnace. They have some real good rebates right now, and our furnace is 25 years old. Don't want to spend the money, but it could cost us half the price if we do it now. We'll see.
And now on to our ff.........

For those of you who watch what you eat,
here's the final word on nutrition and health.
It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat
and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat
and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
3. The Chinese drink very little red wine
and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine
and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats
and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

CONCLUSION

Eat and drink what you like. Being American is apparently what kills you.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

back to work Wednesday

And a good morning.
We had another decent day weather wise. Not as warm as Monday, but mild in the 50's. I put away the deck furniture, and the hose cart. Put insulators over the water faucets, and turned off the water to the outside faucets. Craig did laundry, and mostly took it easy. His back has been giving him problems again. What seems to help is he lays on the floor with a wet towel on his lower back with a heating pad on that, topped with another towel and a couple of heavy books. That creates deep moist heat that helps to loosen his back. He goes through this a couple times a year. I think if he would exercise, that would help his back, but I'm not going there again!
I also cleaned the portable grill for winter storage.

Here's a before and after. It cleans up really good. I do this every season. We got this 4 years ago for the mo-ho. It's about the best portable one we've seen. It has 2 racks for cooking, where most only have one. And the legs fold up and it fits easily in a storage bay of the mo-ho.
In other news, work looks pretty slow this week. I was sure this week would happen sooner or later with us having such busy ones the last month or so. Oh well, maybe I can finally get a haircut and highlight. And we've got another stylist leaving the end of the year. She says she is finally retiring. That will leave us with 3 empty chairs. But it's like this all over. Every Salon on this side of town has empty chairs. And people I've talked to say business is down across the board. I'm sure Michigan's 15% unemployment isn't helping. Even though they say the economy is getting better, from my perspective, it looks to be getting worst. I'm glad Craig is a good money manager. We're still able to take all our mo-ho trips. And it helps a lot that we have no outstanding debt.
Okay, I've rambled on long enough for today.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

blah blah blah

Good morning.
Well, we had another nice day weather wise, mid 60's. And that appears that's it. The long term forecast is for near normal temps of low 50's.
Yesterday, after doing our grocery shopping for the week, we changed the oil in the riding lawn mower, the push mower, and the snow blower. I thought we had changed the snow blower in the spring, but could tell when I checked the oil level, we had not. And after that, we changed the tires on Craig's PT Cruiser. He has snow tires that do better in the winter. My truck has all weather tires. And since the mo-ho is now parked for the winter, Craig called and changed the coverage to storage.
We are now pretty much ready for another long Michigan winter. I'm 95% done with the flower beds, and should finish today.
For dinner, I cooked pork cutlets on the grill with grilled marinated zucchini, and baked potatoes.
And we watched our Monday sitcoms, How I Met Your Mother, Accidentally on Purpose, Two and a Half Men, and Big Bang Theory.

Monday, November 09, 2009

busy, busy, busy

Good morning.
Yesterday was just about the nicest day we've had this fall. At least on my day off anyway. So we took full advantage of it and got a ton of stuff done out side.
First off, I didn't get the Salon cleaned. When I went to leave, it was such dense fog, I was going like 25 mph on a 45 mph street. I thought this is crazy! Someone might come barreling down the road! So I turned around and went back home. I'll clean the Salon this morning after I finish this post.
So, while Craig did paper work, I blew leaves off the driveway, patio, and out of the flower beds. And while Craig mowed up all the leaves, I cleaned out the eaves toughs, put away yard art, cut down the rest of the ornamental grasses, reset the out side lights for shorter days, cleaned out the right side garage for Craig's car to park this winter, and ran the mo-ho generator to get gasoline stabilizer through the line.
And with all the leaves and debris cleaned up, parked the mo-ho in it's winter resting spot.


It's quite a snug fit between the garage and a tree next to the fence as you can see in the last 2 pics.





And for dinner, pork steaks on the grill with grilled asparagus, and fried potatoes while enjoying the movie The Hunt for Red October. That was a very good movie. And after that, with nothing we wanted to watch on TV, Craig watched a DVD of Aliens, which I swear he's watched like 50 times, so I went on the puter and caught up on some episodes of Ugly Betty on Hulu. Which I was surprised does very well with my DSL connection.
Well, time to go clean the Salon. I'll be back!
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