Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bullet List

I have a bunch of little blurbs that didn't really add up to a full blog post for each, so i'm going to make a bullet list of things going through my brain right now.

-I feel like I have a "weekend marriage" right now. Not that I live the life of a wild bachellorette during the week or anything, but since Matt and I see (and talk) to each other for a total of half an hour to an hour on a daily basis, I've been feeling pretty "single" during the week. Luckily, it's almost the weekend and Matt and I can have a couple fun days together. We also tend to do a lot of daily communicating via text message. The people I work with are VERY quiet and I feel really uncomfortable talking on my phone in my cube. Texting is a good solution, and I am always excited when the light on my phone turns blue and I know I have a text from Matt waiting for me.

-We are starting to delve into the house buying process. It's a scary thought and we have barely started looking. But I already have so much excitement about not having to rent and live in other people's property! Also, we can't pass up the opportunity to buy in such a great market with awesome interest rates. We have seen so many houses online that look awesome. I have no idea how we will ever choose one!

-Pongo and Perdi had their first romp in the dog park for over a week. It was impossible not to take could just feel their pent up energy building up and they definitely ran off a week's worth of energy today.

-We are getting a visitor in two weeks. Alissa is coming out for the second time and we are so excited! We haven't had any visitors or seen any family since Christmas, so her visit is PERFECT. The only downside: I get my wisdom teeth taken out the same day she gets here, so I'm sure I'll be a groggy and recovering host. Still, I miss having guests in the house so it will all be worth it!

-Did I mention that the following weekend after Alissa's visit, Matt and I are going to Las Vegas for a weekend getaway? It's the opening round of the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament and the atmosphere there is incredible, especially if you live and breathe sports like my husband does. There are lots and lots of games on that weekend and everyone is usually excited about some game because they have a bet on it. I admit that I am more excited that we are staying in my favorite hotel, the New York, NY rather than all the sporting events that will be going on. We also plan to go see "O" at the Bellagio, which a highly touted cirque de solleil (sp?) show.

-I can't wait until camping season. I have enjoyed skiing a lot, but it just really doesn't compare the Colorado summers and getting up in the mountains for the warm days, cool nights and cozy campfires. There is nothing like looking up through the trees and seeing billions of stars. When you are on top of a mountain, they are that much closer and brighter. I am interested to see how good of a camper Perdi turns out to be. Pongo does awesome, so hopefully she will follow suit. She loves being outside during the day and is less of a house dog than Pongo, so that makes me think she'll be fine. I just realized that because we have the dogs, the only time we can really spend the night in the mountains is when we camp, unless we board the dogs. This is another reason I love camping. I just love getting away from the city!

That's all for tonight, folks!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Honoring a Hero

Disclaimer: I try not to make this blog too political because I know many people read it and not everyone shares my views. Plus I just hate getting into political debates in general. But what I have to share just really upset me. I heard it on a news blurb on the radio yesterday.

On January 15, 2009, a US Airways jet landed in the Hudson River after a run-in with a flock of birds caused massive engine trouble. The pilot, Captain Chesley Sullenberger III immediately knew he could not turn the plane around or make it to a nearby airport. He was barely out of New York, NY and knew that the city could not handle another 911 type tragedy, which could occur unless he thought of a good alternative. So he calmly rationalized that the Hudson River was the best possible place to land the plane. Miraculously, no one was injured thanks to the Sulleberger's quick thinking, a proactive staff aboard the plane and a quick response from rescue teams.

I consider this man a hero. He stayed calm and really thought his possibilites through. He kept the passengers calm and informed. He saved the lives of everybody on board.

Chesley Sullenberg has recently been spotted in Congress. Recently, his salary has been cut by 40% and his pension has been taken away and he is testifying to Congress because he and other experienced pilots will have no other alternatives but to quit and take other jobs, leaving US Airways to fill the position with less experienced pilots. This man is essentially STILL battling for the safety of his passengers.

Sullenberg was honored and thanked for saving hundreds of lives with a dramatic pay decrease and loss of pension, barely a month after the incident. And yet his main concern is still focused around airline passengers everywhere, as evidenced by his presence in Congress. What a classy guy!

Here is my issue with these pay cuts, besides the above stated. The CEO's of the big six airlines earn an estimated 39 million dollar annual salary EACH. The past two quarters, these airlines have also been posting profits, rather than negative earnings. I see no reason for them to drastically cut the salaries of devoted pilots, other than the possibility that they are scared because of the economy. However, I also recognize that I am NOT an insider on the airline industry.

I will end the post here because I have avoided involving too much political-ness as of yet. The things that are happening with the airline industry just smell fishy to me. Again, it makes me feel so lucky to work for a company where I feel that hard workers such as myself are truly valued and would never be walked upon as these devoted airline pilots and staff have been. Do you agree?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Changes Abound

I hate these posts where I don’t really have anything significant to say. We had a pretty uneventful weekend, which was kind of disappointing. It’s mostly my fault because I haven’t been feeling very well. I just didn’t want to get up and around on Saturday.
Sunday was a little better. I did laundry, etc. and then got stir crazy. I just wanted to get out of the house. Matt and I went out and got some new athletic shoes. Then I went and got my hair cut and highlighted while Matt went golfing.
I really like my hair, although I would have been OK with her cutting it a little shorter in the back. I guess I really have a hard time communicating with stylists. I told her all I wanted was a cut and highlight, and found a picture of what I wanted the cut to look like. The lady must have thought I wanted my hair to be EXACTLY like the picture because she started talking about coloring it red. Luckily I avoided the red, but she did color all my hair (a similar brown as I had previously) as well as highlight it, which cost a lot more than just a highlight and cut. I was a little upset about the final cost, but since it looked good, I held my tongue and made a mental note to be more specific next time. Lesson learned!
We have been unable to take the dogs to the dog park since Perdi is still recovering from her surgery. She is noticeably more active and is driving us nuts by getting into everything she is not supposed to. It is pretty pointless to just take Pongo alone, since he is the calm one and very well socialized. We can’t wait until Perdi sleeps past 7 am, especially Matt.
Last week, I had to drop one of my Masters classes. It was just taking up too much time and really taking away from my ability to be successful in both classes, along with working 45 or more hours a week. I realize this will possibly set my graduation date back, but I have regained my sanity and my stress levels have significantly decreased.
I am going to spend the rest of this semester perfecting my applied statistics skills as well as re-evaluating if this Master’s degree is something that I really want/need to do. I hate the disappointment that I feel when I tell people my true doubts about finishing this. I just know that I can only stretch myself so far. If a program that is “geared toward working professionals” starts subtracting from my ability to be successful at my job, then something has to change. As it stands now, I am at a perfect balance between work and school and home life. I even have time to be sick! The question is, can I really do this for 5 years?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Spay Day

What an awful title, I know. It was about all I could think of. Poor Perdi had her surgery today. She is fine and curled up in my lap as I write this. I know she is still under a little bit of anesthesia, but her cuddliness is so welcome. It's like she's saying "Hold me mommy. I hurt."
Perdi whined all the way home from the vet. I don't think it was from pain, i think it was because she missed Pongo and just wanted to be home and away from such a scary situation.

Perdi had a "band aid" from the IV. I thought it looked cute, but she just wanted it off, so I obliged after a few photos.

Can you spot the incision? There is a lot of iodine on her body, but the actual cut is so small because we opted for a laproscopic procedure. It is only an inch long at most. It also blends in with all her beagle spots!

Here is the trooper right after we got home!

Matt took Perdi to the vet a little after 7 am. He left Pongo out as a test to see if his separation anxiety is any better now. The answer is no. He scratched up the door to the garage. Nothing a little stain can't handle...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Isn't Life Funny?

Just the other day, I was thinking how the smallest things we do can impact our lives in a huge way. Here is my personal example:

My senior year of high school, I was facing a huge dilemma. To accept my offer of admission to James Madison University or to submit my housing application to KU. Both were due in mere days and my decision was coming down to the wire. Obviously, I went with KU, which was not a small decision to make. However, I clearly remember reading over each residence hall's description and even what different floors had to offer before submitting my housing form.

I decided on a whim check the "3E" floor box after reading about it. (3E = "Experiencing Excellence in Ellsworth.") And look what happened in my life because of that! I met Matt on that floor, we dated, got married and moved to Colorado. I also met some of my best college friends there. The most momentous events of my life happened because I checked that one little box...

Lesson learned: big decisions may be really hard to make, but the smaller ones can have just as much of an impact on life, if not more. I'm so glad I checked that box!
Lobster Matt and I in St. Lucia heading out to snorkel...all because I checked that box. : )

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Fantastic Weekend

I love three day weekends! Matt and had such a good few days together. They went by in a blur to me! Friday, we went night skiing again at Keystone. All was well until the last run, when we decided to upgrade to a blue run. That was the scariest thing I have done in a while! It was very steep, long and a little icy. I’m sure it would have been more fun if the snow was better. Still, I have a lot of fun on the greens.
Saturday, a window guy came to our house to estimate how much work needs to be done on them. We have been promised window work by our landlord since we moved in! Apparently, they are pretty bad. Not only are they nailed shut so we can’t open them (a previous tenant was a little paranoid of a break-in so she had them nailed shut), but they are very leaky as well. Still, Matt and I are not too upset about our gas bills this winter. The weather has been mild, but even during cold snaps, we paid more in the winter for our much smaller house in Roeland Park, which had TERRIBLE insulation. It would be nice to have the windows un-nailed so that we can open them in the spring. The weather out here is too wonderful to keep them closed all the time!
For Valentine’s Day, Matt did something really cool for me. Well actually a couple cool things. The first being that he woke up on Saturday morning early with the dogs and went out and got us Einstein Brothers bagels and my favorite coffee. He also cut up some fresh fruit to go along with it.
Second, he printed all of our honeymoon pictures and put them in albums. We had over 500 pictures from both of our cameras! It is so nice to have them in front of us to look at. I got him what any guy would want…car accessories! He now has a KU Alumni license plate frame and some heavy duty Jayhawk floor mats for the Highlander. It looks pretty spiffy!
Later that night, we fajitas for two at our favorite Mexican food place and then went to see “He’s Just Not That Into You.” It was a good movie, but a little depressing for Valentine’s day in some parts.
Sunday, I did some school work and we took the dogs for a romp in the dog park. (They went every day this weekend!) Perdi is now experimenting with the creek. She likes to wade in it on some days. It’s not very deep, so she is never actually swimming. She has inspired Pongo, who used to HATE the water. He will now get in it and chase her around. They get very rambunctious when they are wet.
Sunday night was Liz’s birthday celebration! We had a blast! We went to dinner with a bunch of her friends at Hibachi, a Japanese restaurant where they cook the food right in front of you. We had the full experience, from egg rolls to seasoned filet minon to warm sake. Matt even tried some sushi. After that, we went to a smoky karaoke bar and watched people sing songs from the 80’s. It was fun.Monday turned into my Sunday this week, so I spent much of it cleaning and working on school, with a break for the dog park and Wal-Mart in between. It was sad to see such a fun weekend end.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Field Trip

Yesterday, we took a work field trip to see one of the Woolpert survey planes. The Centennial airport is super close to the office, and the plane happened to be there, so a bunch of us went to check it out.

Here is the plane, front and side views. It is a Cesna (insert number here). My dad and/or brother would know the exact number. I asked, but can't remember. I was more intrigued by other things... going IN the plane.
On the top, I am posing by the "brains" of the camera that takes the aerial imagery. (ADS 40, for those of you photogrammetry nerds out there.) On the left is me, and Leo the pilot up front.

The airplane controls...

And the camera. There are literally holes cut under the belly of the plane for the camera viewer and LIDAR.

All the Woolpies waiting to look inside the plane. What a fun afternoon!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Another Pic Post from Matt

I want to first thank everyone who comments on the blog. I'm really glad that Laura is doing this and it makes us feel really good when you all comment!

Catching up, I am working a lot and don't mind it because I think people are noticing and that is what I want to do. I just starting taking on a management type project that I hope I can run with and impress our two managers. They work really hard and, not only do I want to impress them, but I want to help them with all they have to do.

Like Laura said, we do go to the dog park a lot and the puppies have a lot of fun. Too much if you ask me, but they get some energy out and are more calm. Yesterday when we went Pongo decided to revert to his bad boy ways and run all the way across the park to get to the horse pen. Perdita was yipping and following. They ran around the horse pen about 3 times and this time stayed out of the poo, but it makes both Lor and I worried about the puppies when they get that close to the horsies.

Ok, so now the most exciting part of today's post. Pictures!!

This is one of my favorite pictures. I love using the light in our house with the puppies. When they are tired I can get all kinds of good pictures and this one turned out great.

This is when we went night skiing. Twilight on top of the mountain was indescribable. Here is the best we could do to capture it. I thought the snowboarders getting ready added to the intrigue of the shot.

Puppies @ the dog park. Where is the treat?

More night skiing. It was really cool.

Perdita, sun and sleep.

I think that is plent for one day! Have a great week!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Greetings, folks! I am one tired lady right now. I got home yesterday, frantically ran some errands (who knew dry cleaning a down comforter costs $35?) fed the dogs and passed out for an hour on the couch. When I woke up, I worked for a couple hours on my stats homework and made good progress. At this point, I decided to go to bed. However, I just could NOT fall asleep, which is usually not a problem for me. All in all, I probably got 3 hours of sleep. I guess I am holding up okay, but I am discouraged…I got some of my programming homework back today and did not do as well as I hoped. I put so much time and effort into those assignments, but sometimes it all feels way over my head.

I am working on a list of 25 random things about myself. These lists have been going around Facebook like crazy. I just can’t think of that many interesting things about myself. I think I am at #9 right now. I will post this list up here when I am finished as well, so the non-facebook people can learn a little something about me as well.

Matt has been working hard lately. One of the pharmacists that worked the overnight shift quit, so all the other pharmacists are covering that position. He has been staying later at the hospital lately, which I know is much appreciated. Sometimes, Matt gets hand written thank you letters in the mail from the upper hospital staff, letting him know that his extra work is noticed and appreciated. I think that is so awesome to take the time to do that. Sometimes all it takes is a little note to boost your morale and make you feel like all the time and effort is making a difference to someone…

The dogs are well. They have been to the dog park almost every day as of late. Matt said Perdi was chasing leaves today. She also enjoys retrieving a tennis ball, and is quite good at it. Perdi will be getting spayed one week from tomorrow! I am looking forward to this for several reasons.
1. We will be able to board her and not be tied down as much at home.
2. I am hoping this helps her calm down a little, although it didn’t make the slightest difference with Pongo.
3. She can go to doggy day care and socialize a little more. (She is still pretty shy around other dogs, but she LOVES other beagles.)

I passed a lady at the dog park on Sunday and I overheard her say to her husband, “Oh look, that’s Pongo!” Apparently, he makes an impression on people. Either that, or we are at the dog park WAY TOO MUCH!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

It's Not Time!

Here is something crazy: my brother took the ACT today! Since he is 10 years younger than me, this fact really creep me out. That, and the fact that I will be 26 on my next birthday...time passes SO fast these days. I wish I could just grab ahold of something and slow it down! Anyway, I think Brennan was mostly just taking that ACT for practice because he is still a sophomore, but I bet he will do way better than me on his first try. I told him I wouldn't reveal my score to him until AFTER he got his back. :) And even then, I'll still have to see . :D
The great thing about having conversations with my brother as of late, is that it seems like we finally have more to talk about. I mean this in the sense that we are both growing up and we have more in common. The age difference that once seemed so large is getting smaller and smaller by the day. For instance, I could advise him on the ins and outs of the ACT and SAT, while he gave me some funny bits of humor of getting root canals. (Luckily, mine is still confined to a mere crown.) I probably shouldn't publicize the fact that Brennan has already had a root canal, but I'm ever the evil big sister and this is my blog, so it stays! Sorry Brennan...
I was so happy to get some time away from work and school to escape to the dog park with the puppies. The weather has been so beautiful all week. We really haven't had much of a winter to speak of yet. Just a few infrequent snow storms and a couple scattered periods of really cold days. I don't think it's gotten below 30 during the day for at least a month!
Now back to the dog park: Perdi tried to get some big dogs to chase her today, which she decided was a bad idea when they actually obliged. It is a good sign that she is interacting with other dogs though. She has been very shy in the past. It is also hilarious when she chases Pongo. She can't really keep up with him yet, so she lets out short little yips and shrieks as she chases him. Many people ask us if she is okay, or if she is in pain. But no, she is just telling Pongo that she is coming, so he better watch out!
This weekend is one of those weekends where Matt is working. I really hate these long periods of only having a couple hours together. However, I found myself accomplishing many of the things I needed to do for myself. I got all caught up on my school lectures and started my stats homework so that it won't add to my programming stresses during the week. I also figured out my term projects for both classes, which alleviated a lot of stress. Once I know what I am doing and how to go about doing it, I feel much better. The project is no longer a dark unkown in my future...I will be doing an analysis of the accuracy of airborn GPS without the use of a base station. Sounds complicated, I know. It is the perfect project though because it will double as a project for both classes and it will be beneficial for my company. Also, if all turns out well, I hope to submit it to the ASPRS for some scholarship money too!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Nocturnal Economics

There is a topic I have been meaning to bring up for a while: the economy! I'm sure it is on many people's minds as thousands upon thousands of people are laid off from their jobs every day. I feel as if I have been in a bubble from this crisis, and luckily so! My company was not effected by the credit crisis; they have a solid line of credit at a solid bank. I don't know many more details than that off the top of my head. However, lately certain departments at my company have been laying off people very quickly. My department (photogrammetry) has so much work right now and for the foreseeable future, it's a little overwhelming. Matt also has wonderful job security, as his skills will (unfortunately) always be needed as long as there are sick children in the world. Still, it is always in the back of my mind as to how bad things will really get. How far will this recession/depression go? What would we do if we lost our jobs? What sacrifices would we have to make?
There is a part of me that is always preparing for the worst. This is part of the reason I am studying to get my Master's. To prepare to give myself a competitive edge just in case. Another example is our pantry. I tend to pick up an extra can of soup or jar of peanut butter (etc.) long before it is needed. I think this is mostly in case we happen to get snowed in or something. (Honestly, I think it's snowed more in the midwest than out here this winter!) It's not like I have an underground chamber filled with 10 years worth of supplies. But at the same time, it's nice to have a small supply of things just in case.
So where does the "nocturnal" part of the title fall in to place? Actually, it's completely unrelated to economics. Last night Pongo decided to turn into "Nocturnal Dog." I was up until at least midnight finishing up school stuff. Pongo had been resting on the couch with me, but when we went up to bed, he would not lay down! He kept scratching at the bedroom door and when Matt let him out, he had so much energy! (He usually just wants to find a rawhide to chew on.) It was like he was a puppy again. And of course, all of his wondering about the bedroom caused Perdi to scratch and bark in her kennel constantly.
Needless to day, we did not get much sleep last night! I am feeling it tonight, but still managed to get everything turned in on time. I even got through two lectures tonight, but this is mostly thanks to Matt. He took the dogs to the dog park today, so they were good and sleepy, especially after a trip to Petsmart with me earlier this evening. We are both really needing Perdi to start sleeping in...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Power of the Mind

I believe in the power of the mind. It seems to me that a simple thought can solve (or create) many problems. Let me explain. Say you haven’t been sick in a really long time, and you don’t even notice. And just then when you get to thinking “Wow, I really haven’t been sick in a long time,” you come down with a cold. It’s like one little thought can trigger a physical reaction.
I had a similar experience at work. My computer software used to crash a lot, which was really annoying. Recently, it has been running well until I had the thought “Wow, this software hasn’t crashed in a long time.” Five minutes later, it crashes. So many of these occurrences have been happening to me lately that it hardly seems like it can be coincidence. Now, if only I could use the power of my mind to figure out my latest programming issues for school…it suddenly doesn’t seem so easy as to “think it in.”

Last Saturday morning and Monday mornings, I had to get up at 4 am to let Pongo out. He usually has a bladder of steel, but we had been getting back late for different reasons (skiing, Super Bowl) and he had guzzled down water near bedtime. It was funny because he had to go so bad that he was scratching at the back door as I was fumbling with the lock! It was like he was saying “Hurry, mom! I gotta go NOW!” The 4 am part was not so great. I pretty much couldn’t sleep again after that and Perdi got restless and didn’t want to sleep either. Last night, she was whining in her kennel in the middle of the night as she usually does. I don’t even remember opening the kennel and letting her in to bed! I feel like a walking zombie.
Thursdays are usually the pinnacle of my week. It’s when most of my homework and labs are usually due, so after Thursday morning, I am feeling much better. But right now, I am in a “dither” about getting everything done right and on time. It’s really hard to concentrate on work when I am like this.
The last thing I really want to say is to thank everyone ELSE (besides Matt, whom I mentioned last time) who has given me encouragement in my pursuit of a Master’s degree. Family, friends, co-workers…all of your encouraging comments mean so much to me. I often have serious doubts as to whether or not I am capable of doing this, but your words always get me through! THANK YOU!

Matt usually posts a "song of the day" on his sports blog. (Check it out at I am not going to do this daily, but I just bought the new Fray album and it is wonderful. They didn't dissapoint, and I had some very high expectations. So my song of the day is:
"Never Say Never" by The Fray

Monday, February 2, 2009

Dental Season

I just got home and had to write a post. How many of you out there have had bad dental experiences before? I honestly had not had any that were too bad until today. At all the rest pale in comparison...
Last Tuesday, I had a normal x-ray and exam where I was informed that I would need a crown on one of my composite teeth (one of the big ones in the back.) I was prepared for this, because I could tell something was wrong, even though I had no pain in that tooth at all. So today, I went in to get it taken care of. I believe I had the most inexperienced hygenist in the office. She asked ME what I needed done. She didn't even know what tooth was supposed to be "crowned."
She then proceeded to polish my teeth, with stuff that tasted like baking soda and fish oil. Usually, I don't mind the cleaning because I like the minty stuff. Or even bubble gum! Nope, not here. She flossed my teeth so roughly that I thought she was dragging a dish towel though my teeth instead of floss. She had to go get another hygenist to help her get the things she would need for the crown.
My dentist is a very sweet Indian woman. She calls me "sweet pea" and "baby girl," which made me chuckle, because that's what i call my puppy. What she didn't make clear last time was that I needed my wisdom teeth pulled before she could do this crown. But I got the hard part over with today. They drilled away the tooth (except the bottom) and re-built it with composite stuff, which I assume will come off later when the porcelain venier is ready. She did such a good job drilling that she even drilled into my toungue. (I tend to uncontrollably swallow during procedures like this, I don't know why! But at least I don't gag! I found myself almost in tears, longing for my KC dentist, Dr. Peppes, who was the best dentist I have ever had and ran the cleanest and most professional clinic I have ever seen.
After all was said and done, i got the good news that all of this stuff I just went through might actually be a root canal, but she wasn't sure. If I have any shooting pain through the tooth tonight, she will re-evaluate!?! So does that mean that everything I just did (and payed for) was all for nothing?
And then there's those wisdom teeth, which MUST come out within the next couple weeks so we can complete the crown (if indeed, it is a crown). It sure is dental season in our neck of the woods. Matt is due to get his wisdom teeth pulled as well.
Have you ever tried to eat pineapple with half of your mouth numb? It's an interesting sensation. Half of your mouth is full of wonderful flavor and the other half tastes like dry cotton. It sure did feel good to get the yucky dental taste out of at least half of my mouth though.
On a much happier note, I have a brand new cubicle at work! It is much more spacious and quiet (because it is not near the server room, which has air conditioners running constantly). I have a larger desk, which will be great for taking tests in my classes. (My proctor is one of my co-workers, so I will take the tests at the office.)
Also, I ROCKED at night skiing! We did 4 runs in a little over 2 hours, which is great for me, because our run is pretty long. There were not very many people on the slopes, so I was really relaxed. I thought I would fall a lot because I was so tired from a week of school and work, but I only fell once at the very end. It felt great to be out on the mountains at night (with them all lit up, of course) and the pines smelled so good. It wasn't even that cold! What a great way to top off the week.