Archive of Marcia's Musings February 19-25, 2001
Sunday, February 25, 2001
That was Fun!!
What? Oh, that little-bitty earthquake we had this afternoon, that's what!! It was a 4.4 on the Richter Scale and lasted about 10 seconds-- too fun!! (An official news report can be found here.) It was centered on the Calaveras Fault which means that if it had been any stronger or lasted any longer . . . Ah, but nothing happened as far as damage was concerned today, but people get a little rattled. I think they're kinda cool-- I always have thought that!
Activities of the Day
First up was that we weren't!! We had a nice time with Sangeetha and Prasad last night. After a delicious pasta dinner made entirely by Brian (he would barely let me in the kitchen to get water to drink!), we had a little game of Trivial Pursuit. It was really fun, too, even though they had never played the game before-- that being the case, Brian, of course, split off and went with Sangeeth and I teamed up with Prasad. It got to be too late to play after awhile as they had to get up early so we called it a game before there was a decided winner.
We awoke about 9am which, as you know is late for us since we had to make our Costco run. Brian prefers to get there at 10 when it opens but we were only a little late. I picked up a couple of movies ("Meet Joe Black" and "Far and Away") on DVD and we headed home again. As you know, if you've been reading his page, Brian hasn't been feeling well so while he stayed home, I continued my shopping. I went to one of the malls and stocked up on some more picture frames-- I've been getting some really good prices on them. I found out that one of our favorite kitchen stores, is going to be closing a couple of stores here. We'll have to go back to see if we can't get some good prices on stuff for a house-sized kitchen over the course of the next month.
I continued shopping at the mall, picking up some much needed "unmentionables" that I got lucky and, between my coupons and discounts, I saved a lot of money. I also picked up a top to go with a pair of pants and a couple of pairs of shoes.
And Now For Something Completely Different
As I mentioned yesterday, I went and had my nails and pedicure (and hair) done yesterday. I've mentioned before that my friend, Linda, does that for me, right? Well, yes, she still does them (and wonderfully so, I might add!!) and we have more fun than ever before but, the cool and surprising and FUN thing is that she has a new co-worker in her room who does nail art!! What is "nail art"? Well, over there, to the left of here, that's nail art!!! It is soooooo fun!!! Lisa has about 60 designs she can do for your fingernails or, as in my case, my toenails-- oh, did I forget to mention that I have BOTH of my feet painted??? Well, I do!!! The last time that I was in, Lisa painted little hearts on my big toes for Valentines' Day. She started out yesterday just painting my big toes but, as soon as she had it finished, I had to have the other done!! And, just think: I've got 59+ designs to go!!! Brian, as usual, thinks I'm nuts but, even he has to admit that this looks really nice!
Okay, I think that about sums up my day and my weekend. Yes, of course, I got a bit of a nap in but it was more for purposes of resting my back than from tired-ness. The worst part is that I forgot to go to the beauty supply store so I have that run to make next week yet!! ARGH!!!
Have a nice evening!!
Saturday, February 24, 2001
Split The Difference
Its like this: our neighbors are coming over for dinner tonight and I've got to spend the majority of my afternoon getting my nails and hair done. Thus, you are getting a post at mid-day from me rather than the evening or, even later evening after our guests leave. The time that they'll be leaving is about the time that I'll need to get to bed since I'll miss my after-foot-massage-nap!! Brian and I had our sleep interrupted last night by one of our neighbors having an lively unpleasant "discussion" at 3am. Either they have no idea how thin the walls are or didn't care that the rest of us were being awakened but, nonetheless we are tired this morning as a result.
Have you heard the news?
Yep, that about covers it!!! I am soooo happy for Tom & Leah and Landon and Danielle!! Now they can get back to a more normal life, whatever that is these days for any of us!! Love Heals!!!
Plans are Afoot-- again!!
Next weekend, we're going to San Diego to see Brian's brother-- a trip we've never made together. In fact, it is again, "One of the Places where Marcia has Never Been in California". We're all looking forward to it and, as Pete said today, "At least someone is coming to visit us for a change-- we always have to go to the Arctic Circle to see anyone!" Well, its not quite that cold up here-- close but not quite!! Brian's Aunt and cousin also live in the area as does my nephew, Aaron; my niece, Natali, will be coming down from San Luis Obispo to join him and then we'll all meet up for brunch one day while we're there.
Okay, I'm off!!
I've gotta run-- nail acryllics and bubbling pans of soaking hot water and plastic aprons await. Don't you wish you had my troubles?? Yeah, I know-- the price of beauty! I'm worth it!
More later if time permits . . .
Friday, February 23, 2001
Four Down . . . a Gazillion to Go!!
At one point or another today, I kicked out four full documents and the respective revisions. Approved several NDAs, requested several others to be mutual as opposed to one-way which is what the customer issued. The AVP, sales rep and I had a conference call with the hostile demanding customer. She wasn't as bad but was definitely being demanding: John, the AVP, trying to be accommodating threw in a software component valued at about $5K which she accepted and, when he got off the call, she promptly rejected. Of course, she and the end user had had a chance to talk when they muted the phone on their end and discussed the need to transfer the software. It was finally decided that they didn't need the other component or transferability as much as they thought they had in the first place. Oh, yeah, decisive-- my favorite kind of people!!
I keep telling Brian that I want to try Armenian food-- there's a restaurant near where we live that people are always raving about at work. Today, at work, the whole department (the Friday contingent consisted of 5 of us, half of the usual staff) went out to lunch for Armenian food. I have to admit I was disappointed. I ordered the chicken kebab. Having ordered that, I have to admit that I expected to see chicken, skewered with vegetables alternating in a colorful array. What I received were four pieces of chicken on a bed of rice pilaf-- no vegtables. Very disappointing. The spicing was okay but I really missed not having vegetables especially since I don't eat rice in the quantity in which it was issued. I did split a dinner salad with my boss which helped with the veggie craving but, I think I really missed the taste of roasted peppers and tomatoes on a skewer. Hmm, disappointing may be too mild!
The day came to a wonderful end however when Brian and I went to pick up my Valentine's earrings. They are beautiful and they are secure with the screwbacks that I had put on them. Thank you again, sweetie!!
On that note, I'm calling it a night. "Night". I'm working on a little project for Brian-- yes, yes, you'll see it eventually.
Have a nice evening!
Thursday, February 22, 2001
Ya See, Its Like This . . .
I really thought I could remember whatever it was that I was going to write about tonight. Usually, if I think I'm going to forget what I want to write then I'll either write it during the day or I'll jot a note on my Palm (I can do that now, don'tcha know?). Unfortunately, I went bicycle riding tonight (and last night, too, if the truth be told and I never lie-- can't: sorry probably cuz I'm really lousy at it) and, after doing my stomach crunches/back stretches, I couldn't keep my eyes open so I layed down for a bit. NOW I can't remember anything I was going to tell you about!! Yeesh!!
Well, yes, that is one thing that I intended to tell ya'll about: I have been able to ride my bike now for these last two nights. This is a major step because its either been too cold or too wet. For the last two mornings, its been cold and rainy when we've left for work but, by the afternoon, its sunny and warmish-- well, 56 degrees is warmer than Grand Rapids anyway (Yes, I will resist the temptation to compare it to the temperature in Saskatoon!) I'm starting slow-ish but tonight, I got a little impatient and added a half-mile before I ordinarily would add more distance. I am going to try to work my mileage up a little more every day or so until I'm back to my base of at least 7 miles a day. Who knows, maybe this year I can raise my base up a bit, too!
READY for a Weekend!!!
I know its only been three days, and by Friday it'll be four days, but I am so very ready for a weekend!!! We're having the cute couple from next door over for dinner on Saturday night but, other than that, we have no plans except for me to sleep. (Yeah, you can really tell that I'm now hyperthyroid, can't you?)
I'm going to have a particularly difficult time getting through work tomorrow as my Valentine's gift from Brian is now ready for pick-up!! Yippee!!! I can hardly wait!! They look huge in that picture, don't they? Well, they're not that big-- they're for the upper hole on my ear (I have two holes on each earlobe) so they have to be kinda smallish to make that work without looking out of balance.
Negotiations are a fun thing-- yes, I am a sick puppy but you knew that and you love it about me, don't you?-- when you have the upper edge. A customer sent an email to me today with a redlined document; the email read (paraphrased) "Review the changes, and print out the document for execution." Yeah, right.
I read the document, reviewed the changes that they made; deleted most of the insertions and modified some of the others. What they deleted, I put back into the document in most cases.
Why, you ask? Because they don't know that I know two things about them:
1. They were told by the sales rep to not try to make any changes because I'd reject everything. (Therefore, when I do not reject "everything" but instead, allow some of the changes to take place, they think they're getting away with something!)
2. The evaluation license that they have expires on Monday. If they don't sign the agreement tomorrow, they will not receive shipment until Wednesday and, since they are in the middle of some tests, that would make things a little difficult for their engineers. (No, they do not know that I know this; sometimes, Life is just GOOD, isn't it?)
The attorney that I'm working with has one question, or so she says in a voicemail that she left for me this afternoon so tomorrow will definitely be an interesting day!
On that note, I'm sorry to say, I'm going to sign off for tonight. If I remember what I was going to tell you (there were two things I needed to relay to you), I'll be back. The price we pay for age, eh? (I'd really like a refund-- and my youth-- back, thanks!)
Have a nice evening!
Wednesday, February 21, 2001
With the kind of statistics that Brian and I keep, I am able to see the types of things that people are looking for on the web when they find my website. I decided to analyze some of these topics and see, by using Google, where I end up on the scale of 1 to 4,000,000,000.
So far this month, I've come up on a search list 27 times where people have followed the links from the search engine to my site. A search for "dutchgirl" finds me third on the list; this topical search is, coincidentally, a 3-way tie for the most frequent search topic on my site, too. Another topic that's high on my "most frequent" list is "shepherd's pie"-- I think the only time I've mentioned it on my site was when it was put on Barbara Thompson's Netwidow's Recipes Page. Apparently someone has been thinking about and doing research with regard to writing journals-- "my journal" was a popular search topic. One of my personal favorites is the fact that the search for "fairy tale stories" linked to my Fairy Tale about Brian and I-- I think that's sweet. Someone must've had fun sorting out this one: they searched on "marcia"! When I did it on Google, I got a kick back of "about 558,000 pages"!! Can you imagine sorting all of that out???
Certainly one of the most interesting searches that turned up my site is the one that this person requested: "oregon chain saw sharpener". I don't think that I even want to know about that one!! Another fascinating search was "pruners clattering reflexivene"-- how did that come together at my site? I'll probably never know!
Whatever your means or method of coming to this place, thanks for doing it! I enjoy what I do hear from you and, hopefully, you enjoy what you hear from me, too.
Yesterday when I was talking about the hostile phone call, I was so distracted by that that I forgot to tell you about an voicemail that I received. Actually, the voicemail was followed by an email-- the voicemail was unintelligible. I had to listen to it three times before I figured out who it was calling me!! When I finally figured it out, I called back but, believe it or not, no voicemail!! (Come on, people!! We're in the 21st Century NOW!!) I sent an email with "what I was waiting for" as he had asked so that I could expedite the agreements that needed to be put in place. I explained to him that I needed the document executed for which they were submitting the amendment that they wanted executed. It is not possible to amend an agreement that is not executed, right? (I'm sorry but this is pure logic and I know that you, my gentle and intelligent reader, understand it!) Right!!!
I received an email back from this gentlemen that said (Direct Quote!) "FAX #615/555-0000".
Confused? You bet!! I wrote back asking what he wanted me to fax to him since I was waiting on the document from him!
He wrote back in CAPITAL LETTERS:
"PLEASE EXECUTE DOCUMENTS SENT TO YOU IN THE FAX THAT HAS BEEN SENT TO YOU TWICE BEFORE. THAT ARE THE ONLY DOCUMENTS THAT WE ARE GOING TO SIGN.
"I'LL BE OUT OF OFFICE AT DENTAL APPT. TAMARROW."
No kidding! That was the email. (Don't you wish you had my job??)
I wrote back to him one last time:
"There is nothing to send to you as I am waiting for a signed agreement from you. When I have the signed agreement, I can then have the agreement and the amendment to it, executed and sent back to you. Without an executed document, there is nothing to amend.
"If you do not wish to sign the agreement, maintenance will be issued under the standard form of agreement, without the revisions requested."
A couple of things to remember:
1. Do not use CAPITAL LETTERS in an email where you are asking for something!! People tend to feel that they are being yelled at and, when it is yourself that is being stupid, writing it in CAPITAL LETTERS just emphasizes your ignorance.
2. Spelling words correctly in business emails is vitally important. That's all I'm going to say!!!
3. Proof-read business emails, especially important business emails, to make sure that your grammar and sentence structure is at least relatively accurate. On these pages and, sometimes at work, I'll get to typing fast and leave words out of what I'm saying or misspell a word or whatever. I almost always remember to go back and proof-read what I've written so it sounds intelligent or at least, a close proximity to it.
The good news in all of that is that I had a far more productive and positive day today. I had no one sending me misspelled badly written emails and, the day is over. Only two more days to go and its another weekend!! Yippee!!!
That said, I've been doing some research (or whatever you want to call exploring) on my Palm again. Lots of fun!! And then, there's "How To" night!!
Have a nice evening!
Tuesday, February 20, 2001
Definitely a Monday!!
Yeesh, what a day!!! I started out with a very hostile phone call with a customer. I am not even the one who described the two people on the call as hostile-- a second person who was on from my company with me used that word!! The worst part, for me, was that my co-worker got off the call after ten minutes-- I had another hour and ten minutes with these people. I was absolutely exhausted by the time we were finished with the call!!! The agreement isn't done yet because they are, of course, asking for the world.
The weird part is that the first two drafts that went out were fine according to the first person that I was working with on the agreement. When she brought in the second person, revisions that the first person made were revised-- again!! So we're now working on the fourth draft and all John, my AVP says is: "When will they sign?" I wish I knew!!! Apparently the sense of urgency that the end user tells the sales rep he has, hasn't been relayed to procurement!!!
Tons of good news around the 'Net and Sunnyvale today:
1. Kaycee is in remission!! Excellent news, indeed!! Happy Thoughts, Prayers and whatevers of thanks as well as continued healing for her!!
2. The dealership called today and the truck is going to cost us . . . $50.00!!! The warranty is in effect and, much to the chagrin of the warranty company, they will be picking up the tab to rebuild the engine!!! Yippee!!!
3. My thyroid has been cured-- overly so, according to the doctor. I'm now considered hyperthyroid instead of hypothyroid so please don't ask any questions about why I like sleeping a lot. I'm going to attribute it to the weather and not being able to get out and bicycle!! Hopefully my weight loss will start to increase now, too!!
4. The real estate market is starting to soften around here. I know, I know: Considering the price of real estate around here, it would have to go a long ways toward really being logical for the rest of the country. The thing I have to remind myself is that while the real estate market is softening, so is the NASDAQ and the DJIA and the NYSE . . . oh, yes, it is all a vicious cycle intended to make me nuts about being able to buy a house!!!
Task for the Night
Well, the housekeeper was here tonight but he didn't get to dust my desk! It is stacked to the rafters and I really need to go through it and sort it all out before Brian comes by with the paper shredder and just starts heaving stuff into it!!
Fun project, huh? Yeah, well, you have a nice night, too!!
Monday, February 19, 2001
Well, that was fun . . .
A day not exactly like we had planned but then, we didn't really have anything planned. We had talked about doing something together today-- just the two of us, but the weather wasn't going to allow for any kind of day-trip like we're used to doing together. Brian and I had been talking for a couple of weeks about replacing the comforter set that was on our bed . . . romantic but not terribly masculine and, frankly, it was "BB" (Before Brian) stuff so it needed to be replaced. We ended up walking from one end of the mall to the other, since that's how they design anchor-tenant department stores in malls. We found one comforter set at Sears and about ten that we liked at JCPenney's. Finally, we narrowed it down to one that picked up the colors of the paintings we have over the bed and something that isn't too feminine or too masculine so that we could both live with it for awhile.
A few weeks back when my niece Natali was here, we had to borrow blankets from someone at my office so, we decided that since we didn't like the blankets that we had on the bed, we would replace them also and use the blankets in the future when we have overnight guests. No more borrowing blankets cuz we now have couple of spares of our own!!
Anyway, our bedroom looks totally different now-- its really kinda weird!! But, as Brian and I agreed tonight, it is now OUR bedroom and that's the best part!!
We also wandered through several furniture stores looking at furniture for a bedroom in the future, i.e., when we get a house and can fit a six-piece bedroom set into a room!! We're not going to buy now because the bedroom here isn't big enough for one but also because it just isn't practical-- I'd rather put the money toward buying a house. Brian and I discussed the possibility of making our own furniture; that could be a fun project or two to do together.
When we were finished shopping for the afternoon, we went to lunch at Chili's and had what I call "Fake Mexican" food. Its not nearly as good as a real Mexican restaurant but we were hungry then and there and weren't sure of what would be open since it was a holiday.
Back to the grind tomorrow-- its going to feel like a Monday on Tuesday and screw me up mentally for the whole week but I'd rather that than have had a regular weekend. I do enjoy this third day off thing, ya know?
I've got some ironing to do but you can still have a nice evening!!
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