Thursday, July 31, 2008
Ok, once again, I'm behind the times....Friends have been pushing me to get onto Facebook for some time and I finally did yesterday.
HOLY SHEEPDIP, BATMAN!!!
I've found more people that I realized I was looking for! Bunch of people from high school, friends from college; most of which I haven't seen in 15 years or more.
Some people say that Facebook is a college thing and is creepy when adults get on it. Eh, whatever...
I was getting a headache with all the crap you can put on your page. I'm having wars with throwing things at other people; like lobbing Justin Timberlake or Paris Hilton, getting wrapped in bubblewrap, tossing polar bears and octopi. This is nuts!
And annoyingly addictive.....
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Cinema Movie of the Weekend: "The Dark Knight" After getting through the 15" of previews the movie was an additional 2.5h long! The buzz with the release was of Heath's assumed Oscar nod because of his death. No, I think he truly deserves this. Heath loved doing the challenging roles to amde him alter his accent, and being the Joker was that challenge. He re-defined The Joker; not as campy as Jack Nicholson's redition. This was, by far, the best Batman movie to be released.
Weight Watcher's Update: At the close of Week 7 I dropped another 3.5# giving me a total loss of 20.6#!! 10% is now less than 5# away. I'm still about half-way of what I'd like to lose.
Caption Contest Winner! This week we have a NEW WINNER!! Ace is this week's winner with, "I feel pretty, oh so pretty!"
Not a bad weekend to report; didn't really do a whole lot. The usual domestic crap like laundry. Went and saw "The Dark Night" which was very good, to say the least.
Grilled/smoked a bunch of stuff last night; a.5# turkey breast, Italian turkey burgers, and pollock. That should keep us going for most of the week.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Mals and I had a delightful weekend! Steve and Jen left for DSM Friday evening and he came back solo yesterday as Jenna was to spend a few days with gramma. The plan was to get her back tomorrow, but it looks like she'll stay another night and we'll get her Wednesday (YAY!!). It was a relaxing time with just Mallory. I clearly felt muchless stress with just her than with Steve and Jenna around.
Mom palled around with us Saturday and after having lunch we went to Hobby Lobby and spent over an hour there. I picked up a collage frame and a shadow box to work on a couple of projects and helped mom with some decorating ideas for her sun room.
I had my eye appointment yesterday to discuss my keratoconus in further detail. Dr. Liu is clearly not concerned about my condition.
I got glasses when I was 13-ish. Probably around 18 or so is when my vision and prescription changed a lot; I became more near-sighted and astigmatism popped up. Thesea are both signs of keratoconus. Within the last 6 years (I'm guessing) my prescription hasn't really changed much; maybe some tweeking here and there but nothing major. So my bet is that I developed adult-onset KC. Dr. Liu told me that in severe cases when a person is around 13 their visision is already crappy (my words) and by theire 20s or 30s they've had a corneal transplant. Not so with me.
We discussed treatment options, like corneal transplants, and riboflavin cross-linking. This is a proceedure where riboflavin drops on the eyes are exposed to UVA radiation. The UV cause the riboflavin to become stiff and thus strengthens the cornea. Sounds incredibly intriguing to me. He told me I can do this at home with super-complex B-vitamins and to not wear sun glasses.
Over time, UV radiation causes cataracts. I didn't think to ask about duration of UV exposure; if it's a quickie thing daily or constant no protection. Might have to call the office back and find out.....
So there you have it. He wants to see me back in one year for a check-up. But as it stands right now I'm good!
Friday, July 18, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I had a consultation appointment yesterday with Omaha Eye & Laser Institute to discuss iLASIK; a new form of LASIK surgery approved by NASA and the Navy Seals. I have moderately bad vision; I don't remember my axis numbers and all that but I do know that my prescription translates to approximately 20/300 in both eyes. I have a decent astigmatism which gives me blurred vision without lenses; uncorrected when looking at something from a distance I'll see (faintly) the main object with heavy shadows of that object on either side.
The last time I discussed LASIK with my optometrist was a couple of years ago and he said my prescription was severe enough that if I have the procedure done I'll need need reading glasses. So what's the point, right? Plus, this is my only set of eyes and if they get messed up I'm boned.
But I had been hearing about this new iLASIK and thought I'd go talk and see what they could tell me. I had a series of scans of my eyes before I met with one of the doctors. She came in to discuss her findings and my options. She came right out and said I am clearly not a candidate for any kind of LASIK procedure because I have keratoconus.
I had never heard of this condition which was very evident by the look of surprise on my face. Basically keratoconus is a progressive, degenerative disease of the cornea where, instead of maintaining the rounded shape, the cornea thins out and becomes shaped like a cone. As the cornea is what refracts light having a mis-shapen cornea will alter what a person sees. Keratoconus makes people very mear-sighted (of which I am) and causes a high degree of astigmatism (of which I have).
It developes in the teens and levels out in the 40s. In rare cases it can develop into corneal hydrops. My case is mild and my vision is still corrected by lenses. The first doctor wasn't really concerned about it as I'm 34 and still mild. But I do have an appointment Monday with one of the Big Cheese docs to discuss this further.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Pandora is a great site my boss told me about last year. It's a site where you can explore artists that share similar musical qualities. Par example; if you like Leo Kottke (which I highly recommend) but aren't sure if there are any other artists that have his particular sound you would created a station and Pandora (through the Music Genome Project) will pull up a whole slew of artists that are similar in sound and you can vote 'yes' or 'no' if you like the song. I have discovered so many different artists and my mp3 collection keeps getting bigger. I highly recommend this site if you want to expand your likes.
The other one I like is the Dave Koz Radio Show; a weekly, two-hour smooth jazz radio show hosted by Dave Koz who is a phemon on the sax. On the internet the show is sans commercial (a bonus) and he brings in guest artists and plays new stuff, old stuff, smooth R&B. A nice mixture.
I try to keep up with smooth jazz artists and this is one station that helps me out. A few weeks ago he played a song from Ray Charles called, "Oh, What A Beautiful Morning" from "Oklahoma!" His version was so swingy and happy you couldn't help but tap your feet and sway like Ray. The cut is from the album "Ray Swings Basie Swings" and, as the story goes, this was a European concert of Ray's from 30 years ago.
This was previously unreleased and undiscovered until a few years ago. The tapes had good vocal quality of Ray but the music bed wasn't very good. SO! The still-touring Count Basie Orchestra re-recorded the music bed of the concert. Producers did a PhotoShop of the music and vocals and VIOLA! made a whole new album. There may be a few times where Ray might sound a little dull compared to the new music bed.
To the purist this is blasphemy. But to the everyday listener (like me!) this is incredible and I play it often and I play it loud. If you are a fan of Ray I would recommend this album.
Another album/artist I discoverd just last week on Dave's show is a 19-year old singer by the name of Kelly Sweet. I don't normally "highly recommend" albums or get all excited about any particular artist but her voice is the most clear voice I have heard in quite some time. She's too young to have a voice like this. She's too young to be singing what she sings about.
The song Dave played is called "Raincoat" and it's Nora Jones-lite. Twelve tracks on the album and all are very mellow; a good relaxing CD or a Sunday morning coffee and newpaper CD. On her website (previously linked) four songs play; "Raincoat," "We Are One," "I Will Be Waiting," and her version of Aerosmith's "Dream On."
When you go to her site and "Dream On" plays (the first to play), I want you to stop what you are doing and LISTEN to this song. You may need a kleenex. She has completely redefined that song and with her voice she makes it so hauntily beautiful.
Song #4 is in French; can't understand a single word but it's beautiful.
Song #7 is in Italian; can't understand a single word but it's AMAZING!
Song #9 is in Sanskrit; can't understand a single word but it's incredible.
Song #12 just flat-out makes me cry as I think about my girls.
There is not one song I dislike on this album. Remember, she's only 19.
And she's GORGEOUS!! Give this album a go; you won't be disappointed.
Monday, July 14, 2008
NetFlix Movie of the Weekend: "The Upside on Anger" Wasn't worth sitting on my DVD for the last four months. The acting seemed stilted, wasn't really feeling any chemistry from anyone. The last 15 minutes explained the movie. Eh.....
Cinema Movie of the Weekend: "WALL-E" Took Jenna to this while mom had Mallory (after she woke up from sleeping for 15 hours. Yes, you read that right.). Perhaps a bit too dark for a 4yo as Jenna was sitting in each of our laps. I'm not sure it was worth all the hype, though it was a good movie. WALL-E has many endearing qualities, but I really liked M-O. The Pixar short, "Presto" was incredibly funny. Alec Azam....that's genious.
Weight Watcher's Update: Yet another stellar week for me; dropped another 3# bring my 5 week total to 16.5# gone. Less than 10# before I reach my first goal of 10% lost. My treat for myself? Probably new clothes, especially *ahem* the "unmentionables." Still wearing nursing bras. Not that you needed to know that little bit of information about me.....WHEEE!!!
What a great weekend this was! Severe weather to our west and south Friday night took all the heat and humidity with it leaving us with a GOREOUS 80* Saturday and no humidity. I opened the house up early Saturday morning and within 2h the inside temp dropped from 78 to 73. After the movie Jenna was taking a nap and Mal was still at mom's taking a nap, so Steve and I hung out in the hanging chairs not doing a darned thing for over an hour. It was pretty nice. Especially to not have any kids around for a spell. We didn't even talk to each other; just hung out and enjoyed a highly unusual July afternoon.
Yesterday it was a bit warmer but still dry and had the house open most of the day. Today the heat and humidity return. But it's the mid-July. Hopefully I can explain this well enough....because it was such a mild spring (albeit incredibly violent) it's made the summer seem not so long. Typically summer starts in May and doesn't end until the first of September. Summer really hasn't gotten a good foothold yet (though our time has come) and here it is; July 14 already. Heck, some schools start back up in a mere four weeks.
Why couldn't have I been pregnant THIS year?
Finished up a couple more landscaping projects as the weather was so accomodating. Grilled Saturday (flat iron steaks) and Sunday (stuffed chicken breasts) with grilled veggies both nights.
Be sure to stop by tomorrow as I have a couple of CDs to review. Knowing my luck I'm behind the 8Ball with this music but I have to share anyway.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Steve and I have been talking to Jenna about "stranger danger" and "private parts" and all those wonderful things that in an ideal and idyllic world would not have to be discussed. Alas, such is not the case, hence the discussions.
One thing I remember from elementary school about private parts is that where ever your arms cross on your body (chest, pelvis, hiney) are areas that no one should touch. Pretty basic, right?
Either Jenna wasn't paying attention or just didn't comprehend the term "private parts" but she has her own term.
This past weekend she was talking about "private parts" and the term that she used made Steve and I try our hardest to NOT bust out laughing. The ironic thing is is that her term is so incredibly dead-on it's not funny.
Nay, it's hilarious.
Instead of "private parts," Jenna calls them "profit parts."
Monday, July 7, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
This first one is at a church right across the street from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Notice how it just snapped in relation to the other pines next to it. These next few are at ElmwoodPark, adjacent to UNO. This park sustained heavy damage in 1997 from the ice storm. Though it's difficult to determine, these are large arteries of the trees; some are 12" in diameter.
Still around 6 thousand people without power.
I find it ironic for any severe storm that passes, beit tornado, blizzard, or hurricane. Ever noticed that after the storm has passed and people are surveying the damage that it's sunny with puffy clouds and singing birds? You almost wish it to be cloudy and gloomy for at least a day to match the moods of those affected.
Rarely is it; it's usually sunny and happy looking.
Is it a cruel joke, or a glimmer of hope?