Power Pack

I am amazed at what people come up with. I’m not amazed by useless things like Nigel’s amp. But I am amazed when someone has a great idea in this day and age. I think it’s hard to come up with something that isn’t already out there. But remember to get that patent. Someone could have taken your idea for a pot that makes and drains pasta!

I was cruising through CNN.com and I like to check out the technology page sometimes. Today’s interest was a backpack. This was no ordinary backpack. It generates power for things like cell phones, mp3 players and everyone’s favorite, night vision goggles. I know I don’t go camping with out them! Ok, having power for certain things is great, but while you are camping? I usually go camping to get away from people and technology. But hey, if you’ve got annoying campers singing some Barry Manilow song all night or a heard of wild dogs barking at your tent wanting your cheese dogs, then heck yes I want a battery backpack! Seriously, if your phone goes dead and you are on a trail, lost, then a backpack that genterates about 7 watts of electricity is pretty handy.

It works by your movement. So if you think about it, you are the battery making this thing work. But anyway, as your hips go up and down, it turns a coil that then somehow makes electricity. That part got too technical for me, but you can read about it yourself. Make sure you’ve got it full of powerbars or else you might not be able to call for help when you run out of cheese dogs.

Power Backpack

4 years later

In a few days I will have completed 4 years of marriage. So far my grade as a wife is about a “B+”. I give the same grade to my husband. He didn’t know I would be grading, he didn’t study, but he’s done really well as the years have passed. If I gave both of us an “A” then there would be nothing to improve upon, right?

As with any marriage, we fight. Lately, we’ve been fighting over Scully, our min-pin. Well it’s more of a discussion, not a fight. We’ve never hit each other. I think we would both fight like girls if it did happen. That’s a sight I don’t really want to see. But Scully is a problem right now for us.

When we got back from vacation, she kinda went back into her old habits of peeing in her bed and then crying to be let out. As a human I understand the urge to tinkle, I get up and go. But for Scully, she has to let us know so we can let her out. Plus, when you wet the bed, you don’t really want to get back in it. You want to cuddle with your parents in their nice warm bed. I know your tricks Scully! That’s one problem. The second one is we are about to move into our new house. A house that we picked out, we’ve waited for it to be built, we’ve picked out the carpet that she might pee on.

The third problem is it’s a two-story. All the bedrooms are upstairs. And I know if I have to get up and let her out of her crate, walk down the stairs, walk back up the stairs and crate her up again, I might as well go to the gym. All that exercise in the middle of the night can’t be good for you. But I don’t want to find out. So that leads us to our discussions.

Do we just let her cry and learn to hold it? Some nights she tricks us (I told you she’s trixy) and she’ll hold it til the morning. Other nights she has to go 2 to 3 times a night! Do we get up so she doesn’t have an accident in her bed? You’d think we had a child that’s learning potty training the way we talk about it. But it’s important because of the new house. Justin thinks we should keep her downstairs and ignore her. I say that will only perpetuate the problem.

It’s a tough call huh. What do you think blog readers? Oh, you still thinking about us hitting each other like girls, well if you don’t help me out, I might just have to hit you like a girl! Now that would be funny. I’m sure Justin would give me an A for that!

Bean Burrito Madness


I have an unusual craving for re-fried beans. I love them. Justin knows what I want for dinner every night. Which takes the boredom out of asking, “What’s for dinner?” I’m sure he will get tired of them, hopefully later than sooner!

When we go to a Mexican restaurant, I order a bean burrito, with 2 sides of re-fried beans. The stunned waitress/waiter just look at me, then over to Justin and laugh. Then I have to defend myself and say, “Don’t worry, they don’t ‘affect’ me like they do everyone else.” No it’s not a lie. All re-fried beans do is just make me want more re-fried beans.

I remember in High School going to Taco Bell with all my friends. Everyone would order something like nachos belgrande, double decker (yum), chili cheese burrito and a drink and end up spending like $2.50. I would go and order a bean burrito and spend 69 cents. I guess I could have ordered 2, but my beaner level was pretty low then. But I was still consuming them on a weekly basis.

As the years passed, my bean cravings increased. I married Taco Bell, literally. Justin used to work at Taco Bell and would make me bean burritos (beaners) just like they do. He still goes into his days at Taco Bell and how the meat is dehydrated, gross. This would normally get on my nerves after 6 years, but since I love beaners, I let him ramble. I always have a can of re-fried beans in the cupboard, tortillas and cheese in the fridge. Like peanut butter and jelly for some, beaners are my staple.

Since moving to Las Vegas, I have explored many other restaurants for bean burritos. The beaners Justin makes for me at home are pretty good. Taco Bell is pretty good too, minus the oninons. I’m here for the beans, nothing else. Most mexican restaurants are pretty good. You can’t go wrong with a beaner. BUT, the one place that I absolutely love is a place I like to call My Man Roberto’s Taco Shop.

Over at My Man’s place, they take a fresh tortilla and throw it on the grill. This is no normal tortilla, this thing is huge and so fresh! So while that’s on the grill getting all toasted and yummy, the beans are simmering and waiting to be thrown on my grilled tortilla. Then the tortilla is taken off the grill and the beans are thrown on with the cheese and wrapped up like a baby. As big as it is, it doesn’t take me long to eat it.

I have, however, taken my beaner craving too far. While visiting My Man, I asked them if they could take my finished beaner and throw it in the fryer, make it chimichanga style. She looked at me like she didn’t understand English. Well that part might be true. So I asked her again, “Can you make my beaner chimichanga style?” “NO.” She didn’t even consider it, which lead me to believe that she again didn’t understand me. I tried a few more times on different visits, but they flat out refused. Maybe because they are fast food? Who knows. But I have learned one thing: ask the same question at a restaurant and they will bend over backwards for you.

While visiting Garduno’s and Richardo’s I asked for a bean burrito, chimichanga style with 2 sides of re-fried beans. And out came, dum dum dummmm, excatly that! So I know it can be done Roberto! But I still visit My Man’s from time to time. Can’t give up on them. One day I’ll break them down and they will deep-fat-fry my beaner. Who knows, maybe I’ll start a trend. But for now, I’ll just take my beaners and my 2 sides of re-fried beans and keep explaining myself.

Price Check in Fiction

I tell everyone that the Library is a great resource for the rich, the poor and the people in the middle. I’ve been poor and in the middle but not rich, but I’m sure that rich people can use the Library too.

When I lived in Salt Lake they had just remodeled the Downtown Library. And let me tell you, it was impressive! It was like 6 stories high, self-check outs as well as stand-in-line check outs, a great music and movie section and so much more! It really was a great resource. We loved it. When I moved to Las Vegas, I missed it like I miss friends in Texas. I still have my card (with no fines of course) and I refuse to throw it out. Maybe one day while visiting SLC I can go and check out a book on candles, the history of television, or a great movie. I can’t do that if I throw out my card. So to keep the tradition of going to the Library a few times a week, I got a card here.

It’s so different here. The branch by me is very small and smelly. Probably because it is so hot here. The outside drop-off bins only take books. All others will melt. There is a security guard posted at the main door. And the lines are always long. However, I can still reserve items online and then I get an e-mail when they are ready. SLC did that too! So there is still hope.

This week I was picking up Season 5 of the Sopranos. Good timing too because it was a long weekend and I had time. So I was standing in line, following the sign that said to be patient, yes, I was patient. I was also noticing how very familiar standing in line at the Library and standing in line at the grocery store are the same. For example:

The lines are long: No matter what line you get in at the grocery store, it seems to be the longest. Well at this library, there is only one line, and it’s always long.

You use a card to pay/checkout: Unless you are still using checks or cash (I don’t think I remember what cash looks like) you are using a card. Same at the Library. Unless you have a fine so you will have to use your checkbook or pay it with cash.

Kids are running wild: Remember when you had to be quiet at the Library? I do. How come today’s kids don’t? They are running around picking up every bright colored book asking if they can check it out. Half the time, not even noticing Fabio on the cover with a woman in a bikini on a mountain top. “Please, it looks funny!” At the grocery store, they put candy and goodies at the check out stand so parents can have one last struggle with their kids. And by this point in the shopping experience, they are worn down, so the kids get their treats, atlast! At the Library, while I was waiting patiently, more so than the kids infront of me, they have a wall that has comics on it. It’s also has a sign that says “Check me out!” It’s not candy but it’s the same concept.

Fines are just as much as frozen corndogs: If you play it right, you will never owe anything to the Library. That can be a great thing. But if you are lazy and really bad with dates, then you might owing the Library more than you expected. From my day at Friendswood Public Library where I did get a fine of $.10 for missing two days, to paying $1.00 for missing 2 days. It’s a sad day when your fine will be bigger than the price of the book. Don’t let it happen to you.

See, the Library is just like the grocery store. Oh snap, Sopranos Season 5 is due soon. I better get moving or else I might have to take back my frozen corndogs to pay my fine.

More SPF Please

In the movie Spinal Tap, there is a scene that my husband and I refer to all the time. “Why don’t you just make 10 louder?” “But this one goes to eleven.” Doesn’t make sense unless you’ve seen it. Go see it. When I first saw the movie I questioned my husband, “How come I’ve never heard of this band?” He just laughed at me.

But Nigel wasn’t that far off on the obsession of making things greater than they need to be. The idea of a guitar amp being “one louder” is so crazy. Let’s make everything better by just enough to make it useless. An amp that goes to eleven,a calendar as big as your desk, a PDA that doubles as a cell phone (and a cell phone in your pocket) and chapstick with SPF 18.

Nowadays, everyone is making chapstick or lipgloss. Blistex is still around and so is ChapStick. I know cause I own both brands in like 15 different sizes, flavors and colors. But other companies are starting to make lip stuff too. Companies you wouldn’t think would venture out to the lip world. But they are pioneers in their industry. Who am I talking about? Coffee makers ofcourse!

Well, I only know of one coffee maker so that last claim is just my observation. Consult your local coffee makers to find out if they are part of my claim. Then report back to me.

Some of my co-workers went off to Minnesota for a meeting with Caribou Coffee (CC). Upon their arrival back to the office they brought some little CC gifts. Things like chocolate covered coffee beans, oh they are good but loaded with carbs. Watch out for those! And chapstick called “Lip Stuff.” Well they are quick and to the point with the name eh? I got one tube of “Lip Stuff” and while reading it I noticed that it has SPF 18. Wait, 18? This seemed like an odd number. So I pulled out all my other chapsticks. I generally carry 3 or 4 in my purse. I read each one. “ChapStick Vanilla Mint has SPF 15 and Blistex Pro has 15 and my other Blistex, DCT, has 30.” So why an SPF 18? This tube has 3 more SPF’s than my other two so it must be better. What’s the point? So I started thinking, if I need maximum protection, I’ll choose the DCT, SPF 30. If I don’t care as much, SPF 15. And if I care enough but I’m too lazy to open the jar of DCT, then I could go for the 18.

That could have been my thought process but it seemed to complicated. I’ve decided to just go on flavor. Vanilla Mint today or just regular mint? Three more SPF’s isn’t going to make it better, the minty flavor is. A PDA as a cell phone isn’t all that great when you have cell phone in your pocket. A calendar as big as your desk is useless when you have your computer on it. And Nigel, one extra number on your amp isn’t going to make you any louder. But Marty DiBergi couldn’t get that through to him either.

Min Pin Files


It’s amazing how your life changes when you decide to do something adult and responsible. No I’m not having a baby. Well you could call her my baby. Her name is Scully and she’s my Miniature Pincher. Since the day I got her, I felt like her mom. I have to love her, feed her, bathe her, and on and on and on. Phew if I knew it was this tough she’d only get a bath once a month! She’s really just like a baby. A very black, tan and hairy one with big ears, a mother’s love.

While in Minnesota I realized how much she really has changed our lives. Good, bad, it doesn’t matter. She’s changed it. Sometimes we even revolve our time around her. We know we are crazy so you don’t have to say it. During the day one of us heads home to let her out and we both make sure that she’s only been in her crate for 4 hours. It’s insane.

Justin loves to talk to her likes she’s our roommate. “Did you eat your dinner? Did you make this mess? Quit stealing my chapstick! Give me back my socks!” I assume she knows what he’s talking about cause she just looks at him with a blank stare, like all mooching roommates do.

We put her back in doggie obedience school. As parents we think she failed. You never want to have your children fail, but we were positive she did when the only thing we got was an award of attendance. Scully had perfect attendance, but with bad grades. So we enrolled her again. The instructor remembered her probably because she was the class clown/terror/barker/jumper/yipper. You name it, Scully did it. But this time around we noticed something. She paid attention and she wasn’t the class annoyance. So she finally passed and on her birthday too! So we gave her ice cream and sang happy birthday for her. She loved it (she told me so).

Right now, she’s as happy as she can be. Running around with her love bear, Cletis. Actually he’s a cat, but she hates cats so we call him a bear. She’s been with him since the day I got her and I would hate to disappoint her by telling her he’s a cat. Could you imagine her reaction! “What the F—! Cletis has been a cat this whole time? I hate you for lying to me! Your the worst parent ever!” Well, that might be a bit harsh. She might just give me the silent treatment and poop in the living room.

So, while on vacation the time was ours and we really didn’t know what to do. But our old habits came back and we were without dog. It was great for about 4 days. And then we started missing her. We missed how much she loved us and how annoying she is in the morning, jumping on you to wake you up. We missed her zooming through the house with Cletis her love bear or Froggy her gay tutu wearing frog. We missed her excitement of seeing us when we walked in the door, like she’s been waiting all day but decided to shred up the couch pillows until our arrival. Like child’s artwork, she’s always got something to show us but we can’t put it on the fridge.

Our little family is back together and she was very happy to see us when we picked her up. Now we are all back into her routine and it seems normal. Even Cletis is happy to be home.

The Way I See It…Thanks Starbucks


Starbucks is a way of life for some. Don’t be mad but I do visit my local Starbucks… frequently. Mostly because I am too lazy to grind my ordered coffee beans, pack them into the thingy, brew, and then steam my milk. Seems like too much work. So the American laziness came out when our company moved and there is a Starbucks on the way to work. So I stop.

Don’t worry my friends things are about to change. After my visit to Minnesota, I brought home some coffee beans. Beans that I cannot get out here, unless I order online and have them shipped, then yes I can get them out here. But that’s no fun. So while in the land of 10,000 beers, er I mean lakes, I picked up a bag of Caribou Coffee beans. If you have a subscription of Consumer Reports you would have read about their coffee. If you don’t, then you’ll just have to believe me.

These beans smell so good and amazingly taste good too. Wow, for the first time, coffee that tastes like it smells! It’s a whole new morning for me. So now the bad news. I have to clean out my espresso maker, grind my beans, pack them into the little thingy, brew and steam my milk. So the way I see it (opinions on Starbucks cups) it might give me a sense of accomplishment if and when I ever brew my own latte. The way Starbucks sees it, they might be seeing me just as much. But I’ll try not to let that happen. Oh, the challenge is on!