Saturday, May 30, 2009

Dogs & food

Our dogs love food, any kind of food. As Scott can attest to, on our daily walks Pete will even try stuff on the roads that just looks edible. One of my favorite activities involves tossing bits of food and watching the dogs grab it from the air (ok, so I entertain easily). While watching them, I've always wondered what a high-speed picture would capture since Pete looks like Jaws when he catches food. A couple days ago the circumstances came together so that Mike was able to take some good shots of the dogs while I tossed treats at them. Below are a few of my favorite pictures from the session:

Stay on target...

Stay on target...

Aw, nuts. There it goes!

And another miss (Don't worry, Max got lots of treats)

And obviously Mom can't throw very well.

Here's Jaws


Caught it off the side!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Daily Grind

For the last two and a half years I have been happily unemployed. Mike and I had left AOL together and spent about a year together just enjoying traveling, friends, xbox, working on the house, etc. Mike went back to work after the year and I put out some resumes at that time. I did get a couple of interviews but nothing panned out. I did use that time to get my PMP (project management professional) certification since that seems to be hot thing for project managers recently. After the certification, I kept my eye out for jobs but most were looking for specific qualifications I didn't have or else the job was in DC. I'm in one of those incredibly lucky positions that I didn't have to get a job, so I got to be picky on what I was looking for.

After some time, I decided I liked staying home. I chose my own hours, worked on the house, made dinner for us, took care of the dogs, etc and still had the afternoons to just relax, stitch, read, knit, and vegetate. Mike loved it because the house was pretty darn clean, the dogs were taken care of, dinner was ready, all the various chores were finished.

A couple of months ago I saw a PjM position on the aol-alumni group that I'm part of and thought it sounded interesting. I honestly turned in my resume as a whim, I didn't really think they'd call me. After all, I haven't worked for 2.5 years, the job market is depressed, and there are a LOT of applications out there. I did get a call and interviewed with the company which is located in (yep, you guessed it) DC. The people, culture, and job sounded fantastic and they offered me the job.

I start on June 1st and I've decided to take public transportation instead of driving so my commute will be the exact length everyday and I get to do something else (DS, read, knit, podcast, audiobooks) during the commute other than get road rage. Mike has mixed feelings about the job. He's glad that I'm doing something new, (hopefully) fun, and getting out of the house; however he really liked all the things I took care of while he was at work. I'm really excited and can't wait to start working again. Wonderful Scott and Sue have volunteered to check in on the dogs during the day for walks and company so Pete and Max will be ok while we're gone all day.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I broke 100

We bought bikes a few weeks ago and I've been enjoying some fairly good rides with Mike, Scott, Sue, and the girls. I've been keeping a bike journal of the stats for our rides so I could see the trends. Mike also has some cool stats he gathers from his iphone here. Today I've hit over 100 cumulative miles on our various rides and I'm quite pleased at how it's going.

The nice thing about bikes is how far you can go. A 2 mile walk with the dogs takes me about 45 minutes while a 15 mile ride will take about 1.5 hrs. I've also noticed that my endurance appears to be getting better. I'm able to increase the average speed on our rides and also stay in higher gears for much longer.

My biggest hope is to have buns of steel by the end of the year however there may be a small snag to that wish. I've been finding that I tend to overeat after the bike rides (ice cream, milkshakes, burgers, junk food) which puts me in a positive calorie range, not negative. I need to change my thought process so I don't put so much food/junk into my body after our rides.

I think Mike and I have gotten bit by the bike bug. I hope we continue to keep up with it especially when the icky humid summer comes.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Rain, mud, friends, food

Every year there's the MD Sheep & Wool Festival at the Howard County fairgrounds. It is probably one of the largest events for needlecraft folks in this area. There are lots and lots of yarn, fibers, fiber animals (sheep, alpaca, bunnies), and fun stuff to buy.

This year we convinced two newbies to come with us to experience the stashing awesomeness. The five and a half (a miniature person) of us headed up to the festival on sunday. Unfortunately it rained the entire time we were there, starting with our drive. Thankfully since we knew it was going to rain all day we had our raingear (did you know strollers have raingear too? It's so cool!) so we stayed (mostly) dry. Fortunately the rain meant there were a LOT less people on sunday than saturday. Many of the vendors said saturday was literally full of people elbow to elbow in the booths with very little space to move. I'm a grumpy old person (mentally) and I hate crowds so I was just fine with the steady rain and less people.

We all trekked around, watched Noah (the mini-person) have a grand time with the sheep and alpaca, ate lots of carnival foods (YUM, one of the best parts!), and bought some fun stuff. Ok, so everyone showed some restraint with purchasing but I decided to go all out!

I ended up buying some cool ribbon yarn and a tank-top pattern. I saw the tank top last year at Stitches East but didn't buy it. It was still calling to me this year so I figured that meant I really wanted it. I've also made a fair number of socks but I've never tackled fair isle (multiple colors) before. I love the bright colors and since this came as a kit, I had to buy it. I also got a sock blank dyed in a neat pattern. I'm very curious to see how it looks after being knitted into socks. Lastly Sue noticed a great swirl shawl that I had fawned over at Stitches East (but didn't buy) so she enabled and bought me the pattern! Now I have to find cool yarn to go with it. Course I have to hurry up and finish some of my other projects so I can add these to my queue (HA, that's funny, I'll probably just start these without even finishing my other stuff first).

All in all I think we had a really good time. Purchases were made, new crafts were discovered, bunnies were lusted after, and lots of great food was consumed. Oh, and did I mention that the rain stopped RIGHT as we were leaving the festival?

Friday, May 1, 2009

It was a slaughter

Jen got us great Washington National (baseball) tickets for tonight. Nats were playing against the St. Louis Cardinals. We had such a great time the last time we watched the Nats that we were looking forward to tonight's game. We still got kick-ass parking (literally inside the stadium) and seats about 12 rows behind the home dugout (on the first base line).

(there's a red circle around the area we were seated, almost directly opposite the picture)

The evening weather turned out perfect even though it had rained through most of the day with weather in the high-60s with clear skies. We wrestled through friday DC traffic and made it to our seats by the bottom of the 1st inning.

I should have known it was a bad sign when the score was already 0-1 Nats vs Cards when we sat down. Basically it was a massacre. By the 7th inning stretch, the score was 0-6 with no signs of comeback by the Nats. We decided enough was enough so we headed out. By the time we reached the parking garage, the Nats had batted a triple followed by a home run so the score became 2-6. We gave some thought to watching the rest of the game but decided against it and headed home. That ended up being the right decision since 2-6 was the final score of the evening.

Don't get me wrong. We really enjoyed being out in the nice weather, watching a free game from really great seats, eating ballpark food but it would have been SO much more enjoyable had the Nats made an effort to win!

The best part of the night was a brief conversation Mike and I had during the game. I noticed there seemed to be a large number of Cardinal fans in the stadium tonight and mentioned that to Mike.

His response, "That makes sense, they are awfully close to here". I gave him a puzzled look after his response so he said, "Aren't they just north of here?"

I told him, "No, those are the Baltimore Orioles, the St. Louis Cardinals are from Missouri."

Mike's response? "Oh! Well, Orioles, Cardinals they're both birds." Boy, and I thought I was bad with sports!