Sunday, July 23, 2006

Garden Madness!

Don't really have much to talk about that's actually here's a pic of the zucchini from my garden. They have been delicious and I've given a bunch away already. When I went out there tonight, I saw five growing. Yikes. I think I'll let one just grow to see how big it gets. Although, I get really unsure because I want to EAT it, so just pick it. Here's Paul holding one of the ones that got away from me for a while.


Monday, July 17, 2006

Request for supplies/help!

I have asked a lot of my family and friends, but this is perhaps one of the most important things we can contribute. Our soldiers are overseas and lacking many necessaties and other items. I am putting together some care packages to ship overseas. These packages are huge morale boosters and the soldiers can't say enough about how they feel when a package arrives. There are some signs that the package deliveries have been slowing down a bit for some and I think we need to all pull together and let them know we're still here, supporting them. Even if you don't agree with the war, those are our kids over there and they could use some help. Most of the items they are requesting are cheap and things we take for granted, but are amazing for them and a huge boost. If you would like to help out, you can either send me any items you've picked up and I'll throw everything together (I would like to spread it out over two or three packages) or send me some money and I'll buy the items directly. I would also ask that if you send any items, please enclose a note or letter of support. Since the soldiers are constantly moving around, I can't give you the information for which battalions we will be sending the packages to at this time, so just a simple note of support with your name, address and email addy will be enough. Below is a list of the most requested items:

1) DVDs
2) Magazines (any kind)
3) Puzzles
4) Games
5) Decks of cards
6) Books
7) Drawing tablets and drawing pens
8) Toothpaste
9) Toothbrushes
10) Female underwear (usually this is completely unavailable to the female soldiers, blows my mind)
11) Feminine hygiene products
12) Deoderant
13) Body washes, especially good smelling ones
14) Shampoo
15) Conditioner
16) Laundry soap
17) Stain fighting products for clothes
18) Body sprays
19) Air fresheners
20) Microwave popcorn (both kettle corn and regular)
21) 220V to 110V adaptors
22) CDs
23) Hard candy
24) Beef jerky
25) Lotions
26) Coffee
27) Creamers (flavored)
28) Crystal Light to go packages
29) Protein bars
30) Vitamins
31) Snacks, such as cookies, crackers
32) Fruit snacks, such as fruit-rollups, dried fruit products
33) Nuts, saw a lot of requests for sunflower seeds
34) Tea
35) Tuna
36) Playstation games (PS1 or PS2) or computer games (PC)
37) Many are requesting MP3 players but this is the most expensive item I've seen so far
38) Wipes (like baby wipes, hand wipes, etc.)
39) Any food that can be shipped and cooked in a microwave (such as Easy Mac, or microwave meals, Ramen noodles, fruit in cups, pudding, peanut butter, jelly, etc. Just think of something you would be missing if you couldn't have it). Their PXs are very limited in variety and the soldiers crave most anything.
40) Cards, letters and well-wishes. This is remarkably important for the soldiers who are often cut off from everyone and everything.
41) Phone cards
42) Flash sticks
43) Things NOT to send: Chocolate (can't handle the heat); any food item that is expired; cans of food are extremely heavy and when the soldiers are out in the field, not very reasonable for them to carrry, they request light, good on the go items; anything hazardous (duh, right?).

I would like to have any items you are willing to donate by August 1. Next time you do some shopping for yourself, just pick up some extra things and mail them off. For any of you living nearby me, I'll be happy to pick them up from you. Ask your friends and neighbors to contribute anything they can spare as well. Just $10 extra dollars from you can buy a lot of simple, cheap hygiene products. If you have a magazine subscription, gather up all your old ones and send those off as well. They do not mind used items, so if you have DVDs or books to send, feel free to. Use common sense in what you send though! Thanks from the bottom of my heart to anyone who can participate! You cannot put a price on how much good will come of this! Check out the website which is where I will get my final shipping information. You will not regret it after reading the heartfelt thanks from these soldiers in need! Please send an email to get my shipping address: or


Saturday, July 08, 2006

It's Been A Little While

Haven't blogged in such a long time. Sorry about that. This is probably going to be long. Or short. We'll see how I feel. It's too early to be up on a Sat morning. I'll try to keep it entertaining but that may be a lofty goal. No pics to add in, but I'll try to take some of the garden some time. It's really been producing. We've enjoyed some cucumbers, zucchini, green beans and tomatoes already! We have not since been visited by deer or whatever ate a little of the tomato plants up. I'll start by filling in with the internship.

It was incredible. Absolutely phenomenal. I learned so much, not only about medicolegal death investigation, but about myself. I can actually handle pretty much anything I saw. Although the kids bothered me, but that's pretty much everybody, so I don't feel wimpy about that. I saw everything from a small plane crash, to several homicides, lots of traffic accidents, too many decomps and lots of naturals. I got to do the external exams on some of the intakes, taking blood and other fluids, fingerprinting, etc. I liked the whole thing so much, I asked the Chief Investigator to keep me in mind if something opens up in the future and gave him my resume. The investigators work two 24-hour shifts in a week, getting five whole days off! How nice would that be? And they are definitely paid more than I am and they're hourly, so get 8 hours of overtime automatically and can get more if they want. Holidays are paid double-time. They even had little rooms with beds in them so if it's quiet they have the opportunity to catch some sleep. Sweet. So, at the very least, a new career possibility opened itself up to me. Big shout-out to all the people at the office, they were great!

Got back into the swing of work (which seemed slightly more boring than the internship, lol). And helped get a grant submitted, so everyone cross their fingers that we get funded. Got another paper accepted for publication and we're currently trying for the cover, so double cross fingers for that too. Celebrated with some collaborators by hitting a local bar and drinking myself into a righteous buzz. It was fun and I think it should be a weekly ritual that we take off from work early and hit the bar, hehe.

So, got all my papers (16!!!) done for the internship and then received a test that I've been working on off and on. It's due Thurs. so I hope to get it done this weekend. My poor car got a little sick and had to be diagnosed yesterday. It's the solenoid (sp?) and the part won't be here until Mon or Tues. Part of my Mazda warranty is apparently whenever there's any type of warranty repairs to be done, they give you a car. So, the dealership called Enterprise and requested a drop-off since I was stranded at work. Paul had dropped me off, but wouldn't be getting off work until after 9 pm and I didn't really want to spend that much time at work. Enterprise called right after the dealer and we scheduled the drop off and I gave him the address and directions to my specific building. Then I heard nothing again for three hours. I got the number from Paul to that Enterprise and called them. They didn't answer first time around, but second time they did. And proceeded to be completely confused about what the hell I was talking about. So he said he'd call back, but also said they were closed several times, so I thought I would not hear from them again. I called the dealership back and luckily the service dept manager was still there doing paperwork, so when I apprised him of the situation, he tried contacting Enterprise through several different numbers and got ahold of no one. He called me back after trying to find me a loaner car (which he couldn't) and offered to come pick me up and take me home. I felt bad, but was stranded so agreed and gave him directions. The Enterprise kid surprised me by calling back and once I re-told him the whole story and gave him the name of who set up the drop-off, he asked if I was in desperate need of a car right then because they were closed (had to throw it in again I guess). During my wait time, I sent off a scathing email to Enterprise customer service which will likely be ignored. I told Enterprise kid that they could forget about it, someone from the dealership was picking me up, then in order to not start yelling, I hung up. Chris picked me up (thank you nice man) and on the way home we chatted. He said he gives Enterprise over $8000 (or he said $6K, I don't remember) a month in business from the dealership and will be contacting someone today about the horrible lack of competence over there. And he mentioned that there's 4 or 5 other companies just waiting to take over for Enterprise. I'm going to guess HE isn't ignored. So, I finally made it home and am stuck here all weekend. Which is good I guess since I have to finish that test. But I was royally pissed off. So, Enterprise sucks and screw them for leaving me stranded. Hopefully, they have to bend over backwards and kiss Chris' ass a lot. I hope they have to beg. Yep, there's that sadistic streak in me coming out. I haven't quite mastered the whole "forgive and forget" thing, but I think I'm justified in this instance.

I think we're going to be going out tonight after Paul gets off work, so I plan on taking a long nap later in the afternoon after I fertilize my garden. Well, I think this is long enough for now to make up for all that time away and I'm sure all your eyeballs are crossing by now. I will post more later!