Monday, September 29, 2008


So I am now more than half way through my Monday. I had quite a pleasant weekend, I got some me time (always important), and saw quite a few friends too. However, now its Monday, and my laptop is on the blink again.

Looks like I am going to have to get a re-image. Apparently I am not authorised to shut my own laptop down. Seems quite odd to me, doesn't it realise i can just remove it's power. Which is quite easy, been as I am still waiting on its new battery. Back in May my laptop battery went dead. I ordered a new one. However, would you believe that the factory had a fire, and there was a huge wait list for batteries. One, aparently was shipped out, but I never received it, so I am still waiting on the second ordered one to get to me.

In the meantime, my laptop is not so portable as it could be as everywhere I go, I need to carry around the power cable thing. It's all quite anoying. Then to top it off, I can no longer shut it off, and I get a series of messages that things can not be found everytime I log on.

So if it is truely dead, and there's nothing that can be done, where does it end up? I know that parts can be recycled and put to other uses, but I imagine that unfortunately most of it probably ends up in a landfill, which I find quite frustrating. I found this website that had some good ideas, Ideal bite, including laptop recycling companies.

Friday, September 26, 2008

National Park(ing) Day

Last friday was National Park(ing) Day. The premise of this is promote more parking within cities. Portland has more than 34 acres of space dedicated to metered parking, the opportunity last Friday was taken to claim back some of this space for the day and turn it into parks.

I went to go check some of it out. It was fun.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Seasons are a changing

I was waiting for the shuttle at work and took this picture, I can hardly believe its autumn already.

Autumn here is really pretty, its much nicer when the sky is blue though, unlike today.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Sticky Note Experiment

I saw this over at freakyfrugalite and I just had to share it.

I love sticky note, I have so many of them, I just can't help it, there's something about the bright colours, and they way they just, well stick... that makes me happy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Weather With You

I am much happier today, my laptop is now functioning as it should be. Yippeee! Although I am happier, I am not feeling well today. I feel as if I have a hangover, but I haven't had anything to drink since Saturday, so it can't be that, and I had plenty of sleep last night, so its not lack of sleep either.

I have been reading a couple of blogs the past few days from people who have either been impacted by Hurricane Ike. This is the first hurricane that I've really been anywhere close too. As mentioned in an earlier post I was in Austin Texas the week that Ike was making its way inland. I left of course before Ike hit Texas. As I was checking out of my hotel, there were several families trying to get checked into the hotel. Austin was an evacuation point, so many people were leaving there homes in Houston to go to Austin. I was pleased to be giving my room up to someone who needed it.

Well since then I have been paying attention to what has happened since. Normally I don't really follow the news, I find it too depressing and normally too biased. This really is no exception, as I don't get my information from the news, but through real people (journalists in my mind are not real people). I understand that there is still some bias there, as we all tell stories from our own point of view, but to me its a different type of bias, its not as pre-calculated and not meant to manipulate the publics opinion on a mass scale.

Growing up in the UK we don't really worry about severe weather such as hurricanes or tornados nor do we worry about earthquakes. Even flooding normally happens over long periods of time, we have occasionally had flash floods in certain areas, but nothing the extent that you see in other parts of the world. Even in Oregon, there's not really that much to be worried about, well other than the volcano's exploding of course, that would give me cause for concern.

When I was back in the UK last month there was very little sunshine. There was lots of grey clouds however. In fact there's been so much rain that the local resivor was overflowing. I haven't seen the resivor overflow like that before, and seemingly the weekend after I left, it rained even more, and instead of trickling over the side, it was gushing. My mum also took me to another spot, and the water level had risen about 6ft in 2 months. In fact the water had risen so much that a sign warning about deep water, and staying off the wall was surrounded by water, and the said wall, was 6 ft under.

The opposite weather has been showing itself in Oregon with forest fires here there and everywhere, also while I was gone, 2 houses in my neighbourhood had fires.
It's all a bit of a mess.

Monday, September 22, 2008


I didn't post anything this weekend as my laptop is acting up. It's going so slow, and most of the time won't even load the page I want. I am feeling very frustrated. Oh well...

My weekend was fun, had a get together with some friends on Saturday, so saturday morning was spent getting the house cleaned up. People started showing up at my place at about 6:30, and we hung out there for a while, before heading out into Portland. We did a mini pub-crawl, it was fun, but I drank a little too much.

I have this thing when I am drunk, and I get the urge to take either a bath or shower. It's a sure sign that I've had too much. Well, this saturday fit the bill. I get home, and while brushing my teeth I can't help but think about how nice a shower would be. So I take a drunken shower. I have no clue what causes this urge, but it happens.

Sunday, was very lazy, laid in bed most of the day, watched a couple of movies, and that was about it.

Unfortunately, with this being a Monday I am back at work, and being driven crazy by my slow and horrid laptop. I'd throw it out of the window except then I wouldn't even be able to pretend to do any work. I had one of the IT guys out to take a look at it, he changed a few settings, but of course that hasn't made much difference, other than now I can't even check my bank balance via online banking. Facebook won't function at all - much to my dismay, as I am a facebook addict. I am sure in the grand scheme of things, non of this really matters, but it does matter to me right now.
... and now I have just seen what my "quote of the day" is... how appropriate, even if it is from one of my least favourite people.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Foto Friday

I love butterflies, I saw many on my trip back home, but my mums dog scared most of them away before I was able to get a shot. I finally manged to get one.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I often find it odd that no matter how long a person is gone on vacation, it really takes no time at all to get back in the “swing” of things. I was out of the office for a month, between vacation and the attempted conference in Austin. Today is now my 4th day in the office, and my vacation feels like a long long time ago. It’s not that work is horrible. It really isn’t, I love what I do.

In addition, I am hyper today, I woke up this way. Of course I am sure the coffee I enjoyed this morning hasn’t helped much, I think I need to go work out or something. I haven’t actually worked out in forever though, so I’m sure after 5 mins I’d be beat – which I guess would achieve my goal.

Have I mentioned yet that I am going to New Zealand for Christmas? I am very excited, I haven’t been there since I was backpacking in 2001. My cousin had a baby last year, and another this year, so myself, mum, dad and brother are going to be out there for Chrimbo. I have yet to book my flights though, they are so darn expensive, it costs twice as much to fly from Portland to New Zealand as it does to fly from Portland to England, and it only takes 2 hours more… it make no sense to me what so ever, and it very frustrating, but I am just going to have to suck it up and pay a ridiculous amount of money to be cramped up and tired. However, it will be worth it, I haven’t seen that part of the family in such a long time, and it will be nice to see the first of our new generation.
New Zealand is such a beautiful country, and I am very excited to be going back there.  The last time I was there, I did and saw so much... sky dived, bungy jumped, white water rafted, kayaked, glacier hiked.  This time I don't think it will be quite as busy, for one thing I won't be there for as long, and for another I won't be touring around as much.

Thats the other thing, as soon as I get back from one vacation, I seem to be looking forward to the next.  :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kindred Spirits

So I admit, I wasn’t too great at posting much about my trip back to England while I was gone. I believe I did get one or two posts up but that was it. To be honest, there wasn’t really a whole lot to write about, lots of time was spent with family and friends reminiscing. However some great stories were recounted.

My friend Mary and I, who’ve been friends since I was 9, had a great time retelling stories from our childhood. Mary and I were introduced by one of the teachers at school. Mary was a year below me, we were both sort of misfits. I would wander around the school yard looking at the flowers etc and daydreaming. Mary would time herself running back and forth across the playground with her new digital watch. The teacher was right to introduce us, we hit it off right away and have been really good friends ever since. Due to her parents jobs Mary moved around a lot. So after a few years of us being inseparable she moved to another town, not that far away, but far enough (by English standards), for us to only see each other every couple of months. Then of course she moved again, and we saw each other less. In fact in the past 10 years, we’ve seen each other twice. But each time we get together, its like we just saw each other the day before.

Some of the things we did and believed as kids is hilarious now looking back. We had so much hope and determination, we believed that we could save all the animals in the world, we even wrote a book (at the age of 10) on how to save the environment. We developed our own code and wrote “secret” letters to each other. We wrote plays and made up silly games, all the stuff that kids are supposed to do, right. We got up to so much mischief too, and are still amazed that my mum was always aware of what we were up to, and what trouble we’d caused.

For some reason we got to talking about us wearing swimming costumes under our school uniform on the days we had swim class. I remember it always being a right pain, as I had to take off all my clothes when I needed to go pee, Mary made the same comment. Then my other friend, who was also there having dinner with us, asked why we did that… we looked at her as if to say, well what else were we supposed to do. April then said… well you could just push the gusset to one side… so at 29 years of age, I have now learnt that you don’t have to remove a swim suit to go pee. You have no idea how often I have thought to myself, while wearing a wet swim suit that there has to be an easier way, seemingly Mary was the same way... kindred spririts!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Love Update

I wrote back in July about Ryan breaking up with me. Since then Ryan and I continued to live together with the plan of moving out once I was back from my UK trip. Over the course of the past few weeks, beginning 2 weeks before I left for the UK, Ryan and I have been having conversations about getting back together. There were many things to be discussed, and I didn’t want to make a decision right away, after all, this was not the first time that we’d been on this bridge.

Well, after many conversations, and deep discussion, and after almost a month apart, we have decided to give it another shot. I am very happy about this. He is a great guy, and I think we are great together. I am of course going back into this with caution however, just in case he gets spooked again. We’ve dug deep into the reason that caused his flight, and have agreed that if we reach that point again, we’ll fight to stay together before we just give up. Of course only time will tell. In the meantime, we are just enjoying our relationship day by day, and we’ll see where it goes.

I just figured I owed you all an update.

Monday, September 15, 2008

One Night in Austin

Hello and good morning!

I am now as far as I know back to my normal routine. Today is my first day in the office at work in a month… I am not sure how I’ll get through the day, it's going to be a little rough.

The past month I have been back home to the North East of England visiting my family and friends. I had such a great trip, normally when I go back I only really see my family, this time I got to see friends too, some of whom I haven’t seen in about 10 years or more. I also was able to see some of the UK I haven’t seen before, as well as some of my old haunts.

Last week, I was supposed to be at a conference in Austin. The conference is called Out and Equal Workplace Summit. The purpose of this conference is to bring together people from different companies, to share best practices for creating a safe and equal work environment, with the focus on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender. Unfortunately as Hurricane Ike was headed to Texas, I was only there for one night. The company I work for made a decision to send us all back home to our families and far away from the path of Hurricane Ike.

I’d caught the early flight from Portland to Austin, which had required me getting out of bed at 12:30am Austin time. By the time we knew we were going home it was about 10:30pm. We were to call emergency travel to get our flights changed. I suggested, been as we only had one night left, that we meet at the bar in the hotel then head out to Austin for one night, and see the city. So, by 11:30 we were headed to 6th Street. We picked a pub, went in, had a drink and a dance, then headed to the next bar, this time down on 4th Street. It was a really cool place, of course I don’t know what it was called. The dance floor was outside, and the band was fantastic. We were then getting a little peckish, so headed to a pizza stand, grabbed a slice of pizza and headed to our final bar of the night. It was a whirlwind pub crawl, but at least we got to see some of Austin. By the time I got to bed, it was about 3am, my alarm was set for 6am, as there was an employee meeting at 7am. I was sharing a room, so we both needed time to get ready.

Normally, I am quite a morning person, Thursday was an exception, the alarm went off, and I felt like throwing it across the room, I didn’t even feel like I’d been asleep. I however dragged myself up out of bed, took a shower, brushed my teeth, dried my hair and got dressed, all with my eyes still closed. Once ready we headed to the meeting, and received our instructions for the day and shared our flight info. It was then, thankfully breakfast time, and then we headed off to our company booth. I normally attend workshops at this summit, but I couldn’t face sitting down, paying attention for 90mins, I most likely would have fallen asleep. Instead I worked the booth, chatting, mingling and networking with people. It was actually quite fun.

Our flight left in the afternoon, so around 3pm we made our way to the airport, and our way home to Portland. Our connection, was via Phoenix… where apparently there were some cross winds, so the airport was closed for 1hour… this of course happened as we were scheduled to land, so instead of landing, we circled around for an hour or so, finally snagging a landing time once the airport was re-opened. We then had a 5 min dash across the airport to make our connection, which thankfully we did. By the time I got home it was about 2:30am Austin time… it was sleep deprived couple of days and I was thankful to be able to go to sleep in my own bed, and not have to get up early in the morning. I slept like a baby.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I just wanted to say a quick thanks to my guest bloggers:

You all did a great job, I certainly enjoyed reading the posts.

To my readers... I'll be posting a more lengthy post soon, but I am heading out of town again tomorrow and need to get prepared.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Across the miles

Caroline has been back in England now for about two weeks, making contact with people she knew years ago. I myself wrote recently about moving around from place to place, and the effect that had on keeping in touch with friends. It made me wonder about how we do make friends and then keep in touch.

Childhood friends, if you don't live nearby, for the most part seem to change as we all do and then lose touch. Does that happen if you don't move? Do you then change in similar ways? I've heard of people whose friends date back to the first day at school, but in my experience, moving means that we change in different directions. I've made friends, good friends, as an adult, but even when keeping in touch, they move off in different directions. Not all, it must be said. I do have friends dating back many years but often not the people I thought were "best friends". Then again there are others who barely keep in touch, but when you do meet up it's as though you had never been apart.

I knew as soon as I met one person that, in spite of quite an age gap, we would like each other and 15 years later we are still great friends. Now that we only occasionally see each other face to face, we chat online or make Skype calls every few days. What is that connection? Will we be able to keep that bond even after I move away from the area, as I will no doubt. She won't move, she never has - we are so very different in many ways and yet such good friends. Would we have made that connection if we had first met online?

And what is exercising my mind today is whether we can keep friends via the internet just as easily as if we were close by. Even more, can we make real friends over the internet? I know of at least one couple who have successfully developed a lasting relationship after they first met on a forum. But how? I've always believed in a sort of "chemistry" that occurs when you meet as it did when I met that colleague. Is there an equivalent chemistry that can be sensed online in a different way? Do we even have the same persona online as we do in real life?

I don't know the answers but I have found that, after a time, I do feel I have formed an idea of what people are like through chat, emails, blogs. Or am I being totally naive?