Cybertoad's Blog - Spring is in the air!

Spring is in the air!
lunes, junio 30, 2003

Another week begins.
Hope your weekend was good. Mine was relatively calm:

Friday night: We went out as planned and had a great time. Dinner was at
Josephine's and drinks afterward were at the Twelve Spot. I did have a handful of drinks - enough to make me happy but not enough to make me look stupid so I guess my mission was accomplished (and Julie, I ended up drinking an apple martini, almost all of Kathy 's amaretto sour and an unnamed martini specially mixed by Clint, the bartender).

Saturday: Kenny had to work from home but I took the opportunity to be lazy. I slept in late, had lunch with Kenny, bought some new fish, came back, napped on the couch and then headed over to Robert's for a yummy dinner. Came home early and watched a movie.

Sunday: I picked my Mother up and took her to lunch and to see the Vatican exhibit. She seemed to really have enjoyed that so I am glad I was able to take her. Came home in the early afternoon to find Kenny still diligently working. Fortunately for him, although it absolutely sucks to work on the weekends he at least is able to work from home. In fact, he programs from the couch in the living room with his laptop wirelessly enabled. The rest of the evening was spent doing laundry and watching another good movie. (by the way - thanks Honey for doing all of the dishes while I was out!)

Now it's just a another Monday, although the boss is out on vacation till the 10th - woohoo! How was your weekend?

posted at 6/30/2003 08:54:00 a. m.

domingo, junio 29, 2003

viernes, junio 27, 2003

jueves, junio 26, 2003

My crafty side shows up!
As promised, I took pictures of the two projects I completed this weekend... here they are:

Full-length floor mirror:
Before the frame was black and undecorated. I spray-painted it flat white (3 cans), twisted some galvanized wire into loopty-loops, bought some colored decorating marbles (the flattened ones) and hot glued them onto them frame. The top design was inspired by a mistakenly fused set of marbles that I found in one of the bags. My biggest complaint? I've had trouble getting all of the marbles to stick. Half of them stayed on with the first try but the other half fell off within the first two days I had the mirror back in our bedroom. I glued those little guys on last night but already one fell off again. I'll check again tonight to see if any more fell off and glue that last stubborn little marble back on. I've checked the rest and the look they finally are staying put. Anyway, the pictures:
1 * 2 * 3 * 4

my 1st mosaic stone
Mosaic stepping stone:
I used one of these kits to make my pretty new stone for the garden: 1 * 2 * 3

I had so much fun with this that I kept the mold and will go back and just buy the concrete mix and make some more flower stepping stones - I had tons of glass pieces left. I also have a kit left that has a mold in the shape of a frog that I still need to make as well.

One more parting shot... a pretty stained glass butterfly on a copper stake I bought last to accent the butterfly ginger I recently planted (the wings are on springs and "fly")...

Can't you tell I had fun? I am very proud of both pieces (once those darn marbles all decide to stick)!

posted at 6/26/2003 08:46:00 a. m.

miércoles, junio 25, 2003

martes, junio 24, 2003

Tuesday's Meme
Time for today's
1. Surf sites at random, or have a set list of regular reads? Lost of regular reads.
2. Do you visit mostly blogs, or news or other sites? A little bit of everything.
3. Do you go online every day, or just a couple of days a week? Every day.
4. Do you allow comments on your blog, or not? Yes, commenting is allowed.
5. Do you shop online at all, or at regular stores? Regular sores for every day stuff, on-line for the holidays and for gifts.
6. Have you ever done online bill-paying/banking, or not? Yes, I use on-line banking to check my balances and occasionally pay credit card bills on-line.
7. Which news site do you prefer... or Or do you prefer some other one? No preference.
8. Live chat rooms, or message boards? Message boards if I have to choose one.
9. Instant messaging or e-mail? E-mail.
10. Yes or no: have you ever met, or at least talked on the phone with, another blogger? If not, would you want to? Why or why not? Yes! I've met plenty of bloggers in person too!

posted at 6/24/2003 08:22:00 a. m.

lunes, junio 23, 2003

Shorter than usual (and posted earlier than usual)
I had a good weekend with a nice mix of fun and work. Here is my summary, short and sweet for a change:

Friday: Had the group over at our house for pizza and
a movie.

Saturday: Ran around with Robert & Kenny, met up with some Deviants at a local coffeeshop*, saw Mike and the Lager Rhythms perform another great show.

Sunday: Took Heidi to be groomed, went to Home Depot for some supplies, planted my butterfly ginger in the overwhelming heat and humidity (I think it hit 100 F), worked on a couple of craft projects (pictures forthcoming of the decorated mirror and mosaic stepping stone), had dinner with friends, finally watered my houseplants and watched the movie Frida (which was much better than expected).

Didn't get as much done as I had hoped but whoever feels like they do!!?

* At the coffeeshop/bar I ordered a pear cider. I was asked for ID and when she checked my age, she commented that "I looked young today". Score one for the shorter and cuter hair style! I'm used to being ID'ed but this is place is pretty casual unless they think you are under age so the ID check was appreciated especially as I head towards 30 this year.

posted at 6/23/2003 02:29:00 p. m.

viernes, junio 20, 2003

Photolog Updates
Cybertoad's Photolog I've made a few updates over at my Photolog including my latest Photo Friday submission "critters".

posted at 6/20/2003 11:44:00 a. m.

jueves, junio 19, 2003

PhotoShop Phun
Where art meets application! I took pictures in Galveston with my new camera and since the day was a bit overcast and the pictures a bit drab, I played with various filters in PhotoShop and even made some images black and white. Below are the results (click on images on page to get to full-size images):

one * two * three * four * five * six * seven

out to sea

posted at 6/19/2003 12:35:00 p. m.

miércoles, junio 18, 2003

Fun at the Beach
Finally - here is my weekend re-cap:

Friday: It was another small group that night but we had fun. Dinner and drinks out on the patio of a little sports bar, talking about all sorts of stuff including the differences between men and women. Please note that I was the only female in a group of five men. It was interesting to say the least.

me & michelle Saturday: My old college roommate Michelle came in from College Station, TX. After lunch with Kenny, we left him back at the house and headed out to Galveston Island. Once there we did a little bit of everything...
-- Visited the Ocean Star, an oilrig museum where my good friend Daniel works.
-- Walked along the water down at the Seawall.
-- Met up with my co-worker and friend who also lives down there and had yummy ice cream with him down at The Strand.
-- Took lots of picture - check out the photo album.

Afterwards we went home for a grilled dinner (Kenny was grilling despite the rain (I had to hold the umbrella and the flashlight) and since Michelle hadn't see the new Matrix movie yet, we took her to a showing as well.

Sunday: Had lunch at The Black Lab (we were all craving their fish and chips), bought some music at Soundwaves and stopped by Buchanan's once again for some more plants.

As you can see it was a wonderful weekend with a very good friend and I am so glad she was able to come down!! Now I must really get back to work!!!

posted at 6/18/2003 03:25:00 p. m.

martes, junio 17, 2003

I'm late but it's still Tuesday!
Time for today's

1. Newspapers or magazines? Magazine.
2. Books-on-tape or regular books? Regular books.
3. Paperback or hardcover? Paperback.
4. Fiction or non-fiction? Fiction.
5. Sci-Fi/Fantasy or romance novels? Sci-Fi.
6. Borrow from library or buy books (either new or used)? Buy.
7. Subscribe to magazines or buy on newsstand? Subscribe.
8. Current best-sellers or classic literature? Current.
9. Read books once, or re-read favorites every so often? Once.
10. Here in the U.S., we have two hot best-sellers...former First Lady Hillary Clinton's memoirs, and the new Harry Potter book (coming out June 21). If you had to read one, which one...Hillary or Harry? Why? Harry. I prefer fiction over biographies and I'm not interested in politics at all. Plus, Harry is way cooler!

posted at 6/17/2003 05:49:00 p. m.

I'm a busy, busy girl!
Yes, I know - I haven't updated yet - but I need to find time to write up the entry so bere with me. Today is the 1st day of a local conference we are participating in and we are still getting things ready. I actually go set up the booth this afternoon at 2:30 PM. Wish me luck!

I am also busy on the homefront. Last night was my only night free and I took the time to sweep the entire house, clean up the kitchen and put away the dishes, tidy up the counter-top, lightly clean the guest bathroom and in general tidy up the living room. Kenny made dinner and then we plopped down on the couch to watch Four Feathers with Heath Ledger. It was essentially a British version of Legends of the Fall but it was well done.

What else is on my plate? Let's see...
- Tonight: My friend Dave is in from out of town. He will come over for dinner.
- Wed:
H-Town Blogs Meet-Up after work.
- Thurs: Food and friends over at Robert's (even the dogs are invited).
- Fri: regular Friday night stuff
- Sat afternoon: Meet with other Houston DeviantART members for coffee.
- Sat. night: Watch Mike sing as part of the Lager Rhythms.
- Sun.: Take my Mom to see the Vatican exhibit.
- Mon.: Dinner with Hanna & Michael

We'll see if Sunday with my Mom happens - maybe I will postpone that one week so I will have more time. I saw her recently so I don't think she will be upset.

So, as you can see, my schedule doesn't leave me much time to myself so I may be scarce around some of your blogs this week! Sorry!

posted at 6/17/2003 09:13:00 a. m.

lunes, junio 16, 2003

viernes, junio 13, 2003

Starting to think of vacation...
As we go deeper into the heat of the summer, my thoughts are turning to vacation. A much overdue and well-deserved vacation... :D Due to the health issues and loss of family members as well as loss of two jobs by yours truly, Kenny and I have been unable to go on a true vacation since spring 2001 (when we went to
Spain). We have taken weekend trips here within the state but I don't think I've been on a plane in over 2 years and I am going stir-crazy. So, finally, this fall, we have several wonderful opportunities to get the hell out of Texas!

The first trip I don't look forward to but need to go on is to Miami to visit my ailing grandmother. She is not doing well and I think this will be the last time I see her. I will be meeting up with my sister which will make it even more stressful because she and I are complete opposites and don't always see eye-to-eye although we are good terms with each other. This trip may happen over the first weekend in August. Still, it will be positive because I will see Abuela.

The second trip is the big one - a week in London to attend a friend's wedding. I received the invitation a few days ago and will be talking to them this weekend to further coordinate dates so Kenny and I can both put in our vacation requests. Yay! I also just found out that friends of ours are interested in joining us so we may be traveling with another couple.

And the third trip will hopefully be to Boston for our 5th year wedding anniversary. We both like the comedian Eddie Izzard and he is finally coming to the US on tour. Unfortunately he is not coming anywhere near Texas but he will be in Boston the weekend of our anniversary. I thought it would be a good way to combine a great show with a nice weekend trip (we've both been to Boston but not together).

So, as you can see, I have a good reason to eagerly anticipate the fall! Hope it gets here soon!

posted at 6/13/2003 08:54:00 a. m.

jueves, junio 12, 2003

What's up with me?
Hello loyal readers. I've been posting regularly but not really saying anything so I thought I would catch you up on how I am doing personally - not what I have been doing...

Kenny and I are doing well. We are both busy and need to plan a "date" between the two of us soon but other than that, we're happy. He is very, very busy at work on a difficult project which frustrates him but also keeps him challenged.

The dogs are also fine.
Heidi, the cockapoo we inherited from his grandparents, has completely adjusted and is still my little shadow, always underfoot. She has learned to stay in bed with Kenny most mornings though instead of getting up just to watch me walk out the door a few minutes later - I guess she learned that laziness from Ginger, the dachshund! As for Ginger, her age is showing. She is slower (vet says normal onset of arthritis in the joints) but still just as lovable if not a bit mopier and more clingy.

Work is also going well. I am getting into the swing of things and learning my new position - the authority as well as the boundaries that go with it. Yes, sometimes I have unmotivated days like anyone else but that's more me rather than management. We will have a booth at local conference next week so I've had fun ordering giveaways with our new logo (Kooclip sunglass holders and chocolates) as well working on a handout summarizing our vessel capacities. Wrapping up loose ends from the move, immigration issues and IT problems (dead laptop, monitor that went out, installation of cable modem as well as issues with our current DSL line) have occupied the rest of my time. It's interesting! And of course, the guys around here make it more interesting. Their latest office toy? These humongous Hulk hands that make sounds when you make jabbing motions with them on your hands. The president particularly likes these...

As for me personally, I am struggling with what to do with my weight (I know, I need to start eating sensibly and go back to aerobics) and feeling frumpier than usual but I will take some action soon, I guess. A larger obstacle is the lack of energy during the day. I am taking vitamins but don't really see a difference. And before you say it, exercise has *never* helped me energy-wise. I'm one of those freaks that just gets no energy boost after an hour of aerobics.

So, yes, I am gearing up to attack my weight and energy issue but at least everything else around me is going fine. My husband is a wonderful support, my friends also offer a great support group and work is finally what it should be - what I had been missing for several years now. Throw in a new eagerness for my photography and I think I'll be able to get out this funk sooner than later... wish me luck!

posted at 6/12/2003 08:53:00 a. m.

miércoles, junio 11, 2003

Becoming deviant once again!
Where art meets application! Having my new camera has inspired me to re-join an on-line art community called DeviantART where I have a personal gallery. Here are the first few submissions since becoming active once again:

one * two * three

Watcha think?

posted at 6/11/2003 08:24:00 a. m.

martes, junio 10, 2003

Today's Meme
Time for today's
This-or-That Tuesday:

1. "The Munsters" or "The Addams Family"? Addams Family
2. "The Sopranos" or the "Godfather" movies? neither
3. "The Jetsons" or "Lost in Space"? Jetsons
4. "Superman" or "Batman" (either the TV shows or the movies)? Does Smallville count (Superman)?
5. "Sex & The City" or "Friends"? Friends
6. "The Wizard of Oz" or the "Harry Potter" movies? Harry Potter
7. "The Simpsons" or "King of the Hill"? Simpsons
8. "Grease" or "Saturday Night Fever"? Grease
9. Old prime-time soaps: "Dallas" or "Dynasty"? Dallas
10. Not very thought-provoking this you prefer TV shows or movies? Can't decide - maybe TV shows if I had to choose.

posted at 6/10/2003 08:22:00 a. m.

QUIZ: Which Charlie's Angels are you?


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posted at 6/10/2003 08:20:00 a. m.

lunes, junio 09, 2003

I had a fun weekend!
My weekend was not as productive as I had hoped but it was still a lot of fun...

Friday: Met up with some of the Friday group at EJ's and Sherry's.
EJ cooked up another great Hungarian meal (I need that mushroom soup recipe) and we watched the Animatrix DVD.

Saturday: I had completely forgotten I had a dentist appointment (I'm sure glad they called to remind me the day before) so I went to that first. Afterwards Kenny and I went to the shooting range to try out a new handgun. Afterwards we went home, vegged a bit until Robert came over and they we went out for the evening.

Saturday night: Going out was especially fun for a couple of reasons. First of all, there were only 3 of us - a small and intimate group. Secondly, we actually made an effort to look nice. The guys wore slacks and nice collared shirts, I wore heels and made my hair up. Since we did dress up this also enabled us to go out to some nicer places than usual so we headed over to Hugo's and ended the night at Skybar (you know it was snoozy with the $10 cover charge).

The food was good (and we were able to sit out on the patio on this lovely night) and the drinks strong (especially at Sky Bar) and by the end of the night after 2 Cosmopolitans, a mocha with Grand Marnier, a sangria and two screwdrivers, I was happily drunk. Not bad drunk, but at a happy and fun inebriation level. I was all smiles. :D It's hard to get me to this point but if the conversation and group is just right, it happens every once in a while. Our friend CJ was even the lucky recipient of the 2:30 AM "Drunk Robert Phone Call (tm)" with me as an added bonus (*giggle*). CJ was in a good mood and fortunately was still up so he had a good laugh on us!

Sunday: Woke up relatively pain free and not really hung over. I was thirsty but I drank lots of fluids and took a couple of aspirin just in case. Kenny left for the day to help a friend build a computer and I spent the day running around shopping. I had lunch and dinner with Kenny and company but was on my own the rest of the day. I went to Sam's Club to get some stuff for work, went to Old Navy looking for shorts, hit Target for a couple of things, bought some soil for my garden at Lowe's and went by Buchanan's for plants including some white butterfly ginger I had special ordered.

Like I said, I wasn't really productive at home - the house is still a mess - but I did repot some indoor plants and planted a few things in the garden. I still have to add the soil and plant my gingers... I also still have to clean off my office desk (you can't see my trackball for all the papers), wash the dishes, run some loads of laundry (including a load of sheets), put up a couple of shelves and sweep the house. Oh - and Kenny needs to fix our leaky toilet! It will all have to be done by Saturday because I will have a house guest in for the night (old college roommate).

So, how was your weekend??

posted at 6/09/2003 03:16:00 p. m.

What should I do?
Listed on BlogShares What should I do? My BlogShares price is up to a $45.40/share but I don't what I should do next! Any suggestions on how to help keep it up? Should I do another stock split? Should I sell some of mine off (I've noticed this seemed to lower my price in the past)? Should I make some gifts of my shares? Help!

posted at 6/09/2003 08:26:00 a. m.

viernes, junio 06, 2003

The baby fish have a new home!
baby fish home After much convincing and a few pouts, Kenny finally let me get another fish tank to house the baby fish. It is very small (3 gallons) with a nice curved front and a self-contained filtration system and light under the hood (details here). That's a picture of it over to the right. Here is another view (although bad picture) of how it sits in the corner of my kitchen. (The green fish behind the tank is actually outside of it in the corner - it's just a little glass container I've had for years and I thought it looked cute back there).

I made the move because the net was just too small (~6"x4"x4") and the 15 baby fish would have no room to grow! This way they have much more space to swim around in safety and the ugly net is no longer hanging in my 30 gallon tank taking up space from the bigger fish. I've got a timer on the light too so it gives the kitchen a nice "nite-light" glow to it when the lights are off in there. The pump is virtually silent and the tank is so low profile that I didn't lose any counter space! Kenny is learning to live with it and I think he was happy to see how small it was. He even told me to leave the light all the time - unfortunately I can't because that would build up too much algae plus the fishies need to sleep too.

Anyway, the babies are in there now and they seem content, if you know what mean. I actually think they just don't know what do with all that space! LOL!

posted at 6/06/2003 08:54:00 a. m.

jueves, junio 05, 2003

miércoles, junio 04, 2003

martes, junio 03, 2003

Today's Meme
Time for
Tuesday's This-or-That:

1. Cats or dogs? Dogs!! I'm allergic to cats.
2. Butterflies or birds? Butterflies.
3. Horses or cows? Horses.
4. Turtles or snakes? Both! (I grew up raising turtles and now own a snake)
5. Frogs or grasshoppers? What a silly questions! frogs and toads.
6. Lions or tigers? tigers.
7. Elephants or mice? Can't decide. Elephants are cute too.
8. Porcupines or aardvarks? Porcupines.
9. Unicorns or dragons? Dragons.
10. Thought-provoking question of the week: You live in a rather dumpy apartment. A friend offers you a chance to be a roommate at a new place s/he is moving into, but they don't allow pets. You have a pet. Do you find your pet a new home and take the new place, or do you keep your pet and stay put? I would never abandon my dogs!! They are probably more loyal than most people out there!

posted at 6/03/2003 03:18:00 p. m.

Weekend Update
As promised, here is the weekend update. It was rather wild Friday night, a bit more calm Saturday and extremely lazy on Sunday!

Friday: After work ended, we continued the going away party at
a local pub. The bar tab was sponsored by the company and let’s just say that it was a fun evening! My co-workers are very fun loving people, even when they are drunk! I didn’t make it home till 12:30 AM!

Saturday: Woke up (with much difficulty) at 8 AM to meet up with friends for a day of tubing on the Guadalupe River. My German co-worker came home with me and stayed overnight since she was also joining us. Made it in time to Robert’s house to join the caravan of cars and headed out on the 2 ½ hour drive to the river. Stopped for lunch at Rudy’s BBQ in New Braunfels then headed to Rocking R to rent some tubes and float away.

There were 11 of us and the weather was perfect. The sun was shining, the skies were a clear blue, the water cool and the breeze nice. The river was unusually slow though so the trip was 5 ½ hours. By the 5th hour I was restless and cranky. The sun was falling so I was getting cold, the suntan lotion had gotten in my eyes a few hours before and I was unable to see out of my right eye at this point (it was extremely painful and my eye was red and inflamed for a while longer until I got Visine into it) and right before the end, at the last major waterfall, I tumbled out of my tube and dumped everything. Fortunately, I had it all attached to the tube and didn’t lost anything. Still, I was shaken up and yesterday I noticed the bruise on my knee from hitting the rocky bottom.

At 7 PM we crawled out of the river, loaded up on a bus with a bunch of other tired tubers (and some drunk – including a couple in our group) and headed to our cars. Dinner was at Johnny Carino’s and arrival time back home was almost 1 AM!

Despite some of the negatives, the positives outweighed them and I want to thank Robert for organizing such a great trip! Oh, and kudos to Kathy as well who did a great job of hanging onto one of our coolers!

I did take pictures with an old waterproof camera I had but it's on film. I hope to get them developed today and put on CD so I can share them with you. I'll keep you posted when they are up!

Sunday: Kenny headed out to early to a gun show while I slept in till almost 2 PM. He came home and we went out to look at digital cameras and had a late lunch/early dinner. The rest of the evening was spent at home. That’s about it!

posted at 6/03/2003 08:21:00 a. m.

lunes, junio 02, 2003

domingo, junio 01, 2003

Because my husband loves me...
Nikon CoolPix 5700 I love photography but lately have been uninspired - in general and also by the limitations of my current camera. Don't get me wrong, I love my
Canon Elph PowerShot 300 but not for "artistic" shots like what I enjoy taking. The Elph will remain my "party pic" camera. It takes great pictures at social events and it can go anywhere due to its compact size but when I want a sharp, crisp, color saturated image, it falls a little short.

So, my husband, who loves to buy me electronic gadgets and also enjoys funding my photography habit, told me a few months back that when I was ready he would buy me a new SLR-style digital camera. I am finally ready and after an exhaustive look at on-line reviews, going to a couple of stores to physically handle the cameras and even a phone call to a friend in California who owns one of the cameras I was looking at (actually the one I finally decided on), I asked him last night to order the Nikon Coolpix 5700 for me! It's their top of the line digital camera and offers a whopping 5 megapixels with an 8X optical zoom (essentially 35 - 280 mm). It's quite nice and I am looking forward to receiving it (hopefully this week)!!! I'm such a spoiled wife, aren't I?

posted at 6/01/2003 11:53:00 p. m.

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