Friday, February 28, 2003

Yay! I have been resolved of fault for the time sheet snafu of last month! My boss says ...

"Just for clarification, Cathy did post her hours on time as she does every week. The problem occurred when the Raytheon timekeeping system became unavailable while I was approving timesheets -- I was able to approve 3/4 of the timesheets, and I was not able to logon to approve the remainder although I stayed several hours that day attempting to logon. I notified HR so that the staff would be paid."

I am sorely tempted to stick my tongue out at the fellow who scolded me and say "nah nah nah ... you were wrong" but that wouldn't be very professional now would it? It would be appropriate if he would send me a little note of apology for jumping on me like that yesterday. Grrr. I think my bosses little note above is the most I will get in that respect.

I just finished writing the February monthly. Now I get the nice long month of March to relax and keep plugging away at my work before I have to do the next monthly.

I can't decide if I want to go to the rock climbing gym tonight for OAW's Pacific Edge climbing night. I want to climb and hang out with folks but I don't really want to drive to Santa Cruz. I'll probably pass on it unless I get a sudden burst of driving energy around 5:00 p.m. I'm going to try and make it to the GLS Castle Rock hike tomorrow that Wen and Andria are leading. I'm going to drive myself right to the park instead of car pooling so I have the freedom to go out with folks after the hike instead of having to return to the car pool lot. I was disappointed last Sunday that I was stuck in a car with a woman who wanted to leave right after the hike and that I missed hanging out at the park a little more and then joining folks for pizza and hot tubbing later. Shot!

I'm trying to arrange to go see my niece, Eva, in a gymnastics meet on Sunday. I still need directions to the gym in San Rafael and confirmation that the meet is really happening.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Mr. Rogers died today. It has been posted just about everywhere I look on the internet. I wonder if his show will continue on in some other form. My favorite part of the show was the Magic Kingdom. If Kermit can live on, King Friday should be able to carry on!

I'm annoyed sitting here at work. I was just scolded for not posting my time properly the week of Jan 18-24 by the deadline (they claim I didn't get my time in till 1-31) and frankly I think I did post my time correctly that week. I am so anal about those things that it annoys me when people immediately jump to the conclusion that it is my fault. OK. It could be my fault. I could just have a really bad memory of what I did that week, but it would be just so unlike me to forget to do my time sheet for an entire week. Think calm thoughts Cathy ... this isn't really a big deal in the long run of your life!! Even if it was your fault, it was just a simple mistake and not something you did maliciously or carelessly to make life miserable for Raytheon! OK. I feel better now.

Friday, February 21, 2003

And now I have added a link to a guest book for comments on my clogs. What a productive BLOG day it has been so far.

Ooooo ... LOOK ... I got my clog picture and links back. A small triumph!

Sad start to my Friday today. I was walking to work this morning (good way to get exercise) and two women approached me to ask where was a good place to get help as one of the women had just been beat up by a guy who got off his bike and hit her when she complained about him almost running her over as she was jogging on the bike path. The other woman was helping her out and comforting her and had arrived shortly after the guy took off. I figured the best place to go to report the assault was the security gate at work which was about a 1/2 mile away. The three of us walked to the gate and I left them with the security guard as he phoned the police for them to report it. The woman was not too badly hurt physically and turned down an offer for an ambulance but she was quite shaken up emotionally. I hope they catch the dude that assaulted her! This assault took place on one of my favorite play spots, the bike paths at Shoreline park. I'll have to keep a sharp eye out when I go there now but I'm not going to stop going there.

I finally solved the problem of my broken dryer. I had my neighbor, B, come over with his shop vac Wednesday after work to help me clean out the dryer vent yet another time after the dryer repair man said my dryer was fine and it was a vent problem. Our first attempt did not seem to help. We reversed the shop vac so it blew air and no air was getting through the vent. So B. suggested that we cut the vent cover off to have a look inside and see what the problem was. He popped down to his place to get some metal cutters and off came the vent cover. Peering inside we discovered that the vent had collapsed on itself some how. B. carefully stuck a crow bar in the pipe and uncollapsed it while being carefull not to put a hole in it. Then we got the vac out again and started vacuuming. The vacuum got plugged and we discovered that there were old nut casings behind the collapse. Some critter had been busy in my dryer vent! We pulled out all the nut casings and lint we could with the crow bar and then vacuumed again. Then I hooked up the dryer to the vent and finally a good strong swoosh of air came out of the vent from the dryer. Tonight I'll be attempting to install a new vent cover built to keep the critters out.

I'm feeling better today than I was Wednesday morning. I seem to have recovered my equilibrium and don't fee so bummed anymore. Phew!

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

The shakes happily went away fairly quickly yesterday after the granola bar and a cup of hot coffee.

I tracked down my new toy, the GPS, yesterday. Turns out the online company I bought the GPS from neglected to put my name on the package. So my GPS was sitting there last Friday in F's office as he pondered how to figure out who it was for. It was addressed to the general branch mail stop but there are about 20 people who use this mail stop and so a name is needed to get the mail in the right box. I had a feeling something weird like that had happened so I found F yesterday and asked him if a package had arrived for me with a GPS in it. He was relieved to have figured out who the package was for and I was happy to get my new toy. I might send an email to the online company telling them it is always helpful to include the person's name on the package.

I'm feeling grumpy and unlovable today. None of this PMS stuff for me. I suffer from CMS, current menstral syndrome! I have the usual very mild back cramps going on and I'm just feeling plain out of sorts. Mutter, mutter, mutter, grumble, grumble, grumble, etc. etc.

We have new mailboxes at our condo complex. The mail man hasn't started to use them yet so we have to make our way to the old mail boxes that are leaned up against the wall of the dumpster area. Yesterday they passed out the keys to the new box but said not to use them until instructed to do so. I like the new boxes as they are bigger and they have a community mail box where the mail carrier can put a big package for you and put the key to the community box in your box so you can fetch it. I wonder if UPS can use this box too. My box number has changed but my address will remain the same. The mailman will know which box corresponds to which unit.

Tonight I'm borrowing the shop vac from B. That is if the rain doesn't nix the plan. I'm hoping the rain goes away by the time I get home so I can try vacumming the dryer vent.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Blah. I have the shakes. Every once in a while I feel shakey like this. It feels like someone pumped me full of too much coffee only I'm also sleepy to boot! I think its a lack of food problem and so I just ate a granola bar. It hasn't kicked in yet. Knock on wood that it will soon and up my energy a bit. I never can predict when I'll feel this way. Maybe its related to Aunt Flo arriving yesterday. What I would dearly love to do right now is lie down on the floor under my cube desk and take a cat nap. Somehow I don't think this would go over well with the boss.

I didn't get my dryer vent cleaned out yesterday. I couldn't find an appropriate tool to use. So I fired an email off to my neighbor asking to borrow his shop vac to clean out the vent. I haven't heard back from him yet. I'm assuming a shop vac is a very strong vacuum cleaner that I can poke into the vent and suck up all the accumulated lint. If this doesn't work then its off to the yellow pages to find a dryer vent cleaner. I did do a wash this weekend and I carried my clean wet cloths in my red wagon to the complex public dryer in the club house, deposited $0.75 in the machine and dried my cloths. At least I don't have to put the wet cloths in my car and find a laundramat for a dryer.

I emptied my chest drawers and fix the drawer bottoms this weekend. All of them had come out of their slots and were sagging into the drawers below so when I would pull out one drawer the sag would catch on the one below and open it up too. I got the drawers back into the slots and then used some duct tape to hopefully secure the drawer bottoms in the slots so they won't come out again and resag.

My hike Sunday had a low turn out. Just one person showed up and that person met me at the trail head. It turned out to be a fortuitous as I woefully underestimated the mileage and the one person who did show up, Pam, is a leader herself and took the change in plans while hiking in stride. We never did make it down to the beach as it was more like a 5 mile hike to the beach than a 5 mile hike to the beach and back like I advertised. I really don't know where I managed to come up with that mileage estimate. It must have been bad map reading day when I wrote that description. The weather wasn't too bad. I think that is what scared away most people. We had a little bit of rain when we reached the ridge top but as we sat down to eat some lunch, the rain stopped and the sun came out. We got a nice view of Brooks falls with water in it! The woods in the area were a very lush green due to all the rain. It felt vaguely Hawaii like Pam said. I couldn't confirm that since I haven't been to Hawaii. We had fun talking and probably did about 6 or 7 miles in the end. We were out hiking from 11:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

I skipped the Nisene Marks hike on Saturday. I was intending on going on the hike on Friday but I woke up so danged tired Saturday that I turned off the alarm, rolled over, and went back to sleep. I slept till noon. I needed that but I'm sorry to have missed the hike. I had a very lazy Saturday of hanging out on the couch watching TV and playing on the internet most of the day.

I got my tax refunds last week! I had them deposited right into my bank account.

My GPS is still in the mail. It got to Ames on Thursday according to the UPS tracking web page. I called the dude who signed for it this morning asking what happened to it. The package came to Shipping and Receiving and they sent it on to the mail room. It got stuck in the mail room. I called the mail room and they said last week they were short of two staff members and fell behind on delivering mail. They told me it should arrive today and if it doesn't to give them another call. Shucks. I want my new toy!

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Grrrrrr. The dryer repair guy showed up and determined that there was nothing wrong with my dryer and it was that my vent was blocked somehow. I worked so hard on cleaning that vent. I had to pay the guy $69.00 for the visit. He was nice enough not to charge me for anything else. I have a tenative plan to try to unblock the vent on Monday (a holiday for me) . If I can't do it, I'll have to reach in my wallet again and pay for a professional to fix the vent.

I did get my front door rekeyed and the fellow also made some repairs to the lock mechanism so it works much better now too. It was good to get this done finally. I have been procrastinating about it since November of 1998. That may be my record for procrastination!

I read in the paper this morning: "Central Valley Congressman Richard Pombo introduced a bill to study constructing a six-lane freeway across the Mount Hamilton Range and into East San Jose. " I say booooo hisssss! Its a marvelous area and I don't want to see a big freeway built in the middle of it. Add this to the proposal of SCV Water District to build a dam that will flood parts of Henry Coe and it makes me steam. Geez. Not a good year for the local parks. I hope both plans fizzle and the wilderness stay pristine and not flooded!

I have started to walk to work on MWF. Its about an hours walk each way (roughly 3 miles). Its a nice way to get exercise and not use my car so much. We'll see if I can keep it up.

I saw my psychiatrist this week and after some discussion decided to stop taking Wellbutrin. It wasn't helping all that much and it frequently made my stomach upset. It was also hard to remember to take the second pill at around 3:30 p.m. each day. We'll see if the tiredness comes back or not that originally got me to start taking the Wellbutrin. I am working hard at trying to get enough sleep each night, at least 8 hours. I'm still taking the prozac.

I ordered a GPS (Global Positioning System), a Garmin Venture Etrex, on Monday. It should arrive today or tomorrow. Oh boy. A new toy!

Friday, February 07, 2003

Today I am leaving work at 11:30 a.m. I worked 9 hour days the past three days so I could leave early today. I'm leaving early so the dryer repair person can hopefully come fix my dryer and so the lock person can rekey my door. I didn't know you could have a door rekeyed and leave the current lock/door knob system in place. Rekeying is a lot cheaper than getting a new lock/door knob. I'll probably do some work at home while I wait around for those two folks.

Last night I watched the Stanford women's basketball team trounce the Oregon Ducks. It was a fun game to watch. Stanford made many really clean beautiful plays that were a joy to watch. One of my favorite players, Krista Rappahahn, got to play more than usual and she did great. She scored 10 points for the game and played awesome defense. Nicole Powell played well but got two fouls right away in the first half so spent more time on the bench than usual. Krista was filling in for her.

I did my taxes a couple nights ago. I filed electronically and my refund will be deposited into my bank. I still manage to get refunds because of the fact that I am paying so much interest on my mortgage and because I put a lot of money in the tax free health care spending plan in 2002. I think within a couple of years I'll probably be owing taxes but I'll enjoy the refunds while I can!

BTW, Wen and I are 85% compatible according to the Rum and Monkey quiz.

Lets copy Wen's idea of posting horoscopes. What my horoscope says today ...

Don't hesitate when it comes to taking on a project or making plans today, dear Aries. Your organizational skills will be complimented with extra energy making a perfect recipe to handle most anything. Be sure to write your goals and plans out on paper or in the computer to help keep you focused. If you decide to tackle any cleaning today, get rid of the things you never use. Consider donating such items as there's no doubt someone out there that could benefit. (from

Hmmm. Not sure I have any big project to make plans for today. Yesterday I thought about getting rid of cloths I don't use and donating them to the Good Will. This one sorta fits what my day might be like. OK this is silly, here is my Chocolate Preference according to my sign (Aries): Eats all of the chocolates in one sitting. Wen's (Gemini) Chocolate Preference: Makes their chocolate choice by sticking their finger in each piece. So if Wen puts her finger in each piece does that mean I eat them all after she has touched them? LOL.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

I'm 57% compatible with treegrrrl

I'm an apparently intelligent, liberal, not-too-generous, not-too-selfish, relatively well adjusted human being!
See how compatible you are with me!
Brought to you by Rum and Monkey

I got on the road to Death Valley at 5:30 a.m. to avoid rush hour traffic in the bay area and to get to Death Valley before dark. I was way sleepy on the drive. I had to stop numerous times to drink coffee! The worst part was driving while tired on I5 when it was socked in with fog. By the time I got to the mojave desert area, I was finally pretty much awake. I got to Death Valley at 3 p.m. We had some snafu about where our group campsite was. It wasn't in the same place as it had been the year before but that is where the leaders of the trip had directed us to go. I volunteered to hang out there for a while and direct people to the right place. I had a nice nap in the back of my car as I hung out there. It was very toasty but not too hot.

Friday night was a night of meeting all the folks who were on the camping trip. There were some very colorful characters on the trip that had great stories to tell. One lady was a 76 year old lesbian who knew all about Nevada and Death Valley and had great stories to tell of what it was like to be a lesbian back in the 40s and 50s. The other woman told lots of stories about her rather unpleasant childhood of running away lots and being in foster homes. She seemed pretty upbeat about it though and was able to laugh about it now.

Saturday a.m. we woke up to flags at half staff at Death Valley national park and the news of the space shuttle Columbia accident. We were all depressed for a bit but carried on with our plans for the day.

Nine of us went to hike up Corkscrew peak. It was a beautiful hike. I was a coleader and was the sweep. John was the other leader and was out in front. I hung out with the slow pokes (I'm naturally a slow poke anyways LOL). One woman (poor Jamerson) was having trouble with cramping in her calves. She almost turned back about three times but each time decided to keep going. She finally made it to the top of Corkscrew peak and got to see the wonderful views and get that wonderful feeling of accomplishment when you bag a peak. On the way down that woman's calves did not bother her at all. Instead another woman was dealing with the more common knee problems going downhill. This was very steep and steady down hill too. She made it down OK but her knees were sore.

That night we had a pot luck dinner at camp. It was a pretty good pot luck with stir fried vegetables, a wonderful pork dish for the meat eaters, some pasta with sun dried tomatos and chocolate mints and cake for desert. We all turned in pretty early that night especially those of us that tackled Corkscrew peak. During the night a wind storm blew up. The winds were really strong and it blew sand dust everywhere. Fortunately for me I had decided to sleep in my car for this camping trip so I was snug as a bug in my car and dust free and my "tent" did not collapse on me. The folks in tents had a mostly miserable night with the big wind blowing their tents around and making lots of noise. It was a pretty bleary eyed bunch the next morning.

Sunday I was all set to lead a hike at Keane Wonder mine, but no one else wanted to go on the hike so I cancelled it and headed off with 4 other women to see Darwin Falls. I decided to drive home after seeing the falls. I was pretty tired out and wanted to have Monday to unpack and recover from the trip instead of spending it driving. Darwin Falls was wonderful. It was a very mellow 0.8 mile hike into the falls (after a bumpy dirt road drive of 2.5 miles to the trail head from highway 190). This is one of the few spots in Death Valley where there is a stream and water in a canyon year round. So we got to see some green plants in the canyon as we hiked to the falls. We had snacks at the falls and then headed back. I said my goodbyes after the hike and headed home. The drive back was uneventful and I made good time. I got home by 9 p.m.

Monday I slept in till noon after having gone to bed at 11:30 p.m. I sure was tired! I feel good now though after getting 12+ hours of sleep yesterday. It was a fun trip despite the sad news of the Columbia shuttle accident.

Here are some pictures I took on the camping trip:;;

I had a nice afternoon Monday. I arranged for someone to come fix my dryer this Friday afternoon and I called the Raytheon Life resources number to get referals for someone to put a new lock on my door. I did remember Monday that my condo complex has a laundry room next to the pool so I did a wash and put my wet cloths in the dryer there. It only cost $0.75 to dry them. So I am not in dire need of getting my dryer fixed. I even came up with a new chore to start working on soon. I'm going to thin out my cloths. I have so many cloths that I never wear. I'm going to pack them up and give them to the goodwill. I also need to figure out just how many socks I have left that don't have holes in the toes. It may be time to buy some new socks. Oh and I want to fix the bottoms of my chest drawers. They are sagging and interferring with opening the drawer underneath them. I don't think it will be too hard to rig something to stop the sagging.