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Laughing Out Loud…Literally September 27, 2007

Posted by smooregasbord in General, Pets, TV/Movies.
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OMG! If you’ve never heard of the Dog Whisperer aka Cesar, then you should totally tune in…but only if you have pets, otherwise you just won’t have the same appreciation. We just discovered the show about a month ago. This dude is unbelievable at training dogs! Casey and I laugh that Dixie could never be trained if it were up to us to “TCHHHH” her.

I was performing my daily blog reading at Dooce and read this entry from Tuesday. I just can’t stop laughing and all I can say is…love it, love it, love it!!!

Skin Allergies, Muscle Spasms, and a Mouse September 27, 2007

Posted by smooregasbord in General, Pets, Running.
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Those are the words that pretty much sum up my week. I know, riveting, isn’t it?!

So Dixie has been scratching her belly a lot. That eventually turned to gnawing and biting at her back half and creating some raw spots. Monday morning I took her to the vet to 1) have her skin looked at and 2) get her quarterly blood pressure check. (Did I mention that my dog has high blood pressure?) So it turns out that she has skin allergies and the vet put her on antibiotics…which are the size of a quarter and smell like puke! Try giving that to your dog. Not to mention I have the dog that manages to eat around whatever you put the pill in and then spits the pill out. While at the vet, I discovered these new treats called Pill Pockets (which equally smell like puke). I thought that I would give them a try. Here’s what I discovered: two pukes don’t equal a treat that a dog likes to eat multiple days in a row. I’m back to peanut butter. Dixie is glad that I’m back to peanut butter.

In keeping with the theme of mice that I seem to achieve here (both electronic and real life), I bring you the following story. So Monday night Casey and I went for a run. We took a route that is close to shopping areas and very well lit. While some may get on a “runner’s high”, I am not one of those folks. I pay attention to every little thing around me and continually concentrate on how much longer and farther I have to go. That being said, I’m looking down at the curb and low and behold a mouse goes running beside my feet. I’ve never thought of myself as being one of those “jumpers and screamers at the site of a mouse” sort of people, but let me reassure you that I am! I almost took Casey out by screaming and jumping up on his back. I no longer live in a rural area because I don’t like critters and creepy-crawlies, so I certainly don’t want to see a mouse while on a run next to the shopping mall. Mice don’t belong in suburbia unless they’re made of fabric, filled with catnip, and in a cat’s mouth!

For the past few weeks, I’ve been experiencing a lot of pain and discomfort in my jaw. I finally bucked up and went to the dentist. Turns out I’m having a muscle spasm in my upper left jaw on top of having TMJ. My dentist (who, by the way, is the best dentist in the world and totally ROCKS) suggested that I be fitted for an occlusal guard. I envision my nights to look like this now…

headgear

Oh, Snack! September 21, 2007

Posted by smooregasbord in Food, TV/Movies.
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I love snacks, but I’m also health conscious. We usually try to purchase snacks that have zero trans fat and are low in calories. Well, stop the press, cuz I just discovered the rock star of the savory snacks category!

They are called Pretzel Crisps. I first saw them on an episode of Unwrapped on the Food Network titled “Good 4 You” which aired back at the beginning of August. We first tried the Garlic flavor which is very good (especially with some Helluva Good Dip), but last weekend we purchased the Buffalo Wing flavor. I opened the bag today and tried them for the first time. OMG!!! With one bite, this is hands-down my favorite new snack (again, equally delicious with some Helluva Good Dip).

SCRUMP-A-LICIOUS!!!

You’ve Got Such a Suit On Your Shoulder September 20, 2007

Posted by smooregasbord in Fashion, Shopping.
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So I’ve mentioned Etsy before and how it just may be the best find on the internet for one-of-a-kind items.

Well, I recently discovered Mandinka Designs. This little shop takes men’s suit coats and repurposes them into handbags. It’s such a unique concept and may make for a great Christmas gift for those “hard to shop for” individuals on your list.

Sydney Bag

Smartypants… September 20, 2007

Posted by smooregasbord in General, TV/Movies.
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…I am not. Although on occasion, I have been known to wear some very smart-looking pants!

One show that I absolutely hate is Jeopardy. Usually the only time I do well when watching Jeopardy is when it’s high school week. My husband and best friend, Sarah, love Jeopardy. They always holler out the question before Mr. Trebek can even finish providing the answer. I hate watching Jeopardy with either of them. I never knew the brain could hold so much useless knowledge and still have room for the good stuff. Needless to say, they are both categorically known as “smartypants”! It is absolutely ridiculous.

Now for the good stuff. About a year ago, I discovered a show called Cash Cab. If you haven’t seen this show, you MUST tune in. Ben Bailey is the host and he is quite funny…in a dry, sarcastic manner…which I adore. The premise of the show is that folks get into the cab to go to a particular destination in NYC. He announces that they are on a game show that takes place in his cab. They have to answer questions for cash for the duration of their ride; however, if they get three wrong answers, he tosses them out onto the street. The players get two shout outs: one street shout out where they can ask someone on the street for help and one mobile shout out where they can call a friend for help. Oh, then there’s the red light challenge where there are no penalties for wrong answers and, finally, when the players reach their destination they have the choice to go double or nothing. Ben shows a video clip and asks one question. If they get it wrong, they walk away with nothing. On the flip side, if they get it right, they double their winnings.

To my surprise, last night I discovered Cash Cab: After Dark. It comes on at 11 pm and, boy, do they pick up some crazy folks! In addition, all of the money values are doubled.

This is a show that reaches out to those slightly above average American brains!
It’s also one of those shows that makes me feel a little Geek Chic!

UPDATE: To find out more about Cash Cab click on the title of the show in the post above. The show airs on the Discovery Channel.

The Day the Mouse Died September 18, 2007

Posted by smooregasbord in Food, Gadgets, General, Work.
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I’m not a big fan of Mondays, but they seem to come around every week. Yesterday was no exception.

I’ve been experiencing neck and back aches recently, so I’ve been investigating my (lack of) ergonomic implementations. The office is usually a good place to begin such an investigation. My computer used to sit at the corner of my desk requiring me to twist like a pretzel to type, etc. Yesterday I came in and did some rearrangment of my desk including moving my monitor, phone, keyboard, and mouse. I was quite pround of the new setup.

Over the weekend, I also purchased some new coffee. Bucks County Coffee Co. has a seasonal flavor called Banana Split: coffee flavored with banana and caramel, sorry, I just couldn’t resist. So yesterday morning I made myself a cup to bring to work. I had this really awesome Oxo travel mug that was insulated and spill proof. I’ve used it so much that that is no longer the case, so I’ve resorted to using a multitude of other crappy travel mugs that we have in our cabinets. Yesterday, I used the MiGo travel mug that we purchased at Target. It’s insulated, but not spill proof. It’s also a little tall and awkward.

Now to bring these three items (Mondays, desk rearrangement, and travel mug) together. So I’m sitting at my newly arranged desk enjoying my delicious Banana Split coffee in a non-spill proof mug and suddenly make a clumsy Monday morning move and spill coffee all over my mouse and part of my keyboard. The coffee on the keyboard wasn’t so bad. I was able to soak up the small amount with a paper towel. However, the mouse died. I tried using an altered paper clip as a makeshift phillips head screwdriver to take the mouse apart to perform any necessary resuscitation, but to no avail. I eventually gathered up the nerve to tell our IT guy who was nice enough to replace the mouse with only minor snickering involved.

RIP, little mouse.
Time of Death: 10:35 am, 9.17.07

See Susan Run September 15, 2007

Posted by smooregasbord in General, Running.
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Sorry for the delay in posting, but I was out of town on business for a few days.

Anywho, Casey and I ran the New Orleans Rebirth 5K this morning in Old Town. We had a great time and the weather was perfect! The temperature during the run was about 65 degrees, and it was sunny and breezy. It was very reminiscent of California weather for which you know we have a certain fondness (of course, that doesn’t include the San Diego “heat wave” kind). This morning’s run was a personal best for us both which was very exciting! It was also a good motivator for the upcoming Army Ten Miler in a few weeks.

Itching and Loathing September 9, 2007

Posted by smooregasbord in General.
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There are few things that I truly LOATHE in this world. My current top three loathes are: celery, mosquitoes, and cancer (not necessarily in that order). Today’s #1 = mosquitoes. “Why?”, you ask. Well, because I can barely walk from my front door to the car without coming under attack. We stood out front Friday night talking with a neighbor. Susan = 13, Casey = 0. What am I scoring? Bites. Blood sucking mosquito bites! Twelve of those bites were on one leg which obviously tastes better than the other leg which only received one bite. I have the self control of a two year old when it comes to scratching those bites. You could currently play a serious game of connect-the-dots using my legs for a gameboard. I look like I have the plague. I’m considering bringing up the fact that we should have our neighborhood bombed for mosquitoes at the next HOA meeting. I should not fear contracting malaria while taking my dog on a walk! I’m sure this movement will go over well. Of course, why does the neighborhood need to be “bombed” when my neighbors can use me as repellent (or bait)!!

Mosquito 1

Diary Of A Travel Guide Junkie: Vol. II September 8, 2007

Posted by smooregasbord in Food, Travel, TV/Movies.
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So back to the vacation details.
Wednesday we traveled to Temecula. I didn’t realize that there was a wine region in southern California until I saw it on an episode of Tori and Dean: Inn Love (yet another trashy reality show that I can’t get enough of). I dig on some Tori Spelling. I’m thinking that she and I could totally be BFF…our blond brains think on the same level at times! Oh, and some day, when I eventually have a wee one, I’m totally going to steal her nanny, Patsy. That woman ROCKS!

Oh yeah, wineries. So we made the trek to Temecula which is about 60 miles north of San Diego. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I’ve been to Napa several times and love it. I didn’t think anything could compare…I was wrong. Temecula was AWESOME. Obviously, we went during the middle of the week, so there were no crowds. You walked in to the tasting room and right up to the bar where you pretty much had the undivided attention of the “pouring person”. We visited about five wineries.

Callaway Winery was first on the list. That’s right, the company that is known for golf also makes some great wine. The Nebbiolo Bello and Zinfandel were my two favorites. Second, we visited Thornton Winery which is best known for their champagne. I’m not really a champagne person, and neither Casey nor I were really over-impressed with the wine that we tried. They do have beautiful grounds and a spectacular herb garden. Third on the list was Baily Vineyard & Winery. I’m a serious fan of Riesling and Muscat and just recently got more into red varietals. However, their whites didn’t really appeal to my palate. They did have some very tasty reds with the Meritage at the top of my list. Baily’s “pouring person” recommended a great lunch spot for us up at Falkner Winery called The Pinnacle. First off, the view was unbelievable, but the best part was the Lobster Mac & Cheese. OMG. Seriously, it doesn’t get any better than this dish. Noodles, cheese, lobster, prosciutto…I’m pretty sure they serve this dish in food heaven! I didn’t partake of any of the wines at Falkner’s tasting room, but I’m pretty sure that this guy works there. Next on our list was South Coast Winery Resort & Spa. This place is unbelievable. It’s a hotel, spa, restaurant, and winery that is impeccably landscaped. It’s the sort of place that makes you wish you could do your wedding all over again, invite only 30-40 people, and have it in Temecula. They must have had at least 30 different wines on their tasting list and most that we tried were very delicious. Our favorite was the Merlot Rose. Last on our list was Mount Palomar Winery. The description in our visitor’s guide made it sound so wonderful, but once we got there I wasn’t so sure that we made a good pick for our last winery. We tried a few different wines, but my taste buds weren’t exactly thrilled. Then I saw that they had a Muscat called Muscato Di Amore which wasn’t on their tasting list…bummer. We asked about it and the lady said that she would ask if she could open a bottle so that we could try it. The manager obliged us. I’ve mentioned that I really like a good Muscat. However, I’ve never had one that could beat Mondavi’s until this day. Beat is a strong word, but it definitely tied for first. We bought two bottles.

Oh, there was one other place that we visited in Temecula….the Temecula Olive Oil Company. Their store is located in Old Town Temecula which is very charming. They have a neat store front where they bake fresh bread daily and an olive oil tasting room in back. We settled on the Just Dip It which is a blended olive oil dip and the Vanilla & Fig Balsamic Vinegar.

We headed back to San Diego after a day of fun in the Temecula Valley. If you’re ever in San Diego, I highly recommend taking a day to visit this amazing region. Cheers!

Go-Go-Gadget Whore September 7, 2007

Posted by smooregasbord in Gadgets.
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That’s right, I said it. I am a total utter gadget whore! I love gadgets…any kind and all kinds. This week was a gadget girl’s dream. Apple released updates on their entire lineup of iPods. I have a perfectly wonderful 30G video iPod and a Product(RED) nano, so what could I possibly need with a new iPod. The truth is nothing, but I WANT one. It’s new. It’s redesigned. AARRRGGGHHH, I admit that I have an addiction to all things shiny and new!!! We’re going to swing by the Apple Store this weekend to check out the revamp. Unfortunately (please read: fortunately), Casey’s nano has recently passed (RIP), so it opens the door for a new iPod purchase. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

UDPATE: Went to Apple Store. Saw new iPods. Loved them. Casey’s nano still under warranty. Replaced for free. I got screwed.