Thursday, December 6, 2012

Pouring My Morning Coffee...

I have had the same nagging question in my head every morning for quite some time now when I pour myself a cup of coffee...

Does the coffee stay hotter if you:

Pour a little milk at the bottom of the cup and then pour the hot coffee in...


Pour the coffee into the mug and then pour in a little milk...

My hypothesis is as follows:  The coffee stays hotter if you pour the coffee in first and then the cold milk. 

What say you?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

It's A Hopper Thing...

Anyone who has spent time around one of us Hoppers will know this truth to be self evident.  We often break out into song or quote a line from a movie - and you will have NO idea what happened or why.  It's just's how we roll. 

Most of us...missing Jerry, who wasn't born yet, and Dad who always took the pictures.
 For instance ask Diane Salts about the time I started to sing great big gobs of greasy grimy gopher guts at a race meet.  Even I don't remember what prompted that one, but it was a real show stopper.

Or I will say "I can remember lots of things" and my sister will yet out..."16 Candles!"  This is one of my favorites as everyone was forgetting Sam's Birthday and that has happened to me more than once.

We all seem to have this odd character trait and everyone plays along.   When someone blurts out a piece of dialog it could be from a movie, song, TV show, '60s cartoon show, basically just about anything and the others are suppose to tell you where it comes from.  It's a fun Hopper Family Game that can be played anywhere and needs no props...just an agile mind that holds on to trivia and minutiae like a huge sponge.

If my sister said "El Kabong" or "Size Of A Camel" everyone would know she was quoting Quick Draw McGraw.  Or should Jeff say "Beware the Monkey" we know that is from the Chinese Calendar for Tigers - Jeff is a Tiger as you may have deduced.  See below

The Year of the Tiger Is there a creature on the planet more magnificent than the Tiger. We think not, and that’s not even our sign. On our Chinese restaurant menu today, here’s how they describe the Tiger: If you were born in the years 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986 or 1998, you’re a Tiger. Tiger people are aggressive, courageous, candid and sensitive. Look to the Horse and Dog for happiness. Beware of the Monkey. get the picture. So next time this happens to you do NOT fret...this is just a Hopper Thing and you will soon be returned to your regular programming.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Run, Sue, Run...

I finally got tired of "wishing" I could still run...So I laced up my new ASICs and started back on the Runner's World Beginners 5k workout.  It takes you from -0- to running a 5k in 8 weeks. I completed this workout in 2010 and was able to run a few 5k's before I tripped over my dogs and needed to have my 3rd knee surgery...

How sweet it would be to run like this again! 

Finish of the 4 x 100 meter Relay at Everett Community College 1979

So, two years later I start again.  I know I will never sprint like in that photo above (notice we won!)...but I should be able to jog a few miles.  My real goal is to run a half marathon, but that was my goal last time and look where it got me...I nearly died trying. Ha! 

Before my first 5k in 2010, Bellingham Bay Marathon - a few pounds heavier and 30 years later...

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How many streetlights does it take...

In order for me to drive to work on Tuesdays?  I decided to find out this morning.

The street where I live...

It is actually harder than you think to keep count...listening to music, swearing at the car next to you as they drink coffe/talk on the phone/put on eye makeup, and just plain old lack of focus.  I can get distracted by the goofiest things.  Not to mention dodging Microsoft shuttle busses and bicycle riders...

In front of the next building over from my office... for the numbers.  On Tuesday I have to attend a meeting with one of our Distributors, so this counts the stop lights from my their office...and then to my office.

Are you ready now?  There are 53 stop lights between my home and Arrow Electronics in Bellevue WA.  There are a total of 69 stoplights to travel from my home to Arrow and then to my office.  And this is NOT big city driving folks.  I knew it was a lot...but not this many.

Friday, July 20, 2012

I'm Not Ready To Make Nice...

I have been thinking about this for a long while now.  When the Dixie Chicks made their comment about being embarrassed to be from the same state as George W. Bush they were absolutely vilified. They lost their career, received death threats, and had little to no support from the other country music artists.  In fact many were very outspoken against them. 

"Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas"  Natalie Maines March 10, 2003

Flash forward to the political discourse in America today.  The visuals and verbiage being used against Barack Obama and his family are abhorent to me and really should be to most americans as this is our President.  You don't have to like him, you don't have to agree with him, but you should have respect for the office.  I disliked President Bush, but I respected the office he held. 

Remember...all the Dixie Chicks said was they were embarrassed to be from the same state...It seems to be one of those do as I say and not as I do moments in US history.  How sad. 

Free speech is all well and good as long as you are a Conservative.  Anyone on the other side may be shot on sight.  I am very proud of these 3 women who took on all comers and did not back down from the repercussions of this one statement.  Actually I'm proud as hell!

Sometimes you do have to laugh at how poorly these chuckleheads spell....showing their ignorance and stupidity to the whole wide world.

I don't have any answers, but I do know that I am ashamed of some of our fellow Americans right about now.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Comfort of Old Friends...

I had the chance to spend time with a couple of my friends from school over the weekend.  We're talking all the way back to 3rd grade when I met Dawn and a little later for Mary.  I have the good fortune to see Dawn on a pretty regular basis, but it has been several years since I saw Mary - it may have been our 30 year High School Reunion in fact.  That was 2008.  In fact at the BBQ on Sunday there were 4 of us who graduated High School together.  Having friends who have known me for so long is a great blessing.  You can just be yourself - they have pretty much seen you in all of your incarnations and like you anyway.

We laughed...they made jam...and we had a wonderful time.  Here's to good friends...without them life would be so much less.

Fresh From The Farm Strawberries

Bubbling Hot Blueberries Almost Ready...

Another Batch Completed

Hope it isn't another 4 years before we are all together again.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Reprise - Heads Up Merril Wolf...

Thanks to Kathleen Lord I decided to go back and reprise an older post - in my case from my old blog.  This particular post makes me laugh every time due to the last sentence.

Taken from "Confessions of a Recovering Couch Potato" August 30, 2009

This week didn't turn out anything like it was suppose to.  Thursday I got food poisoning and threw up at work.  YUCK!  I missed my walk that day.  Friday I did my workout and then realized it was wrong.  I was actually doing the workout for NEXT Friday.  I thought it was a big jump in minutes...but didn't check until after I got back home.  Saturday I didn't know what to do with myself, so went out to dinner and had a wonderful blue cheese burger and fries.  And yes - I skipped my workout that day.  Today I decided my best course of action was to go back and do the minutes I was suppose to have done on Friday.  It was really difficult.  Of course I ran early in the day and didn't eat enough.  I was breathing so hard part way through that I scared HotRod with the loud noise!  But...I made it through week 2 and still feel like I am doing the right thing for myself.  My knees still feel pretty good - except those pesky little kneecaps that don't track properly making going up and down stair a bit of a painful experience.  Best bet...don't go up and down stairs.  Wanna bet Merril calls me a whiney ass again? :-o

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Random Brain Emissions...Top 10

1. Should I get a dog?
2. If yes...what kind of dog? (Of course it would be a bitch and not a dog but you know what I mean).
3.  How do I save money?
4.  When was the last time I stayed at the Ocean?
5.  What's up with our weather?
6.  I love being bald! 
7.  What's up with all of the shootings?
8.  Should I stay or should I go?
9.  Monkeys

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The power of a white paper sandwich bag...

Last weekend I participated in our local Relay For Life event to raise money for Cancer Research and Support.  It is a 24 hour relay event and every team needs to have at least one member on the track at all times.  All day and all night there are tons of things going on - theme laps, zumba dance, lip sync contest, and the beautiful & powerful luminaria ceremony. 

If you ever have the chance to attend and be part of the luminaria ceremony you owe it to yourself to do so.  You will never look at a white paper sandwich bag the same way again.  A few words of remembrance, a name, a picture...then when it is dark you place the bags all the way around the track and add light.  Walking in the dark and seeing people huddled in front of a bag holding each other and crying - it will move you to tears and make your heart swell so huge.  Relay for Life Luminaria Ceremony

Relay For Life Luminaria Ceremony

For myself I made the decision to fundraise by shaving my head.  A great many people came forward and overwhelmed me with their support and their donations.  Thank You to each and every one of you!!  I don't yet have any video from the big event, but here I am directly afterwards.  I rather like being bald - but know that for those who have lost it due to Cancer it is a completely different thing entirely.  Choice is taken away from them by their disease and the treatment to overcome it.  Many people told me how brave I am to have done this...but for me the decision was easy.  Those who fight cancer and/or care for those who do are the brave ones.

My team, Purples & Pinks Cancer Stinks, supplies "lap beads" each year so people know exactly how far they walked.  It has become a real tradition and we actually had people lined up to get their necklace and starter bead before the relay officially began!  The real fun is staying up all night and talking to each walker as they pass by for their next bead.  I think it keeps us going as much as it does them and we really get to know the people and the stories behind why they relay.  I managed 13.25 miles, but there was one little girl who did closer to 30 miles!  At least one survivor made it past the 20 mile mark.  What an incredibly strong woman she is.

This year I Relayed for my Dad, My Sister, and the young man who grew up across the street from my parents who lost his life to melanoma one year ago.  Andrew Pinkham was much too young and full of promise to have been lost so soon. 

After hearing stories of love and loss during Relay for Life I can only say - tell your family and friends how much you Love them every chance you get.  Should anything ever happen they will know.  And live each day like you are dying - and do all of those things on your bucket list.  Go crazy - shave your head even. :0)

I would also like to Thank each and every one of my teammates.  Your strength and power inspire me.  Special Thank You to my co-captains Mary Ann Tasker-Thompson and Cheryl Palm.  You ladies ROCK!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Did you ever just wonder...

Odd things pop into my brain when I am driving to work in the morning.  Today it was the merits ~ or lack thereof ~ of playing hoops for two very successful coaches - one college and one high school.  Would you rather play for Bob Knight or Bob Hurley?  Both are extremely volatile and in my opinion awful men.  They both have turned out great players, both coached their own sons, and have both demoralized numerous young men under their care.  In the end I decided I would choose the lesser of two evils and play for Bob Knight.  Watch the below link and the fun starts at about 1:20 into the video.  What choice would you make?

Bob Hurley Coach of Saint Anthonys Friars

Is this a peculiar thing for a 52 year old woman to think about?

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Book I cannot read...

My sister, Julie, handed me the book across the foot of Dad's hospital bed.  She said I would love it, but it's sad.  The book was "The Art Of Racing In The Rain".  I didn't need sad that day in late September 2009.  My Dad had just had a heart attack and quad bypass surgery.  He wasn't yet on the road to recovery - and had been seeing the little green men riding bicycles around in his room.  That still makes me laugh.  Of course it was the pain and other drugs he was on post surgery - and he missed them when they were gone.

The other reason I could not read the book just then was because my Gracie was in the car dying.  She was only 9 years old and I wasn't ready for her to go.  Cancer was taking her along with a host of other maladies that had crept up on us over the years.  Surgery had removed the huge mass on her ribcage and a few wonderfully good weeks followed.  She was able to attend the 2009 NAWRA National in Roy WA that Saturday which turned out to be her very last good day.  She was in the unbroken spirit class of the fun match.  All decked out in her new pink collar from Debbey Bartos and shining like the diamond I knew her to be.  Overnight she began going downhill - camping in a cramped Honda Element was never her idea of a good time and this was no exception.  I drove her home in the morning and my roommate (Thanks Gail!) would watch her for the next day or so while I stayed at the National.  The pictures taken of her in those last couple of days break my heart because I can see in her eyes - she was ready to go.  A week went by and I spent it visiting my Dad in the Hospital and snuggling with my girl.  We went to see our vet that Friday and she just stood there with her head hanging down.  I absolutely knew I should say the words that would let her go peacefully and yet I couldn't make myself do it.  Both the vet and my friend Gail sat and let me take my time - I decided to take her home with me.  On Monday I knew it was no long fair to keep her here with me so I made the call and started to bawl.  I cried all the way there, I cried while they prepared her and gave her a KitKat bar to hold her attention.  I cried for many hours and days afterward and I know all of you know exactly what I was feeling.  My first dog as an adult, my first whippet, my heart. ♥  I did not keep her ashes because that makes me feel like I wasn't letting her fly away.  In my head she is in a giant pet food store eating as much as she wants forever and she will never ever get sick.

I tried and tried and tried to read that book but could never get past the beginning line where Enzo was lying in his own urine when Denny came home.  Nope...couldn't do it.  Today is May 11th 2012 and still that book sits by my bed.  I try and try...but it is forever tied to my Dad in the hospital and my Gracie's final days.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

And Now For Something Completely Different...

I need an outlet for my wacky and wandering thoughts and decided a new blog would be just the ticket.  What I write may have no relevance to anyone but me...and I am at peace with that thought.

I kinda like the fact that I wore my Mad Cow t-shirt for the overnight sleep study

If you are brave enough to attempt to follow my bouncing brain - don't say I didn't warn you first.
Right now I have lots of ideas swirling around my brain and I don't quite know how to put them into action.  I have decided to go back to school and get a certificate - Database Business Intelligence Analyst.  There is real excitement brewing in me and I think I finally know what I want to be when I grow up.  But I often get really pumped about new things and then they slowly fizzle out when some shiny new bauble finds its way into my focus.  Learning really turns me on and makes me happy...but then so do flowers, music, HotRod, puppies, vacations at the beach, new car shopping, bald eagles flying, chocolate, did I mention music and HotRod? get the idea.

Photography is also a new hobby and I enjoy it immensely.  I would love to get a new/used DSLR, but right now that is not an option.  I get some pretty cool shots with my iPhone and my Panasonic point & shoot so I will keep learning new things and honing my eye for composition - which is not a strong point right now.

Work is in flux...24 years at the same job and I need something new...thus going back to school.  I will be even more not wealthy for several more years to come, but hopefully by the time I get finished there will be jobs available to me. 
This is my tattoo that reminds me to live every day to it's fullest - I'm not very good at that at the moment...
Stay never know where my brain will go next...BAZINGA!!