Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas snuck up on me this year

It's all the ice storm's fault...

A few days ago, someone made a passing comment about Christmas being only a week away. Whoa! How'd that happen!

I know how it happened. My last day of classes was followed by my finals and due dates for semester projects. I had every intention of getting to 'Christmas preparations' after that, but then we got slammed by ice and snow. We were lucky and managed to avoid the worst of it, but because the rest of my friends, and frankly the rest of town, weren't as lucky, we had lots of visitors over the next few days. Throw in an impromptu trip to KC and all preparation got shoved back a week.

BUT, after a very minimum of stress and a whole lot of kid-free shopping (ah, bliss!), I can announce that Christmas may now come!

We're driving down to my aunt's house tomorrow. Here's hoping the next round of wintery weather holds off long enough for us to get there...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Ice photos

My next-door neighbor's house the day of the storm:

A photo I took on campus two days after the storm:
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Friday, December 14, 2007

Update, written on the 12th

We got socked pretty hard with this ice storm. Once I have internet back at home, I'll show you some pictures. Wow.

We had power through Monday night, although we lost cable (and thus internet) around midnight, I was up working on a project. My friend Sam and her family weren't as fortunate. They lost power around 9:30 pm.

By the next morning, there were branches down all over our neighborhood. Sam's house was about 50 degrees or so, so I went over to pick them up. They had branches covering their driveway, while ours was still clear.

Both the kids' school AND the university were closed. We're in finals week right now, so they rescheduled my final (and all the others scheduled for Tuesday, of course, not just MINE *grin*) for Saturday. (??!!??) Luckily, my instructor has set an alternate time for Thursday at noon or Friday at noon for those who don't want to take it Saturday.

I made some hot breakfast (waffles and french toast) and cranked the heater, knowing that we'd probably be next. Sure enough, about 30 minutes after breakfast, our power went out as well.

It was still 70 degrees in the house by dinnertime Tuesday and still no power. We decided to do some searching for a hotel room and managed to find probably two of the very last rooms in the area. Nothing was available in town, so we had to go to the next town over. The rooms weren't pretty, but they were warm.

About 15 minutes after we left, Darrell called to say that the power was back on at our house (he'd been in and out, depending on what he had to do at work). We didn't want to chance it going out again, so we stuck with the plan.

Sam and her family left early to take her mom to the airport (she was here for Sam's graduation) and the boys and I headed home. Our power had been on all night. Oh well, I still think it was better to stick to the plan.

The boys' school was still closed, but the university was open. I called my babysitter's house to see if she could watch the boys while I proctored an exam to find out that they'd lost power at 5am Tuesday morning and their house was only about 45 degrees! Of course I told them to come on over! She's with them all right now as I check my email (we're still without cable) to see what's going on with the final I missed yesterday.

I've heard from someone who spoke directly with one of the electric crews that some parts of town might not get power back until after Christmas! I certainly hope that's not true. (ETA: the paper says it might take until the 22nd in some of the harder hit areas - where are those, I wonder? Are my two affected friend's families in them???)

Anyway, we're fine. We're warm. We're probably going to sleep Sam's crew at our house, plus the babysitter's family if they choose. It'll be crowded, but we're all friends. We're not supposed to get any more precipitation, so as long as the ice continues to melt, we shouldn't lose power again. Large parts of town are still out, but there are crews all over the place fixing stuff and chopping up trees.

OH! Speaking of chopping up trees, the worst problems happened at our next-door neighbors. They had a tree split - one half landed on (but not through) their roof. The other just barely missed their cars parked on either side of their driveway! The one that fell on the ground completely covered the road. Again, I have pictures I'll show you in a day or two.

This does not surprise me...

After reading this post at Chris' blog, I tried it for myself:

Left Brain - 61%
Right Brain - 39%

You are more left-brained than right-brained. Your left brain controls the right side of your body. In addition to being known as left-brained, you are also known as a critical thinker who uses logic and sense to collect information. You are able to retain this information through the use of numbers, words, and symbols. You usually only see parts of the "whole" picture, but this is what guides you step-by-step in a logical manner to your conclusion. Concise words, numerical and written formulas and technological systems are often forms of expression for you. Some occupations usually held by a left-brained person include a lab scientist, banker, judge, lawyer, mathematician, librarian, and skating judge.

Your left brain/right brain percentage was calculated by combining the individual scores of each half's sub-categories. They are as follows:

Your Left Brain Percentages
53% Sequential (Your most dominant characteristic)
27% Reality-based
25% Symbolic
25% Logical
20% Verbal
16% Linear (Your least dominant characteristic)

Your Right Brain Percentages
28% Random (Your most dominant characteristic)
24% Holistic
20% Fantasy-oriented
19% Concrete
19% Nonverbal
5% Intuitive (Your least dominant characteristic)

How is it my strengths fall in sequential and random? Don't those contradict each other? These internet quizzes always crack me up.

Try it for yourself.

Monday, December 10, 2007

This should be fun...

I have a final tomorrow at 9:30. Wonder what happens if they close school. Dare I hope that I won't have to take it? I'm happy with my grade as it stands, so I certainly wouldn't complain...

Eric, if you're reading this, I hope you ran out to get your milk and bread. ;) Looks like we may be stuck in the house for a few weeks. (Seriously, WHY do people buy out the store? Do we live in the dark ages or something??)

Saturday, December 08, 2007

What's the point of gift cards?

Why do we bother buying gift cards? Why not use cash? Cash never expires. There's no fine print on the back that explains in tiny print that the value goes down if you don't use it within six months of receiving it. Why do we give a gift with limits? I'll give you fifty bucks, but you can ONLY spend it at Target, even though there's a really cool HDTV that you want to buy at Circuit City.

I've given lots of gift cards in the past, but I think in the future I'll stick with cash.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

It's December - now we can put up the tree

So now it's December, Thanksgiving is over, and NOW it's time to get ready for Christmas. Am I the only scrooge that likes one holiday at a time? Seriously, I can't handle getting ready for Christmas before the kids have gone trick-or-treating. No way.

My problem with Christmas these days is the frantic end-of-semester squeeze happens at the same time. I just can't take the time to 'do' the Christmas preparations slowly because I'm too busy cramming in the end of the semester. Then once that's done, Christmas is coming up fast!

Yes, I'm making lists of things to get, stuff to do, all that jazz. But none of it is going to get done for another two weeks or so...

We got the tree up today, though. I might take a picture or two later.