Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sunrise, Sunset

It has been brought to my attention that my few blog readers might be anxious to hear about my tropical vacation. I'm sorry that I've been neglecting you. It turns out that I'm pretty lazy after a vacation. Can't get back into the discipline (ha, ha) of writing about myself every few days.

I kept a vacation journal. Nothing special. A few notes about memorable moments (and some harsh words of self-reprimandation after the sunburn), and that's about it. I promise that I'll make an effort to blog a summary of the whole tropical 7 days (plus a few fairly nice days in Toronto). Hopefully, I'll get my crap together by the end of this weekend.

To tide you over (thanks for the pun-age), here's two views from our hotel balcony: a sunrise (well, what amounted to a sunrise for us...because we were never up that early) and a sunset.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Hi, I'm unfortunately named

A former co-worker and I kept an informal list of unfortunate names. I ran across a doozy the other day at work. This poor woman, located somewhere in the US of A, has the last name "Kochsmier". I'm not crazy, am I? That's a really bad last name.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Are we related?

I received a strange email today. But the story started a few days ago.

I wanted to find something about myself, quickly, so I googled my name. That search provided a link for this book, written by a Russ Klettke. It took me a minute to realize that it was not the Russ that I know. I have been meaning to email about it, but hadn’t had the time.

Then I got an email today from the very same Russ Klettke. He found me via my “professional” blog. He wrote:
Are we related? I too am a writer – for businesses, more or less a recovering PR flack with one published book on nutrition. There aren’t that many of us Klettkes out there. Our tribe is based in Niagara Falls, N.Y., descendants of my great grandfather Rev. Wilhelm Klettke, who emigrated from Warsaw in the 1870s before becoming a Lutheran minister here. I think he had a brother, also in the U.S., but they didn’t seem to keep in touch with each other (religious issues, perhaps – we hear the brother was a Jehovah’s Witness).

My dad's family is very not religious, so I have no idea if we're related or not. But the last name is not so popular, so perhaps we are. I have emailed some relatives to see what they know. As I said in my email to this guy, this could be interesting...

Monday, September 22, 2008

I'm still too tired and sore from trying to save myself from Rita. She tried to lead me, and my friend Anner-Marie, through the clouds and into another dimension this weekend when we went hiking, in the fog, against my inner voice, on Mt. Baker. Here are some photos.

You get the idea.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Week-old Crumble

Last weekend, my uncle stopped by with a large pineapple for my mother. She likes fresh pineapple. He buys them at Costco. It doesn't exactly follow the rules of the 100 Mile Diet, but we do what we can. Besides, we have found that the Costco pineapples are delicious.

Because the pineapple was so large, I decided to make a crumble. We had some ripe rhubarb in the garden. There is a bag of frozen strawberries in the deep freeze waiting to be whizzed up into a protein shake. It was a cool day, perfect for baking.

I had never made a crumble before, so I found a recipe. My mother mocked me. "It's crumble, not rocket science." So I cast the recipe aside, and assembled my gingered pineapple, rhubarb, and strawberry crumble with slivered almonds and nutmeg in the crumble. It was delicious, especially warm with ice cream.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


There was a flurry of activity today at the Olde Honey Well. I mentioned it to my supervisor, who quickly and quiety told me that "they" were whacking people today. Yikes! That's not a good way to start the day. We had noticed some guys who looked like suits milling around the front door. That happens all the time, though.

So as soon as I heard that, I wanted to know what was going on. I was assured that it wasn't going to affect our department. Later, I realized why. Tech writers don't cost much. Engineers are expensive, especially those who are middle-management. Five of them got axed, plus the only in-house salesperson. (She has a special story of her own. Her boss called her last Friday, and told her to meet him at the airport today. He's located somewhere in the US. So she met him at the airport. He fired her while he was on a layover. In fact, he probably altered his itinerary so he could fly here and fire her. Such a special guy!)

The problem is that these engineers had been there for a long time, are wicked smart, and are generally nice guys. They're engineers, so they're kind of weird. But harmless and helpful. In other words, this sucks and shall continue to such while the rest of us scramble to fill in the gaps. Nice.

But the best part is that they did do the "you're fired, pack your things, and then you're out of here" scenario. Except there was one, slightly funny aspect to it. The person who was escorting the firees out the back door (of the warehouse, so nobody could witness the walks of shame), is the lovely office manager. She is small (under 5 feet), slim, and older. She's fun, terribly nice, and sings in a Gospel choir. She is certainly not a burly security guard. Maybe they picked her because of her caring, kind, and generally jovial demeanor. She did her best to make it less traumatic for those who were fired. Kinda like being fired by your grandma.

I wish the best for those who were fired and for those who were left behind. A-cow was on edge all day. Annoying!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Animal Farm

I have been gently reprimanded for not updating my blog. I'm interpreting that as a good thing; it means that people are reading and are interested. This time, I was told that someone had looked for a specific entry about a specific topic: llamas. So here is the post-dated entry.
On Sunday, August 10th, I joined Xine, Melanie, Len, and Rochelle at a llama farm owned by a co-worker of Melanie. It was the annual llamarama, where you could tour the farm, eat delicious (and surprising...who knew that was included) food, and pick up some llama beans for your garden. If I had known, I would have come prepared. There was no way that I was going to fill up my trunk.
But I did have my camera. I had thought that far ahead. So instead of llama beans, I brought home a bunch of llama photos.

That's a cute little fella right there. Here is a photo of his dashing daddy, Tiva. A-cow has fallen in love with him (and I'm not going to get into that, although I will say that she has a lot of cats, and she's single). Whenever she gets wound up, which is very frequently, I tell her to look at the llama. It calms her down. Well, he calms her down.

Xine spotted him first, though.

Here's one that will blow your mind...a photo of Rochelle watching Melanie take a photo of Len and the llama (hey, that sounds like a children's book).

There were a couple of dogs. One was active; one was inactive. The active one's name is Gypsy. She tortured her cow for a while and then sat next to/in a tree.

The inactive one, whose name I can't remember, stayed on the porch for most of the day, near the food.

Xine and I cut out early to hop the quaint Albion Ferry. She was going to Krause's Farm for blueberries. I was going home. It turned out that that route was shorter and faster than the route I had taken in the morning. Oh well, I took the scenic round trip.