« January 2006 | Main | March 2006 »

February 2006 Archives

February 2, 2006

Weekly Roundup

This has been an interesting week...

It started by having a middle-aged Korean man fill my uterus with dye and will end with me driving home from Hanford with a styrofoam cooler filled with dry ice and ice cream.

Bright and early Monday morning, I went in for a hysterosalpinogram (I've seen about half a dozen different spellings for this word... That's probably why all the medical folks just call it "HSG".) The test consists of assuming The Position, as most ladies do on a yearly basis, and having a solution containing idodine pumped into the uterus to see if it spills out the fallopian tubes. This is watched with a fluoroscope (x-ray).

It is a little disconcerting to see the radiologist and his assistant putting on the lead aprons to cover their reproductive organs while mine were covered only with a hospital gown and a sheet. On the plus side, my tubes spilled the contrast into my abdominal cavity just like they were supposed to and we found no evidence of any alien mining operations in my uterus. Whew! That was a relief.

Dr. Google told me that the test could cause cramping and that it was a good idea to take painkillers ahead of time. I took two acetaminophen about 30 minutes beforehand and it was well worth it. The test was really more uncomfortable than particularly painful but I'm sure that varies from person to person. I felt good enough that afternoon to go to my strength training class and make the rest of my body sore. :)

Tuesday I called for an update on the Prius wait. I'm now fifth on the list and should be getting my car some time this month. The guy told me that they get another allocation of cars on Monday and to call back after that to see if they have a delivery date for me. Wheeeeee!

There wasn't much noteworthy about Wednesday. Other than it being pay day. Which I can finally confirm after my credit union's online banking site was down for over 24hrs.

I skipped watching Lost in favor of, yep you guessed it, watching MORE SG-1! (It turns out this was a good call because Lost was a re-run.) I finished SG-1 season 7 (it took me 3 days, just like season 6). Damn the end of that season is a doozy! I expect that my interest will start fading once I catch up to the current broadcast episodes and no longer have full seasons in my hot little hands. Of course, now I'll be interleaving SG-1 with Stargate Atlantis (yes, I know I'm insane -- but I get a lot of knitting done!)

I got my tax docs Thursday. I think that was the last piece we need before being able to dive into doing our taxes.

Being Groundhog Day, we spent the evening watching the movie of the same name. I highly doubt we'll have 6 more weeks of winter because I don't think we've had more than *one* so far. 2005 was the warmest year on record, much to my displeasure. After last year's deluge, our rainfall has been a dribble except over New Year's when it decided to double our 4inch rainfall total in 72 hours.

Also, I ordered 4 more place settings of Cobalt Blue Fiestaware from Cooking.com. I'm glad I did because it was the last day for free shipping if you spent a certain amount. Since I pulled our old dishes out of the cupboard, we haven't been able to go more than 2 days without running out of plates. I might get another couple of settings later on when they're on sale again.

Today, I agreed to watch a friend's almost-8-month-old little man while she did a phone interview for a writing assignment. I was a little apprehensive after hearing how things had gone with him this week but he was in a really good mood today. We played on the floor, in his toy car, and went for a walk in the stroller. Every time he saw a truck drive by he would giggle. :) He's definitely a cutie, and tall! He looks nearly the same height as my one-year-old nephew.

Off to Hanford tomorrow to install Mom's birthday present (a dvd/cd burner) and see the progress on her kitchen remodel. I'll be bringing home The Best Ice Cream Ever for Mark's birthday next week. For the uninitiated, The Best Ice Cream Ever is Chocolate Chip from Superior Dairy. They still make all their ice cream in 10 gallon batches and they use liquid chocolate for the Chocolate Chip so it is permeated with little flakes of chocolatey goodness rather than chunks to break your teeth. I grew up on the stuff, as did my mother who often fondly recalls that a milkshake used to cost 15 cents (now they run about $4.50) and that my grandfather used to bring home ice cream for them after completing his milk delivery route.

That's about it for this week! Who knows what next week is gonna bring... :)

February 8, 2006


I don't normally post here during the work day but I'm too excited to wait today.

My Prius has been "allocated" (as in, I'm assigned a particular car and technically no longer on the waiting list)! The sales manager with whom I spoke said that the car is currently "A status", meaning it has been assembled and is off the production line. Next is "F status" (freight), followed by "G status" (ground). The expected arrival at the docks in LA is February 18th and it should be in SLO by February 23rd or 24th. In 7-8 days I should be able to get ahold of the VIN. I will try to remember to ask whether it is going to be a package #1 or #3 at that point. I totally forgot to ask today. Hopefully, I can get it on a weekday while AAA (who are practically next door to Toyota) and my credit union (about a mile down the road from Toyota) are both actually open. I don't know how long the dealer normally needs for prep after the car arrives on the lot but I'll ask on the Prius Chat forums later today.

One last "Woohoo!", now I have to get back to work! :)

February 20, 2006

These Dogs Were Made For Walkin'

I watched way too many episodes of The Dog Whisperer this weekend. So much that I decided to "rehabilitate" my dogs based on what I'd seen him doing with the dogs on the show.

Cesar Milan grew up watching a pack of working dogs on his uncle's ranch and based his handling techniques off what he'd observed. The leader goes first. Always. Packs spend a decent amount of time following the leader around on foot over the course of a day. Dogs that step out of line get mouthed on the neck just behind the ears. Dogs are happiest with a calm, assertive leader (this is where we humans need to step up). In his philosophy, dogs need three things (in order of importance): Exercise, Discipline, Affection. He considers the affection to be of more importance to the humans, as there is little affection within a pack.

The first thing he usually does after meeting a dog on the show is take the dog for a walk. He generally uses slip leads (either chain or nylon) placed high on the neck (like in dog shows) to reinforce his leadership when walking a dog. Pulling ahead gets a quick pop. Fixating on something (cat, dog, etc) gets a pop and a tap on the butt to break the dog's focus. If the dog resists, he continues until they reach a "calm submissive" state. Just as important is the human's emotional energy. Excitement, anxiety, and fear can prevent the dog from reaching calm submission and accepting the human as the leader.

The noodles have always been pretty lousy leash walkers. Pulling, running ahead, going berzerk if another dog comes near (mostly Kira on that one). Luna had been getting a lot better since I started using a prong collar but I still used a flexi leash so she would be up to 26ft ahead of me. Leading the walk. Kira was so excited and unruly that I gave up on trying to walk her at all, even with a prong collar. Walking the two of them together is something that happens about every 6 months or so as a reminder of why I never walk them together.

Today I decided to walk Luna down to the local pet shop to try on slip collars (aka "choke chains"). I tried to keep the prong collar up high on the neck but it slid down pretty often. It worked alright to keep her at heel for the walk to the store. I picked up 2 24" chain slip collars and ordered a new ID tag for Luna (whose collar has gone missing *again*) and Luna got a cookie from the girl behind the counter. Much to Luna's disappointment, the little paper baggie that we left with didn't contain anything good to eat. I put on the slip collar and we walked home. I had trouble keeping it from sliding too but it was easier to readjust than the prong. Our walk ended up being about 40 minutes. I was interested in trying out the technique on Kira so I took her around the block with her new collar. After her initial corrections, she fell right in line. It was like walking a totally different dog.

Second Chance at Love, the human society from whom we adopted our dogs, is run by a woman who has trained with Cesar Milan. She gives workshops periodically, in addition to doing private consulations. The next workshop is supposed to be some time in March. Generally, it costs $250 *per dog* but if you have adopted from them, it is $50. The workshop includes information on dog behavior and handling techniques, a "leadership walk" and lunch for all the humans accompanying the dog (they recommend all family members over 8yrs of age attend). I'm seriously considering taking at least one of the dogs to the next workshop. Cesar Milan, himself, will be doing a seminar at a nearby community college this summer but that is $125 a head and doesn't include bringing your dog along. It is a fundraiser for the humane society.

My ultimate goal is to get the girls certified as AKC Good Citizens. Walking on a loose leash is one of the criteria. We'll start there.

February 23, 2006

T minus 2 hours

I got a phone call yesterday. Someone decided not to buy the Blue package #3 Prius that arrived in yesterday's delivery. So today when I get off work at 1pm, I'm going to buy a car! Woot!

It's Here!!!

In our driveway sits a pretty blue Prius.

After I got off work, I picked up Mark and we went down to Toyota, armed with the knowledge of what we wanted and what we didn't and how much it should cost. It turned out we had little to worry about. I already knew that I could get the Platinum Extended Warranty (6yr/100,000mi) for $990 through a Prius web forum so I told them we weren't interested in getting it today (they wanted $1995 for it!!!) but might do it later (you can add it anytime during the standard 3yr/36,000mi warranty). They didn't pimp the paint/fabric protectant packages. I asked about a pet net but they don't make one for the Prius specifically.

I noticed that our salesguy (who we met today for the first time, since our original guy left in December--pity that, we really liked him a lot) rarely made eye contact with me and was basically talking to Mark the whole time. Whatever. The finance guy was pretty even with the eye contact but even mentioned that he kept thinking the car was for Mark. That partly might have been because Mark was sitting on the left side and that is the side of the purchase agreement where the primary buyer signs. The salesguy introduced us to the person at the parts counter and someone in the service department and gave us their business cards. I got a quick tour of the car and was set loose.

First stop was AAA. Which turns out to be next door to the dealership. :) I had already forgotten how to use the Smart Key when I arrived at AAA so I think I left the car unlocked while I was inside. After AAA, I headed a mile down the road to my credit union where we were getting our car loan. It was pretty easy since we were pre-approved. Normally they mail the check to the dealer but since we only have 5 days to pay before Toyota's financing would kick in (at 6.9% rather than the credit union's 5%), I convinced her to let me drop it off at Toyota. She gave me an envelope for Toyota and two insulated commuter mugs with the credit union's logo and I was on my way.

When I got back to the car, I tried to start it and couldn't. I tried furiously for another 2-3 times and then was flustered enough that I almost called the salesguy thinking my car was dead. Instead, I took a deep breath, turned everything off, hit the manual cutoff switch to disable the Smart Key, put the key in, and grabbed the pad of valet cards from the glove box. I followed the instructions, it started right up, and I dropped the check at Toyota and drove home.

Here are the pics
that I took when I got home. I'm sure I'll have more to say in the coming days. :)

This One Deserved Its Own Post

The Prius is touted as one of the more technologically advanced cars on the market but it still gets the disco-era manual design.

February 26, 2006

Against the Clock

This morning while Mark snoozed (after coming home at 1am from a friend's birthday party), I set out for the front yard in hopes of making some progress on the yard before the storm hit. Our forecast for the next 7-10 days only has about 2 days without any chance of rain. While that is fantastic for our rainfall levels, it also means another week of getting nothing accomplished garden-wise.

Broadleaf weeds (like dandelion & such) and grass seedlings (from seed that had blown in from other people's yards) were the first to go. I probably got about 50% of it cleared. Then I spread three bags of compost in an effort to help keep the weeds from returning before the rest of the yard can be planted. I fed the citrus trees and took the lights off the meyer lemon (since the chance of frost this week is pretty low).

To my dismay, the half barrels that had been collecting rainwater had also become breeding tanks for mosquitos. I summarily dumped them and squashed the black widow residing on the underside of one. One of the barrels will become home to a New Zealand tea tree (so it doesn't get too big). The other barrel is going to become a fountain once I can find the right parts. We're going to run a pipe up the side (probably 3 feet or so) to hide the return tube and run that into a watering can that pours into the barrel. Preferably, the pump will be solar powered. I haven't yet decided whether or not to get a plastic liner for the barrel. Hopefully the moving water part of the day will keep the mosquitoes at bay. Otherwise, I will also be looking for some kind of mosquito repellant.

My pineapple sage finally found its home in the ground, despite my inability to find the planting drawings. I am pretty distraught about their disappearance, as they had finally been refined to the point that I felt comfortable sticking plants in the ground. They have to be around here somewhere.

Mark had volunteered to build a planter for me to use for growing peas (and sweet peas!) so I talked him into a trip to the hardware store to get the supplies. The first drops of rain fell as we exited the store. The pea planter was nearly finished the last time I went out to the garage. Woohoo! I guess I know what I'll be doing on those 2 days without a rainy forecast!

About February 2006

This page contains all entries posted to blackmoondog in February 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

January 2006 is the previous archive.

March 2006 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.