Tuesday, August 05, 2008

V is for.....

....Vegan??? wtf??

By now, all 5 readers of my blog should be aware of the fact that I have changed my eating lifestyle rather dramatically over the last couple of months. Yes, the rumors are in fact true. I have converted to the rare form of vegetarianism. Most of you are wondering how this could happen, which leads me to the other rumor. Yes, it was because I read a book.

I picked up the book at my favorite bookstore, while I was picking up the latest book by one of my favorite authors. The title of the book itself was enough for me to pick up the book. Then I read the first couple of pages. I found myself laughing out loud while perusing the first chapter. On a whim I decided to actually buy the book.

The 'in your face' humor continued for about the first couple of chapters, and then things went downhill....rather quickly. I knew where the book was headed, I could see the warning signs here and there. But nothing could brace me for the few chapters on animal cruelty. I had no idea the book was going to talk about animal rights and I would not have purchased it if I did. I am not an animal rights kinda girl, but the animal torturing was just gross. (Excuse me while I run to the bathroom to puke.)

More importantly, the book helped me realize that my life was lacking in the fruits, vegetables and wholesome grains. So, what a better way to encourage myself to eat those things, when it's the only thing vegans eat! Extreme, I know, but it's been great. I have had more things in the veggie and grain world that I have never heard of, much less have tried to cook myself and actually eat.

The other benefit, cooking at home. Over the past couple of months I have cooked more meals at home than the first 5 months of the year combined. It is time consuming, but also very rewarding. And lately, the kids love to watch and sometimes help. It's nice to have a little bonding time with them. (Translation - a time during the day when they are not crying or screaming for something.)

I am not sure how much longer this phase will last, but I don't see myself changing any time soon.

PS - In case you are wondering, no I am not giving up my leather shoes, purses or belts. I only care about avoiding animal products in my body, not on it. ;-)

Monday, May 19, 2008

7 Years of Marital Bliss

Happy Anniversary Kevin!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bench Press Champion

In case you were wondering how Kevin did in the Flying Pig Pump 'n Run 5k, here are the results:

He received a 30 second deduction in his 5k run time for every rep of bench press. Only catch, he had to bench press his body weight. Somehow, he weighed in at 160 pounds on Friday before the run. He was able to hit 12 reps at his body weight. That's pretty cool, if you ask me. He received a medal for exceeding 10 reps. As for his 5k time, his run time was 32 minutes, but with the 6 minute deduction for the bench presses, his official time was 26 minutes. It's a pretty neat race that incorporates your body strength as well as your overall aerobic fitness.

Rumor has it that he will appear on a box of Wheaties! (Thanks for the inside scoop, G!)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Just go with vanilla

Note to self: any flavor, besides vanilla, is just a bad idea and should be avoided at all costs.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


One aspect of my job as revenue operations manager at Mailtrust is managing our custom built billing system. Although I was not with the company when version one was built, I now oversee every piece of it. It's so amazing to me to see the transformation over the years, especially the few years I have managed the product.

I can go on for hours about the processes that were in place to get an invoice created for our customers. To sum it up in one word - manual. Unfortunately, manual processes are not scalable without increases in cost. In an effort to scale our billing system, we had to revamp a lot of our code to automate processes. The best part - the number of billing team members required in the first version was about 2 employees. Eight years and several versions later we still only need 2. Can you think of any other department that can sustain that headcount with assumed normal company growth?? I can't.

To highlight my most recent improvement to the billing system I was invited to blog about my cancellation project - Flatline, on the Mailtrust company blog. This project has been the most exciting release (recently) for me because of how much more we are cutting out the manual process. I will admit, writing the functional specifications for the project was challenging. I had to debate processes, steps that the customer would have to do, calculations, interface, logging, reporting, etc. Eventually, things fell into place and the technical specs were created. Add a little more debating, tweaking and debugging and finally, there you have it. Something that started out as an inconvenience is now automated.

Now that this project has been released, it's time to go back to the drawing board for the next biggest thing for our billing system. Hmmmm....where to start???

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mindless Entertainment

Somehow I have succumbed to the world of mindless entertainment of reality television and HGTV. I guess it can happen to the best of us.

These are my favorites:

Gene Simmons Family Jewels, A&E – this is probably the funniest reality show I have seen in a long time. Well, I am not sure I have actually seen too many reality shows of this genre. At any rate, I think it is quite hilarious. Thanks to Jilian who introduced this addiction.

Rock of Love 2 with Bret Michaels, VH1 – Apparently the first season Bret did not find true love. So he's trying it again. My fave girl is Ambre, mostly because she’s the only one with a brain. The hottest one left is Megan. I like her because she’s mean in a quiet non-verbal way. For example one of the girls left a note on Bret’s door and Megan took the note down…..twice. Or, the time when she and Kristy Jo were on a date with Bret and she got up, straddled his lap and started making out with him, without notice, at the dinner table. Kristy Jo politely excused herself. Bret's pretty good on the show too, like the parts where he's talking with the camera. He's open and honest, to say the least. But fun to watch none the less.

HGTV addictions:

Hidden Potential– this show amazes me every time I watch it. I can’t get over how they can take a complete DUMP and make it fabulous. They usually tape in large cities or nearby suburbs and the cost of the house is completely ridiculous for the square footage.

Find Your Style

If Walls Could Talk…

What’s With That House? Or the special addition: What’s With That (Really Expensive) House? Come on, who really needs a $40,000,000 house???? And to even get an appointment to see it, you have to have a background check AND have a net worth of $50 million. Damn, looks like I am only a few million off....

Thankfully, I only ‘try’ to watch two of the all the above shows. If the others happen to be on tv when I am flipping through the channels before going to bed, I will watch them. So I guess it's a good thing that Kev keeps vetoing my decision for a DVR. :-)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Phone Spam

I just received my first phone spam message. I don't know whether I am happy or upset about it. At first, I was upset. But then, I realized that I use my cell phone for everything now, even as my home phone. So it's not really a surprise that more businesses (and their marketing teams) have my number.

When Kev and I moved to Blacksburg, we decided that a home phone wasn't really necessary. The only reason we had it in Christiansburg is because we used DSL. Now we use a cable modem, which means we don't need the land line. Even our super-nifty security system does not require a land line. My mom didn't know what to say when I told her that I wasn't getting a Blacksburg number, she couldn't fathom it. Not surprising, as she can't get cell phone service at her house.

So I guess I will have to add my cell phone number to the do not call lists. This means I would miss out on the $3.99 pizza deal at the Blacksburg Domino's that is happening tomorrow!! Man, the decisions!

(Please, no sarcastic remarks about last post being on Jan 20th....yikes!! )