Monday, January 25

Developments & Indulgences

It seems ironic to me that during those weeks when one has the most to blog about, there is the least amount of time for things like taking pictures and being online. Perhaps I have not yet mastered the propper blogger mentality...

The last couple weeks have been full ones here. I transferred back to my original Panera, and tried to get settled back in around our busy days and the arrival of our newest seasonal products. Eric safely negotiated his return home from halfway around the world despite delays, intensive airport security, lost luggage and jetlag.

Around the working, sorting and preparing for this busy week to come we managed to sneak in some fun and a few chances to see friends. (Including of course, our favorite 4 year old, who is an endless fascination to Arthas. Could there possibly be a more perfect playmate than a miniature human who shares his boundless energy and love of cat chasing?)

Part of our fun was purchasing ourselves a late Christmas present - a French press. I had hoped to take beautiful pictures of our press and the tin of intoxicating-ly aromatic Utopian Oolong tea we splurged on at Teavana, but I didn't get that far, so they'll have to show up in a later post. Suffice it to say, I am delighted and look forward to regularly carving out opportunities in the future to enjoy teatime with my husband.

As silly as it sounds, it is so nice to be starting a week caught up. Laundry done, house picked up, emails sent, bills paid, head screwed on correctly. It feels like it's been a while since this happened. That's about it for now... pictures next time... good ones - I promise! :o)

Thursday, January 14

Don't Be Deceived!

I made the mistake of watching five minutes (literally) of tv with my sister the other night. In that short amount of time, the show switched to commericals. Guess what they were commercials for? High fructose corn syrup! My blood pressure shot through the roof instantly. It fries me that people are so arrogant and so completely convinced of the ignorance of the American people that they blatantly LIE about proven facts on tv!!

If you have been fortunate enough to miss these ridiculous commericals, you can find them here:

If you would like the real facts, you can find them here:

(You can also keep browsing while on youtube checking out the commercials - some very brilliant and diligent people have put together concise and articulate summaries of the truth.)

The short version:
1. HFCS is in everything (don't believe me, start checking!) and is therefore impossible to consume in moderation.
2. HFCS is in no way equivalent to sugar, and does serious damage to your body.
3. You can, and should, say no. When consumers know what they're talking about and stand their ground, even the modern food production machine can be forced to bow to the laws of supply and demand.

There, see? That was only a short little soap box... :0)

Monday, January 11

Game Goofiness

I am not a game person. Convincing me to play anything besides Scrabble or Boggle is usually a challenge. (Primarily because I am terrible at everything else.)

For Christmas, my sister got Apples to Apples. I'd never heard of it, but we all agreed to play and made a dinner date with some wonderful family friends who cheerfully joined us to check out the game.

Oh my goodness! It was fantastic! Loved it, loved it, loved it. You don't have to know a blessed thing and you can't be wrong. Who wouldn't like a game like that? Plus, the cards themselves are hysterical to read.

I keep reading that some form of entertainment to fill the downtime is essential to all good emergency preparedness/zombie outbreak plans. This is definitely going to be the game I choose to complete mine!

Saturday, January 9

Departing World's End

It's my last day on the Ice, and I took some photos of the Runway Fire Department. Only here is it standard practice to put a lift kit and oversized tires on every vehicle, including the local ambulance. But out here, driving through a foot deep snow drift is status quo.

Then, of course, is the tracked Fire Engine and Chief's Truck. Depending on the density of the snow, these guys can almost float over it.

Which is good, because in Antarctica, it's not uncommon for a mid summer snow storm to blast the countryside with 40 mph winds and sub-zero temperatures. Here I am in my Goose-down Parka suit, goggles, face mask, and triple layered gloves. This suit is rated for temperatures below -50F, which is a temperature that can freeze your skin in a matter of seconds! Needless to say, I was quite toasty on this blizzard of a day, where the wind chill was a balmy -37.

There's the first 3 of many. The wind blows so much down here, that we have decided to produce some energy from it. This rising star of a wind farm rests on a hill adjacent to Ob Hill, approximately at the midway between New Zealand's Scott Base and America's McMurdo Station. Since the wind can hit triple digit speeds on this icy, unforgiving continent, these wind power generators are not vane guided, but manually adjusted for direction and pitch, so their bite can be decreased in high winds, preventing them from overspeed damages. Plus, the design cuts down on ice accumulation.

It was a short season for me, but I had a truckload of fun, and look forward to another opportunity to visit a land whose beauty and prowess always reminds me of how small us humans really are.

Thursday, January 7

Happy Feet

What was hanging out on the roadway to the Pegasus Runway yesterday, but four Emperor Penguins! Their mating season doesn't typically start until March or April, so it was interesting to see these guys hanging out 14 miles from the shoreline. They were standing linear with the wind, and the biggest one was at the back, apparently using his body as a windbreaker. What a peculiar, yet majestic bird.

Monday, January 4


When I was growing up, any time my siblings and I hurt ourselves my Dad would jokingly offer to cauterize the injury for us. Obviously, we never took him up on it!

I took it as the ultimate irony, therefore, when I actually did sustain an injury for which cauterization was the official treatment. New Year's Eve night - coming home from work in the perfect storm of exhaustion, distraction and eight layers worth of clothing (it was cold!) - I managed to slam the middle finger of my right hand in the front door. Needless to say, it swelled horribly and was throbbingly painful. I thought I could wait it out and it would heal itself, but by yesterday I finally accepted that it was getting worse rather than better.

So I went to the after- hours care clinic and watched the (very nice) doctor pull out a single use cauterization wand and cauterize a hole through my nail to release the pressure. It's much better now, and I have a nursing student sister and my OT ex-roomie making sure I take my antibiotics and keep my finger wrapped. As fascinating as that little cautery tool was however, I recommend NOT ever needing one used on you!! I included a pic here so no one will be tempted...

Saturday, January 2

Furry Companion Tribute

Recently, the Price Family lost another furry companion, Minka. Though she wasn't my dog, I have felt this loss deeply.

Minka was a German Shepherd picked up from Lollipop Farm in the Fall of 1999. Though she was labelled a 1 year old, she was at least 3, and most likely 4. But she guarded the back yard with ferocity and prowess. Before Minka, local residents would use the Price's back yard as a shortcut from the nearby plaza. Afterwards, they would end up pinned against the fencing, not sure which path to take. No more was this shortcut an effective route. Known for her stubborn demeanor and demanding presence, if Minka was in the room, you knew about it. She would sleep on the rug at the entrance of the Master Bedroom, keeping her owners safe and secure. Throughout the day, she would patrol the inside and outside of the house for anything unusual with such frequency, the grass was eaten up into a foot wide dirt trail along the north and south faces of the property lines. She knew where everyone was at any point in time, always with her tail wagging, and happy to be there.

But also, Minka was a wonderful, loving dog. She embodied an unconditional love for her masters, always eager to greet them, as well as help them eat their food. On my recent trips to the Price House on weekends, both Nitro Puppy and Pretty Girl would be jumping over eachother to greet me at the door, tackle me to the floor, so it was easier to show how much I was missed. If one had the audacity to take a nap in the middle of the day, Minka would wake you up with enough "sneak kisses"(as they were called) to scrub your face clean. When anyone came home, here came an 85 pound pile of fur, prancing toward you, so happy to see a loved one come home. Climbing the stairwell was the only time her age was given away. Eventually her limb shaking and limping became unignorable. December 30th was a hard day for everyone.

Minka "Pretty Girl" Price: Late 1990s - 2009

Here's one dog that will be missed, and not easily replaced.