Monday, January 31, 2011

January 31, 2011 – Weekend Round-up and Rigi

My cousin R was here for the weekend, taking a little break between business trips. It was really nice to see him, he looks fantastic.

Saturday we stuck fairly close to home, he and I went jogging with my neighbor. Meri and I are bundled up in pants, long sleeve shirts, sweatshirts, vests, snow hats and gloves. R? he wore a pullover sweatshirt and shorts. Apparently, R has his own little built in furnace and once we got moving he was comfortable. Meri on the other hand was cold just looking at him.

Then we took a trip into Zurich, wandered around a bit. Ate lunch at a touristy sausage place, later that evening we went back into Zurich and had a fondue dinner at a small restaurant. The waitresses’ English wasn’t that good so when we started to ask her questions about the menu she got the chef. He was funny and very helpful so we were sure to tell him at the end of the meal how much we enjoyed everything.

Sunday, we took a trip to Rigi. One of L’s co-workers recommended it because it has fantastic scenic views of the other surrounding alps. We took the train the Rigi Klum and then we took a cogwheel train up the mountain. It was really cool because the train had a cart in front for storing sledges (sleds), the side of the train had racks for ski’s and snowboards. People would load up their stuff, and at the appropriate stop, get off grab their ski’s etc and ski/snowboard onto the mountain. All the skiers got off at the second to last stop, the sledgers got off at the very last stop.

Here’s a picture of the three of us at the top of Rigi. That’s L on the left, me in the middle and R on the right. Notice the family resemblance?

Some of the surrounding mountains.  The white stuff that looks flat-ish... not snow.  Clouds.

 Yep, clouds... those are the very peaks of the alps sticking up out of the clouds.  It was bright and sunny where we were, but the further down the mountain you went the more gray and cloudy it got.

 A sledger getting ready to head down the mountain.  We didn't try it ourselves... yet... but we will.

© C.A. Bailey 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, January 28, 2011

January 28, 2011 – FRIDAY!

Yes I am shouting, it’s been that kind of week and I’m Thrilled that Friday is finally here. So far this morning (3 hours and counting) I have attempted to transfer a series of files to a client server. Norton Antivirus is being a PIA because there isn’t a signature. Whatever that means… um, Dear Norton, you let me download the file to my machine, would you please be so kind as to allow me to transfer it to its rightful location?

Is it too early to admit that I want to scream? I want to scream. I have zero patience; less than zero when I am waiting for something to move from point A to point B.

Onto better news: my cousin R is going to be staying with us this weekend. I’m psyched. I haven’t seen him in awhile. He’s traveling on business so between trips he’s going to hang out. We’ve planned a trip on Saturday to Rigi, more accurately; L found all the info and coordinated a trip to Rigi. I am very lucky. The weather is supposed to be great so this should be fun. I’m just psyched.

Happy weekend all. I’ll take pics.

© C.A. Bailey 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

January 27, 2011 – Hide and Seek

I have a tape measure. I know I have a tape measure because I brought it with me when we came to Switzerland. Not only that I have used it several times. Unfortunately, the last time I used it I did not put it back into the tool box. Although I could claim that I did and that it’s just an extremely sneaky tape measure and escaped. So now for the umpteenth time I have a desire to use the tape measure, not a need, but I want to measure and object and I can’t locate the darned thing. I know what will happen, I will forget about what I want to measure and some time afterward I’ll spot the tape measure and wonder “what the heck is it doing there?” Which will immediately be followed by the impulse to put it back where it belongs, until I realize “hey I wanted to measure something, what was it?”…effectively distracting me from returning the wayward tape measure to the tool box.

It’s a vicious cycle. One I could end if I wanted to buy a metric tape measure. Of course then I would just have TWO wayward tape measures off having a party together. They would be a perfect match for my two sets of drill bits because on those rare occasions when I was in need of one I couldn’t find them. Have you any idea what it’s like to call your best friends husband and ask if you can borrow a drill bit and then in response to the question “What size?” respond “Tiny, but not teeny tiny.”

© C.A. Bailey 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

January 26, 2011 – Snippets

Ok so yesterday I was a little stressed. Work was insane, not just for me but for my co-workers as well, but unlike my co-workers, I sent up an SOS. Yes I admit it, with some level of embarrassment. There was a moment when I had 4 people asking me for 12 things “now” and my desperation for chocolate hit emergency levels. The problem: I’m trying to be good, so there isn’t any chocolate in the apartment. The solution: I emailed my neighbor and asked if she had any chocolate. You know you’ve made friends when they immediately come upstairs with a sleeve of double chocolate oreos. She said they keep them on hand for the kids… the kids and the crazy neighbor. Her 4 year old son Alex overheard the story when she was relaying it to her husband last night and he suggested that they could make me a chocolate cake for today. Seriously, how cute is that? He can make me a chocolate cake anytime.

Needless to say I ate the entire sleeve of cookies so I had to be sure I ran this morning.

Work Permit:
L’s work spoke with the Gemeinde (the town hall) and they said that there shouldn’t be any issue with my resident card/work permit. So this morning we went into town, filled out the paperwork and got an appointment for part two of the paperwork processing in a couple of weeks. We have to go somewhere else to get our pictures taken and whatever else is needed for the new “bio-metric” resident card. Now this should be interesting because I have no idea what this will actually entail because I have no idea how sophisticated the Swiss system is, will it just be fingerprints? Maybe an eye scan…. Which when I think about it is both a little creepy and kind of cool. Maybe a DNA sample…. Just kidding. I’m betting it’s just fingerprints.

Which reminds me of the one time I was fingerprinted; no, I was not arrested. I applied for my pistol permit and you have to get fingerprinted for a background check. The ironic thing was that they ran out of “permittee” finger print cards and decided to use the ones labeled “Criminal”. Yea, no, I wasn’t agreeing to that until they got out a Sharpie and crossed off Criminal, Initialed next to it and wrote in “Permittee.” Sometime paranoia is a good thing. All I could imagine was it being misfiled somewhere and I’d be screwed.

Ya'll have a great day ya hear!

© C.A. Bailey 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

January 25, 2011 – Working Permits

So, I’m just going to start in the middle of the conversation, when we were preparing to move her L’s company did a lot of work to get L’s paperwork through. In addition, they made a significant effort to help me get my paperwork and I am grateful, because there is no way I could have navigated the process on my own. Don’t get me wrong, even with their help I found the entire process extremely stressful. Some of which was my own doing. Heck I could have moved here and said I just won’t work for the next couple of years. Yeah I know, read that statement once or twice to yourself, and if you know me personally you know my head would explode; not because I couldn’t occupy my time but because I’d be constantly worried about: “How the heck will I find a job three years from now?”, “How am I going to contribute to the household?”, and about another dozen or so similar questions. What the heck L could get hit by lightening then what would I do?

So, we got past all of that and for some reason I was under the impression that the next big hurtle was figuring out Swiss and US taxes. Think about it, US taxes are tough enough and they are in English. I don’t think Turbo Tax has a Swiss Version, then again maybe I should google that.

Anyway, the other day we got forms in the mail from the Town Hall. It appears that we need to re-apply for our permits. For some reason I thought they were good for 3 years. Oh joy! Needless to say it appears as if we are starting the entire process over with L’s company trying to assist us and me trying to not get stressed. Good times.

I will stay calm, I will stay calm... no stress no stress... nostressnostress.....

© C.A. Bailey 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, January 24, 2011

January 24, 2011 – I’m Late, I’m Late

For a very important date…

Apologies for the lateness of this blog, somehow the day has gotten completely away from me. I got up this morning and took the boy to the Vet for his rabies shot. On the way I learned that despite the beast’s vast command of the English language: He understands:

“Lie Down”
“Don’t you dare move or I swear I will kill you.”

Actually that last one doesn’t really have the desired effect. It usually results in him desperately trying to merge with my person in an attempt to apologize for whatever unknown offense he may have committed. This is most likely because when I resort to a full sentence/threat I have already lost my mind. (And people wonder why I say I could never be a parent)

Sorry back to the story. So today we walk to the Vet. It’s just down the road; literally and figuratively. We have to walk down the wicked steep hill. The one that I am afraid to ride my bike down; the one that walking back up sucks the life out of me despite the fact that I can now run 5 miles. Well there is a patch of the hill that has yellow flashing lights and warning tap because it’s iced over. The ice is about 5 feet long. As we approach the ice and the beast wanders over, because there is a prime spot near it he wants to “mark”, I say “Puppy watch out for the ice.” Yea, that had no impact at all. What did leave an impression was when the boy got all four paws on the ice and proceeded to slide the 5 feet. Legs all stretched out like Bambi, nails gripping the ice (for whatever that was worth), belly to the ice, and me…. laughing, like I am insane.

Seriously it was very funny. So much so that I actually thought of trying to get him to do that again so I could film it, but then I realized he may not know “watch out for the ice” but somehow I don’t think he will venture near the yellow tape again

© C.A. Bailey 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, January 21, 2011

January 21, 2011 – Tonight

A pre-emptive blog: tonight L and I are going to dinner with two other couples, our neighbors. The woman I run with, Meri, her husband, and the woman on the floor below us and her husband. Apparently we are going to a … and I quote “Fantastic Fondu Place” in the center of town. It must be fantastic because Meri had to make reservations in August for today. Well that or the service is really really slow.

I’m going to admit that I’m both looking forward to it and I’m a little apprehensive for a multitude of reasons.

I’m not really that good in social setting with people I don’t know well. I’m very comfortable with Meri and her husband, but in my interactions with the other couple feel awkward and a bit stilted. Now I can say that feeling could be solely generated by me in my own head. I do that sometimes when I am not entirely sure of myself in relationship to other people. It kicks old insecurities into high gear and the last thing I want to do is intrude. I am definitely and Introvert on the Meyers Briggs Scale… INTJ … but I also know that I enjoy being social and frankly after spending 40+ hours a week by myself with a computer and a dog I NEED to be social.

Will we arrive at the proper time? The Swiss are very precise, not early not late…

Will we find the right building? I know which street it’s on … I think…

Will I embarrass myself or L?

What is the proper attire?

Ugh… ok I’m letting this all go. L and I are going to dinner tonight with a friend and her husband and another couple. We are going to have a lovely time.

**UPDATE 01/20/2011**
Dinner was cancelled.  The woman who invited us, unexpectedly has to work this evening. 

© C.A. Bailey 2010, 2011 All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

January 20, 2011 – Jinx

You knew it was going to happen. I knew it too, as soon as I mentioned how spring like the weather has been here I jinxed us. It’s snowing. Sure it’s not snowing anything like the snow my family has been getting back at home. My sister said that the snow banks are over her head now. This is just a dusting.

What I really want to know is why when you talk about something good, like a possible new job or the nice weather things can go to hell in a hand basket quicker than you can blink, but if I talk about never winning the lottery does that streak reverse itself? No; of course not, stupid Murphy’s Law!

Btw do the people named “Murphy” resent that?

© C.A. Bailey 2010, 2011 All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

January 19, 2010 – Random Thoughts

Saturday Evening we went to dinner at a little neighborhood Mexican restaurant called “Tres Kilos.” Switzerland => Mexican Food… it’s difficult to fathom isn’t it, but let me just say the food was very good and the Margarita’s…. excellante! I was able to reconfirm that (a) I really enjoy salt around the rim of my margarita glass and (b) a small margarita when made correctly goes right to my head. Thank goodness for trams and trains.

We’ve been having a fairly long run of mild weather (I am not complaining). It’s been in the mid 40’s every day and dropping to the low 30’s in the evenings. What are the chances of us making it through the rest of the winter this way? Ok I know; slim to none but a girl can hope.

I got my haircut today. I know I say this every time I get my haircut, there is something about a good haircut that just makes me feel “lighter.”

German Lessons. Oh I know you have all been dying to hear an update. I’ve been lax lately (fine I haven’t been practicing) but I have picked up my audio lessons. I am determined to make a go of this so I can at least understand what the people I bump into when walking the beast are saying to me. Right now I pretend that they say “Oh my, what a handsome looking American Woman you are… and your dog is cute too.”

Oh and speaking of dogs, my neighbor’s daughter who is almost 2 years old calls me “Wow Wow.” She also calls Ernie “Wow Wow” which is as close to “bow wow” as she gets. Apparently she recognizes me as the beastly boys’ mom.   So in case your wondering "wow wow" also means "Oh my, what a handsome looking American Woman you are… and your dog is cute too."

© C.A. Bailey 2010, 2011 All Rights Reserved.

Monday, January 17, 2011

January 17, 2011 – Weekend Roundup

Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny does exist, along with the tooth fairy and elves and all sorts of magical creatures. How can I say such things? Well I have seen the light and it’s bright white with dark red hues. Oh fine let me explain. Saturday afternoon L and I took a bus/tram ride to Sihl City which is kind of a shopping mall with crazy exorbitant prices. Wait I guess that means it “is” a shopping mall. Anyway, there is a large CoOp grocery store in Sihl City and I wanted to go check it out and see if they stocked some items that the small local CoOp doesn’t carry. We didn’t really need anything but it’s nice to know what are options are and quite frankly there are occasions when you just want something in a brand that you are familiar with… TP for example. Obviously we can get TP anywhere, but sometimes your heart is set on a particular brand.

Well we didn’t find what we were looking for, but we did stumble upon the following:

Yes, that’s right. The Dr. is in the house. I’m a big Iced Tea girl but L loves her Diet Dr. Pepper but around here your options appear to be Coke “Light” and Coke Zero. My guess is that Europe has not entirely embraced the world of Pepper-hood. For the moment L has Dr. Pepper “Light” in the house and she is rationing herself to make them last as long as possible.

Oh it’s the simple things in life that makes us happy.

© C.A. Bailey 2010, 2011 All Rights Reserved.

Friday, January 14, 2011

January 14, 2011 - Weapons of Mass Destruction

It’s let me warn you this blog isn’t even remotely lady like or classy but I need to put it out there. How is it that a dog can pass the most horrible gas ever and keep sleeping? Seriously I thought a dog’s sense of smell was better than a human’s. I swear I have no idea what Ernie has gotten into but all I want to do is pitch myself off the balcony to get some fresh air. Of course after this unfortunate incident I doubt that there is anything alive without a better sense of smell than mine. I swear my sinus passages have been burnt out. Why haven’t the military found a way to bottle this “scent” and package it as a weapon? Seriously, forget nuclear warheads, gassy dogs are a much bigger deterrent. Sure no one will die, they might want to, but they won’t actually die.

“Hey you… you threatening me? You watch yourself or I’ll ship over 100 Saint Bernards who have been eating nothing but cheese for the last three weeks. Yea, that’s right buddy… step off.”

© C.A. Bailey 2010,2011 All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

January 13, 2011 – Credit Suisse and S’More’s

Our heroine, that’s me, got up this morning anticipating that it would just be another ordinary day. I got up, took the beastly boy out for a walk and decided that my hair is much too long. I know I just got it cut 3 weeks ago. (L pointed out my error when I said it was at least 4 weeks ago apparently it just feels messy enough to be 4 weeks)

Where was I? Oh yes, so I decided to take a trip into town and swing by the haircutting place. I could call, but I didn’t want to risk (a) someone answering who doesn’t speak English and (b) being forced to say “I want to make an appointment to get my hair cut…. With the girl whose cut it before… her name? Um… Um….. She has black shoulder length hair with a blue strip down the center. At least it was blue last time I saw her.” As you can see, it’s much easier to walk in, see Lea (her name) smile and ask for an appointment. Where’s the adventure in that? How does Credit Suisse and S’more’s come into play? I’m getting there.

Credit Suisse is the bank that is two doors down from the haircutting place. As I near their store front I can smell something burning; melting plastic and I spot gray smoke billowing out of their entryway. Now I don’t see any people screaming or running for cover. No sirens or alarms; just a lot of smoke. Being foolish I go to investigate: it’s a trash can. I try to move the trash can away from the building but it’s actually attached to the building. Who straps a trash can to a building? Apparently Credit Suisse. Now the smoke is getting thicker so I go into Credit Suisse and literally interrupt the teller (this is very “un-swisslike” behavior) to say that there appears to be a fire. Now I have no idea what the word for “fire” is in German but I assumed that the smoke I was pointing to would be a clue. Fortunately “Fire” seems to translate. Although I was a little taken aback by the tellers response: “Is it a real fire?” Um, a real fire? What the heck is a REAL fire? I didn’t see any cartoon figures running by cackling at the fake fire. Ok I didn’t see any cartoon characters at all. Then the teller asks me to “check”. So I go outside and ; no I don’t see flames shooting out of the trash can but the smoke is really flowing. So I come back and tell the teller that I have no idea. Seriously she wants me to go check AGAIN. Hell lady give me a fire extinguisher and I’ll verify that it’s NOT real but I’m not sticking my head into a smoking trash can that is strapped to the building. So I did what any good heroine would do… I went to the grocery store and bought stuff for dinner. I couldn’t buy marshmallows because there wasn’t flames and smoked s’mores just don’t sound appetizing.

© C.A. Bailey 2010, 2011 All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January 11, 2011 – Children and Running

Have you ever noticed that when you ask a little kid how old they are they say things like “4 and a HALF” or “Almost 5” because that ½ is very important and 5 is way better than plain ‘ol 4. Of course 4 wasn’t looking so bad when they were 3 and ½.

What’s my point? Today my neighbor and I almost ran 5 miles…. 4.71 to be exact. I honestly never thought I would break the 3 mile mark and this week … oh wait, last week, I was really struggling. I couldn’t complete the major loop without walking in a number of places. I’d gotten to the point where I might walk 4 or five times but I was keeping my walking to 10 or so steps and then would trudge along. Today I made the entire loop and was added an additional small one before we tackled the big hill which is at the end of the run. The godforsaken hill is long so we run as much as we can and try to increase the running portion each time. If you were to witness the pace on the hill it might resemble that of a slow walk but my personal philosophy is “if you lean far enough forward and swing your arms you “look” like you are running. Or you look like a crazy person swinging their arms because they are about to fall over and smack their face on the ground. Whatever.

So, I almost ran 5 miles today and I’m feeling really good about breaking that milestone.. soon. I’m feeling good and I’m feeling confident that I CAN do it. I’ve never felt like I actually could run 5 miles before let alone more but I feel that way these days. I can do it.

Which brings me to my goal of running the Zurich Marathon in April; there is no way that I can be ready to do that in April. None. I may be a little crazy but I’m not insane. So I have revised that goal. Zurich Marathon April 2012. April 2011: ½ Marathon in Washington CT. I can do it. I told my neighbor and she’s on board for helping me to get ready. Go me.

© C.A. Bailey 2010,2011 All Rights Reserved.

Monday, January 10, 2011

January 10, 2011 – Monday Monday

Sure that’s a Fleetwood Mac** song and you would think that it would be an appropriate for today. Being Monday and all, but no. I think Lisa Marie Presley’s “S.O.B” is a better match. Don’t miss understand, I’m in a good mood but my day started about 3:00 in the morning. Last night we called it an evening and the beastly boy was acting strange. He wanted to be on the bed with me and no matter how many times I told him to go to bed he wouldn’t settle down. Pacing, sticking his nose in my face, pacing, trying to crawl under the bed. Initially I thought he was just being a pain in the butt wanting to sleep on the bed and I did my best to ignore him. Have you ever noticed that dogs will refuse to be ignored for long periods of time? At 3:00am he refused to ask for an invitation and just jumped on the bed. At this point I stopped being dense and asked if he wanted to go “outside” when this did not illicit any reaction I realized that he just wasn’t feeling well and needed some comfort. So I moved to the couch and took him with me. We slept until 6 when he started pacing again and I decided I was not taking “No” for an answer to the question “do you want to go outside?” We just went. After returning I made him rice for breakfast. Yes our trip outside went that well.

Coincidentally he had an appointment at the Vet this morning. Distemper, Kennel Cough and in two weeks we go back for his Rabies shot. Then I think we are good for the rest of the year. Since I’ve been trying to get the boy to lose weight I asked them to weigh him. This was a shocker, they told me he GAINED weight. I don’t know how that is possible, but they said that he was 19.7 kilograms (43 pounds) when we arrived (which isn’t likely because that is his ideal weight and when we left the US he was 23.6 kilograms (52 pounds) and fat. Now I admit that the flight over here was stressful for the boy but it wasn’t lose 8 pounds in 4 days stressful. Anyway I goy side tracked, now they say he is 27.1 kilograms (59.6 pounds). That’s 7 pounds that he’s gained in 8 months. Seriously, it’s not possible. First he doesn’t look FATTER and don’t try and tell me he’s gained muscle with all the walks. So now I’m wondering if they actually said he weighed 21.7 kilograms (48 pounds). That seems more likely but I have to admit I’m glad I just switched him to “light” food. If this keeps up I may have to find the dog food I was feeding him in the US, that’s the primary change in his diet; the brand of food. He can NOT be almost 60 pounds. Ugh, I’m going to have to start walking him more. Did I say “ugh”?

**Correction 01.10.11..oops, "Monday Morning" is the Fleetwood Mac song which personally I like better than The Mamas and The Papas.  Thanks N for the catch. 

© C.A. Bailey 2010, 2011 All Rights Reserved.

Friday, January 7, 2011

January 7, 2011 – Murphy, an Anvil, and Wile E. Coyote

I woke up this morning to discover that sometime in the night someone dropped and anvil on my head; possibly more than once. It’s really the only explanation for the massive headache that I work up with. Three Advil, one antihistamine, and ½ Coke Zero later and the Anvil is still in place. Which made me wonder: “What would Wile E. Coyote do under these circumstances?” Build a rocket? Call “The Acme Corporation” and order some crazy contraption like a giant wooden hammer that would smack me unconscious? Maybe I’ll just eat a piece of chocolate and go running with my neighbor. Can you tell that I’m going with the theory that the caffeine and sugar might help? Running can help as well; it’s easy to forget/ignore a headache when you are concentrating on not fainting.

Murphy…. Refers to Murphy’s Law. Yesterday I finished up work feeling cautiously optimistic that I would complete my data conversion fixes/enhancements by the end of business today. This morning the file I left running last night is still running. It’s like watching molasses roll downhill. Have you ever seen molasses roll downhill? Me neither. I’m actually still optimistic but I was hoping to move further along this morning than I have. Ah well. Optimistic or not it will get done because I have to get it done.

On another note that will make no sense to most if not all of you. I’m pretty proud of the fact that I wrote a very complex lookup into the database I am converting into, using a series of nested select statements. Just go with me, it was a proud moment.

Hey did I tell you that L gave me an iPod Touch for Christmas. Do you know what the coolest feature of this thing is? I can listen to my music at my desk without headphones or plugging it into speakers. It has this teeny tiny speaker on the bottom so it just plays… out loud. Surprisingly, the sound is pretty decent so I am a happy camper. If at some point I feel the overwhelming need to buy speakers for it I can; but at this point in time all is well in the no longer musically deprived world of CAB.

© C.A. Bailey 2010, 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

January 6, 2011 – Tidbits from Today

Bakery Bread:
Today there was a rush on the bakery, not because there is a snow storm brewing or a shortage of bread, rather because they are selling Three Kings Bread. It’s a ring of bread where they (I don’t know who “they” are) hide in one of the pieces a “prize” which I think is supposed to be good luck for the New Year. Then again, I may have just made that up. I’ve heard of people baking a little baby Jesus in the bread and I have to admit it would be a little creepy to accidently bite into a baby Jesus. I also have to question the luck thing, although if you don’t break a tooth biting into the “prize” then I guess that is lucky. Maybe this bread should come with a warning label, or a dental referral. Hey maybe THAT is the prize, a coupon to the dentist. I’ve eaten two small pieces so far and no prize, but it does have bits of chocolate baked in so every bite is a gift as far as I am concerned. I’ll let you know if we find a prize and/or if there are any injuries.

My old polar heart rate monitor died shortly after we arrived. I knew it was on it’s last leg because when I was working out it would either tell me my heart rate was 220 bpm or 0 bpm. There was no in between. Now I’m pretty sure that if my heart rate actually hit 220 it would explode and then the 0 would be accurate, but considering I am still here to tell you about it I think my first assumption was correct. If you didn’t know this about me, you’re in for a treat. Yes, I enjoy working out. It makes me feel good physically, mentally, and emotionally; but what I really enjoy… the gadgets. You would not believe the motivation I get from knowing (a) my resting heart rate… (in case you care it’s 44bpm, yes my friend D would say I am nearly dead and that stress keeps me alive) (b) How many calories I burn when I work out; and now (c) how far I run. The new heart rate monitor has a GPS component. I LOVE it. I tested it out at home in the US on a couple of runs and it worked perfectly. Unfortunately, I’ve had some trouble with it here in Switzerland. It connects to the satellites to determine your distance traveled. I’d like to say it’s a language barrier, the satellites speaking German to my US speaking GPS but I’m stuck with admitting that it’s most likely operator error. I’ve tried it 5 times since we’ve been back and gotten mixed results. Finally I went back and re-read the manual and the last time I got it to perform properly. The next big test will be tomorrow when I run again.

Hair cut:
I got my haircut when we were home, we left the top a little longer but neatened up the sides. What does this mean? I’m starting to get annoyed with me hair and feel like I need another haircut. I’m going to do my best to hold off another week or two.

I’ve been on a reading frenzy. I’d taken a break for a little while but the plane ride kicked me back into high gear. Hopefully I’ll have some book reviews for you tomorrow.

Last Night’s Mystery Soup:
It WAS turnip that I bought. So I made turnip and leek soup with a couple of potatoes thrown in for good measure. L loved it. Turns out turnip (or maybe it’s the paprika) is a bit spicy when cooked and the soup taste’s more spicy as it gets warmer.

Getting Locked out of the Apartment:
No I did not get locked out, but this is my solution to avoiding it in the future:

The problem, I’m a little afraid to actually put a key inside it. As if the lock box has a life of it’s own and will eat the key. What’s the big deal? Everything in Switzerland is expensive and replacing the key to the apartment is REALLY expensive. I did test it out at home with a key I didn’t care about… just in case… and everything worked perfectly. However, I still have my overactive imagination to contend with and from what I have read about this particular lock box, it would take an act of God to break into it. I also did read that it was reliable, but I read about another one that was the key eating kind and I can’t stop myself from worrying. I’ll get over it.

Today I was messing around with the black and white setting on the camera, I tend to prefer b/w photos.  I don't know why.  So I took these.
 This path always makes me feel like it leads somewhere mysterious and creepy... especially at night .. so I avoid it when it's dark outside.

 Yes, this is not B&W but it caught my attention and I wanted you to see the color version next to the B&W one.
 In B&W it makes me think of that man eating plant from the movies/cartoons 

© C.A. Bailey 2010, 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

January 5, 2011 – Adventures in Cooking

So yesterday I decided that I would mix things up and make sausage and vegetable soup. I don’t know why it’s called that when it also has rotini in it and “they” (the recipe) talk about “true authentic Italian flavors.” Shouldn’t it be called “Italian Sausage and Vegetable Soup”? Well that’s beside the point. I was really excited about the recipe because they included a picture of the final dish. It looked AWESOME plus it looked easy to make. Now I realize that whatever I make isn’t going to look “exactly” like the picture but sometimes it can come close. Sure I was making some substitutions: I didn’t have zucchini or yellow squash but I had carrots, I also didn’t have Rotini but I had Ziti, finally I didn’t have “Italian Sweet Sausage” but I had Swiss Bratworst… which looks like sausage (let me have my fantasy do NOT tell me what bratworst really is). So really no major substitutions, it would be fine.

Oh and it was fine, up until the moment I put the Ziti into the pot to cook in the soup. My mistake… I screwed up what time L would be home for dinner by 30 minutes. It’s a math thing…. If she is going to the gym at 6pm there is no way she will be home by 7pm but I had it figured out that way. Needless to say the Ziti would not pass “Top Chef” or “Hell’s Kitchen” standards. However, it would have passed Chef Boyardee standards since the taste and consistency was a near perfect match to their ravioli. You know, the stuff that you when you are in college and after a late Friday or Saturday night, you find yourself suddenly hungry and stop at the 7-11 store grab a can and somehow thing “wow this isn’t too bad.” Actually it IS bad, really bad.

So tonight I’m making mystery and leek soup. I have leeks, and something that I “think” is a turnip but honestly I’m not sure. Nor was I entirely sure how to prepare the turnip so I took Mom’s advice and peeled it like I would a carrot. I’ll let you know how it tastes tomorrow.

© C.A. Bailey 2010, 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, January 3, 2011

January 3, 2011 – New Year’s Resolutions

Here’s the thing, every year I make the same resolution “Not to make any resolutions.” Mostly I because I find that amusing, but let’s be honest here; you and I both know that at this point in time I’m the best version of me that I’m going to be. Now that does not mean there isn’t room for improvement. Lord knows I could use help on all sorts of fronts… patience being one of them, but making a resolution isn’t going to help that matter. I just have goals and they are the same goals I have every day: to try and be the best person I can be, learn from my mistakes and try to do better next time. Sometime I have good days and sometimes I’m a real disappointment to myself. So pretty much I’m just taking it one day at a time and will try to remember my mantra: “I’m going to make this a good day for myself.”

© C.A. Bailey 2010, All Rights Reserved.