I got a new camera!

Since my point and shoot got busted at christmas I took myself to circut city's going out of business sale and bought myself a new canon. Now I will be able to share my pictures much faster as that old school one the memory card didn't fit my computer. Anyhow I've been on some adventures today I'll share about them later now I am off to dinner with my friend and her family.


The Chilli

We made the chilli again tonight. It's kind of our version of cousin Stephen's chilli. Jono especially likes it because he can have it all week long for supper. Tonight he even helped cook this time at this rate by the time he moves from my house he's going to be all ready to make someone a good man with all the cooking, cleaning and house projects he is working on.
Here's the recipe I wish I could share the smell through the computer.
1 lb of ground sirloin
1 medium onion chopped
1 medium green bell pepper diced about ¼ inch pieces
2 jalepeno chilis chopped and deseeded
1 TBS + 1-1/2 cups beef broth
6 medium cloves garlic, chopped
2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, drained
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes, (do not drain)
2 TBS ground cumin
2 TBS red chili powder
2 TBS dried oregano
1 cup corn kernels frozen
¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro
1. Cook sirloin with about a 1/6 of the chopped onion.
2. Heat 1 TBS broth in a medium size soup pot. Healthy Sauté onion and bell pepper in broth over medium heat for about 5 minutes stirring frequently, until translucent. Add garlic, cumin, red chili powder and jalepenos continue to sauté for another minute.
3. Add 1 ½ cups broth and rest of ingredients, except cilantro and corn. Simmer for another 20-30 minutes uncovered. Add corn and cook for another 2 minutes. Add chopped cilantro and season with salt & pepper to taste and serve with cheese and rice.
We also cook up some extra peppers to make it hotter in a skillet and add to the top. YUM!



Jonathan reminded me that oscar nominations came out last week! I was so busy working I had forgotten. So here's all the best picture nods and how I stack up in terms of what I've seen.
Best Picture
  • "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" - Seen it
  • "Frost/Nixon"
  • "Milk"
  • "The Reader"
  • "Slumdog Millionaire"
Not looking so much in my favor seeing as most of them are no longer in the theaters (but I'll do my best). Perhaps the hotel will have them on pay per view soon so I can see the rest and mark off #11. If you wanna read up on some of the categories you can go here.


And the release...

not that anyone who reads this really cares. But I'm exicited about it - so I'm sharing.
We release "fred" to the company today at 10am. And by noon on a holiday we had over 3500 hours logged (the excitiment is spreading so fast it's contagious!) It's not just about the application either. I was at someone's desk today and I saw their neighbor following new processes and procedures too. that just gives me warm and fuzzies.
Okay end nerdy work talk.



While I have a few spare moments that didn't involve work I thought I would work on my list. And thus I completed #5 today.

My Dim Sum Adventures were cancelled...

there's easily have 6 inches of snow outside here in Boston (and there's more coming down). And I went out in it and it taking 10 minutes to get from the hotel parking lot to the interstate (normally it takes 30 seconds) so we decided to cancel the "Great Dim Sum Sunday Adventure" - stay tuned we are working on a date to reschedule to.
Despite the great dissappointment I decided not to let that get me down so I went swimming in the hotel pool, and now I'm hanging out in the hotel lobby drinking free hot tea, in my $4.50 Boston College Hoodie, and waiting for my laundry to dry. Yup I got a nice thick warm hoodie at the local altheltic supply store for $4.50 - I would have rather had BU, MIT or Harvard but those were not available at this steal of a deal so I went with BC - and being that I had to leave all hoodies in Indiana because of lack of space in my carry on I needed some more warm garb. After I'm done with the laundry I'm going to make my team treats for tomorrow's big release I had planned to order cupcakes from the local bakery with clocks on them but when I called this morning they pretty much told me I needed to call last week. So they will have to live with what I can whip up in my tiny kitchen with no oven.
Anyhow here's a few pics I have taken in the last few days because we all need more pictures.
Look there's my car covered in snow earily this week. It's a Mazada 3 can you tell. For the record I hate it and I can not wait to return it to Enterprise next week.
Oh and this was a sight on the way into the office the other morning. the sun was just coming up behind the city and sky looks pink. the bridge looks cool.
Yesterday I got to spend the day with some very lovely and crafty ladies and of course we couldn't resist a few self portraits (perhaps later I'll share what I worked on). This one cracks me up. Aimee, Grumpy and I. If you look closely you can see the underneath of my tongue completely flattering I tell you. I love this one. We actually were looking at another camera but that's Aimee, me and Judy.

And this is a view out the window today. not the best shot of the snow but I like how the panes of the window frame up the view.

stay warm.


We have lift off!

Yes that's right! I helped to build this...

(I'm pretty sure I can share this baby snipet of it). This has been about 18 months coming. Even though we have 2 other releases until I put this project to rest it's nice to accomplish something. So tonight after three 20 hour days we deployed the first phase of my project we call it "FRED". It's been a long road - have I mentioned we went through 5 test analysts, lost a SME to a vendor, changed technical solutions, we had performance problems that brought the app to it's knees, my tech lead had to return to india a week before deployment and much much more.

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And like I tell my "super kool team" - it can only get better from here.

Oh in case you wonder what this does - because it's client specific I can't tell you too much but "FRED" tracks time toward requests. In Feb "BARNEY" will be deployed and we will intergrate with another application that will allow for justifying, prioritizing, approving, managing demand for IS resources.


Witches, Psychics & Salem History

So today I took a day trip to Salem, Massachusetts since I've been in New England for over a year and I haven't been there yet. It was quite the action packed fun filled day despite the 22 degree weather and wind. So first I stopped in at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) which while it had some interesting displays seemed a to be lacking something. However the Chinese drummer and the historical tour of the Ward and Peirce-Nichols house made it worth the $12 entry fee. Oh that and I got to meet the most adorable tour guide Sue - who is quite knowledgeable on history and architecture who doesn't love that. My tour was just me and a family of 3 so sue and I are quite the pals now and she's going to email some books she thought I might like to read so we are fast friends. After the PEM I found myself at the Salem Witch Museum which in hindsight I should have skipped. It was like some kind of weird wax museum and the exhibits were pretty boring and touristy - and I even got a personal tour since I was the only person there. However I now know that dandelions can help you with gall bladder, liver and spleen problems so it wasn't a total bust. After that I wandered around downtown for a bit quite a few of the shops were closed down until spring/summer.
I found a cool place for lunch called gulu's which was this adorable place that was like 1/2 a cafe and another 1/2 beer, meat and cheese bar. Totally cool there was a live band playing with like 10 members and probably 6 customers in the place including myself. But the food was good and so was the atmosphere. If your ever in salem you should pop in.
Then I went to see the psychic not that I really believe them, but it was cheap and how many times can you say a psychic told me my fortune in salem, mass? Not many I don't figure what she said was a little vague anyhow here's a little recap of what she told me -
  • I see and chart my own course (this I think is her telling me that I don't really believe a lick of what she was going to say)
  • I have a cheerful soul.
  • 2008 was a year for changes in my life. 2009 will be more changes and I will probably be in a "metamorphosis wandering phase" for a few years
  • I apparently am "getting an addition to my family this year" (jonathan let's get ourselves another fish).
  • I am moving someplace "cold" with someone close to me. (perhaps I'm going to buy a house without heat? or one with super good A/C?)
  • Apparently at some point (after I get my new fish) I will meet someone who is a "soul companion" and we will only be together briefly because "he will lead me to my one true love"
  • Oh I will live to be very old.

So there you have it there's my future as told by Lydia who does not wish to have her picture taken.

Let's see what else I tried to go to the Lizzie Borden Museum and the Witch House both were closed for the winter but I saw them from the outside. I hit a thiftstore where I almost bought a typerwriter for $7 however it was so old I was worried I would not be able to locate ribbon for it and I it might break in transit. I went to the waterfront where I saw the house of seven gables (it really has 8 gables) and the salem light house. Then I returned back to Boston. And because we cannot have adventures without pics here are some pics (note these are taken on my old school point and shoot as the good canon was broken on new years but not to worry I am looking into investing in a new pocket camera, although this one does okay considering it's on 5 megapixels).

Me at the house of seven gables. I'm not sure why I look so shocked I took the picture myself.
The Salem Witch Museum. It is located in this delightful little church (seems an odd place for witches though)
The PEM had this fantastic collection of maritime stuff. Including but not limited to this fantastic handcrafted wedding dress made out of seashells. I think it must have weighed 100lbs I pity the women who wore it but it was rater cool to see.
This is wallpaper in the Pierce-Nichols House - very extravagant doesn't it look like labels?
Look me again take a picture of myself in an antique chinese bureau. Look at that hand carving I imagine furniture like this is dreadful to dust.
Something interesting seen in the road. A witch and my foot! yay!
Fantastic carpet from the Pierce-Nichols House.
Look there's me again as seen in a mirror at the Pierce-Nichols house. Which by the way is one of those houses where "venture capitalism" started. Basically men got people to invest in their ships that went to india/china and brought back things people would want to buy. Sue taught me that.
Another view of the same mirror minus me.
The chinese house at the PEM
The Witch House aka the judge from the salem witch trials house. It was sadly closed.
A witch souvenir store or something.
And me again this time with a statue of roger conant founder of salem. Again I look a little bit out of sorts not sure why. Perhaps I can't figure out how to work my old camera.


I have been trying to think of something...

thoughtful to blog about this week however since I'm in a haze of work. I thought I could enlighten you all on the my world of deployment planning, user acceptance testing, risks that become issues, defect management or any of the random stuff that I deal with on a daily basis. But seriously nobody wants to hear about that. So instead how about a few pics from DC you know we only did take 1975 a few shy of our goal of 2009!
A self portrait of me and the washington.
Ahhh Bananagrams & Cocktails! this has to be the best gift ever.
And another one of the washington.

The next post will be more interesting surely (but at least I won't miss goal #26. because at least I blogged in the first week of Jan).


The 52

this year instead of resolutions I usually forget in a day or two - I've come up with a list of 52 non-professional mini goals to accomplish. One for each week although some will span multiple weeks and some can be done in the same week. Each time something is accomplished I will post a little progress here. Feel free to join in (if 52 is far to daunting perhaps go with 12 one for each month). Without further ado here's my list...
  1. Send 52 postcards - Done
  2. Visit Maine - Done!
  3. Purge old shoes - Done although I didn't really get rid of that many.
  4. Make something just for me - Done - Laptop cover
  5. Change my blog format (it needs a facelift) - DONE
  6. Go to the grape (wine) harvest
  7. Organize my dresser drawers - Done
  8. Stop using towels for curtains in my bedroom
  9. EUROPE - Done
  10. Make Sammie doll clothes
  11. See all the movies nominated for best picture before the Oscars - Done after Oscars but I saw the Reader this weekend (It was good).
  12. Go on another K&K road trip
  13. Do something faster than Janelle - Done - I blog faster!
  14. Eat an entire meal blindfolded
  15. Wear Mismatched shoes - Done
  16. Meridian Street home tour
  17. Work in a soup kitchen/food pantry
  18. Buy more vending art - Done
  19. Learn a setting that isn’t auto for my camera - In all fairness jodie tried to teach me.
  20. Make something with sequins
  21. Host a party
  22. Change light bulbs in the garage - DONE (no photo but Jono can attest to this one)
  23. Buy a typewriter - DONE
  24. Talk to grandpa about grannies charm bracelet - DONE JJ even recorded it.
  25. Cook with a new recipe - DONE
  26. Blog once a week - Done in fact I blogged 174 times
  27. Go on a date or even several dates (time to get back out there) - DONE
  28. Get chairs for the kitchen table - 1/2 DONE
  29. See a water polo match
  30. Finish Reading – Hot, Flat, and Crowded
  31. Take a staycation
  32. Do something with my flattened pennies - Started
  33. Guerilla Christmas Ornament Fortunes - DONE
  34. Spend a day on Mass Ave - DONE
  35. Make a new lifelong friend - too soon to tell if it's lifelong
  36. Visit the art stores in the back bay
  37. Get a font of my handwriting
  38. Take Jeanne to that dueling piano bar (we'll let her spin the wheel)
  39. Listen to some different musicians - Done I've been downloading some new music
  40. Hit the treadmill 3 times a week
  41. Write a “best of list” - DONE
  42. Redeem Lita’s girls weekend coupon - DONE
  43. Take a picnic - DONE
  44. Read 2 books about history - DONE
  45. Knit Legwarmers
  46. Grow something - Tomatoes Done
  47. Go to art exhibit opening or show
  48. Do the Crownhill Cemetery tour
  49. Take a hike- Done
  50. Make that t-shirt quilt
  51. Get Jonathan to quit smoking cigarettes (surprisingly he asked for this to be on the list) - DONE
  52. Make another list for 2010 - DONE

Happy New Year from the Joneses!