Planning a Road Trip

I mentioned in my "100 Things" that I love going to Disney World and while the hubby continually insists that each trip will be the last for a while, we still go every year. This year, we’ve decided to drive down, rather than fly. It was the way I used to travel to the Sunshine State as a kid and now that we have 2 kids of our own, the cost to fly is becoming prohibitive. But, I digress… We also have a trip to Charleston, SC coming up in July and because of the two plans, I’ve been spending a LOT of time researching hotels, car rentals, ticket prices, local attractions, etc. In my clicking around I found a few super cool websites that I just had to share.

First up is Motel Americana. Now, we probably won’t be taking the byways to visit the featured motels, but it’s so fun to check out the kitschy places that are out there (at least the ones visited by the couple who run Motel Americana).

That fun website led me to explore some more and I wound up at Road Trip USA. This website is dedicated to traveling the country via America’s finest 2 lane highways.

And finally, I couldn’t resist spending (a little too much) time at Roadside America. It has tons of great information on the wacky tourist traps that have survived the ages and continue to draw crowds. No matter where you’re headed on the road, or even where you live, you’ll probably find a great Mystery Spot or Paul Bunyan statue or Caverns or Whatever.

So, before you head out on the road, don’t miss your chance to do some homework and see the little things that you won’t want to miss.

Vanguard: Saga of Heroes

In case you missed it, I'm a gamer. My current favorite is Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. I'm addicted. It was the same with Star Wars Galaxies. I could play for hours and not know how much time had passed. I've tried a few others like World of Warcraft and City of Villains, but something about Vanguard and Galaxies was different enough and more fun for me to play. If you've never tried an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game), you might want to give one a shot. I like the fact that there are times where I can just do my own thing during the game and just play, but if I get stuck or feel like socializing, I can get a group together and kill stuff.

100 Things

2:11 PM Posted by Loaki 0 comments
Inspired by My 2 Second Shelf Life, I decided to share 100 Things about me. These are very scattered and random.

Enjoy!

  1. I have been in love for the last 12 years.
  2. I started dating my husband when I was 19.
  3. I got married at 25.
  4. I’m still VERY happily married.
  5. My kids are the most wonderful kids in the world…argue all you want, I know MINE are best.
  6. I love animals.
  7. I am allergic to rodents (guinea pigs, rabbits, etc.).
  8. I’ve had rabbits & guinea pigs as pets and I can’t understand why I tormented myself like that.
  9. My husband pretends to hate our dog, but he secretly loves her.
  10. My husband hates horses and I own one…he’s not pretending about that.
  11. I love the smell of the horse barn.
  12. I wish I had more time to ride my horse.
  13. I love to bargain shop.
  14. I have been known to buy things and not tell anyone (including hubby).
  15. This is “technically” my first blog, but I once started one for an online gaming guild.
  16. I love my career.
  17. I can’t stand some of my co-workers.
  18. I trust people too much.
  19. I’m learning to be more cynical.
  20. I give people lots of chances that they don’t deserve, but burn me too many times and I will cut them off entirely.
  21. I don’t give my all at my current job because there’s no use.
  22. I love going on vacation.
  23. My favorite vacations include going to Disney World.
  24. I go to Disney World at least once per year.
  25. Every time we go to Disney World, hubby says that it will be the last time for a while.
  26. I took a semester off in college to work at Disney World.
  27. My parents divorced when I was three.
  28. My mom remarried when I was six.
  29. My stepdad adopted me and I have called him “Dad” ever since.
  30. My real father passed away when I was 17 and I hadn’t seen him in nearly 10 years.
  31. I have a half-sister from my mom and stepdad (DAD) who is 6 years younger.
  32. She is a pain and is spoiled, but I still love her.
  33. I don’t seek out females to be friends.
  34. I only have one female friend who I can tell anything to.
  35. I have only been to 2 “foreign” countries…Canada and the Bahamas.
  36. I’d love to travel to Ireland or Australia.
  37. I took French in high school and American Sign Language in college.
  38. I barely remember anything of either language.
  39. I worked at a gas station with a garage when I was 18.
  40. My mom hated the job except for the free auto repairs.
  41. I have only owned Chrysler vehicles.
  42. I miss my Jeep Cherokees most (I’ve had 2).
  43. I donated my last Jeep to charity because it was easier than fixing the brakes and selling it.
  44. It took me 12 years to finally finish college because I had jobs in my career and wasn’t able to go back.
  45. After getting passed up for a job ONLY because I didn’t have a degree, I went back and finished my last 3 classes.
  46. My favorite color is blue.
  47. Orange looks better on me, though.
  48. I love sports.
  49. I’m a bit of a tomboy.
  50. I love video games.
  51. I love to work in my gardens.
  52. My favorite movie is “Gone With the Wind”.
  53. I love my grandfather.
  54. I named my son after him.
  55. I named my daughter after her grandmothers by combining their first names.
  56. In 14 years of driving I had only killed one animal (a cardinal).
  57. In the last 6 months (since getting my new car) I have killed 5 more animals (rabbits, birds and an opossum).
  58. I live in a small town in a rural area.
  59. I have never been to New York City and have no interest in it.
  60. I love living in a small town.
  61. I have a train that runs through by backyard…about 75 yards from the back of my house.
  62. I’m used to it.
  63. I hate winter.
  64. I will never get used to it (and I’ve always lived in a 4 season state).
  65. I like to sew.
  66. I have a VERY expensive sewing machine that does embroidery.
  67. I give a lot of personalized gifts because of it.
  68. I feel like I could lose a few pounds.
  69. I love Thai food.
  70. My favorite homemade food is my grandma’s spaghetti & meatballs.
  71. I have the recipe for the spaghetti & meatballs, but it never tastes as good as Grandma’s version.
  72. I talk to my mom almost every single day.
  73. I smoke.
  74. I still hide the fact that I smoke from my mom. She knows, though.
  75. The jewelry I wear on a daily basis has personal meaning. I have a mother’s ring, a wedding ring, a ring with mine & Hubby’s initials and a necklace with my son’s birthstone.
  76. I have a jewelry box full of costume jewelry that I almost never wear.
  77. I’m too much of a pack rat to get rid of it.
  78. I’m a procrastinator.
  79. My favorite musician is Michael Bublé
  80. I have seen him in concert 3 times.
  81. I’ll be skipping his next local concert because tickets are too expensive.
  82. I really want to own my own business.
  83. The business I want to own has nothing to do with the career field I’m currently in.
  84. I’m a spelling freak and will correct people’s spelling.
  85. I’m a grammar freak (even though I’ve left some dangling participles in the above posts).
  86. I’m an apostrophe freak.
  87. It really bothers me to see the above three types of errors on billboards or permanent signs.
  88. I’ve been in 3 car accidents, 2 were my fault.
  89. None were very serious, luckily.
  90. I have 2 kids and have never gone into labor (LOVE C-Sections).
  91. I’m done having kids.
  92. I hated every second of pregnancy (except the end).
  93. If you have a booger on your face and I like you, I’ll tell you.
  94. If you have a booger on your face and I don’t like you, I’ll let it sit there.
  95. I love the Star Wars movies.
  96. I love watching reality tv (not MTV reality, though).
  97. I work in the television industry (very small-time stuff usually).
  98. I have no aspirations to work in a bigger television market.
  99. I used to work for a hunting and fishing tv show.
  100. I had never gone hunting before I worked on that show.

One of my favorite websites EVER

I know this isn't a new site and I know MANY people already know about it, but I must say that when I'm feeling down, Homestarrunner always cheers me up.

Be sure to click the "First Time Here?" link. It'll break you in nice and easy.

In case you missed the point of the "First Time Here?" link, you MUST watch the Strong Bad Emails!

How-To's

There are some things in life that I just can't figure out on my own. Since there are no "How to make you're terribly evil co-worker pleasant" sites, I figured I'd just share these other How-to tips...

How to Fold a Fitted Sheet


How to Cut a Pineapple

How to Pop a Cork with a Sword

How to Make a Jedi Robe (This is for my fellow Star Wars fans)

How to Fold Napkins

How to Clean a Horse's Sheath (This is for my fellow horse owners/lovers...I don't do this, BTW)

How to Make a Secret Book Hollow

How to Remove an Ink Tag


All credit goes to Cynical-C...He's got a GREAT blog!!!

Resume How-To's

In light of the fact that many people I know are currently unemployed, I thought I'd share this article I found...

Avoid the Top 10 Resume Mistakes

by Peter Vogt
MonsterTRAK Career Coach

It's deceptively easy to make mistakes on your resume and exceptionally difficult to repair the damage once an employer gets it. So prevention is critical, especially if you've never written one before. Here are the most common pitfalls and how you can avoid them.

1. Typos and Grammatical Errors

Your resume needs to be grammatically perfect. If it isn't, employers will read between the lines and draw not-so-flattering conclusions about you, like: "This person can't write," or "This person obviously doesn't care."

2. Lack of Specifics

Employers need to understand what you've done and accomplished. For example:

  • Worked with employees in a restaurant setting.
  • Recruited, hired, trained and supervised more than 20 employees in a restaurant with $2 million in annual sales.

Both of these phrases could describe the same person, but clearly the second one's details and specifics will more likely grab an employer's attention.

3. Attempting One Size Fits All

Whenever you try to develop a one-size-fits-all resume to send to all employers, you almost always end up with something employers will toss in the recycle bin. Employers want you to write a resume specifically for them. They expect you to clearly show how and why you fit the position in a specific organization.

4. Highlighting Duties Instead of Accomplishments

It's easy to slip into a mode where you simply start listing job duties on your resume. For example:

  • Attended group meetings and recorded minutes.
  • Worked with children in a day-care setting.
  • Updated departmental files.

Employers, however, don't care so much about what you've done as what you've accomplished in your various activities. They're looking for statements more like these:

  • Used laptop computer to record weekly meeting minutes and compiled them in a Microsoft Word-based file for future organizational reference.
  • Developed three daily activities for preschool-age children and prepared them for a 10-minute holiday program performance.
  • Reorganized 10 years' worth of unwieldy files, making them easily accessible to department members.

5. Going on Too Long or Cutting Things Too Short

Despite what you may read or hear, there are no real rules governing the length of your resume. Why? Because human beings, who have different preferences and expectations where resumes are concerned, will be reading it.

That doesn't mean you should start sending out five-page resumes, of course. Generally speaking, you usually need to limit yourself to a maximum of two pages. But don't feel you have to use two pages if one will do. Conversely, don't cut the meat out of your resume simply to make it conform to an arbitrary one-page standard.

6. A Bad Objective

Employers do read your resume's objective statement, but too often they plow through vague pufferies like, "Seeking a challenging position that offers professional growth." Give employers something specific and, more importantly, something that focuses on their needs as well as your own. Example: "A challenging entry-level marketing position that allows me to contribute my skills and experience in fund-raising for nonprofits."

7. No Action Verbs

Avoid using phrases like "responsible for." Instead, use action verbs: "Resolved user questions as part of an IT help desk serving 4,000 students and staff."

8. Leaving Off Important Information

You may be tempted, for example, to eliminate mention of the jobs you've taken to earn extra money for school. Typically, however, the soft skills you've gained from these experiences (e.g., work ethic, time management) are more important to employers than you might think.

9. Visually Too Busy

If your resume is wall-to-wall text featuring five different fonts, it will most likely give the employer a headache. So show your resume to several other people before sending it out. Do they find it visually attractive? If what you have is hard on the eyes, revise.

10. Incorrect Contact Information

I once worked with a student whose resume seemed incredibly strong, but he wasn't getting any bites from employers. So one day, I jokingly asked him if the phone number he'd listed on his resume was correct. It wasn't. Once he changed it, he started getting the calls he'd been expecting. Moral of the story: Double-check even the most minute, taken-for-granted details -- sooner rather than later.

My Day in Court

12:25 PM Posted by Loaki 0 comments
Well, I got a subpoena a few weeks back to be a "witness" in a court case. Without getting into detail, I didn't exactly witness anything, so I'm not sure why they wanted me there. I helped the P.D. with some of their evidence so maybe they wanted me to state that I didn't tamper with it at all. No matter, though, because the case was adjourned. Who knows when I'll have to go back...all I know is that I was reimbursed a total of $9 for mileage and my time and then had to pay $4 to park. Oh well.

On the work front, I got a call on my way back to the office from a coworker. She was crying, she was fired. This dreadful woman that I work with has managed to be the ultimate squeaky wheel and has gotten 4 people fired and one suspended in the last 2 months. I wonder when the boss will realize that the problem is the b---ch.

All I can do is keep my head down and try to keep working. I'm one of her favorite targets, but apparently I'm valuable enough to only suspend, rather than fire. We'll see how long that lasts.

On a sunny note, we may be getting a new boss by the end of the year so if I can just tough it out for the next few months, I should be in the clear.

Love to Read Blogs, Never Written One

I've enjoyed many a blog and website in my day, but I've never written one. As I sat here today, I realized that maybe I should give this a shot. I mean, I've got insight and goodness knows I've got enough interests and quirks to load this thing full of postings.

I'll give it a shot and we'll see how far it goes...could be fun.

Quick Intro:
Well, maybe this won't be quick...
Family:
Fabulous Hubby, 2 Kids (Boy & Girl...both are totally cool and funny and cute and sweet and loving and...you get the idea, they're perfect), Dog, Cat, Horse & Fish (One of everything)

Hobbies:
Horseback Riding (wish I had more time for that!)
Video gaming, mostly MMORPG (probably spend too much time on that)
Sewing
Reading Blogs

Things I'm embarrassed about:
Not much, probably just the fact that I record a LOT of lame tv and watch the shows. My current faves are things like "Dancing with the Stars", "Top Chef", "Project Runway", "Shear Genius", basically any reality tv that is on Bravo tops my list, heh. I record a lot of other tv, but I wouldn't call those shows lame. I adore "Lost" and "House".

Work:
Without getting too specific (never know who's looking), I LOVE the field I work in, but I HATE my current job. Actually, it's not the job I hate, it's those few horribly evil people that everyone has in their office that make it unbearable. Anyhoo, I deal.