Saturday, December 31, 2011


I lied to you.  I wished you all a happy end to 2011 and then signed off as if I would not write again in this calendar year, yet here I am.  It is December 31, 2011 and I am blogging.  Of all the weird things to do.

My week of vacation is finally nearing its conclusion.  It really has been fabulous as far as vacations go despite my lack of adventurous travel.  Other than Christmas family voyaging to the farm last weekend, I have stayed at home (my OWN home) and tried to get a handle on the large amount of stored crap that I have accumulated.  If I were more industrious, I would probably have more to show for it.  But as this was also my vacation from work, I didn't want to take it too far.  Plus, I still have tomorrow and Monday to work, right?

In the end, I was able to take seven boxes of clothes and one large bag of shoes to Goodwill yesterday.  I have thrown out at least that many bags of garbage so far with many more to come.  I knew that I should have bought the extra large black garbage bags, but I went for the white kitchen bags.  Big mistake, it turns out, but I am using them anyway.

Of all the pleasures afforded by spending a week relaxing in the shelter of one's own home, nothing can quite top the bliss of sleep.  When I work, my alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m.  It is dark, cold, and the thought of getting ready to spend another day working in an unfulfilling job is not always very motivating.

I know, I know, I should be thankful to even have a job, blah blah blah.  However, now that I am officially done with my graduate degree and can go forth into a new career, it seems that the universe has decided not to let this happen.  I know that I need to be patient, but I have been ready to move on for such a long time that every minute I spend not doing what I have dreamed of doing feels like wasted time.

So I guess if I had to make a resolution for 2012, it would be to finally move out of my corporate drone status and into a fulfilling work within a library or library-like setting.

Last night I had a strange and unsettling dream.  Not that most of my dreams are calm and serene, but this one left me with a strong sense of disappointment.  This led me to ponder the nature of most of my dreams.  I don't know about everyone else, but my dreams have never left me with a sense of fulfillment or true happiness.  There is always something missing.

What does it all mean?  Darned if I know.  Is it a representation of my waking life?  Maybe.  Or maybe I have been watching too many episodes of "Bones" this week.  I finally made it through the sixth season, so I am almost caught up to the current episodes.

But tonight I will leave my hermitage and venture forth into society to celebrate the end of 2011 and the start of 2012.  I will do this with the same people I do this with every year and I suspect that I will have a good time.  Beverages and food will be consumed, games will be played and loud noisemakers will be sounded at the end of the countdown.

For now, I will enjoy a few more hours of restful bliss in my own home with my own very affectionate dog.  I hope that you all have a lovely final day of 2011 and a beautiful and hope-filled start to 2012.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cleaning out my closets

So... it's been a while, has it not?  I wish that I had a great excuse for not writing, but quite simply, I have been enjoying my vacation.  Christmas was a bit hectic, but the past few days of sleeping in and spending the day putzing around my own house have been lovely.

True, my big plans to totally clean and organize my house have not gone as quickly as hoped, but I have my stack of boxes ready for Goodwill and am slowly but surely making progress towards cleaning out my closets.  As a student of archival practice, I have found that one of the best approaches is to be willing to make use of the discard pile.  Although, somehow I have found that despite the number of bags of discard I have removed from my closets, my guest bedroom still looks like an explosion site.

Tomorrow, I intend to deliver my Goodwill donations, just in time for year end charitable donation claims.  I will then continue to work my way through the mess.  It is always surprising to see what I deemed worth keeping ten years ago that I would never dream of holding on to now.

Thankfully, I am not completely out of time on the work front.  I am taking a break to attend a New Year's Eve party, but I intend to come home on New Year's Day and work through my extra day off on Monday.

If you are concerned that I am working through my vacation, do not worry.  I have been taking plenty of breaks to watch my new "Bones" DVD's and I am happy to report that Lena and I have been on several walks and are getting a great deal of quality time.

I doubt that I will write again before 2012, but I hope that everyone has a happy and safe New Year's!  See you next year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I am BACK!

Well, readers, I made it almost three whole days.  I gave up caffeine altogether for health purposes, and now that those issues seem to have been resolved, I am back on the hard stuff. 

Actually, I fully intended to keep caffeine-free for the entire week, but today was just too miserable.  My sleep patterns have been much deeper lately, which is possibly good.  The flip side of this is that waking up has become torture.  Honestly, if I didn't have work or any other interruptions, I could have slept soundly until at least noon.

Unfortunately, another side effect of this abstinence has been constant splitting headaches.  I have taken Tylenol, Advil, you name it, but to no effect. 

If I was in a position to sit at home and stare at the walls or nap, this would not really bother me much.  Unfortunately, my vacation does not start until Friday, so I have work to do. 

After a period in which I pretty much just stared blankly at the computer screen and willed myself to stay alert and awake followed by a weak attempt to supplement my coffee habit with herbal tea, I caved.

This is not a total catastrophe.  I actually need to do this.  You see, my canine friends have given me a beautiful Nespresso Pixie for graduating with my MLIS degree, and I cannot disappoint them by letting it go unused. 

If you do not know what a Nespresso Pixie is, go ahead and Google it.  But to summarize, it is a little espresso maker that utilizes little "pods" of coffee that one orders online.  Sort of like a Keurig, but it only makes espresso.  Really excellent espresso. 

I must admit, I initially scoffed at such a contraption.  As a former barista who has worked hard to perfect the art of a perfect shot of espresso, I had serious doubts that such a simple process could yield good results.  When my mother, herself a barista, announced that she was going to buy herself a Nespresso machine with her saved up tip money, I was again skeptical.

Keep in mind, this is the same mother who went out and bought a lovely high end espresso machine back in the 90's with the intention of making her own espresso drinks and therefore saving money on daily coffee shop visits.  Said machine is presently residing in my kitchen cupboards and may eventually make its way out to the farmhouse someday.

The problem with the original espresso machine was not that it failed to work properly.  It turned out a fairly consistent product and was fun to use.  But when it came to maintenance and clean-up, it was found to be somewhat problematic.  It is one thing to maintain and clean the big machines at work; it is quite another to take this on in one's own kitchen.  Long story short:  it is messy.

So when my dear mother told me of her plan to acquire a new espresso brewing device, I urged caution.  I knew full well that my words were meaningless to her, judging by the gleeful glint that appeared in her eyes when she spoke of the new machine. 

In one last bid at preserving sanity, I accompanied her to the store.  Apparently, my mother had already been through to scout the product, because the sales lady knew her.  They went through all the bells and whistles, concluding with a sample.  We came home with the machine along with an electronic milk frother.

For our inaugural run, I let my mother make me a drink.  Although I was loathe to admit it, it was very good.

Since that time, I have let go of my prejudice against the Nespresso.  I have even become the primary user of the machine in my parents' home, oddly enough.  So much so that my mother is constantly reminding me that I should contribute to the purchase of new coffee.

When I was asked what kind of gift I would like for graduation, I was momentarily at a loss.  Then it hit me:  I could get my OWN Nespresso!  So I asked, and I have received.  For comparison purposes, it should be noted that my brother asked for and received a very nice digital camera for his DVM graduation last spring.  This should give you a good idea of our respective priorities, although I am pretty sure that his girlfriend would not turn away her own Nespresso machine... which gives me an interesting idea.

If anyone is curious, I now have a very impressive array of coffee-making paraphernalia in my home, should anyone ever care to come and visit.  I have:  a small Mr. Coffee brewer, a good quality red espresso machine, a stove-top Bialetti coffee/espresso maker and a Nespresso Pixie.  So if you're ever in my neighborhood and are in search of a good cup of coffee, come on by.  There is a very good chance that I will be able to help you out.

Monday, December 19, 2011

One, two, buy me some shoes

So not only am I on a temporary caffeine fast, I am also supposed to up my fiber intake.  All of this diagnostic information comes from my own searches on WebMD, of course, so who knows.  Like I tell everyone who asks me if their wounds look infected, I am not a doctor.

The only thing I can say for sure is that medical issues sure are bothersome.  Especially ones that require me to give up a normal daily habit, even if only on a temporary basis. 

Tomorrow is graduation.  I have spent surprisingly little time worrying about this, and that may have been a mistake.  Yesterday, I settled on a dress that I already own to wear underneath my gown.  This was after I started to worry that I needed to make a quick run to some local shops for a last minute purchase.  My next problem was footwear. 

Yes, I do have some nice shoes already.  They work perfectly well for most occasions.  Unfortunately, most of my dress-up outings do not involve walking across a stage in front of hundreds of people while wearing a flowing robe to accept a degree.  While being photographed and potentially videotaped.  Gah.

Thankfully, we have yet to receive our major snow cover for the season and it doesn't appear to be on the horizon to happen before tomorrow night.  This means that my footwear decision does not need to accommodate snow or ice.  Yay. 

In the interest of sanity, I have decided that I need to wear flats or very low heels.

Sadly, I do not possess any comfortable shoes of this nature.  So I have turned to my friends at Zappos. 

Oh, wait.  And I also need some new comfortable work-appropriate shoes. 

Unfortunately, these two needs did not coincide at the right time.  Last night, I went online to Zappos and found a pair of reasonably priced and cute black shoes which I promptly ordered.  Now, you may be thinking that I was nuts to assume that said shoes would arrive in time for graduation, and you may be right.  I may be crazy.

But a girl can hope, right?  Zappos is known for being insanely quick, right? 

This morning, I received an email from Zappos.  It was not to inform me that my shoes had shipped, but to congratulate me on my elevation to VIP status on their website.  Among the many free benefits, I am now entitled to free next day shipping. 

Had I received this recognition 24 hours earlier, I would have my new shoes right now.  No such luck. 

In my supreme wisdom I decided that I had a few options available to me:

1.  Order the same shoes AGAIN and return the pair that arrives later.
2.  Order a DIFFERENT pair of shoes than the first and keep both pairs.

I went with my second option.  This is mostly because I hate returning things, even when the company offers free no-hassle options.  I do not understand the psychological underpinnings of this propensity, but I suppose you could trace it back to my grandmother and her constant gift-giving adage, "You can always return it."  This phrase was often uttered either before or while a gift was opened.  Who knew that it could have lasting effects?

Anyway, my second order is due to arrive tomorrow.  My other order should arrive by the end of the week.  I will be keeping them both.  For now, I am wearing my old beat-up shoes with my new ninja socks.  That's right, you heard me.  NINJA.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Give me caffeine or give me...

So you made it through my bizarre entry concerning tiny camping trailers and miniature animal dolls?  Good for you!

Well, it is Sunday evening and I am on the verge of starting my final week of work for the year 2011.  Amazing!  This past weekend was not too wild, but that was OK.  I have been feeling a little off for the past several days, and I needed an opportunity to take a break.  So far, my biggest problem seems to be that I have not quite accepted that I am now done with homework.  Forever.

Without saying too much about what has been causing me some of my "off" feelings, I am afraid that I may have to temporarily go off of one of my daily addictions:  caffeine.  This may render me unpleasant, but maybe no one will notice a difference.

So keep an eye out for any violent outbursts from me and remember to run for cover if necessary.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Memory lane

So thanks for putting up with my late-night-post-class-euphoric rant.  I think I am just about over it by now. 

Now begins the next chapter of my life.  The one in which I start my career, start paying back a much larger amount of student debt and figure out how I will ever get out from under my mortgage.

Excited?  Same here. 

There are many things that I could write about now.  Job searching, Christmas cookies, jewelry, etc. 

But not today.  Today I am going to share an amazing discovery with you that will either confirm my identity in your mind as a complete lunatic or a charming sentimental fool.

As a child, there were few things that I enjoyed more than playing with dolls.  I know, you're not impressed or surprised by that.  But wait.  It gets better.

My love of dolls was not limited to Barbies or action figures.  I had all sorts of toys.  For me, however, the grand supreme apex of awesomeness came in the form of dollhouses. 

I had two of them.  One was hand-crafted and made for Barbie-sized dolls.  The man who built it took care to create upholstered furniture, install carpeting and even put up wallpaper.  This thing had a walk-in closed complete with full-length mirror for crying out loud.

This dollhouse was later given to my second cousin.  I have no idea what has happened to it since, but as she is now in college, I suspect that it is long gone.  This saddens me, but at least I know that someone else found use for it after me.

My other dollhouse was of a different variety.  In a fit of inspired craftiness, one of my uncles decided that he was going to purchase a kit and construct a beautiful Victorian-style dollhouse for me.  If one were to follow the instructions and complete everything, the result would be amazing.  The scale was not large enough for Barbie, but it still could have been cool.

Unfortunately, my uncle did not work fast enough, so while the exterior was painted and all the walls were constructed, everything remained largely unfinished.  But I didn't care.

Turns out, this house was perfectly sized to use with my second favorite set of dolls: the Sylvanian Family.  Apparently, these dolls are still being made, but they are not marketed here in the U.S.  Or so I thought.

On a recent trip to a local toy store, I discovered this.  It appears to be a web-ercized version of my original collection for todays Internet-savvy American youth.  Lest you think that I have a problem with this, think again.  Then, feast your eyes on THIS.  Do you see it?  The camper?  To be more specific, the camper that looks like a SCAMP??????????

Do you know how much I love Scamps????  If not, you do now! 

I first discovered them at the MN State Fair many years ago.  They bring out all the sizes for people to walk through, and I fell in love. 

Let me clarify something for you now.  I do not like camping in general.  I hate sleeping in tents.  Something about the ventilation issues and heat regulation combined with the fact that there are no bathrooms... 

But a SCAMP... now, I would be willing to sleep in one of those!  Plus, they are cute.  Don't they look like little red and white beans? 

So now, here I find a small-scale version of one of my favorite things that has been designed for a doll that resembles a favorite toy from my childhood.  If anyone is still looking for a Christmas gift for me, you now have two very good options.  For those of you who have tighter budgets, the doll-sized version is fine.  But if you really want to make my holiday season, give me something I can take on the road.  If you're curious, I would really prefer the models with bathrooms. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Big Finish

Good news!  I can now say that I am "officially" done with classes! 

Of course, the final night was not without a few surprises. 

First of all, as many are aware, when one graduates, one typically wears a garment known as a "gown" or a "robe" for the ceremony.  In high school our gowns were red.  In college, they were bright blue.  Now I have finally gone professional grade with a black robe.  The only other difference is that my sleeves are ridiculously long.  Apparently this is normal for Masters degree robes.  Hm.

Anyway, protocol at my university states that all gowns are to be picked up at the campus bookstore.  No problem, right?  Sure.  Except that this bookstore has the least convenient hours possible for graduate students who typically are only on campus in the evening or on weekends.  Weekdays they close at 4:30.  Many weekends they are not open at all.  You do the math.

Ever the conscientious student, I looked at the calendar schedule and thought that the bookstore had hours last weekend.  Due to a misinterpretation of an acronym on my part, this was not true.  So when I stopped in on Saturday before class, they were not open. 

I inquired at the nearby Information Desk for advice as to how to pick up my gown without taking time off work to come in for it.  The kind and helpful attendant on duty suggested that I call the bookstore on Monday and ask them to leave my gown at the Information Desk so that I could pick it up tonight before class.

So I did.  I spoke to someone on Monday who said that she would "check" with the manager, and that someone would call me back.  When no one called by Tuesday, I called again.  This time, the girl on the phone confirmed my request.

Tonight, before class, I stopped by to pick up my gown.  The semi-sleeping girl on duty sleepily informed me that she did not know of any gown waiting to be picked up.  After a cursory search of one cabinet, she informed me that it did not look like the bookstore girl had done what she said she would do.  She did attempt to call over the the bookstore (which had closed 20 minutes earlier), but no one answered.  She then suggested that I do a walk-by, just in case I saw anyone. 

No dice.  If I said that I was frustrated, that would be an understatement.  I retreated to my classroom and fired off an email to the representative at the bookstore.  To my surprise, I received a quick response.  Apparently, she had personally delivered the gown to the Information Desk on Tuesday.  She informed me that they had it but if I would like it to be sent FedEx to me, they would do it.

Luckily, I was still on campus, so I picked it up later.  So all my rage was for naught, but it still helped get my heart pumping in time to give my final presentation. 

Everyone really pulled it together and presented quickly tonight, which meant that we were done in just over an hour (a new record).  So just like that, I am done.  It was strange, walking out with my friend to our cars like we do every week.  This particular friend and I have had almost every single class together, but she will not graduate until May.  Will we ever see each other again?  We're Facebook friends, so perhaps. 

So now I just have to wait for the ceremony.  Then I get my vacation.  And my job search continues. 

How does it feel to be done with graduate school?  Nice.  It feels nice.  Was it as hard or easy as I thought it would be?  Yes.  Did I enjoy it?  Mostly.  The important thing is that I stuck with it all the way through and I still want to work in the library profession.  I think that is a pretty big accomplishment by itself. 

So that was my final evening of class, documented for the ages.  Time will reveal what final grades my professors will give me, but at this point I almost do not care.  Almost.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Stigmata or stupidity?

My head is about to explode from over thinking about Dublin Core and MODS metadata schemes, so I am giving my brain a rest by writing on my blog.  Is that wrong? 

Last night I had an interesting experience.  I arrived home a bit later than usual due to an after work hair appointment.  Lena was revved up and ready to go, so we went out for a dark and damp walk through the neighborhood.  When we arrived home, I fed her and then prepared my own dinner.  Nothing fancy, just a frozen dish from Trader Joe's.  But it DID require the use of my stove, so I was able to avoid my microwave for one evening at least.

Anyway, as I sat down to enjoy my dinner, I happened to catch sight of my right thumb.  I know, it is not like it's normally hidden, but I generally don't pay much mind to my fingers unless they are sending me pain signals.  Apparently, my signals were misfiring last night, because I was shocked to see that there was caked blood all over my knuckle. 

Actually, at first I was not alarmed.  This is because my first instinct was to assume that it was chocolate.  Had I been anywhere near chocolate yesterday?  No.  Was it close to the stove as I made my risotto?  Not even close.  At this point in time, there is no chocolate in my house.  At least not that I can see. 

Why did my brain jump to this conclusion?  Probably because it is usually the correct answer.  I love chocolate so much that I have been known to smear it on my face and hands while eating it without realizing it.  So that mystery is explained, but it did not turn out to be the answer last night.

When I finally made the realization that it was my own blood on my thumb and not something edible, I was momentarily shocked.  As I had not experienced any kind of pain, I was not completely convinced that I had really cut myself.  So I went and cleaned my thumb.  The results were a bit surprising.

At some point between arriving home from my walk and sitting down to dinner, I managed to cut my thumb in two places; one directly below the nail and one right on the knuckle.  The wound generation obviously was not spectacular or noticeable, and it must have occurred early into meal preparation because things were dried and clotted by the time I saw them.

Are you less than amused with my weird story?  I guess this is what counts for entertainment in my life these days.  That and receiving a call from my mother asking if I know the location of one of their TV remotes.  Calls like that are difficult for me because they cause me to want to go on an all-out rampant search of their basement to find the missing object, but I cannot because I am 45 minutes away and staying in for the night. 

So in the end, we are left with two mysteries that are unsolved for the moment.  I still do not know how I managed to mangle my thumb without noticing and I also am unaware if my parents were able to locate their missing remote so that they could watch my brother's senior piano recital on the DVD player.  Lest you find that to be strange, it is a recently received recording of my deceased brother's senior piano recital, so it's special. 

Two more days until my LAST DAY OF CLASS.  One more week until GRADUATION.  Nine more days until VACATION.  How will I handle all this excitement?  Will I accumulate any more mysterious self-inflicted wounds?  Wait and see!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Instructions and commentary

Here is how not to write a blog entry:

1.  Feel guilty for not updating.  People are probably clamoring to read what you have to say, after all.
2.  Log in to Blogger.  Start to write about how sorry you are that you have been lazy.  Also write that you are updating on your dog's condition. 
3.  Get distracted.
4.  Decide to write a blog about your love/hate history with clothing. 
5.  Get distracted.
6.  Finish up your Christmas shopping in record time.  Think about blogging on the subject, but get distracted.
7.  Freak out because you are graduating in less than two weeks and you still have some big assignments to finish.
8.  Go to your mother's jewelry party and spend money.
9.  Consider writing about the insane amount of jewelry you will have when everything finally gets here after being on backorder.  You will be blinging like nobody's business, man.
10.  Think better of it. 

So, here we are.  One more class to go, people.  True, there is a considerable amount of work to be completed for said class, but after a work session with my partner on Saturday, I feel like we are on track to finish well. 

If all continues as planned, I shall be graduating on the 20th.  I have no idea what I will do with all my time.  Wait, yes I do.  I will be amping up my job search because once I have the degree in hand, I will be qualified for ever so many more postings.  At least in theory. 

Although I am awaiting the arrival of one more package, my Christmas shopping is nearly complete.  Online shopping is the BEST!  So maybe some of you love the hustle and bustle of the stores, malls and their associated parking lots, but they turn me into a regular Grinch.  The lines!  BLAGH!  The shoving!  BLECH!  The parking spot stalking game!  RAGE!!! 

Instead, I have opted to rely on the pleasant delivery folk of UPS to do my bidding and bring the items I buy directly to me.  Sort of like... Santa Claus.  Magical. 

If I had to pick one thing that I am MOST looking forward to this Christmas, it is playing Just Dance 3 on the Wii.  It appears that everyone in my family is getting this game this year, and I am SUPER excited to try out the new moves.  Am I a nerd?  Maybe.  Maybe you have to be there. 

Also, apparently my uncle has a sneaky plan to take my brother ring shopping.  Although he will have to be crafty if he wants to find a jewelry store that is open on Christmas Eve...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Lena's got the fever...

Well, I knew that it was only a matter of time before it happened.  After all, the holiday season is upon us in full swing now that there is a decent layer of snow on the ground. 

In case you were not aware, there are few things in life that fall at the low end of my tolerance spectrum.  Nicholas Cage is one of them.  Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime" is right there as well.  Every time I hear that wretched song, my insides recoil in unison.  Blech. 

I heard it today, dear readers, while sitting at a Houlihan's restaurant.  Perhaps I should have known better as I am fairly certain I have heard this song in the exact same location played in years past.  I guess I have not learned my lesson.

Very well, the pain is past and we can all move forward.  Right?

This weekend has been full of surprises.  On Friday night, I arrived home to find that my dear Lena was having some problems with her foot.  The irritation seemed to be limited to her dewclaw on her front right foot, but she also seemed (to me) to be a bit warm as well.

Naturally, I placed a call to my vet brother for some reassurance and advice.  He carefully asserted that it was not an "emergency" and that I could safely wait until morning to try to bring her in for a regular vet visit.  His concern was that she could already have an infection and that it would be best to have the wound examined as she was clearly having none of my attempts to view it myself.

So at 8 a.m. Saturday morning, I promptly called my vet clinic and made an appointment.  Unfortunately, time was a bit tight on Saturday as I had a date to meet with a partner for a group assignment at 10:30 before our 3-hour class at noon.  Yes. 

Luckily, they were working on schedule at the clinic, so we were in and out in good time.  Turns out, she was running a temperature, so she got a shot of antibiotics and some pain meds and we were on our way. 

I am happy to report that she is doing much better and is back to her old self.  For better or worse.

Friday, December 2, 2011

In which I make a startling discovery

Just when I think I am starting to become moderately tech-savvy, something happens that makes me realize what a noob I am about most things. 

So last night I was in class and my partner and I were trying to figure out how we could create a shared folder to hold the photographs we need for our final project.  I had them all on a flash drive, but the only way to share that I could determine would be to email them. 

This is probably not the worst idea in the world, but it isn't the greatest, either.  Personally, I have a slight aversion to receiving picture by email.  Not because I don't like to see the pictures so much as I do not like the amount of room said digital items take up in my inbox.  When they fill it to the point that no other items can be received, I get angry.

You wouldn't like me when I am angry. 

In our befuddlement, we made our way to Google Docs.  My past experiences with this platform have not been great, so I was hesitant.  My partner went out and created a shared folder in the hopes that we could perhaps upload photographs.  Turns out, we could not.

BUT WAIT.  In my all-seeing wisdom, I noticed along the top of the menu bar a tab labeled "Photos."  Curious, I clicked on it.  It took me to a "Picasa" page.  As I had never delved this far into the rabbit-hole before, I was unprepared for what I found next.  I ALREADY HAD PICTURES IN ALBUMS ON THIS SITE.

Crazy, right?!?!  Well, buckle up pardnah.  Turns out, the long tentacles of Google work in mysterious ways.  Somehow, Googlezilla had managed to archive some of the pictures that I have uploaded for my blogs.  Not ALL of them, mind you, but a good amount of them. 

It turns out that this program was exactly what we needed for our picture sharing, but I still was quite shocked at the finding.  I then proceeded to make good use of it. 

Over time, I have somehow managed to accumulate pictures on my work computer.  I don't really know how, but I suspect that there was emailing involved.  Some are pictures that I do not really care about, such as company softball team action shots.  However, there were a few from company parties that I wanted to keep.  Rather than email them out to myself, I opted to test out this Picasa thing.  Score!

As a final note, it does appear that one can perhaps order prints of one's pictures through this site.  It has given me an interesting idea, but I will leave that secret alone... for now.