keto and scam chex mix

No more breweries, no more bread. No more gluten of any kind. I started the Keto diet while Charlie was in Florida. I have to say it’s very similar to the Paleo. I’ve been on that diet previously so I know what to expect. I found that my appetite has lessened since I’ve been on it which is good because normally I want to gnaw my arm off come lunchtime.

So, here’s a couple of recipes to try if you’re interested:

I made this one and it’s fabulous! I added mushrooms as well. It’s great for leftovers and to cut up and put on a salad. Tonight, we’re going to try this recipe:

So, save for my one night out at the bar and a few lunch dates with Stiletto and Emil while Charlie was gone I didn’t do anything. We still don’t know anything at work. I’ve been applying my @ss off to places. I have a phone call with a recruiter this morning and we’ll see where that goes. So, a word of advice to you job hunters like myself. If you get some email from a recruiter asking you to fill out this long form of information, beware. Do some research on the company to see if they are actually legit? Also, if they have a website go to the Domain White Pages and type in their web address. It will show who created the site and how long it’s been up. If it’s under a year then beware. Read this article on the Top 10 Job Scam Warning Signs.

Both Charlie and I got alerts of identity theft and had to lock down our credit for all three credit agencies. Fortunately, we got to it in time but a word of advice: Unless you’re filling out an application for some kind of credit, lock your accounts down at all three credit agencies. You can unlock it for 24 hours if you need to have a credit check done but after that re-lock it down. There’s no reason to have it open unless you’re filling out forms for credit applications or buying a new car or house. Here’s a Quora link that has all three credit agencies links and phone numbers.

Also, in today’s day in age get a mailbox that you can lock. We did and we see messages on our neighborhood nextdoor posts of people stealing mail all the time.

So, that’s it for my advice column. What else is new? Just another semester of school is all and really wanting it to start getting warmer. We have no plans for the weekend. Charlie just got back yesterday and I had to go off to school so we really haven’t had any time to spend together since she got back. We got the dogs some really cool hiking harnesses but it’s supposed to rain again this weekend so I guess that’s out.



the new year chex mix

As we head on in to a New Year, I’ve had time to think about what I want for this next year. Despite still being employed I still apply to jobs just in case there is a need to accept employment elsewhere. I want to worry less about the things I cannot change and start setting boundaries. I read this article about boundaries and I realize I have none. This is a problem.

I admit the year ended on a disappointing note as I’m still not Net + certified and I blew my 4.0 average at school. It’s just numbers, right? Despite all that, the year as a whole turned out to be pretty good. We took a few trips to the beach, our music party was a hit and Charlie we did quite a bit of work to and around the house.

In 2019, I want to be less annoyed by people and have more patience. I want to develop some marketable skills. Maybe a programming language. Definitely a certification.

I want to drink less alcohol and eat more vegetables and of course like 90% of the population of the U.S. I want to lose weight.

I want to practice more self care which means not letting my family get under my skin.

I want Charlie and I to travel somewhere other than the island although, that would be good too.

I would like for all this schooling to somehow pay off.

That’s all I got for now but it’s enough. What do you see for the New Year?

school/work chex

I had this post all worked out for the post-Thanksgiving and pre-Christmas/New Years and 2018 rundown. Yeah, no. I’ll probably post that one later.

Today I have that interview. I have waffled back and forth over it. I’ve talked to my spouse, my friends and my sister (who shit all over it) about it. It all comes down to $$ honestly. If they can’t make it worth my while then I’m staying where I am and taking two classes next semester.

Part of me wishes to stay and grind out another semester. Part of me wishes for a change and to be done with school a little while. Like for instance my Linux class. I am so ready to kick that stupid class out the door.

Our prof is a dick-throb. He opens up his virtual machine and just starts typing in DOS commands like we’re supposed to know what he’s doing. He stands there and lectures for 2-1/2 hours doing that. I usually get up and leave around 8. I mean, I’m not going to be held hostage by this man until 8:40 if he’s just going to drone on and not include the class in anything. The only reason I even show up is because he’s been known to drop a pop quiz on us. The other night, I walk in and see the following schedule on the board.

6-6:30 pm – makeup exam 1

6:30-7 pm – makeup exam 2

7-7:30 pm – makeup labs

7:30-8 pm – chapter 14

8-8:40 pm – final exam review

I was incensed. So, I’m supposed to sit around until 7:30 for class to start because these jokers that weren’t here to take their exams the first time need time to do them or the other jokers who can’t turn in their labs on time need time to complete them? Because I get all my shit done on time I’m being penalized? I went to the Dean’s office to complain. He really didn’t see it my way but whatever. I was one more person who complained about this guy to him.  On top of all that we were discussing the final exam. This one girl in the class who is raging mad at him and who was in the Dean’s office before me yelling asked if there was going to be a scripting component on the test. The last test he made us all script something (which, we later found out that none of the other Linux classes were made to do that on their exams) and only two people in the class knew how to do it. He said there wouldn’t be a scripting component but I still wrote down the script from lecture just in case. This exam is an open book and we typically take the sample tests prior to the exams and bring in the printouts to help. Well, this time he said no printouts. Only the book (which is worthless) and handwritten notes. So, guess who wrote out 120 practice questions by hand? I don’t know why I care so much. Maybe it’s because I’m still hoping for an A in this class even though I know it will probably be a B. Which, blows my 4.0 GPA. This is another thing that burns me up. I still may track down the president of the college email address and send him a letter.

I have two other classes I have finals for next week that don’t have open book exams so I will be studying for sure. Then, after that I have a Network + exam to study for. Hopefully, by the beginning of 2019 I will have one more cert under my belt.

turkey time chex mix

It’s Charlie’s favorite time of the year, Thanksgiving. I don’t really mind this time of the year now that I have fun people in my life to spend it with. The kids are coming up on Wednesday and staying through Sunday. We have a bunch stuff planned along with just hanging out. It’s always fun having them here. Charlie already made pumpkin pies and put them in the freezer. I made these Maple Pecan bars and added smoked maple bourbon. They are insanely sweet, y’all. Yesterday, we made a couple of lasagna to put in the freezer as well. We plan on having at least one of them on Saturday after we’re tired of turkey.

Today, I filled up the propane tank at Ace Hardware so we’ll have plenty to grill with and hook up to our outside fireplace. I’m also going to go to the store again for the 45th time and get stuff to make green bean casserole to go with the squash casserole I’m going to make. If we can ever thaw the turkey out….

So, the things I’m thankful for:

Charlie and the boys and daughter-in-law

My health


That I have a job  – for now – that may change after 2019 but –

I have an interview next week so everything concerning work could change in 2019.

I was resigned in staying where I am until the ax fell and hopefully moving into a promotion – which is no guarantee that I’d get one – but I got a call from the hiring manager for this conglomerate and the job sounded interesting. Plus, I felt we really hit it off on the phone. So, today he called and asked to set up a face to face interview. Trying not to get my hopes up on this because we all know I’ve been there before.

I have one more day of work then we’re off to the races of Thanksgiving cooking madness. Everyone have a happy one! Cheers!




the past is the past chex mix

Sometimes I feel like I am too gullible in my old age. I always seem to think the best of people until I’m smacked in the face with reality. Those who know me may think otherwise as I can be a bit sarcastic. Even so, I’ve recently been going over in my mind of what happened with my friend who committed suicide last year.

Last year was such a fucker. I lost my step mother and my friend committed suicide. As I’m sure a lot of people that have had someone they know commit suicide they are left wondering what the hell happened. I think back to all the times I hung out with this friend of mine – it was quite a bit back in the early 2000’s. I wonder what it was that went wrong. She was a pharmacy rep so I always wondered if that gave her access to drugs. One of the last conversations we’d had she said she was diagnosed with narcolepsy. I really have no inkling at to what that involves to this day. I wondered if it was just a cover up to a real addiction such as oxy. These are questions that I will never know the answer to so I tell myself it doesn’t matter. Stop wasting time thinking about it because you will never know.

Then, fast forward. The other day I was working on a lab for my security class. It wanted you to do a series of web searches on yourself to see if you existed on the web. Not wanting to type in my own name I typed in an ex of mine and, voila, a mug shot came up.  I was shocked. Here all these years I’d assumed she would be some English or Political Science professor all in tweed at a progressive university somewhere with a pencil stuck in her bun.

Man, was I wrong. I copied/pasted the link and sent it to a friend of mine who we went to school with saying WTF?? I haven’t heard back from her yet – she’s in Cali maybe dealing with fires and probably this is the last thing she’d be concerned with is checking her FB messages. All the same, how could I be so stupid? That time at college we were dating she was a huge cokehead and lying was practically a minor. She eventually started seeing another ex of mine and last I heard they moved out to California together. At the time, I had just accepted an internship in Atlanta and thankfully they were gone by the time I got back to graduate. I don’t know why I should be surprised.

Speaking of the loserville past, the independent film/documentary, Monrovia Indiana, has finally hit the theaters. This happens to be the town where I grew up.

I know you’ve all been on the edge of your seats to see it. I have not. A friend of mine from high school Facebook messaged me that she saw it the other day and wondered if I had.  I told her I had not. Not saying, Why would I want to be reminded of the backwoods ignorance of where I came from? I did say that I thought I’d be going to see Bohemian Rhapsody first. Like my Grandma used to say if you can’t say anything nice then don’t say anything at all. Or don’t text back.

it’s back on chex mix

So, I privatized the blog for a little while. I’m going to do this from time to time just so you know. Sometimes it’s nice to write in general without worrying about soliciting readers. This week I’ve been trying to get as much school work done as possible before the semester is up. I just want to get it all done so I only have to worry about finals. Out of all my classes this semester I think the Cisco one is the best. The other two – not so much. The Linux class could be a lot better if the prof wasn’t such a brick and had one iota of ability to teach. He just pulls up his virtual window and starts typing in Linux commands while he drones on about what they’re for. It’s completely boring. I’ve already finished all the labs in this class on my own and taken all the chapter review tests. All I have to do now is take a test – our third – next Monday and then the final -and, show up for his boring-ass lectures. Might I add it’s completely stupid to take a test next Monday when we have to turn around and take a final exam three weeks later but whatever.

Monday evenings I usually show up early to the lab and talk to my friend, Nancy, who is in the same program. We were in this asinine networking class together last summer. At first I thought she was a complete dolt but once I got to know her a little better she seems really driven and we seem to agree on a lot of things concerning the program.  The other night we met in the cyber security classroom with some other people in the program. The idea is to create our own little study group and “cyber team” – I say this very loosely because it’s in the draft stages right now. I don’t mind meeting early on a night I have to be there anyway but I will not devote any additional time to a club where we’re just sitting around bullshitting about cyber security. I could be studying towards a certification. Certs are going to get me a job not sitting around b.s.-ing. Speaking of certs I signed up to take the Network + exam in December a week after the semester is over. I’d really like to ring in the new year with another cert under my belt.

As we were sitting there discussing a potential “club” my security prof walked in. I have her for my Saturday class that is just so-so. My beef with it is that we haven’t learned any tangible skills it’s just all lecturing and our final project is developing some game for the class to play which I find very cheezy. I plan on submitting a mediocre review of the class at the end of the semester when they send out surveys. I like the prof ok – I think she’s a very intelligent lady – I thought she was a dyke at first but after introductions at the beginning of the semester I learned her husband retired from the company I currently work for. I think maybe she’s a frustrated straight – lol. I have her next semester for firewall configuration and by-gawd she’d better teach me something. I tried to ask her if she had a synopsis of the class next semester and she said they’re currently re-writing it. I wish I could foresee the future because if it’s lame like my current class with her then I’m going to drop it and take a VMware class instead. The prof that’s teaching firewall configuration this summer is supposed to be good so I could possibly wait until then to take it with him. Decisions, decisions…….

I currently have two mentors where I work. I work for a HUGE company that has millions of employees and multiple departments. One mentor is a director of security and his team configures firewalls – why I want to take firewall configuration. The other director deals with regulation and policy. I have monthly telephone meetings with them both and am really hoping to take on independent projects with each of them next year -also, why I’m only going to take two classes next semester. In the long run, I’m hoping that one of them will offer me a job on their team. This is really a long shot, I know. It’s the whole reason I’m doing this but there’s no guarantee. I could be swooped up by another company in the meantime. Who knows. It’s all very uncertain. 2019 is going to be a very interesting year, I have a feeling. It could be either really good or meh. I could lose my job where I am come January or I could stay on – hopefully long enough to get a promotion or another job. It’s a hustle and shake year for sure.

In other news, Charlie and I have decided to abstain from alcohol during the week. This does not include Fridays or Saturdays. Not sure about Sundays yet since it technically is a school night. This is mostly for weight loss reasons. I need to lose some weight. We’re on day four and it really hasn’t been that bad. Although, I’m not planning on blowing it out Friday or this weekend, either. Along with that we’re trying to cut down on the carbs and eat healthy snacks or none at all. I usually try to work in at least one salad per day for a meal.

This weekend, I’m hoping we’ll go catch Bohemian Rapsody at the movies. Supposed to be frigid here (well, 50’s -frigid by southen standards). Everyone have a great weeekend! I’ll leave you with this: 4 drink recipes that won’t ruin your diet

and this:

weekend chex mix

Whew! What a weekend! It all started out celebrating with Emil on Wednesday night at the Mexican restaurant with Adrianne. Adrianne had been wanting to surprise Emil with a birthday dinner and was able to schedule it that evening.

We no more pulled up and Adrianne got out – we’d all been texting how hungry we were and that maybe we needed to push the meeting time up to 5:30 instead of 6. Emil pulled up just then having gotten off work on time and we headed in to the restaurant to have margaritas and beer. This was the first time we’d been out with Adrianne and we had a blast talking and laughing over drinks. We all thought that night if we didn’t have to work the next day we would have been out a lot later. That night Emil mentioned that Benjii and Goya had texted her to see if she wanted to do something on her actual bday, Friday.

Fast forward to Friday Charlie and I decided to have a crab boil and whoever wanted to show up, show up. I picked up a half cake just in case Emil showed and it ended up they all showed. We hung out at the she-shed and listened to music while the potatoes and corn cooked in the pot we had going outside.

The next day, I managed to talk Charlie in to going to see A Star is Born. (Gaga does not disappoint) and we ran into Emil, Benji and Goya. We all ended up sitting together in the back row.

Yesterday, Charlie was a little hung over didn’t feel well and we threw together some cheese tortellini chicken soup  (if you make this halve the onion and add some more veggies – it was kind of plain but I know chicken soup is supposed to be that way) and camped out in front of the TV to watch this new series on Netflix, Maniac.

(what do you think of that? Were only on the 4th episode but it’s very strange)

As we were sitting down Emil texted and wanted to know if we were around as she was in the neighborhood and I called her back and said, Come over!

So, she came over for soup and we watched the first two episodes together. It was a great end to a fantastic weekend! Things are about to get cra-cra around here getting ready for the party and next weekend we have gay pride and the porchfest that Charlie is going to help Emil record her playing with both of her bands. I’m going to try to get out of school early so I can run down there and take in at least a little bit of music before it’s over. The hot weather is finally moving out this week so hopefully we’ll get some nice, cool long sleeved shirt weather. It will feel good to put on jeans again.

Have a great rest of your week and talk soon!


burying the bourbon, monday chex mix

I missed the Friday chex mix series so I decided to do a Monday chex series today. I haven’t really been up to anything except work and school as you know from the previous posts. Honestly, I’m so glad that October is here and the air feels a little cooler. We are making preparations for our party this month and almost Charlie’s entire family (minus the older boy/daughter-in-law who will be on vacation) are descending upon us for it. We buried the bottle of bourbon in the backyard yesterday praying it won’t rain.

(I know that’s a southern wedding tradition but it can’t hurt – plus, it will be fun digging it up and sharing on the occasion. We buried it right beside the shed, too.)

We have all the music, booze, menu and various other details all coordinated and taken care of. Hopefully, we will have a good crowd and it won’t rain.

Until then, more dull-birdness. I am trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel with school and I’m looking forward to a short vacation to the beach after the party. This holiday I am taking the entire week off from work and maybe we’ll go somewhere. Since we’ve never been able to find a decent dog sitter then we have to consider dog friendly airbnb’s.

A friend of ours is going through a hard time right now. We’re a bit worried. I flip-flop between “Snap out of it” and “Do you think you should go back and see your therapist?” – Probably the latter is the best advice I can give but I’ve vowed that I’m not doling out any more of it. The last time I gave out advice it wasn’t well received and I just thought to myself, Just keep your mouth shut, Lanie.

You just can’t save people. They have to save themselves. Maybe sometimes people just need to move through it to get to the other side. I was lying in bed last night thinking about this one blog I used to read and wondering what happened to the person who used to write it. I worry that they passed away. I should leave my blog password to Charlie in case something happens to me as I wouldn’t want people to keep coming back to my blog and wondering where I went. Adverse talk for a Monday but I’m off to more adversity of my Linux class. UGH! I hate that class. I really do. But, I’m still here and kicking it in the @ss.

Happy Monday, y’all. It’s half way over and Friday’s even closer!


middle of the road chex mix

So, this week Charlie has been out in Idaho on a ranch with her mom. It’s been just me and the furry babies holding down the fort. Thankfully, we’re off from school this weekend for the holiday so I won’t have to find someone to cover letting the dogs out on Saturday again. Aside from Emil coming over last Saturday to eat Chinese food and get wasted I haven’t really done anything except work & homework. (I plan on getting ahead of the game over break). I’ve been kind of a dull bird, although I have asked Benji and her to do something as I haven’t seen those girls since they moved into a new house together. I guess they have been nesting.

I joined this information security club through school and tomorrow night I’m going to one of their meetings and a representative from a [major airlines] is going to be there to talk about security. Should be interesting and I’m looking forward to getting out of the house. I decided to take off a few days from work and go to a hacker’s convention in a couple of weeks. I’m hoping to network my @ss off at this thing. Ever since our merger everyone at work has had this doomsday attitude. All they talk about is that we’re going to get laid off. Every meeting our boss schedules everyone’s says “Here it comes, it’s going to happen.”

Sure, everyone’s bracing themselves but why do we have to talk about it all the time? I understand their concerns but honestly can we just shut up about it? The time it takes bitching about it could be the time it takes to write up a resume and send it off to a couple of openings to see what happens. Me, I’ve already been doing that for months now. This is normal for me. I’m just hoping I can find something that coincides with my current curriculum – cyber security.

Meanwhile, my wife is partying with a Heisman trophy winner’s fiance’e.  I got the football question on the phone last night of do you know of…….I was thinking my wife is really missing football and me – lol. So, she’s meeting famous people out there. I’m glad she’s having a good time and no, I still don’t want to go horseback riding -but fly fishing – I could work with that.

But, it’s all about school and career right now and which direction I’m going. I could kick myself for not sitting for the Network + exam this month but honestly, I knew I wouldn’t pass it and it would be a waste of $$. I ordered a new book to study for it so hopefully by Christmas I’ll be ready. I have to get these certs and get the hale out of here. It’s the only way. In the meantime, I’m just keeping my head down and working, studying and networking my @ss off – in more ways than one. This song comes to mind and such a great live recording, too. Enjoy!


just another chex mix friday

(this is what Georgia feels like right now)

Last Thursday, I had a day-long interview –can’t really disclose anything about it but let’s just say I felt it went well and I was ready for a drink afterwards to, if anything, celebrate making it through. I probably won’t hear anything for a couple of weeks if I do.

I’m at a juncture right now with what I want to do. If I were to get this job it would mean growing in the profession I’m currently in and I would probably have to put school on hold or reduce my load to one class because I’d have to jump in with both feet. It would be a great opportunity for sure.

If I don’t get the job then I’m going to just continue to tread water where I am and go to school. So, really no skin off my nose either way – that is, unless we go through a lay-off in September like people are saying could happen -they like to call it “surplus”.

School started Monday night – YAWN – I was so tired. My first class of the semester – Linux. When I walked into the building I recognized a classmate I had in networking last semester – Nancy – she was down the hall in a security class I’ve already taken. She has this Linux class, too, but on another night. We talked about how we were clueless about the textbook and lab access for the class, etc. When I walked into the room there was another classmate from my first semester in Hardware and Maintenance. She’s a bit of a wack-a-doodle but very helpful in figuring out how to access the labs. Between her and another guy they figured it out and by the end of the class we were in. But, it was 8:00 by then and the prof let us go. The labs alone are going to take a while to do we were told. Here we go again. I’m sure I’m going to have labs coming out of my @ss this semester as I have two more classes back to back on Saturdays.

What have I gotten myself in to, is what I keep thinking.

In the meantime, I’m still studying for that Network + exam that I guess I’m going to bite the bullet and go sit for it by the end of this month because this version of the exam that I’ve been studying for is going away. Our prof was talking about Linux certification and I was like, Not now, dude. Maybe down the road but I don’t see it. Probably next is Security +. I’m just trying to get enough IT knowledge down so I can be a project manager for IT related projects – I don’t need to be the IT person.

So, Larry and Sherry got into trouble. They took vacation together to move in together this week and didn’t tell anyone. Normally, when we take vacation days or if we’re going to be out of the office we’re supposed to put in into this system that shows we’re out. That way if anyone’s looking for us then they go there and see that we’re out. If we’re managing an area then we need to put in a backup person to handle that while we’re out. As Sherry just does ADMIN work (even though she’s being paid to be an engineer) she doesn’t have to put anyone down. But, Larry is managing three areas (he got two of Patricia’s areas after she quit left) and he put no one down t handle his shit. This is very bad from the company standpoint. We cannot take vacation or be out if there’s no one to cover our shit.

I always have Chris cover me when I’m out. I even coordinate my vacation days with his to make sure both of us can cover each other while we’re out. The new boss has said that he’s going to be going to each office to work a day or so and wants to coordinate with everyone those days – meaning, he doesn’t want to show up at an office to work when no one is going to be there – like he did on Thursday when he showed up to Larry and Sherry’s office and no one was there. Not good for them but Baxter let them get away with murder while he was a manager so I’m not surprised that they have never imputed their stuff into the system when they were out.

Since the new boss has taken over snarky dickhead that sits out in the OTP office has been killing us with spreadsheets. I almost feel I’m back at the Wanna-build-roads-but-only-throw-people-under-the-bus place. Granted, no job is perfect but it would be nice if more than one person on the team would take on more of a mentor role instead of the mentality of “This is your shit, handle it.” The job I interviewed for last week I had to meet “The Team” and it was all about collaboration and working as “a team”. I wanted to laugh because none of the jobs I’ve ever been in had that mentality. Oh, they SAID they were a team but mostly it’s been here’s some shit, handle it type of mentality.

We don’t have big plans for the weekend – especially since I will be in class most of the day on Saturday and it’s Charlie’s last weekend until she goes out of town on a trip with her mom. I think we plan on just laying low and staying close to the house – especially, since, Bailey, one of our dogs gave us a scare on Wednesday. Charlie was walking her and Sadie and Bailey got into a yellow jacket nest and got stung a couple of times and went into shock. Charlie called me at work to come get them and take them to the vet but when I got on the road there was all this school traffic and I called her back and told her to call Heather up the street and I would meet them at the vet. So, once there Bailey got a shot of Benadryl and Cerenia and then fluids. She seemed to be stabilizing pretty quick and we took her home and laid her down on the couch and put the TV on for her. Poor thing. So, now we’re looking in to possibly a liquid form of Benadryl and some more Cerenia for the doggie first aid kit.

So, it’s been kind of an exciting week and 1/2. How has yours been? What’s up for the weekend?