Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

Random House Photos Santa Fe

April 5th, 2017

Cuba – 2nd world country, 4th world life. Tips and tales from 7 days in Havana.

January 9th, 2017

Time is the least thing we have of.
– Hemingway

My impressions of Havana Cuba January 2017

Arriving and exchange of money is pretty standard – they will x-ray your bags on arrival. TIPS: if there is a line (and there will be a line,) in Terminal 1, go upstairs, a fraction of the line and time spent! Also, make sure you know your Terminal – getting dropped off at Terminal 3 will result in trying to wrestle-up a way to Terminal 1 that won’t eat into your Exit Tax* and your wait to Check-in* 😉

I hitched a ride from the airport to my first of 3 Airbnbs, with two American teacher gals, who arranged to meet later in the week.

My first Havana Airbnb was up 60 steps on the 3rd floor of an ancient but only slightly decrepit building, near Avenue 23 – a main road into the old town. The ‘hostess’ was a gal in her 20’s, who was not really there or helpful but her 87 year old grandmother was so loving and sweet, kissing me and hugging me every time we met with a gleeful exuberance and a swiftly flowing river of Spanish, where only a few familiar words surfaced.

General hint: All beds in Havana are hard and slightly lumpy and all your hosts will tell you they are new, and by new, they mean within the last few years. Some will have a plastic mattress cover, all will have painfully thin sheets but apparently newer than new and a Janka Hardness scale rivaling Macassar Ebony…

*Exit Tax: Save 25 CUC to pay upon departure, OR confirm your Exit Tax is included in your ticket – mine was, but saved extra money Just In Case.
*Check-in: You will have to check-in, you will have to wait in line, there is no ‘elite’ line, you will not be able to change your ticket in a way that will take money (upgrade, early boarding.)

Rooster on Plaza Vieja


Europe – here I come 3 x !

June 24th, 2016

Took advantage of the One World sale on Business Class tickets to Europe. One to Portugal for my bday; one to Italy for – who cares – it’s Italy!! (Italy with a friend,) and the last one in March – don’t know where I’m going yet but it will be to places anew!

one year on – a lifetime ago.

April 21st, 2016
About one year ago (26th) my builder, (‘he who must not be named’ according to my Attorney,) sent me an email saying he was going to replace himself and promised to get back to me the next day. He never contacted me, and was unresponsive to all communication. As a result, my world turned upside down. Within 90 days all west facing doors/windows were removed and subsequently replaced – see ‘raining in the house post.’ In August, he was terminated (negligence/fraud?!) and did not name his replacement or do further work.
 
My second builder stormed off the job after her framing the fireplace wrong and refusing to even troubleshoot a solution. It’s now correctly installed (without having to shim out an entire living room wall) My third and final builder has never signed the contract; good news is that he has no attention to detail and has left me to fend for myself. Those things I coordinated came together. Not without hitches, but work has been completed in a timely manner.
 
I managed to find some amazing people that have helped me considerably along the way, so if you have a project coming up, these people are reasonable and trustworthy. John Reeder (505) 988-8098), while pricy, showed up, did his job, and billed correctly. Mary from unitedstoneworks.net is a fantastic person helming a women-run company, with an amazing team. It just doesn’t get better; professional, friendly, communicative, super easy to work with. 
 
Still quite a few days to go coupled with plenty of ‘hitches’ but moving forward nonetheless…

The house that broke me. First World Problem #1529

January 8th, 2016

Today I realized I’m 34-38K over budget on a budget that was already 31K over budget (not including attorney’s fees – 25-30K, and the money I have in it ~410k).

So, I’m putting together a list of shit I can sell. Quite frankly, the list is pathetic. IPad Air 2 maybe $350. Then I start getting into 24 bottles of port/wine – 2K, and the junk silver 1K, consignment furniture/rugs. Mom’s ring, my bling. A rental property…

I need an attitude adjustment and some good brainstorming.

Works with Nest House live video feed #workswithnest

March 19th, 2015

A ‘Funny’ Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum…

August 16th, 2014

“Is there a Doctor on board? We have a medical emergency.”

In ode to my quasi-former Mileage-Running ways, I was on a rockin’ a dirt cheap First Class fare from San Jose, CA, to Rome, Italy (Thank You Flyer Talk/Boarding Area Mensches!) Unfortunately, it was a multi-connection, back-breaker, so, when the opportunity presented itself I took a BUMP, a 250$ voucher, and re-booked on a two-hop via IAD red-eye from SFO. Check, check, check!

On said SFO-IAD red-eye with double digit minutes from landing, and only AFTER FA’s (Flight Attendants) announce for the 3rd time ‘Is there a Doctor on-board; we have a Medical Emergency?’ (ME,) ‘Is there a Dr. or Nurse on-board for an ME,’ increasingly panicked sounding; ‘Is there a ‘Dr., Nurse, or Medical Professional on-board for an ME?’ I finally say, uh, oh, I have an expired OEC Certificate and can do an assessment if you want. OEC=Outdoor Emergency Care – it was for Ski Patrol – but that’s another story 😉

The FA’s take me toward the back of plane. There is an UNCONSCIOUS young woman lying flat out in the aisle, OUT COLD. Unconscious, unresponsive, and the aforementioned ‘assessment’ put my ass in the assessment. WTH, seriously.

‘What is her Name, what Happened?” I position myself at her head, she’s breathing, phew, and poke her with my fingers, saying her name, and ‘can you hear me?’ Her 12 family members all chimed in – in a combination of Spanish and broken English. The Puerto Rico Dozen voiced their concerns.

I ask, what turns out to be her Grandmother, what happened; Grandma doesn’t speak English but was translated: 15 YO female, felt nauseous, got up to use lavatory, passed out, and fell in the aisle. Did she hit her head? Yes. On the way down or on the floor? Don’t know. How hard did she fall? I say this while positioning my self at her head, adjust her chin, and ‘take the head’ with my knees since my hand is trying to get a pulse – which is really FRICKIN’ hard to do at 35,000 feet – man it’s loud in this old Boeing… Is she on any meds? No. When was the last time she ate? Does she have allergies? Has this happened before? Does she have any medical conditions? Of course they are all trying to help – each and every one of them… Does anyone have a watch with a second hand? Trying to get pulse. She’s breathing, so she must have a pulse…

FA – can you please get me some ice? Okay, her forehead felt hot – and I figured ice couldn’t hurt and the plane was bloody hot – or I was. Grandmother says “Orange Juice” I ask if she is diabetic? When was the last time she ate? Noon!? 15 hours ago?! (Trying to get a pulse, WTH!) Is she hypo-glicemic? Diabetic? NO, NO. I say to the FA’s ‘No OJ.’ Do you have Glucose? Maybe in the Medical Kit. “Raise her knees up, please.” Got the ice – note to self, ask FA’s put a knot in the ice bag… I’m drenched, but the ice on her head – At least it helps with swelling if she hit her head…

Grandmother is trying to get pulse too – she’s starting to panic. But kid is breathing – screw the pulse. Oh, FA’s “Do you have glucose?” Maybe in our Medical Kit – ‘Get it.” They say they can’t until they have approval from ground Medical. They ask – are you a licensed professional. heck no! I can’t administer anything, the FA’s call ground Medical and arrange for paramedics to meet the plane.

The kid starts to come around. Phew. So, of course the family wants her to get up. No, no, no, no. After a few more minutes on the ground, with ice, knees up, she is coming around. We get approval for the FA’s to open the emergency kit and get the glucose, I open the glucose and hand it to the girl and put it to her mouth and said to take it, slowly. She took a bit and then I handed it off to the grandmother. Okay, now the assessment, she knows her name, where she is, what happened, no she didn’t hit her head or neck, she doesn’t hurt. Do an upper body squeeze and poke and nothing seems wrong. I say wiggle your toes, and move your legs, anything hurt? Nothing – Phew.

PA Announcement, 20 minutes to land, Paramedics meeting the plane.

Family out of the way – Big strong guy in row 37, help. We get her sitting, then standing, then to my seat in row 1. I take a seat in the back until my row 1 seat mate changed places with me so I could sit by the girl. Plan lands – I don’t even have my seat belt on as I’m trying to get blankets around the girl who is now shivering – I hope she’s not going into shock…

Taxi to the gate – Paramedics arrive, they get her and the Puerto Rico Dozen off. Paramedics have it well in hand and I get my pack and leave, to the thanks and kind words from the FA’s, family, and passengers.

The adventure continues.

Elizabeth

Win-Win or When-When?

December 12th, 2012

I really do believe win-win can be achieved. Lately I’m wondering if it’s more like when-when instead of win-win.

With Win-Win there is an assumption of a common goal, similar values, the ability to put aside your own expectations for the greater good.

With when-when, I wonder -when- will people put aside ego and expectations to realize that success in whatever form it takes is to be acknowledged, appreciated and respected. When will you set aside differences and embrace what it takes to make the other side successful? When do you take feedback with an open mind and heart, rather than defensiveness?

When do YOU step up to the plate and take responsibility for creating an environment where win-win takes the place of when-when?

When you do, everybody wins.

Please help save the Bees

April 3rd, 2012

Here’s the buzz: American honey bees are disappearing at an alarming rate and the government knows why.

Scientists say a pesticide called clothianidin, made by chemical giant Bayer, is strongly linked to the rapid decline in bee populations. When exposed to the chemical, bees get lost: they are literally unable to find their way home back to the hive and drop dead from exhaustion.

Susan Mariner uses her backyard garden to grow extra fruits and veggies for her family and teach her children where their food comes from — and in the past few years, she’s seen the decline in bees firsthand.

When Susan heard about the recent studies linking this specific chemical to the widespread death of the bees who pollinate our food, she started a petition on Change.org to get the chemical banned. Click here to sign Susan’s petition asking the Environmental Protection Agency to ban these bee-killing pesticides ASAP.

One-third of the U.S. food supply relies on honey bees. Without bees to pollinate crops, many essential (and favorite) foods are at risk, including apples, squash, tomatoes, strawberries, almonds, and even chocolate.

Several countries, including Germany and France, have already banned clothianidin. And after the bans, bee populations began to rise again.

But in the U.S., clothianidin is used on millions of acres of crops and American beekeepers report losses of up to 90% of their bees.

http://www.change.org/petitions/epa-save-our-bees-and-the-food-we-eat-ban-bayer-s-chemicals-now?utm_campaign=aZQlDgyMtF&utm_medium=email&utm_source=action_alert

Own your online identity or someone else will…

September 27th, 2011

I have always advocated to own your own online identity (elizabethhouck.com doh!) or someone else will. This is a great example of why:

http://blog.spreadingsantorum.com/2011/09/were-number-one-were-number-one.html

“Has anyone Googled Santorum recently? Because I just did, and it looks like we made it back to number one. I’m not sure when we did it, because I have been less then diligent lately. Poor Rick actually has to pay to have a link above us. Sucks to be him.”