Thursday, September 27, 2007

What are your Two's?

(from DeWitte, via the Lost Anjel)

Now, here's what you're supposed to do... And please do not spoil the fun.
Hit forward, delete my answers and type in your answers. Then send this to
a whole bunch of people you know INCLUDING the person who sent it to you.
The theory is that you will learn little known facts about those whom you know.

Subject: What are your Two's?

Two names you go by:
Steve and "that black guy"
Two things you are wearing right now:
t-shirt and shorts
Two things you would want (or have) in a relationship:
love, laughter
Two of your favorite things to do:
shop and blog
Two things you want very badly at the moment:
dinner and a 48-hour day
Two pets you had/have:
Poochie and Benny (dogs)
Two people who will answer these questions, or first to send it back:
Evan and Heather
Two things you did last night:
ate and slept
Two things you ate yesterday:
BBQ Sandwich and ice cream
Two people you have last talked to:
Kevin and Ken
Two things you're doing tomorrow:
working and shopping
Two longest car rides:
Virginia to Savannah, Ga.
Virginia to Madison, Wis.
Two favorite holidays:
Halloween & Christmas
Two favorite drinks:
Blenheim Ginger Ale and pomegranate juice.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Got Crocs? Be Careful on the Escalator

WASHINGTON (AP) — At rail stations and shopping malls around the world, reports are popping up of people, particularly young children, getting their toes caught in escalators. The one common theme seems to be the clunky soft-soled clogs known by the name of the most popular brand, Crocs. [read more]

Happy 25th Birthday to :-)

Language experts say the smiley face and other emotional icons, known as emoticons, have given people a concise way in e-mail and other electronic messages of expressing sentiments that otherwise would be difficult to detect.

PITTSBURGH (AP) — It was a serious contribution to the electronic lexicon. :-)

Twenty-five years ago, Carnegie Mellon University professor Scott E. Fahlman says, he was the first to use three keystrokes — a colon followed by a hyphen and a parenthesis — as a horizontal "smiley face" in a computer message. [read more]

Monday, September 10, 2007

Most women own 19 pairs of shoes -- some secretly

Belinda Goldsmith

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - American women have come out of the closet with a secret -- most own about 19 pairs of shoes and some have hidden purchases from their partners. [Read more at Reuters]

She keeps the work on schedule

Note from Steve: This is another of my oldest and dearest friends. She was recently one of the subjects of a newspaper article on men and women who fill nontraditional roles in their places of work.

Erinn Hutkin
The Roanoke Times


The atmosphere often changes when she steps onto a job site.

Suddenly, hard-hat-wearing construction workers apologize when they curse. They also don't chew. Or spit.

At 33, Angie Baughman is the only female project manager for Roanoke's Lionberger Construction. In May, she earned her master's degree in construction management from Virginia Tech after a short career as an architect.

Her job means overseeing several projects at once -- right now, it's the renovation of a Blacksburg church and building new retail space at Valley View Mall.

While an on-site supervisor runs daily operations at a job site, it's up to Baughman to handle the budget and the bills, correspond with architects, line up subcontractors and compile estimates.

Essentially, she's charged with keeping the guys working, keeping the job on schedule and making money.

"It ultimately rests on my shoulders to make sure it happens," she said.

After working in architecture for five years, Baughman decided she didn't like spending her days in front of a computer. Architects she worked for in Roanoke encouraged her to return to school for a master's in construction, leading her to attend classes while working full time.

She quit her job in December 2006, planning to focus on school. A week later, she received an e-mail about a part-time job at Lionberger from her department head at Tech. Starting work part-time, she thinks, eased her transition as a woman. And in construction, she found everything she felt her former career lacked.

"I get to go to the job. I get to talk to the guys. I get to see the project happen," she explained. "I like being able to keep busy on the job."

Even in school, Baughman knew she was outnumbered. She estimates 75 percent of students in her master's program were men. Even when there were speakers from construction companies, seeing a woman was rare.

Yet when she decided to switch careers, no one was less surprised than Baughman's mom. She knows her daughter is a self-proclaimed tomboy who hates shopping, except for a weakness for shoes. Baughman loves sports -- helping coach high school soccer and playing pick-up basketball. With her dad, she is making improvements on her Roanoke house.

On the job, Baughman tries to balance being confident with taking the guys' advice. If a man with 20 years' experience tells her a certain fastener will work, she'll likely listen.

On the other hand, she believes some guys at a site will ask her questions just to see if she knows the answer.

"You're a little bit discriminated against at first until people know you," she said.

A few weeks ago, for instance, Baughman was picking up a tape measure at Lowe's. A couple of guys saw her shopping and tried telling her, "Honey, you need this one."

Baughman just let them talk.

There's time enough for them to figure out she's the boss.

Monday, September 03, 2007

todd, cynthia & emmett

I had an old friend visit for Labor Day, and met a couple new ones.

This is my friend Todd M. On the left is a picture of us in 1996, when we were back in college. On the right is us, literally, today, on the Roanoke City Market.

Mom said we look better now. I just know we're older and larger.

Todd is one of my oldest and dearest friends, but I don't get to see him often because we live on opposite ends of the state (and we both tend to be quite busy). It's a rare occasion when we can get together in person.

Today he stopped in with his new wife and son and had a late lunch with me downtown.

Todd has a beautiful family. At left is is his lovely wife, Cynthia, and at right is Emmett, their son. They are both a delight. Todd is a lucky man.

Just so you'll know, I do realize these pictures are blurry as hell. My old standby digital camera is falling apart after four years of steady use, and I'm slowly talking myself into replacing it. The pace becomes quicker when I get pictures like this.