KathyBou’s Blog

A sampling of things that are going on and around.

Archive for March 2008

Dim sum gym OR

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cardio for the attention deficit – I did between 15-20 minutes on each the treadmill, eliptical, and bike.  The treadmill offers the most benefit I think but finishing with the bike lets me read.  Whatever works right??

Written by Kat

March 31, 2008 at 7:52 pm

Posted in fitness

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Not used to company

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I guess.  I had to clean up the apartment (in the middle of the week) — oh my how the Clutter gods like to leave mementos of their existence.

We watched the finale of The Celebrity Apprentice, with wine and donner kebabs (German “fast food”).  Dan’s idea, it was a little get-together to witness the battle, as Trump stated, “Good against Evil.”  The “good guy”, Trace Atkins, is a country-music star. I didn’t know him before the show – I’m not a fan of country music, but I did like him alot.  The other contendent was British celebrity Piers Morgan.  I think he was a good competitor, but maybe a little cutthroat.

The last show was okay.  It was live, and live shows always have a certain cheesy quality.  Admittedly, reality TV is a farce – nothing ever happened as the editors make it seem – but it can still be fun.  Drama incorporated into a format with goal-oriented missions can be quite entertaining.   Trump’s daughter Ivanka seemed okay too – I didn’t expect to like her on the show but I did.

Written by Kat

March 29, 2008 at 2:05 pm

Posted in Life

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Pictures from the weekend

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Maybe two instances of snow all winter and now that it’s officially Spring it snows off and on all weekend.  Interesting.

Yesterday we went for a walk around town and picked up some nice looking desserts for after dinner. Easter dinner this year was Mexican (just Dan and me).

We’re off again today.  One of my co-workers explained that we live in the Catholic area of Germany so we get more religious holidays off here than in other parts of Germany (much less the rest of the world).  I have lots in mind that I should do today though.  The gym is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today so we’re going to make sure we get at least an hour in.

Hope everyone had a relaxing weekend (even if you could not spend it outdoors).

Written by Kat

March 24, 2008 at 10:00 am

Posted in Life, Uncategorized

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Here a google, there a google,

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everywhere a google google. And yay – one for the book lovers.

A beta from Google fittingly called: Google Book Search 

I haven’t spent enough time yet to see if it will surpass Amazon as being my favorite place to look up a book and see reviews, but it does seem to be very complete and offer more information than any book search I’ve come across so far.

For example, I tried searching for a classic – Pride and Prejudice. A full page of interesting information and additional links about the book is available:

  • book vitals – the usual: author, date published, language, number of pages
  • sections/chapters, popular passages
  • reviews and references
  • other editions of the book

There is a feature called My Library that allows you to import books by ISBN or by searching and adding manually.  From there you can review the book, read parts of it (if there is preview available), or in some case, the entire book is available.  Yes, I know very few of us want to sit at their computer/laptop to enjoy a novel, but this is a great tool. 

As a side note, I’m really hoping an affordable e-reader that can read pdfs, plain text and other file types will be available in the near future.  There are many titles available in the public domain that I know I’d read if I had the text in an easy-to-read electronic format.

Another interesting addition with the google book search is the Search in this book feature.  If all or part of the book’s text is available online, this feature will return all matching references by page number and/or link.  That could be handy as a reference, for book blogging, or for research projects.  

Only a couple of things seem to be missing:

  • No series information – Anyone else find it irritating when you stumble across a new series and cannot immediately tell which book comes first?
  • No related books functionality – There is a category associated with a returned search result but it does not seem very complex or useful in finding other similar books.

These are fairly minor details, it’s still a solid book finding tool. And of course, even if you don’t necessarily appreciate all these features, the search results also list links to the online book retailers selling the book – which saves you a couple of steps if you want to comparison shop on the title.

Written by Kat

March 22, 2008 at 7:16 pm

Posted in Books

My RSS feeds

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I cleaned up my google reader feeds recently.  I already had my categories defined but I removed some blogs I never can catch up, and alternately, some blogs that have been dormant for too long.

It’s funny though, the random feeds that make you laugh.  Currently for me, it’s the hot new releases -> Teens category from Amazon.ca.  Everyday there are at least 10 new books listed, with the book’s description. And over half of these seem to be teen anime books, who knew they are produced in a constant stream.  So I’ve never read an anime novel (yet), but I do find the names and descriptions are quite entertaining. For example:

Book Description
Japanese yakuza clan heir Ranmaru just got married on a lavish cruise ship, but things aren’t as they seem. The marriage is just for the appearances, and he ends up getting drunk and spending the night… not with his bride, but with the sexy ship captain! When the two men meet again in Italy, it is the start of a spectacular love story. 

Written by Kat

March 19, 2008 at 9:30 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Work rumors

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about reorganizations or lay-offs – it’s as common at the office as keyboard lint.

The last two months it was the reorganization – old managers with new titles, new departments with different objects and goals, until the next round of new objectives and goals is conspired. My favorite part is when they tell you nothing will change for you personally. Hmm… okay. Anyway, slight change of pace for this month – it is lay-offs.

I don’t really get aweary from this talk, mostly because I know that I can’t do anything about it. And sometimes it’s necessary for business. But I do get tired (almost instantaneously tired) of the worried talk, the worried faces of my co-workers. It sucks having these worries hanging over your head. The whole fear is the only thing to fear comes to mind.

Seems the big talk the last couple of years is outsourcing work to cheaper places. I would blog about this, but I’m honestly tired of talking/hearing about it. We should outsource unpleasant conversations, there’s a grand idea:

Dear India branch,

Please gather your workers into groups of 6 – 8 employees for multiple short meetings. The groups should mainly consist of your middle-aged employees with a sprinkling of newly hired, the more nervous and scared the new hires, the better. The purpose of these meetings is to discuss intricacies of why outsourcing works for some things and not others but how in general it’s ruining everything. Variations on the theme are welcome.

Don’t worry about reporting back the results or how soon you can get this done, it’s more of an open-ended item this time.

We’ll get in touch next week, I have a phone call I’d like you to make to with my tax advisor about why I don’t have all my receipts and paperwork together from last year.


Written by Kat

March 13, 2008 at 10:49 pm

Posted in Life, Tech, Uncategorized

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Mon amour

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On a completely different note, my boyfriend is returning (soon!!!) from his interminably long work trip. I didn’t want to cry and moan about it on here, I know many people have much bigger problems than I do, but it was still tough on me. It’s strange how certain events can make you feel like you are 7-yrs-old again, and that it is the absolute end of the world because your mother won’t let you stay over your cousin’s/friend’s house for the night. You know, the hiccupy head-achy despair? You’d think after being together for a year and a half I’d handle it better, but it seems to be just the opposite somehow.

It’s always about perspective, the challenges we face. Shakespeare says it:

Time and the hour run through the roughest day.

Time and hour run through the sweetest days too, unfortunately. Here’s to being grateful for ride.

Written by Kat

March 4, 2008 at 12:06 am

Posted in Life

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To buy or not to buy

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I’ve made a little commitment to myself not to buy any new books until I read the books I got for Christmas. And they are all great books (a couple are even borrowed, how lucky am I to have two sisters and a Mother that all read interesting stuff?), but it’s hard to resist the urge when you see books you have on your mental to-be-read list, go on sale, online. I really want to read The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak, AND it’s on sale right now for £3.99 on Amazon.co.uk. Sigh. I can usually talk myself out of books, I mean, they aren’t a scarce resource, but still, it does take a fair bit of my will power sometimes. I would think the antique/rare book buyer has bigger contemplations.

Written by Kat

March 4, 2008 at 12:04 am

Posted in Life

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