ARCHIMEDESII's SparkPeople Blog ARCHIMEDESII's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Vacation in Greece The last time I went Europe, it was also the year I'd been laid off. I was laid off again about 3.5 years after that. It's five years since that first lay off. This year, I decided to celebrate getting a new job by going back to Europe. I did a lot of number crunching and a trip to Greece turned out to be the most affordable. Got a great deal on the flight and hotels. <BR> <BR> One of the things I wanted to do was some hiking. I spent three days in a place called Meteora. It's a UNESCO Worl... Tue, 10 Oct 2017 06:21:22 EST Great News As many of you know, I was laid off from my job last year. However, I wasn't out of work for long. I had the good luck to pick up a three month contract position. It didn't seem like it would lead anywhere, but I took it to earn money and get off unemployment for at least three months. I did such a good job, they kept me on for other projects. This week, after many months of working hard and being patient, I was offered a full time position with the company. <BR> <BR> I can not tell you wha... Sat, 25 Feb 2017 14:57:10 EST Contract Job Extended Must be time for a blog ! LOL <BR> <BR> Well, I had some good news last week. The company I've been doing contract work has extended my contract until the end of the year. They think I've been doing a fantastic job and have more work for me to do. When I asked if there was a possibility of a permanent position, they were honest. They said that there isn't any money in the budget for a full time employee. However, this could change by the end of the year because budgets are being planned now.... Sat, 27 Aug 2016 15:39:22 EST Contract Job - Ends In August I know know... I'm terrible at blogging. Well, nothing much has been happening these past few weeks since I started a contract job in March. In fact, the past few weeks have been extremely busy. The inventory project was only slated for three months. I started in March and it ended in June. I am pleased to say that we came in slightly ahead of schedule on the project. The managers were delighted. They thought the team did such a good job that we were all asked to stay for another month. That ... Wed, 27 Jul 2016 18:40:28 EST Job Hunt - Good News Some good news, Spark Buddies ! <BR> <BR> I've accepted a three month contract position. The pay is good. It's better paying than my previous job. It's one town over, so I can get there by bus. The hours are good, so I can keep my part time job as a personal trainer. The company is listed as one of the best companies for work for in Mass. But, it's a contract. That means no benefits, except for accruing sick time and maybe healthcare after a probation period. <BR> <BR> I'll be working an I... Sat, 19 Mar 2016 14:08:14 EST Hives and the Job Search It's been about a month since I've been laid off. I've been told by friends that my job search has been going well. I'm getting calls from recruiters. I have been applying to jobs when something suitable shows up on the job boards. I've even been applying for jobs that I don't think I have a snowballs chance in August to get. I'm trying to put myself out there in hopes of getting noticed. And I am getting noticed. <BR> <BR> So far, I have had one job that called me in for a face to face int... Sun, 21 Feb 2016 13:23:04 EST Reduced in Force - Deja Vu All Over Again Yesterday, wasn't a good day. I was laid off. This isn't the first time it's happened. It's now the second. Thus the deja vu all over again title of this blog. Reduced in force is the new term for being laid off. <BR> <BR> I know I haven't been very good about blogging, mostly because I haven't had a whole lot going on in my life. Things have been pretty stable and uneventful for the past few months. No news is good news, right ? <BR> <BR> So, here I am, starting all over again. I'll be h... Sat, 16 Jan 2016 14:10:04 EST Ogden Nash Poem on Dieting I've been reading a collection of New Yorker essays and this poem just spoke to me. I can't believe how well it describes a woman's obsession with their weight. I thought my spark buddies would enjoy it too. <BR> <BR> <BR> Curl Up and Diet <BR> <BR> Some ladies smoke too much and some ladies drink too much and some ladies pray too much, <BR> But all ladies think that they weigh too much. <BR> They may be as slender as a sylph or a dryad, <BR> But just let them get on the scales and they e... Thu, 12 Mar 2015 10:16:30 EST Shopping at Goodwill Check out what I found at my local Goodwill for $4.99 and tax ! It's an Arthur Court Scallop Shell serving dish/bowl. I love shopping at thrift stores. I usually go there to check out the books/DVDs/clothes, but some times I'll look to see what they have for household items. Most times, I don't find anything. But this turned up over the weekend. It's in good condition, could use a cleaning. I plan on using it as a fruit bowl. <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=" Mon, 2 Mar 2015 12:08:47 EST My Backyard Needs to Go on a Diet It's official. The winter of 2015 has surpassed the winter of 1978 as the new benchmark for miserable winters in Greater Boston. It's the 8th snowiest winter on record with 6 weeks of winter left to go. <BR> <BR> <BR> This is my backyard snow pile just before the first 2ft storm hit at the end of January. <BR> <BR> It's big <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> getting bigger <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeop... Wed, 11 Feb 2015 11:32:14 EST End of Year Words of Wisdom a friend of mine sent me a fun email string that I thought you'd all enjoy. <BR> <BR> <BR> Words of Wisdom <BR> <BR> <BR> 1 * Accept the fact that some days you're the pigeon and some days you're the statue! <BR> <BR> 2 * Always keep your words soft and sweet just in case you have to eat them. <BR> <BR> 3 * Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it. <BR> <BR> 4 * Drive carefully... It's not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker. <BR> <BR> 5... Mon, 29 Dec 2014 07:28:51 EST Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road ? To get away from the turkey !! LOL ! <BR> <BR> No one ever believes me when I say I see a turkey on the way to work. <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I've actually seen this turkey a few different times, but was never able to whip out the phone camera fast enough. <BR> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 14:25:50 EST Lent Hey, All ! <BR> <BR> I know I haven't blogged in a while, but things have been status quo. Life at the gym has been interesting, but I'll save that for another blog. <BR> <BR> Today, I'd like to tell you about something I'm going to do for Lent. I'm not very religious. In fact, I consider myself a retired Christian. LOL. However, I like doing something for Lent. Now, I know that during Lent, we're supposed to be making a meaningful sacrifice. However, like many other Americans, I've reint... Tue, 4 Mar 2014 13:21:19 EST All State Half Marathon - Boston Yesterday morning, I ran my very first half marathon. How did I do ? Well, I managed to stagger across the finish line in roughly 2 hrs 35 mins. I would have liked to have been a little faster, but considering this was my first half, I'm not complaining. <BR> <BR> Here are a couple of photos of the bling and swag. <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <B... Mon, 16 Sep 2013 06:08:38 EST Why I Haul My Keister to the Gym I've been enjoying the new contract job. I still haven't heard whether or not I'll be asked to stay as a permanent employee. However, on a positive note, there is no way the project is going to be done by the end of August. So, I know I'll be staying at least that long, if not a bit longer. <BR> <BR> Story time. <BR> <BR> I work with a lot of nice guys in IT. In fact, I share an office with at least 3-4 of them. LOL !! I have my own little spot where I do my work. One of my co-workers is ... Thu, 18 Jul 2013 12:25:27 EST Namaste ! Yes, even animals do yoga ! I saw this picture online and thought it was a riot. Lemurs are wonderful, aren't they ? <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This picture reminded me that I really need to find a new yoga studio. Now that I have income again, I'd like to resume regular practice with an instructor. To save money (while laid off) I've been doing DVDs as well as online workouts, but it's not the same. I miss class. <BR> <BR... Fri, 7 Jun 2013 05:02:05 EST Three New Words (contract job report) In what seems a very long time ago, as part of the interview process for a job, I was asked to describe myself in three words. Not knowing what to say, I asked my Spark Buddies to help me out. Well, I never got beyond the telephone interview. However, I never forgot the words you gave me and I used them in other interviews. Now, I have three NEW words to add to that list. <BR> <BR> CLEARED FOR HIRE <BR> <BR> I got the contract job !!! Long long really long story. <BR> <BR> Remember that ... Sat, 27 Apr 2013 16:50:13 EST the Spark Solution - Book Review ! Good morning, Spark Buddies ! <BR> <BR> This is a book review of the Spark Solution - a complete Two-Week Diet Program to Fast Track Weight Loss and Total Body Health by Becky Hand with Stephanie Romine. <BR> <BR> About a month ago, I received an email from SP_STEPH (Stephanie Romine) asking if I would be interested in reviewing a new Spark People publication. I jumped at the opportunity. I love reading new books ! So, I was sent an advanced copy to read and comment on. <BR> <BR> What ... Sun, 7 Apr 2013 07:28:32 EST Thank You to All My Spark Buddies ! I want to thank all my wonderful Spark Buddies who've replied to my two most recent blogs. I'll admit it. I haven't been a in good place the last few days. I know I'm usually an upbeat person, but some days the job hunt gets me down. So, I am appreciative to all of you who've read and commented on those two blogs that were written while experiencing some frustration. Thank you for letting me vent. <BR> <BR> I was overwhelmed with support and I think you should know, I also received one par... Wed, 3 Apr 2013 15:47:49 EST No News Yet - Contract Job (Didn't Get It) Update - I didn't get the contract job. <BR> <BR> I'll admit it. I was in a bad mood when I wrote the original blog venting about being "rejected" not once, but twice in the space of a week. Did I really fail my TSA airport assessment ? Honestly, I feel the sequester had more to do with my failure than my actual interview. Why didn't they just cancel my interview ? Who knows. <BR> <BR> And I didn't get the contract job. I'm disappointed, but I'm also in a better place since writing the or... Tue, 2 Apr 2013 14:10:27 EST the Gym - I Work For Idiots Longish story. <BR> <BR> Last year, the gym where I teach classes decided to close out its New England branches. So, the facility was bought by another fitness chain. Most of the staff was asked to stay on to help ease the transition. I can't say the change was good. In fact, I think the gym has deteriorated since the new owners took over. <BR> <BR> Anyway, since the new owners have taken over, there has been a high turn over in staff. Desk people come and go. Why ? Not only are they paid... Mon, 25 Mar 2013 19:32:08 EST The Day After - Snow Photos Hey, all ! I'll tell ya my glutes were screaming at me last night. I could barely move without wincing. Oddly enough, my back and shoulders while stiff, were okay. Feeling less achy this morning. I was going to go to the gym for some light cardiovascular exercise to help reduce some of the DOMs. The gym was closed. I wasn't surprized. The subway is still shut down. the roads are a mess and people are still digging out. So, I opted for a short walk around the neighborhood. Picked up a couple o... Sun, 10 Feb 2013 13:34:33 EST Survived the Blizzard Named Nemo, but Not the Shoveling OUCH !! <BR> <BR> I'll admit it. It's been about two years since I shoveled 2+ ft of snow. What was the final total ? As of this morning at 7am, we had 22 inches on the ground and it was still snowing. The news said the town over from me got 28 inches. That seems close to me. Shoot, there was a snow drift the size of Montana in my driveway !! It was at least five ft. My brother and I shoveled for 6.5 HOURS. we still aren't done. We left the end of the driveway snowed in because the plows w... Sat, 9 Feb 2013 16:41:30 EST Three Words - Deja Vu All Over Again A while ago, I asked my Spark Buddies to help me reply to an email interview question that asked me to describe myself in "three words". At the time, the three words that I chose (and there were lots of wonderful replies) were flexible, approachable and consistent. Unfortunately, the three words didn't help me get an interview. too many highly qualified candidates. <BR> <BR> So, last week, I'm combing through the job listings and see a posting from a very famous Boston company. It's a job I... Tue, 5 Feb 2013 11:54:55 EST Pay It Forward Some days, it feels like I'm taking one step forward and two steps back. <BR> <BR> I'll start with the good news. <BR> <BR> As many of you know, a couple of weeks ago I found a Fitbit on the ground while out walking. Debated about what to do, but after talking with some Spark Buddies, decided to see if I could find the owner. A week later, yes, I found Liz. Happy endings for everyone. Liz got her Fitbit back and I got a $15 gift card as a reward. So, my good deed for the week (paying it f... Sun, 27 Jan 2013 14:22:22 EST Fitbit - Found the Owner There is a happy ending for one Fitbit owner. I do believe it must be a really small world or one that's really connected. I found Liz !! She emailed me last night that she saw my Craigslist ad. So, I replied this morning. Going to see where we can meet up so that I can return her Fitbit. <BR> <BR> So, this is my good deed for the week. Don't have to worry about buying a power cable now. <BR> <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> PS - Met with Liz this morning to return her Fitbit. She was ... Sat, 19 Jan 2013 06:12:25 EST Found a Fitbit One This morning, on my way to the gym, I noticed something (looked like a pedometer) lying on the sidewalk. Picked it up. Lo and behold, it was a newish looking Fitbit One ! <BR> <BR> I'm guessing someone (found out later her name is Liz), lost her Fitbit. She must have had it in her pocket because when I clicked the device to my waistband, it was really secure. So, I have a Fitbit One ! LOL !!! I used it this morning and found that the steps seem pretty accurate. I know the distance I walk in... Thu, 10 Jan 2013 11:30:52 EST Temp Job Happy New Year, everyone ! <BR> <BR> So, how am I starting out 2013 ? With a two week full time temp job at a local university. I'll be helping out on an IT support desk "subbing" for a person who is on vacation for the next two weeks. The good news is that I wasn't hired by a temp agency. I am being hired directly by the university. Which is great because I'll be in their system. That means I have a better chance of being hired internally since I'll already be an "employee". <BR> <BR> Tw... Wed, 2 Jan 2013 09:13:10 EST Three Words - The Update For those of you who helped me choose "three words" to describe myself, just to let you know, they didn't work. Don't worry, that's not because they weren't good enough. When I hadn't received an email from that job I applied for, I wrote back asking if the position was still open. I finally got a reply saying that they opted to go with other highly qualified candidates. <BR> <BR> Oh well. On a positive note, there is some good news. I did have an interview this morning with a large financ... Mon, 10 Dec 2012 14:58:50 EST Just Desserts I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I ate well. Okay, I may have eaten a wee bit too well. I actually had a slight tummy ache. Can't remember the last time that happened. Tried to pace myself. Tried to watch those appetizers. Maybe just ate more than I thought. Guess my stomach can't handle that kind of excitement anymore. No worries, back to normal eating habits today. <BR> <BR> Now, just to let you know, whenever my family gets together to celebrate, they are firm in their belie... Fri, 23 Nov 2012 05:55:10 EST Spartan Sprint 5K at Fenway Park Ring a ding ding... here is the Spartan Bling ! This is a photo of the medal and part of the official finishers race T shirt. <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> This is a photo of the medal, a free bag and a Fenway Park patch. I paid extra for the patch. Thought it was pretty cool looking. I'm going to sew it to my bag later on. For those of you who've never heard of a Spartan Sprint, you might have heard of the Tough Mudder... Sat, 17 Nov 2012 14:02:30 EST Consider Donating Left Over Halloween Candy Now that it's the day after Halloween, I know many of my fellow Spark Buddies are worried about those fun sized left overs sitting in that bowl by the door. I know some may tell you to toss it all out so that you don't feel tempted. That would be a waste of food. I have a much better solution, consider donating all the left over Halloween candy to your local food pantry. <BR> <BR> In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, I've been thinking about all those who've been effected. Well, I'll bet there ... Thu, 1 Nov 2012 13:12:53 EST Update - Bummed Out Bad news... I didn't get the job. <BR> <BR> Long story short. I applied for a job with a terrific company on August 7th. Was contacted a couple of weeks later to set up a phone interview. Had two (what I thought) were great in person interviews. Found out they contacted my former employer for references on September 13th. Today, October 1st, I received the rejection email. Para-phasing, "thank you for your interest. You have great qualifications. Unfortunately, due to the heavy volume of c... Mon, 1 Oct 2012 12:15:23 EST Audition Today Audition ? Am I an actress ? yes and no. I'm a performer, but not in the way you'd think. Today, I had an audition at another gym to work as a group exercise instructor. The audition was supposed to be from 12-3pm. It wasn't that long. There weren't that many people there to audition. Probably around 20-25 instructors total. <BR> <BR> For those of you who don't know, I've been working many years as a group exercise instructor. It was my love of teaching classes that started my own journey ... Sat, 18 Aug 2012 17:18:27 EST I Am Officially a Statistic. I've Been Laid Off. *sigh* <BR> <BR> I'm stunned, kinda shocked; but not terribly surprized. It's not like I didn't see this coming. I just wasn't expecting it to happen TODAY ! <BR> <BR> Yes, I've been laid off. I'm okay. I guess I'm still trying to digest everything that happened. Around 2:30pm, one of the managers asked me into the conference room for a chat. I knew something was up. Little did I know I was being laid off. The manager was pretty broken up. He started crying and the next thing I know, I was... Fri, 6 Jul 2012 19:44:23 EST Some Random Thoughts and Photos From Amsterdam WARNING !! There will be pictures of food in this blog. So, if you're feeling weak today, you might want to save my blog for another time. ;) <BR> <BR> I haven't officially sorted through all 500+ pictures I took while in Amsterdam, but here is a small selection I grabbed with a card reader. Luckily, it's quiet in work today. phew... <BR> <BR> I stayed at a wonderful little European style hotel in Amsterdam about a five minute walk away from the Anne Frank House. This was a very simple roo... Fri, 6 Apr 2012 11:26:30 EST This Story Bothered Me I just read a disturbing story posted on YAHOO news. A 9 year old girl died of a seizure. That would be a tragedy by itself. But, the reason this little girl died was because her grandmother and step mother forced her to RUN for three hours ! This was punishment for lying about eating some candy bars. According to the article, the seizure was brought on by dehydration and a very low sodium level. You can read more here. <BR> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>irl-f... Thu, 23 Feb 2012 10:38:18 EST Informal Poll - Would You Go to India ? If you had the chance and the price was right, would you go to India for an 8 day vacation ? I found a trip through Virgin Atlantic tours. they have a 6 day escorted tour for New Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. The other two days are the plane ride to and from. <BR> <BR> I was and still am pricing out airfare to London. I wanted to go in memory of my cousin, who loved going to London to see the shows. Well, as I was pricing out hotel/airfare, I came across the Virgin Atlantic website. Started check... Thu, 29 Dec 2011 11:41:31 EST Shocked ! In a Good Way ! OMG ! I am shocked, but in a very good way. <BR> <BR> I took the day off yesterday so that I could be with family when we say our final farewells to my favorite cousin. The service was lovely. There must have been at least 125+ family, friends and co-workers there. My cousin would have been thrilled. She packed the house. It was wonderful to see how many people she touched. Now, she is in a better place. <BR> <BR> So, this morning I got into work expecting to face the usual turmoil. It's... Tue, 20 Dec 2011 11:42:00 EST I am Stunned and in Shock... My cousin, whom I love dearly, has died. <BR> <BR> I don't know what to say. At roughly 9:35pm this evening, another cousin called and left a message on my answering machine while I was asleep. I didn't recognize the name at first and let the message to go machine. I tend to not answer my phone when it gets late unless I know who it is. When I checked the message, I was completely stunned and shocked. My cousin passed away today. I called my aunty immediately. No one has any exact informat... Sun, 11 Dec 2011 23:41:50 EST Archimedes Strikes Gold During a Morning Walk ! So, there I was out for my morning walk when I pass by a dumpster next to an office building. I pass by this dumpster all the time and occasionally, I've looked to see what people have tossed. I'll admit it. I've been known to rescue stuff from the trash. Hey, one man's trash is another man's treasure ! <BR> <BR> As I was walking past the dumpster, I noticed what seemed to be new ink jet cartridges. So, I decided to take a closer look. Lo and behold, YES !!! Someone had put out some brand n... Tue, 7 Jun 2011 11:31:57 EST It's the End of the World - What Are You Eating ? If you believe a certain Christian preacher, the world as we know it ends tomorrow, Saturday May 21st at 6pm (don't know if that's EST, Central or PST). Of course if you believe the Mayans, it doesn't end til 2012. LOL ! <BR> <BR> So, to paraphase REM, if it's the end of the world as we know it... what are you going to eat ? Now, keep in mind, that since the world IS ending tomorrow, we need to keep things local. Not that I wouldn't enjoy flying off to Rome for a gelato and glass of wine or ... Fri, 20 May 2011 12:09:05 EST Never Tie Your Emotions to a Number on the Scale ! Because there is more to good health than a number that stares at us from between our toes in the morning. <BR> <BR> I've seen so many posts from members who are distraught that the scale isn't moving when they've been so good. They want to know what they are doing wrong. Well, they really aren't doing anything wrong. The weight doesn't magically drop off the minute we decide we need to lose. Weight loss is a slow steady process that takes time. Because our weight is not a static number and... Wed, 4 May 2011 12:32:42 EST What Are They Teaching Personal Trainers These Days ? Folks, this is a WARNING to all of my Spark buddies who are thinking of hiring a personal trainer. <BR> <BR> This morning, I decided to hit the gym early to get in a short workout on the elliptical. While I was there, a personal trainer and her client hopped on the treadmill in front of me. I've got to say this... I was APPALLED by what I saw !! Now, I'm a fully certified personal trainer myself. I'm also a fully certified group exercise instructor. I was trained by very reputable organiza... Mon, 21 Feb 2011 13:01:57 EST Stonehenge Hello all ! I've finally had a chance to sit down and look at some of the photos I took while in England. One of the side trips I wanted to do while there, was a trip to Stonehenge. I've always been fascinated by ancient monuments. Stonehenge, the Pyramids, Maya ruins, the Great Wall of China, etc... Well, I honestly don't know if I'll ever get to see the Pyramids or Great Wall. So when I had a chance to see Stonehenge, I jumped at the opportunity !! I found a tour that would take me to Stone... Sat, 27 Mar 2010 15:23:20 EST How do I Become a Personal Trainer or Group Exercise Instructor ? That is a question that several people have recently asked me. What do I have to do to become a personal trainer or group exercise instructor ? Do I have to have a degree ? Where do I start ? What certifications do I need ? Who provides these certifications ? <BR> <BR> A person does not have to have a degree in physiology or sports education to be a good personal trainer or group exercise instructor. Yes, it is extremely beneficial. However, there are many folks, like myself, who discovere... Wed, 24 Feb 2010 10:04:20 EST Why Are Women Afraid to Have Muscles ? That is a question that puzzles me. In the time that I've been with Spark People, I've been surprized by the number of women who post and say that they don't do any strength training because they are afraid to pack on muscle. I've seen dozens of posts from people who don't want to run or cycle for the same reason i.e. they'll get BIG thighs ! <BR> <BR> What's wrong with having muscle ? I am pretty fit. I have good muscle definition and I don't look like a man or a body builder. I'm proud of... Wed, 2 Sep 2009 11:17:30 EST