Thursday, January 29, 2009

Congratulations Pam!!

I know she won't make a big deal about it, so I am going to.

This week has been Egencia's annual Sales and Account Management meeting and last night was the Awards banquet to recognize top performers for 2008. Pam, as you know changed her role this year and was promoted to a Field Account Manager position, something no one else in the company has ever done. There are about 25 Field Account Managers in the company and most have been in the travel industry for about 20 years.

The VP started talking about someone who had a reputation for doing whatever it takes and for developing outstanding relationships with her customers. He went on to spout off some numbers including achieving 109% of goal, even with the Q4 dramatic drop because of the economy. He talked about how this person had only been in her role for about 1/2 of the year but still, let's face it, kicked everyone else's butt (my words, not his).

I was so proud when they called Pam to the front of the room to accept her award for Outstanding Performance. She got a standing ovation from many of her colleagues who love Pam (no surprise) and understand how hard she has worked to come so far in so little time.

Put your hands together for PAM!! The Vander Hoeven Machine rolls on!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

You Call That Art?

I have to admit that of all of my siblings, I am the one with the least artistic talent. I am not a lover of the fine arts and the pink wedge is the one I try to avoid in Trivial Pursuit. That being said, I sometimes have a hard time appreciating governments attempt to add a little culture in our lives by spending our tax dollars on public art displays.

I walk my dogs every day and Bob and I recently took them to the trail in Redmond Town Center. It's been a long time since we have gone on that path. In the distance we saw what looked like some sort of a sign. There have been "junk art" sculptures there in the past so we debated whether it could be our tax dollars at work.

When we got right up to the object we could see that it was not actually a sign, but it was public art. It's a metal frame with a piece of plexiglass (Lexan) with a blue "translucent" vinyl square in the center. I went home and looked it up and found that the city of Redmond paid $3,000 for it. Does someone evaluate this stuff and see something that I am missing when they buy this stuff or is does the artist know someone who controls the purse strings. Please someone explain to me how that is art???

Wii!! Let's Exercise

Bob and I try to exercise but sometimes it's hard. Bob decided that we might have fun and do it more often if we had a Nintendo Wii Fit. He does love toys. I was fine with getting the Wii but I didn't want to buy the whole Nintendo system.
Luckily, Brian said we could borrow his for now. Actually, we do use the Wii Fit just about every day. It isn't the exercise that is so fun, but I am competative (you may not know that about me) and I like to see if I can beat the record and get the highest score.

The worst part about the Wii is when you step off and the poor machine acts like you just broke it's back. Oh well, here are some of my favorite games and my high scores.

Possibly the easiest game is the rhythm game where you follow the beat stepping on and off the balance board. The trick is to get "perfect" with each step. I am usually right around 300 but I always manage to get "ok" on a few of the steps.

Another one we do a lot is the ski jump. You squat on the balance board trying to keep your center of gravity even as you glide down the ski jump. Then just at the right time you extend your knees and keep balanced until you land. Your score is a combination of 2 jumps. My record is 341 meters which was sheer luck. I haven't made it past 300 since.

One of my other favorites is the hula hoop exercise. You stand on the board and swing your hips in a circle as fast as you can. Every few seconds, another Mii throws you another hoop which you have to catch while keeping the others up. In level 1 you can have a maximum of 5 hoops.

If you do it almost perfectly, you score somewhere in the low 300's, although I'm wondering how others have done on this level. I figure if I earn 4 stars, I must be doing ok.

The Wii Fit does not care if it offends you. It will happily tell you that you stink at an exercise and it doesn't mind saying "You're obese". It will reprimand you when you skip a couple of days and you have to know how to skip past the weight or you may accidentally see your. It is challenging and fun though.

One Month Anniversary - My Bad!

I realized today that it has been a whole month since I have updated my blog, and I know that most of you would rather read through worthless information than see the same old pictures over and over again. So, I determined that I can't put on my night gown and lay on the couch the rest of the day until I post something.

I'll start with one picture from Corey's first birthday on January 10th. Corey had a great time with his own little cake. It looks like he is getting ready to cry in this picture, but he was actually having a lot of fun.
Happy birthday Corey (2 weeks ago). We love you!!