Thinking Out Loud #26

Hi friends. Long time no talk. The last couple of weeks have been a little crazy. No time to sit down and catch you up on life. I am taking advantage by linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons for Thinking out Loud to tell you a little bit about what’s been going on around here.

+ As you recall, I was on back to back field trips the last few weeks and while I tried to prepare a couple of posts for the beginning of October, I completely failed to post or prepare anything last week. Oh well, you all lived, am I right? Things should go back to normal around here now.

+ Being out of the office is great and in my line of work that often means being out in nature (not just in conference rooms at a hotel in a different city somewhere). I love that aspect about working in earth sciences.

+ I probably have mentioned before that I am possibly the only German that doesn’t really drink beer, although people keep trying to convert me. I have to admit that in recent years, I’ve warmed up a bit to lighter beers, although I still prefer to drink them as “Radlers” (mixed with sparkling lemonade) because it’s way more refreshing IMHO.

My co-workers are known for indulging in a beer (or two), especially after a long day of field work, so I was offered a beer at the local Truckee Brewing Company last week. Since they had a Kölsch, the beer that traditionally is brewed in Cologne, Germany, I couldn’t really say no and it actually tasted quite good. It also came in an “almost” authentic Kölsch glass (or  Kölschstange), which is a tall, but narrow glass. Due to a low CO² content, Kölsch foam is not very stable and the narrow glass prevents the beer from going stale by losing the little CO² content too quickly.

In all honesty, I drank the beer more for the glass than for the taste (I love that bear logo!) and I should have bought the glass as a souvenir. I think I have to ask my co-worker (who lives closer by) to get me one.

+ I had a check from our health insurance in the mail earlier this week. Hallelujah.  It only took them 16 (!) monthS to process a partial reimbursement from a treatment visit from June 2017. I don’t know how much time I spent on the phone with them to get this processed, but I am telling you, persistence in life pays off. (Translate: what in the freakin’ hell took them so long and why don’t these people ever do their jobs right and in a timely manner?)

+ I finally (!) tried La Croix Sparkling Water to see what all the fuss is about and I have to confess: I don’t really like it. It might have been the flavor (passion fruit), but I was not impressed at all. It was also too fizzy for me (and I do like fizz). Can you believe it?

+ I just found out that I’ve started earning 2 more hours of annual leave per pay period after I hit my three-year mark as a federal employee back in August. It still “only” adds up to 15 days per year (plus federal holidays), but hey, that’s 30% more than I had before! I am trying not to think about all the accumulated benefits missed out on for having been a contractor for so long.

+ Oh yeah, I also ran another half marathon (my 5th!) a week and a half ago. Woot! Recap to come.

+ The Boston Red Sox made it to the American League Champions Series (ALCS) and they’re currently leading 3-1 in the series against the Houston Astros after a real nail-biter of a game last night (did you watch? What a game-save from Andrew Benintendi!). I do hope they’ll win the pennant and go on to the World Series this year! They deserve it!

What’s on YOUR mind today?

  1. That’s awesome your earning more annual leave. And yay for finally getting your reimbursement in the mail. Things like that can take forever – so annoying, but good for you for not letting it go! I’m glad your field trips went well. I’m sure getting out of the office sometimes IS really nice.

    Great to hear from you! Hope you’re having a lovely week.


  2. Not a big surprise here – I don’t really like beer and La Croix isn’t my drink either …:)
    Yeah to more vacation time and money back from the insurance (they are the worst when it comes to getting your money back!!!).

  3. I don’t like La Croix or any sparkling water drinks either. I like fizzy drinks but they just don’t taste good to me. I much prefer still water. I don’t like charged water either. Bleh. I don’t find it refreshing.

    Yay for more vacation time. Too bad your total is still low, but a 30% increase is pretty significant! I hope you get another increase soon. Vacation policies are so crAPpy at many American companies. I am very lucky that my company’s policy is so generous. And I’m glad you got your reimbursement. Dealing with HR-related stuff is THE WORST. I’m dealing with my HR department now as the balance in my dependent care account is less than what has been taken out of my paycheck but no one seems to be able to figure out what happened to the difference. I noticed it when I went in to submit for reimbursement for our YTD daycare costs. I’m beyond annoyed that it’s wrong and no one can figure out why. I’m sure it will get fixed eventually but it’s already taken multiple phone calls and stupid statements about how I am probably confusing my health savings account and dependent care account (pounds head into desk in frustration).

  4. I’m not a beer fan either! I wish I liked it and I’ve tried to like it, just haven’t found one that really makes me love it. Good luck with your marathon!

  5. Me me me…another German who doesn’t dink beer AT ALL. :)
    A Koelsch in Koeln every decade maybe. (Does that even count?)
    La Croix? Never tried it. It comes in cans, correct? So, another reason not to drink it ;)
    Filtered tap water and coffee are the beverages of choice.
    Congrats on accumulating more PTOs!
    I am far away from that unfortunately :(
    Also: nice job on your PR at the Half Marathon.
    I just did my first official street race and I loved loved loved it. Will definitely do more.

  6. I would love a job where I get to be out in nature! I’ve stopped beating myself up for not posting everything I’ve planned at the beginning of the month. It’s not worth it and you’re right – everyone will live. I’m not a fan of La Croix either. I rarely drink soda, so I don’t really crave that carbonation like some people might. I’ll stick with plain water. :)

  7. Post when you can, I say. This from a guy who used to do three a week like clockwork. Now, I need a GPS to get to the publish button!

    I just hope your Sox (or the Brewers, really) can keep the dodgers from winning a championship. I hate them as I love my Rockies! Okay a little less. My comments today aren’t shedding the greatest light on me.

    I do love that you get to work outdoors. And that leaf … those are the kinds of gifts we miss and take for granted. Glad you shared it.

    One last thing: That glass is everything! I’m not so sure I wouldn’t have slipped it in my bag when the barkeep wasn’t looking.

  8. That is an awesome brewery logo! :)

    I’m not a fan of La Croix – definitely too fizzy for me. I’m more into Spindrift Soda. It has real fruit juice in it but not a ridiculous amount of sugar either.

    Hooray for more time off! A little bit can go a long way, especially when combined with weekends.

  9. Hey, add me to be on the list of Germans who don’t like beer :) La Croix is o.k., especially chilled and on a hot summer day, but, as someone mentioned earlier, it comes in cans which is a big reason for me to not even buy it.

  10. Congrats on your half marathon and of course your accumulated benefits! I hear people talk about La Croix but when aldi seltzer water is only $2.50 for a 12 pack, I think people are stupid for buying name brand!

  11. I hated La Croix when I first tried it, but now there are a few flavors I really like – & passionfruit is actually one of them! There are also a few I reaaaaally hate, like coconut & lime.

    Kölsches are definitely my favorite beers – & I loooove that glass.

  12. It took me awhile to get used to the taste of LaCroix, and now I like it! I think there’s definitely a learning curve with it, just like with beer or alcohol. I really like the key lime flavor. I wish I liked it MORE, however, because I still prefer good ole soda, but it’s a great substitute.

    I’m also not a fan of beer. The only thing I can tolerate is hard cider. But my body doesn’t typically react well to alcohol (weirdly, I get the Asian flush even though I’m not Asian!), so I stay away unless it’s my only option (like last weekend, when I was on a pub tour, sigh).

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