Sunday, May 21, 2006
  If You Hold On To Something Long Enough!!

Finally! A use for those rubber wrist bands of many colors.

Personal note to dbsmall-"Why didn't WE think of that!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006
  What Do You Get Someone Who Always Roots for the Underdog?

In a desperate attempt to find a gift for someone who shall remain nameless (but you know who you are), I turned to the internet. I perused the usual purveyors and saw all the usual stuff. Gifts for him, sorted into the usual categories. Sports Guy, Barbecue Guy, Geek Guy. Nothing unique. So I typed unique gifts into my search engine and came up with

I haven't found the perfect gift yet, but I am still going through the categories, as well as the related sub- categories. Here are just a few:
Wants to be an Evil Mastermind
Stressed Out
Has Subversive Tendencies
Hippy Dippy
Secret Agent Man
Science Nerd
Off at College
Still Watches Cartoons
Likes to Talk Politics
Has the Blues
Computer Geek
Roots for the Underdog
Sci-Fi Fan
Hates Bush

Should you get to the Unusual Sense of Humor gift collection, you can narrow that down even further with choices like only gross or only weird. And who doesn't have a Hates to Clean, a Movie Buff, or a Lives in a small Apartment on their gift list?

I'm looking for the Addicted to Unusual Internet Shopping Sites category. I'm sure they have one.

Sunday, May 14, 2006
  A New Trick

You ! Making that instant coffee!. Put the spoon down now and watch this video. Leave it to the Japanese to find the most efficient way to dissolve a powder in a liquid. I hope you find the presentation as stirring as I did.
( A nod to dbsmall for the link.)

Friday, May 12, 2006

I think I'm a little crabby today, and that's where this is all coming from. Normally I can shrug off those little annoyances in life. Today I wanted to smack people. Ranting will have to do instead. It's like a virtual smack.

To the guy in the gym this morning: SMACK! Seriously, if the effort you are expending causes you to make those god awful noises,much as I would imagine a hippo giving birth would sound like, then maybe you need to drop the weight a little. Whaddaya think ? I could understand if perhaps, your livelihood depended on your brute strength, or if you are in training for the Ironman competition. I've ruled these options out as you are not much bigger than I am, and most of the guys working out quietly in the gym could bench press you. Plus, given the carefully matched Nike outfit you were sporting, I don't think you were intending to sweat much.

To the woman at Sears today: SMACK! If you need to lay your upper body across the top of the shopping cart because your legs can't support you, that's okay. But could you maybe steer it in a straight line. It wasn't enough that you were taking your half out of the middle of the aisle, but you were weaving from side to side, effectively keeping anyone from getting around you without fear of life and limb. Mothers were snatching children out of your way.

To the driver who made a right hand turn from the milddle lanes of a 6 lane divided highway, careening across three lanes of moving traffic: SMACK! You were driving a Ford Escort, not a Hummer. You had passengers in your car. You want to kill yourself, that's one thing.

To the gauntlet of women parolling the sales floor at Macy's: No I do NOT want you to spray me with that perfume, or smear that cream on me or give me a free makeup session. SMACK! SMACK! SMACK!.

Wow! I feel much less crabby now.

Sunday, May 07, 2006
  I'm Not in Kansas Anymore

If you are at all familiar with my tales of life in Backwards Borough, you know that we had some strange topics of conversation come up. So far, at my new work location, yet to be given a catchy blog- nomer, chit chat has been pretty normal. Pleasant for me but not so helpful for blogging purposes.

The other day our conversation was prompted by one coworker's purchase of bed sheets from QVC. We had some pleasantly mundane give and take about thread count. The same co-worker ecstatically told us that she had also scored a Rowenta Iron at a great price the same night. She was so excited she called a friend who also bought one, and was sorry she hadn't purchased one for her daughter. Another co-worker chimed in about how she had gotten one last year and the two of them went on forever about the virtues of this iron and it's retractable cord and burst of steam.

I just couldn't work up the enthusiasm. First of all, I had never heard of a Rowenta Iron. My own iron, probably a $20 Kmart special, has only recently come back into my life after a long absence. Only because I wear dress clothes to my new place instead of the uniform shirts I wore before and sometimes they need a quick press in the morning. It used to be that I thought long and hard before I purchased an article of clothing that wouldn't come out of the dryer in wearable condition. Sarcasdad , who knows the secrets to a successful marriage, wisely takes his shirts to the dry cleaner.

My mother was an ironer. An ironer extraordinaire. Of course , fabric was different then, and washer and dryers, not as clothes friendly as modern appliances. As a child she had ironed with a device that was set on a stove to heat up. To her the steam iron was a convenience. The woman even ironed sheets and underwear. There was always a damp bundle of clothes, water spritzed and wrapped in a towel, waiting to be wrinkle free. The job was never done.

Are you a compulsive presser, or a wash-and wear type of person? Does the thought of an iron with an anti-calc system to trap performance hindering scale and deposits thrill you with delight?

Oh, and Sarcas-kids, chances are slim that I'll ever gift you with an iron.

Thursday, May 04, 2006
  Thanks For Your Support

We have successfully completed the ISP switch. Thanks to all of you who proffered advice. We put it to good use. In the end I can say it wasn't as bad as I had anticipated. There were a few bumps. AOL turned off the DSL service and Verizon gave us a target date of 4/28 for them to turn it back on. In the interim we survived on dial-up . It really wasn't too bad or too slow. The biggest downside to it is that we only have one phone line so our home phone was out of commission if we were online. And really, is that a bad thing?

An automated phone message from Verizon on 4/25 notified us that we were all set up to go. Three days early! Bonus! Except it didn't work. Sarcasdad did the whole tech support service call. You know the one. They "tech" tells you to redo all the things you have already done. Then they make you jiggle wires and plug and unplug things. Then they tell you to stand on your head in the corner and whistle Dixie. Then, and only then do they admit defeat. Sarcasdad was told he had to speak to the "provisions "dept. But it was after 6pm and they were closed. He called them the next day and their response was simple. We weren't scheduled to be live til the 28th. So why were were notified that it was turned on as of the 25th? Because, according to the "provisions" dept. "That happens all the time!" Of course. Silly consumers us.

The 28th comes and we still cannot connect. After a few more phone calls and repeated assurances from Verizon that they had indeed turned our service on, they capitulated and "opened a ticket" Which is tech speak for, we can't think of anything else for you to jiggle and plug in and unplug so we are going to have to send a live person to your home.

So on 5/3 the Verizon man comes. He looked at Sarcasdad's set up, and our wiring and determined that something was wrong on Verizon's end. He went out to his truck, came back 30 minutes later and our service was finally up and running. He informed us that had this been a billable call his services cost $91 for the first hour and $46 for each additional half hour.

As I said, I had expected much more of an ordeal. But then , I always anticipate the worst case senario and am pleasantly surprised when it turns out better. How about you? So you presuppose the best or the worst will happen?

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