Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Lecture

An elderly man is stopped by the police around 1 a.m. and is asked where he is going at this time of night.

The man replies, "I am going to a lecture about alcohol abuse and the effects it has on the human body."

The officer then asks, "Really? Who is giving that lecture at this time of night?"

The man replies, "That would be my wife."

Disclaimer by yours truly...I know the above joke implies drunk driving and drunk driving is NOT funny at all. Feel free to change the man's first reply to the officer to card playing, watching movies or anything else that might have him out at that hour if that line really bothers you. I  just thought the little old guy was cute and the title of "The Lecture" leads into my thoughts for today's post.

Do you lecture adults in your life? I don't think I do, at least not often. I am an easy going person. If you tell me I should try ABC brand of toothpaste, I'll store that suggestion.  Tell me I should go to XYZ on our next vacation because of the fun you had there, I'll consider that too. However, tell me that I should lose weight, exercise more, or cover the gray in my hair and I will tune you out.

Some things in life are matters of opinion, like coloring your hair or letting it go natural. Your choice isn't necessarily mine and I would never presume to tell you my way is right and yours is wrong.

When it comes to self-improvement and changing habits, that is a sensitive matter. There isn't an adult in America that doesn't know that being overweight is not good for them. Same thing with smoking, drinking more than occasionally and in moderation, tanning themselves in real sun or in tanning salons, and so on. We all know what we should be doing differently. Whatever our reasons to remain at status quo, we are either struggling with making changes or have dug our heels in and don't want to hear what we should do from someone not standing in our shoes.

I don't often encounter people who direct lectures at me but I do hear them. A husband who tells his wife to lose weight (especially making this comment in front of others) might have the misguided impression he is encouraging her and it truly concerned for her health. What is the first reaction of most people put on the spot like this?..... Oh yeah? You're not so perfect!  

My husband and I once witnessed a wife berate her husband for his choice in a restaurant in front of 3 other couples. Not just a mild remark, a full fledged harangue. We know that the husband was steamed but determined not to respond or react in front of others. When her order arrived, she didn't like it and ate half of her husband's "stupid" choice. Even though I am a non-confrontational peace loving person, I wanted to shove the entire plate in her face.

Lectures don't work well with adults unless they have paid to listen to you as a speaker. Even then, there is a way to reach people without belittling them. The Golden Rule does apply. 

Ahem.  Now, I hate to contradict myself and be critical, but don't you think you've sat here long enough reading? Shouldn't you be cleaning house? balancing your checkbook? working out? curing diseases or creating world peace?


Well okay then, come back, sit down, have a drink, light up if you smoke, and get a spoon and I'll share my virtual sundae with you.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Air Show Disaster 
Aircraft crashes into 4 buildings!
Amazing photos show great detail...
The pilot at  low level had no control over his aircraft. It narrowly misses a crowd gathered for the air show and slams into four buildings!

One can only imagine the horror of the occupants inside those buildings!

This probably scared the crap out of  them!

I know this would not be funny for either the riders in that balloon's basket or for anyone using the facilities, but it did make a funny photo for those of us with warped humor. Go ahead...admit know you at least smirked!


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Day 2 of Garage Sale

I lived through the prep day, survived the first day and am not working it today or tomorrow except to help move things from garage to the driveway and stage them again. I guess this makes it a yard sale rather than a garage sale but we call face tissues Kleenex even if we buy Puffs.

I find myself looking around the house and seeing more items that we don't use but I am not about to plan another sale. It is a lot of work, a long day waiting for shoppers and you never know what the shoppers' interest will be. Any gold jewelry? No. Any tools? No. Any guns? Really?? Guns??? No!

Everyone has been pleasant, even those who walked away empty handed. I'd like to think our greetings made a difference and even the quiet shoppers wished us well as they left. I didn't experience a "fly in the ointment" but one man was a bit of a gnat. He didn't want to pay $2 for a pair of shoes. Would I accept $1. Ok. Then he wanted to know if I would take 50 cents. No. He kept this up and I kept saying no, a dollar was as low as I would go. I was about to tell him I had changed my mind, was asking $5 and take the darned shoes back but I think he sensed my mood and grabbed the shoes and gave me a dollar.

A pleasant surprise was a shopper who turned out to be the youngest of 7 children who grew up in the house my daughter-in-law and son bought. He bought a snow blower but couldn't take it yesterday. He picked it up this morning and was given a tour of the house. He was impressed and reminisced which was nice to hear.

Bill and I will help move things back into the garage late this afternoon and bring the Prince of Sweetness home with us while mommy and daddy go to a Lions' preseason football game. Colton's daddy is a Lions fan. Make that a HUGE fan. Make that an 'I-don't-begin-to-understand-his-passion' big ole honkin' Lions fan. And boy, was that fan happy to learn something about a neighbor yesterday.
A sweet lady who lives 10 houses away came by to introduce herself and talk about the neighborhood while browsing. She has lived on the street for 57 years and probably knows where all the bones are buried from decades of family skeletons. Photobucket She mentioned her next door neighbor who works for the Lions. Chuck sat up a little straighter and his eyes got a little brighter. The Lions?
The dear lady must have thought he was clueless because she explained who the Lions are. Photobucket Her neighbor works in merchandising for the team. I half expect Chuck to buy a dozen roses and go introduce himself before the weekend is over.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Talk me out of this!

I don't want to be a gadget junkie but it is a struggle. I remember years ago, my sister-in-law thought I was crazy when I told her I needed a new egg slicer. Once she saw me use one, she wanted one too. When I make egg salad or add hard boiled eggs to other salads, I slice them in slicer, turn and slice them crossways to get diced pieces. Fast for me and the slicer is easy to clean.
When a gadget is something you use, it becomes a tool. Somehow the word gadget makes the item seem unnecessary. You'd be surprised how many tools I have.  Photobucket    Good thing hubby is a mechanic at heart and understands the need for more than one of some tools and that all tools are not created equal.

So what is it that I need you to talk me out of wanting? An iPad.
This is all my friend Jenn's fault. She brings her to knitting and makes me drool.It has been less than six months since I entered the modern age and got an iPhone. Mercy me, what did I do before the iPhone?  I don't actually make many calls on it, but the camera is handy, the game apps are fun and if my son or daughter-in-law want me to see how cute the grandson was just 15 seconds ago...boom! ...there he is in a text with a picture!

On Mother's Day this year, my kids got me a Kindle. For years I thought I would never want to give up holding an actual book in my hands, but after cleaning out my book shelves the last time, I decided I didn't need hardcover books that I wasn't likely to reread taking up precious space. I have plenty of craft related books and cookbooks that are permanent residents there. Bill wants you to know that the cookbooks are so permanent they rarely move and are there for appearance only. He is such a Photobucket sometimes! Photobucket

Some may think that two electronic advances in one calendar year is enough for a gal, but I am much more than a gal. I am woman! I am woman, hear me chirp! Bleep! Chime! (Pick your ring tone!)

My serious reasons for considering this gadget tool would be that being larger than a phone screen, it is easier on slightly more mature eyes and it is a helluva lighter to haul around than my laptop with a 17 inch screen. We don't fly often any more, but regulations have changed so much since I first got the laptop, I now feel like I've packed twice and had a 30 minute aerobic workout by the time I get through security.

A trip to the cottage might actually mean one bag for clothes and knitting with the Kindle and iPad in a large purse! Even a two night stay at the cottage meant at least two books before (what if I finished the first one?), the laptop and my camera. The Kindle and iPhone with camera has already streamlined things a bit. I'm really thinking of hubby on this. Honest. 

Now for my serious question, for those of you with an iPad, how hard is it to blog from this device? When I looked for a picture of an iPad for this post, I chose the one with the keyboard because I would want that if this concept works for me.

Can you have more than one window open? I often have a second window open to search the internet for graphics or open to my Photobucket account. What works well and what doesn't? I have a birthday coming up and could make this a suggestion for a group gift. That and dinner out. And coffee ice cream for dessert.

Meanwhile, the next time Jenn brings out her iPad at knitting, I am not going to be careful any longer. When I drool, it is going to be right over her yarn. Photobucket

Monday, August 22, 2011

Do you talk to the TV?

If my husband is home, the TV is probably on. Even if he isn't watching it, it his background noise of choice. If we're settled in for the evening or a rainy afternoon and I don't like what he is watching, I move to another room. If not, chances are that one of us will end up talking to the TV. He will often ask if people are really that stupid (hello? what does it say about us that we have this so-call reality TV show on?) or I will comment on old TV shows like westerns from his childhood. I can excuse the perfect makeup, hairdos and ironed dresses from that era. I think viewers were so happy to be entertained by the box in their living rooms back then, those implausible details didn't matter. That doesn't mean that I won't be snarky and ask which wagon carried the stylist and which one sold Victoria's Secrets. Where did they get those pointy bras on the trail to the gold rush? 
U-verse Cable is a good/bad thing for a couple like us. An admitted TV addict and a potential one. We record shows, sometimes 4 at a time, and watch them at odd hours, breezing through commercials. I would be hard pressed to tell you what time or channel some of our favorite shows are on. 

Remember when the TV season ran from September through May? Summer reruns didn't matter because we were probably outside anyway. If we were in for some reason, seeing a few shows for the second time wasn't such a bad thing if we really liked Andy and Barney or Lucy and Ethel. Now that we've reached the age of delicacy, we're inside after the mosquitoes come out. I don't like being a delicacy on their menu. Humidity has me inside more than it used to also. Instead of just sweating glistening, now I often get a sinus headache. With the luxury of central air, something we didn't have as kids or the first half of our marriage, we choose climatic comfort in the hours before bed or even all day on a particularly retched weather day.
Cable channels tapped into addicts like us and began offering summer series. Last year I watched way too much TV. This season I dropped a few shows that I had watched last year. Rookie Blue and Covert Affairs are two of them. They were ok last season, I just wasn't that hooked and wanted to shorten my viewing list of recorded shows. Another one that I dropped was Hawthorne.
Between hearing endless commercials with upcoming promos and hearing enough of the actual show while hubby watches it, I feel like I am still tuned it and this has me talking to the TV from another room! What the heck is wrong with her character? I haven't disliked a character this much in a long time. Three people have recently told me that they feel the same way but are committed to finishing out the season. 

Good grief!

We should all be so committed to our personal relationships, and talking to people instead of at TVs, right?

I'd have more to say but an I Love Lucy marathon is about to begin and I need get a diet Coke and claim my chair. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Nothing like a deadline to motivate a person

My oldest son has been talking about having a garage sale since spring. I said I would help watch Colton during this and enter a few things. I don't plan to ever host a garage sale here again. I would sooner donate items or have a bonfire. I'm not against garage sales, I just don't want to host one.
Anyway, knowing that one would eventually be held, I set things aside in the spare room. A vase I never use. Comforters for twin beds from the cottage. Glasses we never use. You know, that kind of stuff. Yesterday I did an inventory of what was in there and was surprised how much I had set aside.
Later in the day I began in my craft room. I knew there were a few things in that closet and on shelving that I would try to sell. One thing led to another and soon I had everything out of the closet and was cleaning and reorganizing. This is good though, and I've come up with more items for the sale, but man, I am beat! I have so much going on from now until next weekend, this reorganizing has to wrap up tomorrow, and even then I don't have a full day because we're going to a barbecue.
I am taking mini cupcakes as a dessert contribution. I had grandiose ideas early in the week of offering a variety of cake flavors and different color icings, but when we got to crunch time today, I made chocolate cupcakes and tinted the frosting a very light yellow. I used a 1M size tip which made this project go quickly.
Somehow the intended sale items will get tagged and taken to my son's house before the sale, but it is going to be a crazy week. Let this be a warning to those of you who think retirement will be boring. Ha!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

You know you need this

Do you need to make a Wanted Poster? Design a Romance Novel Cover? Honor someone by putting their picture on a Jumbotron?

Here is the one stop shop for you to accomplish all of the above and more! Check out Glass Giant

Care to see a few examples?  Upload a photo, describe what the person is wanted for, give a name and a dollar amount for the reward.
 Romance novel asks for a title, tag line and author's name.
Care to announce how many views your blog has received?
Are you a vision of loveliness? Maybe just a vision on pancakes?
Or on a cereal box (Name your own brand and tag lines).
 Maybe you just need some chocolate. Chocolate with a message.
Having a bad day and trying to fake some enthusiasm? Customize a key on your keyboard.
This next one is for one of my blog friends. I want her to know that Law and Order is on her side.
And speaking of comments, you can ask from them in neon.
Learning about this site might be the most important part of your day. If it is, I am happy to be of service. And also just a bit

Monday, August 15, 2011

Are you Mrs Jones?

Do you try to keep up with the Joneses or are you one of the Joneses?

I'm not talking about homes, jewels or fancy cars.  I really don't care about your possessions. I'm happy if you're happy. I have enough to do taking care of my own crap stuff. I'm talking about how your blog looks. I do not see green until you do something on your blog that I need want and don't know how you accomplished it. You (yes, I'm pointing at you!) need to stop torturing me with pretty things, useful options and all sorts of fanciful gadgets. Oh yeah, and interesting posts too. I just can't compete.
The last time I went on a major Must Know How to Accomplish This expedition, it was my quest to learn how to make the clickable navigation bar that saved posts to those headings. I am really not so full of myself that I think others need that navigation bar because they might want to find something I wrote about beading. I was going to say cooking, but Bill just walked behind me and snorted. We had Wendy's for dinner but I drove to get it. That counts as providing dinner doesn't it?

Where was this rambling going? Oh yeah, learning new things about blog designs. I truly think this is fun, but it is also frustrating. It would help if my knowledge of  HTML progressed in a logical, linear fashion, but that is not the case. I need to learn LMN (not an acronym, just a made up example) so I jump into the middle of everything and learn how to handle LMN. In the process I find that there was something I really to know about A and B so I learn that too.

The next lesson in my journey based on what I need to know right this very minute because Mrs Jones' blog does what mine does not (whew, take a breath!) might have me learning J, K and something about W. I really should take a class and go from A to Z but will I do that? Probably not.
The more I learn, the more I realize there is to know. There is so much help available online, but it doesn't always answer specific questions or in the case of blog backgrounds, they don't always work the way they're expected to work. Sometimes I know what the problem is. See, I have learned! Sometimes I have a vague idea but don't know for certain, and other times, I am just plain clueless.
The look of this blog will probably change a few times over the next week or so as I continue to experiment. I have a test blog that I test most things on first, but I'm restless and not satisfied with this background. I'm working on a 15" monitor and surprised by how different things look on wider monitors. I think I need a new monitor for my birthday next month. Photobucket

This definitely isn't going down as one of my better posts, but I am trying to post more regularly, not just read about about to post better. And prettier. And gadgetier. What? That isn't a word? Be kind. As you can see by this recent photo of me at my keyboard, I don't have spell check.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Anyone shopping today?

This is funny. And sad. And disturbing. Disgusting even.

Did I mention funny?

I think I'll stay at home today. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Not a novel, but a finished book

Part of this entry will be redundant as I just showed you a few pages of the ABC book for my grandson a few days ago. Here are all of the pages in order, beginning with the cover.

I used images from the internet and family photos printed in a Word document because I found it easier to play with the sizing that way. The labels were also a Word document. I used my Sizzix die cutter, paper punches, colored pencils, markers, glitter glue, stickers and embellishments. It still doesn't look like I've made a dent in my stash.

The payoff came this afternoon when Grandpa and I sat down with Colton and this book for the first time. He was fascinated. He had a big smile on his face. When Grandpa asked him where Bob the Builder was, he pointed at him. This went on with other characters and items on subsequent pages.
I am done playing with paper for a day or two. My knitting is looking neglected. Photobucket