Tuesday, December 29, 2009
What is it with manufacturers? I have 2 sweaters, a shirt and now my robe that have holes in the sleeve seams? Yes I can fix them and I can do a danged better job than what it appears they did in the first place, but that's not the point. The point is, I shouldn't have to fix these in the first place. I took a look at the robe's sleeve seam and it was less than one quarter what it should have been. I am going to have to stitch the entire seam to make sure it doesn't unravel anywhere else. This is NOT what I was taught in home ec so many, many years ago.
If I were to take the robe to JC Penney where I got it, I would be told that because the robe has been worn and washed, they could not take it back. And, realistically, even if they did take it back, what would they do with it? Would they send it back to the clothing company and demand better stitching? Hardly. It's just going to get landfilled. They aren't going to bother asking for care because care is going to mean more man-hours to make the piece which means it will cost more and no one makes a profit if it does sell.
This is also not an indictment of overseas goods, although the label says the robe was assembled in China. Regardless of where the robe was made, it was made badly and that can happen whether the robe was assembled in China or in Kansas. It's about maximizing the product for the most buck. It's about a lack of care in what goes out the door.
I am resigned to pulling out my needles and thread and my sewing machine and fixing these holes. This is an age-old argument. I'm sure that when the cave man figured out a wheel and then added more production to his wheel-making, his customers complained that the craftsmanship was missing. It would take a huge, monumental shift in consumer attitude for anything to change.
At least I know what I'll be doing while I watch the football game on January 5th.
Beverage: Assam Tea
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
- A fully charged mouse.
- Water in the tea kettle for tea.
- Portable food that can be eaten while one is flying from place to place.
We went to IHOP. Three words: Egg Nog Pancakes.
I presented her with a Christmas present. "You didn't have to," she exclaimed. Of course I didn't, but I did because I wanted to.
After dinner, we trotted over to the Barnes and Noble Bookstore so she could get some of the books on her son's and his wife's Christmas lists.
After 15 years in that location, this Barnes and Noble is closing effective December 31st. I spent hours in that store making lists, buying the occasional book or magazine. It was so hard to stand in a book store where everything was 50% off and not try to figure out how to spend some money. Books...Look at all the books! The only thing that saved me is that I just don't have disposable income in any form right now. The fact that I must have 4 to 5 dozen unread books at home never entered my mind.
I decided the best course of action was to look for Discworld books and then be glad when I have read the ones they have for sale. As it turned out, they had 3 I have not read. I almost bought them, but I can't. I can't spend money I don't physically have right now. Until this financial crunch is eased, I can't spend money on any extras.
Pam saw me standing in front of Terry Pratchett's books and asked what I was looking at. I explained and she said, "I need to get you a Christmas present. Pick one." She started laughing at my rather startled look. "No, I'm serious. This is perfect. You'll get something you really want." So, I picked one of the books I don't have.
Once in the car, she apologized for not wrapping the book. Then she said, "Wait. Where's the paper from my gift?" Unfortunately, the item I got her was just a wee bit smaller than the paperback book she gave me. The end "wrapping" result is, however, quite funny.
If you're a "certain" age, you save wrapping paper. Don't look at me as if you don't. You possibly save the bows, too. If the paper came off the gift nicely, you saved it to be reused. We recycled before that's what it was called. It was just what was done. You were being wise. We gathered all the paper which could not be reused after unwrapping gifts, stuffed it in brown paper bags and, at the first chance to go to the burn barrel, Dad burned it. He never burned it in the furnace. That just wasn't done. I honestly don't know why but it went to the burn barrel. I remember reading some article saying never burn your Christmas paper in your fireplace as the printing inks can release toxic fumes when burned. That wasn't a factor in my youth.
So here's to friends, pancakes and the ultimate in recycling. I saved the bow for use on something else and put the wrapping paper in my recycling bin. I'm ever so grateful that the recycling takes this kind of paper now. I don't have much but it makes me feel good to recycle it. If only I could have a burn barrel, however.
By the way, this is the book I picked.
Beverage: My last bag of English Breakfast tea
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Mija loves to follow me into the kitchen on the outside chance I'm getting something to eat of which she can snare a bit. As she trots into the kitchen, Pilchard will rush her from wherever she's hiding. A round of hissing, angry meows, spitting and growling follows. It got so bad that Pilchard had Mija cornered behind the garbage can in the kitchen. I tossed Pilchard into kitty time out where she stayed for a good 20 minutes.
Kitty time out, however, does change Pilchard's attitude for awhile. When allowed out of the bathroom, she followed me around and meowed for attention. I refused to scratch ears. I sat down to sort through some piles and she came and sat by my feet, meowing. I looked down at her, picked her up and held her and told her, like she understands, that I am not tolerating this behavior.
Later in the evening, as I was playing WOW, she wanted in my lap. This is a new behavior, started about a week to 10 days ago. She jumps into the chair to my right and puts her left paw on my leg while she meows. I raise my arms and she climbs into my lap and settles down. She generally stays for an hour but last night, stayed for 90 minutes.
Toward the end of that 90 minutes, I decided I needed to attempt a claw clip. I was successful. I can only do one paw at a time and I do have to restrain her for the last one. But she let me clip 4 of the 5 nails before wanting to leave. She came back later and I was able to do both front paws last night. Tonight, I go for the back ones.
This is a major event to celebrate. I praised her for letting me clip her nails. Now, if I can get the charge attacking stopped, I'll be really happy.
Beverage: Lady Gray tea
Gently drift down
'neath my window
'round my doorstep.
'round my doorstep
The best recording of this song is by Manhattan Transfer on their Christmas album. If you don't have it, go get it. You won't regret adding this CD to your collection.
Beverage: Huckleberry tea
Monday, December 21, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Meteorologists predict the chances of having a white Christmas in the Chicagoland area are 42%. There is even a long-term forecast for a Christmas Eve dusting of a couple inches.
It's a week out. Let's see just how accurate they really are. I'll be here at Christmas, curled up in bed with Mija and a good book for sure. Pilchard will be under the tree next to the heating vent. All will be quiet.
My neighbors put out luminaria along the sidewalks up and down the block for Christmas Eve. If it does snow, it will be a very beautiful scene; all these lighted bags along the sidewalks and a snowfall.
I need to find the tripod so I can take some photos.
Just as I was drifting off to sleep, there came the angry, very angry sounds of a cat fight in my basement. Before I could fully awaken, up the stairs they came, through the kitchen and living room, down the hall and Mija lands on my legs while running away from Pilchard. They were angry. She hit the floor after landing on me and there were hisses and yeowling and growling and meowing.
I've had altercations before, but nothing like this. I don't understand why this is happening either. Are they vying for my attentions? I try to be equitable in distributing affection. Is Mija egging Pilchard on or is Pilchard just plain going after Mija?
After yelling at both of them, Mija settled down for a bit. I noticed she has a small scratch on her nose. Pilchard is so hard to settle down to clip nails but I'm going to have to do the kitty burrito and get those feet clipped, angry cat or no angry cat.
But I can't have this. I need to go to Iowa for an overnight and I don't want to be worrying that my cats are beating each other up. This morning, when I got up and they ran into each other in the hall, the ears went back, the fur raised and they hissed and growled as if they were seeing each other for the first time.
/sigh I love each of them equally. I love Mija for being a noisy, affectionate cat who has taken to following me about the house. I love Pilchard for being a huge bundle of fur who is stand off-ish but, when she wants to cuddle, the look on her face is priceless.
I don't love cat fights, however, and particularly at 1:15 in the morning.
Beverage: Huckleberry tea
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I stumbled across a listing of college football bowl games and what the bowls are giving the players of the participating teams. The NCAA allows up to $500 worth of gifting to EACH player and some of the bowls are lavish with their packages. Iowa and Georgia Tech players will receive from the Orange Bowl: Gift suite including iPods, iPod accessories, flat-screen TV, home theater system, mountain bike and luggage, Tourneau watch, OGIO backpack and a hat. So, if you are a member of a perennial college football powerhouse, you just have to survive four years of standing on the sidelines and you'll have a goodly chunk of your Christmas shopping done thanks to the bowl game.
Something about this smells, but that's not what I'm blogging about. There was a list of the various bowls and that's what really struck my eye.
St. Petersburg Bowl
New Orleans Bowl
MAACO Bowl Las Vegas
Little Caesar's Bowl
Meineke Car Care Bowl
Music City Bowl
Eagle Bank Bowl
Champs Sports Bowl
Armed Forces Bowl
Capital One Bowl
Papa John's Bowl
and the ones those of us who have been around for "a few" New Year's Days remember; Rose, Cotton, Sugar, Fiesta and Orange Bowls. I'll also mention the BCS Championship Game although that's not a Bowl game. Two bowls have disappeared, the Motor City Bowl, which was held in Detroit and the Astrobluebonnet Bowl which was held in the Astrodome in Houston.
The sheer number means a lot of teams get a shot at some glamour. Beginning on Saturday, cable sports channels will have college football until your eyes bleed, ending on January 7th with the BCS Championship Game.
And yet, the "Chick-Fil-A" Bowl? The "Papa John's" Bowl? Sorry. I guess it's my age showing. New Mexico, New Orleans, Music City, Alamo Bowls highlight a specific area or city of the US and I don't have a problem with those. I just have a problem with a particular corporate entity creating a bowl for itself.
Oh well, no one asked me and I won't be glued to my TV or even have it on for any bowl other than the Orange. Hence, I won't get exposed to the advertising overkill that is bound to happen when you're watching the Captial One Bowl.
This does remind me that I need to get my Orange Bowl tee shirt when I travel to Iowa next week.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
This is one of the biggest pieces of chocolate cake I have ever seen. The waiter handed the plate to me and, seeing my eyes grow wide with astonishment said, "If that's not a big enough piece, we can have the chef cut a bigger one." As much of a choco-holic as I am, I could not finish it and brought it home to eat today. I've been picking at it all day.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
No ornaments on it.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Off the web site, this is how it's described:
Concrete Canvas Shelters are rapidly deployable hardened shelters that require only water and air for construction. The 25sqm variant can be deployed by 2 people without any training in under an hour and is ready to use in only 24 hours.
The cloth is draped over a framework, watered and pressed into shape and, in 24 hours, you have a structure read for use. It can be delivered and assembled sterile. It's durable and fire-proof. The web site shows many applications for its use.
I haven't heard of anyone around here using it but I can see great application within the construction industry for long-term projects, such as expansion of facilities where you're going to be at one location for years. I was just at a meeting last night with a hospital that is renovating and expanding. One of the complaints from the next door neighbor is that there are two shipping containers at the back corner of the property and they are unsightly. But, these containers hold materials needed for the renovation of the operating rooms which is an ongoing project slated to finish in 2012. Those containers will be there until the hospital receives approval to use the new rooms. If the hospital had built an undulating building using this canvas, it could be painted in camouflage colors to be less intrusive to the eye than two orange shipping containers. The home owner in question would still have something to complain about, but this could have been a solution.
I find this fascinating.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Item #1: Ear drops are terribly hard to put in yourself and make sure you get them in correctly. I have "curved" ear canals, too, I've been told.
Item #2: For some reason, this round of the infection has me dizzy. I'm hoping this is a "worse before it gets better" thing. I found myself unsure of my walking or standing several times this morning. It wasn't a falling down dizzy thing, just a momentary "Um..." As long as I'm sitting down and not moving fast, I'm okay.
Item #3: The Ceftin I'm taking tastes like chalk, or crushed limestone, or river sand or...well, you get the idea. Dissolves on impact with any part of my mouth and not even my morning Cheerios could get the taste out right away. Twice a day for 10 days. The label doesn't say I CAN'T have alcohol with this... >.>
Item #4: Way too soundly sleeping. Maybe that's not a bad thing but I may have to have a back-up plan. I slept through the radio coming on this morning. Probably something similar to #2 where I get worse until the meds really kick in.
Item #5: Cats know when you're not feeling well. Still, if she would just NOT purr when I'm trying to fall asleep or I need to find someone who can do a tune up because that is one seriously LOUD motor.
Beverage: Assam tea
Monday, November 30, 2009
My ear infection or whatever it is, is back. I saw the doctor in early November. My regular doctor wasn't available so I happened to luck out and get an appointment with his wife. There was lots of fluid in my ears so I was put on an antibiotic and given a new script for my allergy meds, patted on the head and sent on my way. I took the antibiotic the full 10 days, as I was supposed to, and I take the allergy meds every night as they make me sleepy. After 10 days, I felt very well.
The ear pain returned on Friday.
It's a dull ache all day that is mitigated with aspirin, but that only masks the symptoms. I need this gone. Hence, another visit to the doctor and this time, it was my regular one. The fluid is back but my sinuses are clear. It's just my right ear this time. I awoke over the weekend with a stabbing pain on the right back side of my head which chased a stabbing pain in my right ear. Then, it would settle down to this dull ache. My doctor doesn't know if the pain is related to the pressure on the ear drum from the fluid or the pressure of the swollen ear canal. No wax so it's not that.
I have ear drops now. Those weren't that expensive, but I'm allergic to penicillin and cannot take any of those derived drugs. This means I have to take the designer antibiotics which don't have the lovely $5 charge for the co-pay and almost no generics. $45.00 later, I have a 10-day supply. Just out of curiosity, I called around and my charge for the same amount would have been the same at the 3 other pharmacies I checked. It's the nature of my insurance, I guess.
This better work. If I'm not better in 10 days, I'm to call my doctor and I'll get a steroid to reduce the swelling in my ear. If, for whatever reason, that doesn't work, it's off to an ENT. I keep thinking, when I hear that, that I'm going to see one of those tree creatures from LOTR. I do have to admit that last night, as I was falling asleep with my ear throbbing, my mind wandered to Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan, and that ear thingee Khan put in Chekov's ear. (And I saw that involuntary shudder you just did.)
Ah popular culture. Helps to define exactly how I'm feeling.
Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, and St. Andrew's Day is Scotland's official national day. In 2006, the Scottish Parliament designated St. Andrew's Day as an official bank holiday. Although most commonly associated with Scotland, Saint Andrew is also the patron saint of Greece, Romania, Russia and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople..
Beverage: Scottish Blend Tea (duh)