Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Everything But the Weather Channel

I live in South Florida.  Its Hurricane Season.  I have a nifty app on my phone called a 'Weather Bug'.  It gives me up to the minute radar, forecasts, etc.  Love it.  Today the alarm on my phone that alerts me to a 'Weather Bug' update is blowing my phone up.  There is a storm to the south of us.   My electricity is going off and on.  Rain is hitting my windows.  Yea! A storm.

I run downstairs and turn on the Weather Channel.  It's on a commercial break.  Okay, I understand TWC needs to make money.  I can wait a couple of minutes.  Finally, the show starts.  Sure enough, there is a weather alert ticker running at the bottom of the screen showing new warnings have been issued...details coming soon.  Okay, that should be the lead story.  Nope, a cheery 'weather' reporter is giving me a tour of the new Grand Old Opry that is reopening tonight in Nashville.  Seriously?  The National Weather Center has issued a weather alert and you are touring me through the backstage at the Grand Old Opry?  Are you people looking at the bottom of your own screen?  Do you not see the alert flashing in red down there? 

Okay, the ticker is still saying details coming soon.  Maybe the Nashville piece is a pre-recorded tape that the technicians don't know how to stop.  I can wait... sort of.  Okay, new segment.. this is it.  Nope, there is a talking head showing me the 5 day forecast for Washington DC.  Seriously?  Do these people really not see the crawl at the bottom of the screen saying new warnings issued?  My power is out again.  Okay, power back on.  Now TWC is showing me a piece on a mountain climber that died in 1939 on some mountain and this author found his remains and did a book on it.  Seriously?  My 'Weather Bug' on my phone is going off again.  New warnings issued for my area. Sure hope its not a tornado because I will be in the Land of Oz long before the Weather Channel can tell me about it.

I am now 31 minutes into this saga; the crawl at the bottom of the screen is still flashing red; my power is still doing a disappearing act; my phone is still beeping from the weather bug alert; I still don't know what new warning has been issued by the National Weather Center. Seriously?

I switch to Fox News.  Success!!  There is the familiar forecast cone.  I am under a new Tropical Storm Warning, Flash Flood Warning, Tropical Winds Warning. Happy Days!

Just for fun, let's go back to the Weather Channel.. Breaking News... finally!  Nope, mudslides in Mexico. Seriously?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Snobby Gloater

This morning my daughter called me a 'Snobby Gloater'.   A what?  Over the years, she and I have called each other a variety of things, usually in the heat of battle, but this was a new one.  (Seriously, what mom and daughter who are very close, love one another very much and spend lots of time together has not called each other names at some point?)  Well, anyway, I digress...

Looking back, I have to say I didn't mean to be a 'snobby gloater'.  I was merely marveling at the new technology in my new phone - a Vibrant.  Seriously, its amazing!  I am not a techie by any stretch of the imagination.  I don't know how to hook up DVD players, download music onto my iPod or change the time on my car clock.  BUT, I do know how to play with my new Android-powered plaything... I mean, phone.

Today I discovered how to make the background change to reflect the weather outside.  How totally cool is that?  If it is sunshiny, my background is bright and glorious or, as is the case today,  cloudy and rainy.  I was merely holding up my phone to show my daughter that it was raining on my phone while holding back the living room curtains to show her it was raining outside, when she called me a 'snobby gloater'.  Now, I ask you, is that fair? Seriously?

Let me give you a little background before you decide. My child changes phones every couple of months.  Its amazing how she does it... while in college she went through no less than 5 phones.  One ended up at the bottom of the University's pool, one was discovered in the washer, one was left on the lawn in front of her dorm (yes, of course there were sprinklers).  Okay, so you get my point.  Finally, our phone carrier said 'enough' and took away her upgrade privileges. Then, of course, she just started buying unlocked phones off E-Bay.  Every time there was new technology, she had to have it.  Well, her trading lust finally got her in trouble.   When the new Vibrant came available, she was ineligible to upgrade, trade, buy or plead.  

I, on the other hand, had held my Blackberry for 3 years. Faithfully plodding along, watching the kid get bigger and better technology, listening to her comments about 'Mom's dinosaur', I waited. And waited. And waited. Until now.  After no upgrades, no 'accidents', no complaints - my husband was able to trade me up for the newest of the new, the most advanced of the advances for a fraction of the cost.  I have all the bells and whistles needed to gladden any techies heart. 

So, if I occasionally point out to the girl who has had it all over the last few years, that now I have it all and she doesn't, does that really make me a Snobby Gloater?   Yeah, probably.  Now, if  I only cared...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Every One Needs One - Just Don't Kill It

I have a friend (yes, I know, I'm surprised too).  I have nicknamed her 'The Encouraging Bunny'.  She sends me a daily text reminding me who I am; a writer that should be writing.  Seriously, seems so simple, and yet...

Everyone who has a goal in their life and needs help/motivation meeting it should have an Encouraging Bunny.  Mine is not afraid to tell me what to do - like write a thousand words a day. Seriously - there are days when I don't SAY 1,000 words, let alone write them. She is not afraid to put her foot 'where the sun don't shine' to get me moving in the right direction.

When I finish my first novel under my own name, (My previous publishings have been as a ghostwriter... don't ask or I would have to kill you), a large part of the credit will go to my EB.  I'm just glad she doesn't live with me.   She doesn't see me roll my eyes when I get her texts.  She doesn't hear the sarcasm in my voice when I say 'Seriously?' when I read her texts.  She doesn't feel the raspberry I give my phone after I read her texts. Sometimes I want to take the drumsticks out of her paws and wrap them around those fuzzy pink ears.  She doesn't hear me whine like a five year old who knows what she should be doing but doesn't want to. She doesn't know I want to remain my lazy, unpublished self and lay on the couch and read instead of working.(Well, actually she does... that's why she is an Encourager Bunny).

My greatest fear is that I will somehow lose my Bunny.  I pray her batteries never run down.  I hope she never gets discouraged when her agent doesn't call her back.  I pray she can always pay her cell phone bill so she can keep texting me. I hope she doesn't get so busy with her own accomplishments that she can't bang her drum in my ear. I love my Bunny.

My hope for all of you is that an Encouragement Bunny finds you when you need one. Just don't be lookin' at mine... she's busy.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Anyone Have Any Ice Cube Trays They Aren't Using?

Today makes the third time that an 'appliance professional' has come to fix my ice maker/freezer.  Apparently having a freezer that keeps stuff frozen AND makes ice is asking a bit much. 

The first repairman replaced a couple of parts and said, 'It work now'.  Okay.... within 1 hour there was water pouring out of my freezer and my frozen foods were floating in tepid water.   Second time, a whole new ice maker was installed.  My family and I anxiously awaited that sound that scares you at night.. you know the one where the ice hits the ice bucket at random times.  Success!! After 2 hours we heard the music of ice being dumped into the ice bucket.  My daughter decided to be the first to enjoy the fruits of our new ice maker and she opened the freezer door, glass in hand, ready to enjoy some cold water. There were 3 ice cubes. Okay... maybe we didn't give it enough time.  A couple of hours later, we again heard the music of ice hitting the container beneath the ice maker.  Success!!  5 ice cubes this time.

This morning it was repairman #3.  He put his thermometer into the freezer and muttered to himself.  Then he pulled the refrigerator out from the wall, took out a flashlight and tsk, tsk'ed some more.  Glancing at me, he said he would be back in a little while.   A couple of hours later, he was back with a shop vac.  He sucked up what sounded like every piece of tile, wallboard  and cabinet in the kitchen.  When I went to see what all the noise was about, he said the coils were very dusty and the compressor was working too hard.  Seriously?  Now the freezer/ice maker doesn't work because of my housekeeping skills?  Just as he was shutting down the vacuum, a loud bang sounded inside the hose of his shop vac.  With a puzzled look, he took the top off the vac and pulled out 2 metal objects.  The first was a bolt thingy with a couple of washers hanging off, the second was a glass piece that he shook next to his ear.  With a sheepish grin he said 'oh' and went on to explain to me that somehow this glass thing is the piece that makes the ice maker work. Really?  And can it do its job laying in the bottom of the underneath side of the refrigerator?

The glass thingy takes a week to order.  The freezer will stay cold as long as we don't open the door.  Seriously?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Do I Know You?

Facebook. The new connect place.  But, you know what?  I don't want to connect with everyone I ever knew. Frankly, there are some people I hope I NEVER see again!  Seriously - I don't want to be friends with everyone. It scares me that you found me. People I don't even know want to be friends with me. Do folks just randomly send out friend requests to strangers?  That's either very sad or very scary.

If I didn't like you in High School, I don't care what you are doing now. Just because you know someone that I know doesn't mean I want to know you. Just because you are a long-lost relative of  someone in my family, I don't have to be friends with you.  Just because you went to 5th grade with my daughter doesn't mean I care who you are.  If I once knew you and you haven't heard from me in 20 years, there's probably a reason!  My favorite app on Facebook is the 'Ignore' button.

I know some people who think it is a status symbol to have 600+ 'friends' on their Facebook page.  Seriously? Get a life!  Who cares?  How could you possibly know that many people let alone care about what every single one of them is doing? Do you stay home 24/7 and watch your Home page Newsfeed?  Somehow I kinda doubt it.( And just so you know, if you do stay home and Facebook all day, you're NOT on my list).   I have a 50 friend and family limit. That's about as many people that I can care about at one time.  If someone comes along that I like better than you, I boot you off my list.  The cool thing is that you will never know I 'un-friended' you. 

I will give kudos to one Facebook find.  She was my best friend through college and a couple of years afterward but life happened and we lost each other.  Facebook reconnected us and for that I will be eternally grateful.  She's on my 'keep' list.  But, everyone else... don't get your hopes up. That was a fluke.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Middle of the Night

Ever notice how random things happen in the middle of the night? Last night it was the vanishing toilet paper.  There was paper on the roll when I went to bed.  I have first-hand knowledge of that fact.

So when Mother Nature demanded my attention at 3am , the roll was empty. I know I was only half-awake, but cardboard is all that my hand could find.  Okay, no problem.  Feel around in the basket on the back of the tank where I keep an extra roll.  Seriously- you got to be kiddin' me!  Apparently whatever happened to the roll on the holder also happened to the spare roll.  Okay - now what?   Kleenex to the rescue! 

Now I am awake and mad.  Who did this?  Who was this inconsiderate?  Who to blame?  So I go on a fact-finding mission. 

My husband is sound asleep in the same position he was in when I went to bed a couple of hours ago.  Dead to the world, I don't think he has been up.  I poke my head into my daughter's room - again, no movement.  Besides, she is so sweet when she is asleep, it reminds me of when she was a little girl and couldn't possibly have done anything so mean as to leave an empty roll.  Moving on, I search out the 4-legged inhabitants of my household.  The dog is snoring, legs straight up in the air at the foot of our bed.  I bend down to look for tiny bits of toilet paper that would give away her midnight raid on the roll.  Nope, she's clean.  Must be the cats.  Of course, have you ever tried to look for a cat in the middle of the night?  Their nocturnal instincts have them off doing whatever cats do in the darkness. Nowhere to be found but no telltale trail of toilet paper anywhere either. Usually, they claw down half the roll and then walk away, just daring me to say something to them.  So without a puddle of TP under the roll, it probably wasn't them either. 

Out of suspects, I go back to bed.  It's now 3:15am and I no longer care.  That is until this morning at 6am when I hear my husband's outraged shout 'who used the last of the toilet paper and didn't replace it?'  Oh yeah, about that ....

Monday, September 6, 2010

It's Hard When You are the Dumb One

I tried a new bathroom cleaner today.  It swore it would 'clean the tough stuff with no scrubbing'.  Sounded like a good deal to me.  So I sprayed it on.  The canister said it would, 'spray out blue and turn white when it was done'.  Okay - it sprayed out white and turned reddish brown while it was working.. I think.  That should have been my first clue.

So, after it was done streaking my tub, I scrubbed it down.  It actually did look better.  I rinsed the tub out and decided to take a bath to celebrate.  I ran warm water, filled it with bubbles and got in.

After I had been laying in the tub for about 10 minutes, I noticed my back and shoulders were burning.  Wow, I guess the water was hotter than I thought.  Another 5 minutes and it was very uncomfortable.  I rinsed off and got out.  That's when I noticed it - my back and shoulders were ablaze.

I promise I rinsed the tub out before I got in.  Seriously - I used the shower head, sprayed it around and soaked myself and the floor in the process.  Well, apparently not.  What you see here is a chemical burn.  After calling the Nurse on Call with my health insurance (useless), I called Poison Control Center. Sure enough, the chemicals in my tub cleaner are caustic.  Thankfully, the Poison lady was smarter than the on-call chick and told me what to do.  An hour after this picture was taken, the redness was a light pink and the stinging was gone.  No blisters yet either.  Hopefully, I caught it in time.

Seriously, how dumb do you have to be to burn your own back in your own bathtub?  Worst of all, there is no one to blame this off on.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Does Anyone Else Hear That?

I work in a children's store.  I am around children all day long.  I see the good ones, the mean ones, the poorly raised ones and the little angels.  One thing that constantly amazes me is how parents cannot hear their child annoying the crap out of the rest of us.

Seriously - how can a parent not have compassion on the rest of us who are hearing their spawn screaming/crying at a decibel level that could shatter fine crystal?  I have seen mothers talk on cell phones, stand and chit-chat to another mother or just totally ignore their little noise-maker as though they did not exist.  Seriously?  My ear drums are bleeding.  Take the kid outside, down the block, into the parking lot or Hey - back to YOUR house!  Just make the noise stop!   What gives parents the right to disturb my dinner, interrupt my worship or make my head hurt?  If you are going to allow your little monster to scream himself silly - that's totally up to you.  But, get her out of my earshot.

Now, if your child is beginning to cry, I'm okay for a couple of minutes while you comfort them and try to make everything all better.  But, if that doesn't work - don't ignore it.  None of the rest of us can ignore it so why should you get all the fun?  If you are working through a discipline problem, you have my sympathy.  You just don't have the right to inflict it on me. Do something about the noise; put a pacifier, bottle or lollipop in it.  It's in a stroller - stroll away from me!  It's on a 'child' leash - go walk it.  It's in your arms - jiggle it.  It's lying on the floor at your feet, throwing limbs in the air - duct tape it.   But, seriously - get some control.  Who's in charge here - you or the siren?  Take some action and have mercy on the rest of us WHO DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Has Anyone Seen My Day Off?

Today is/was my Day Off - I think.  Seriously - what happened to my day?  Are days off shorter than 24 hours?   That must be how companies make it work - they give you a Day Off and then shorten it to 12 hours.  I am sitting (okay, lying) on my couch.  This is the same position I was in exactly 12 hours ago.   I remember getting up late, because it is, after all, my Day Off.  I remember my cup of coffee and reading the new Elizabeth Peter's novel.  But then POOF!, it's 11:00pm and time to go to bed.  

What did I do today?  I should have been at the pool, the beach, the mall... after all, it is my Day Off. I had   plans for today - clean the bathroom, go to the store, strip the bed, return my overdue books, start the dishwasher, empty the dryer, change the litterbox...  Nope, I would have gotten dressed had I done those things.  Yet, here I am in my jammies, lying on the couch - same as 12 hours ago.  Maybe I should call 911 to report a missing Day Off?

If anyone has seen my Day Off, could you text me?  Or better yet, could you send it home - I'll need it again next week.