Wednesday, October 28, 2009


My daughter recently sent me pictures of the Halloween costumes she's made for the two younger grandchildren. They are big fans of Peter Pan so the six year old will be Wendy and the three year old will be Captain Hook. Their mother has done a wonderful sewing job, squeezing in time to create costumes while she holds down a full-time position as a high school math teacher.


The nostalgia I felt as I looked at the photos prompted me to search our albums for some pictures of my daughter's Halloween costumes, also Mamamade - herewith the Gypsy, the Indian (pre-PC!) and the Bride.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Flu Season

Every news program for months has had a story about the impending flu season and the threat of both "regular" flu and the H1N1 Omigod variety. The health experts are suggesting that sufferers stay home rather then spread the virus. Is this a DUH or what? Along with the advice I'm seeing the usual commercials for over-the-counter drugs to perk you up so you can go about your daily business. Can you say MIXED MESSAGES? The OTC vendors want us to buy their products and go forth to create more customers. Couldn't they amend the ads to say something like "stay home, but buy our remedy and feel better while you recover?" It would show a bit more heart and public awareness.


In the meantime, I'm re-posting the entry I made in September of 2008:


OTC - No!


We are all facing with the beginning of flu/cold/whatever-virus-is-going-around season and I'd like to make a plea to all the potential sufferers to STAY HOME when you get sick!! Yeah, *YOU*, with your runny nose, cough, and upset tummy. Skip the over-the-counter medication routine, go to bed, and remain there for the duration.


I know you'll miss a few days of work and you'd much rather save those sick days to make up a three-day weekend of water-skiing next summer, or recover from a holiday party involving too much rummy eggnog. I know that shopping trip you planned or the meeting you ought to attend is terribly important. But think a minute. Where did you get the bug that now causes a hammering headache and a stomach that flips when you flop? Wasn't it that co-worker who dragged himself out of bed and came to work anyway? Or maybe that chick at the checkout stand whose barely suppressed cough sent her microorganisms your direction? And if they'd stayed home wouldn't you be less likely to be wondering how much longer you can stand up?


The biggest vector in viral spread, IMNSHO, is over-the-counter medication. Here, take this pill and get 12 hour relief. While you are at it, get 12 hours to walk around filling the air with your germs and to leave a trail of disease behind you. Look, I'm not asking you to forgo the aspirin and orange juice. Enjoy the warm blanket and hot cup of tea. But please keep your germs confined to the bedroom instead of sharing them with me.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Laundry time


As I was doing laundry earlier today, I found myself wondering how many times I've folded underwear in my lifetime?

Mundane task, done on pretty much a weekly or better than weekly basis. Wash, dry, sort, fold, and put away. Semi-satisfying to the goal oriented although like many household chores it is no sooner done than it needs to be done again, but in what sort of numbers over the past 62 years?

I toddled to my calculator to make an estimate. First off I'll only count the laundry since marriage. I did do my own laundry from middle-school onward but my fold&stow technique back then was closer to cram&slam. Clean things were tossed into the closet or a convenient drawer sans organization unless my mother was on guard duty. Okay, close enough to 40 years of marriage with daily underwear is 40 X 365 which equals 14,600 times 2 people yields 29,200 briefs, shorts, underpants, or whatever you want to call them. At a rate of five seconds or so to shake them, turn them right side out, and fold I'm looking at 146,000 seconds or 40.5+ hours doing nothing else. That's a full work week of folding just underwear. Laundry as a total? I'd be depressed by the figures for that!

How are YOU spending YOUR time?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Online Shopping

I've been shopping online this morning and appreciating how the
internet allows me to compare prices from various sources. Our home
is in what we once would have considered "the boonies" after years of
living in an extended metropolitan/suburban area that stretched over
half a dozen counties and contained dozens of cities pretty much
seamlessly connected together. Local shopping is limited to two small
towns of about 3,000 residents with no major stores and only 3
grocery outlets. If you want to purchase a new dress, couch, or car
it is a 40 mile trip or, as likely, a 3 hour trek to (a 3 hour trek
from) a major city. The internet is our outlet store/strip mall/find-
it-fast Shopping stop.

Okay, maybe not fast. We don't have high speed internet available so
we stomp along the sheep track attached to the cowpath, attached to
the dirt road, attached to the two-lane street, off the internet
highway.

Back to what I wanted to relate: Your shipping charges may vary. And
you can add a dozen exclamation points after that statement. My quest
was for a simple, inexpensive storage cabinet to hold my relping
paraphernalia. After locating one that would fit the space and my
needs I found the $150 cabinet would cost another $50 shipping. I
don't think so! A Google search and few more clicks found the
identical item for a few dollars more but with free shipping. Bet you
can guess what was ordered.

Notice to those in sales: If you think to make up your price by
charging exorbitant shipping, think again

This also applies to catalogue items. Paper catalogues arrive daily
as the holiday season approaches. I am suckered in by the photos,
fill out the order form, check the shipping costs, and toss the
entire thing into the recycle bin. Who is going to buy a $20 t-shirt
when the company requires $10.95 (or more) to send it?