Sunday, January 21, 2018

Sunday Stealing: Friday Questions

Sunday Stealing: Friday Questions

1. Have you ever tried to learn (or re-learn) a foreign language as an adult? Which one? What worked for you?

A. I had four years of Spanish in high school and have retained very little of it. Occasionally I try to pick it back up but I would not call any of my efforts successful.

2. Do you donate blood? Do you know your blood type?

A. No, and no. I was told not to donate blood because of some medication I take.

3. Have you ever been in a play or musical?

A. Only in grade school.

4. Do you use certain text or ring tones for specific people? Who gets their own? Or do you just use the default on your phone?

A. I use a ring tone from Lord of the Rings for everyone. I don't have enough people calling me to set separate tones for folks.

5. When did you get your first digital camera? Do you still shoot on actual film, or all digital now?

A. I think I went digital around 2000, when the newspaper began to use digital. I no longer use film, it is all digital.

6. What do you think someone else would say the most daring thing you’ve done is?

A. My husband says it is the time I went up into the sky in a two-seater airplane with a known drunk. Either that or the time I went up in a hot air balloon.

7. Do you talk with your hands?

A. I use my mouth.

8. Do you have a lucky number? What is it, and what is the story behind it?

A. I don't have a lucky number.

9. What kind of milk did you drink, growing up? And now?

A. When I was a baby I could not handle formula or cow's milk (early 1960s, women apparently had stopped breast feeding). I drank goat's milk. After a while I switched to cow's milk, but by the time I was 12 I stopped drinking it completely because it made me feel bad. I do not do dairy except for yogurt; for some reason I can handle that. I haven't had ice cream since I was about 12, so "have a hot fudge sundae" is on my bucket list.

10. What is your favorite kind of pie?

A. Chocolate pie, and I do not eat the crust unless it is graham cracker crust. I just eat the pie innards. I have always done that. I don't like pie crust.

11. Are you a note taker?

A. Yes.

12. Do you have an eclectic mug collection, or is your stuff all matchy matchy?

A. Eclectic.

13. Do you have a junk drawer in your house/garage/at work/wherever?

A. I have several of them.

14. What is the longest amount of time you’ve worked at one job – and what was/is it?

A. I have been a freelance writer since 1994.

15. How old were you when you took your first commercial flight? To where did you fly?

A. I was 16 and I took a trip overseas to Spain and France with a school group.


I encourage you to visit other participants in
Sunday Stealing posts and leave a comment. Cheers to all us thieves who love memes, however we come by them.
#SundayStealing 215

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Saturday 9: Jump

Saturday 9: Jump (1984)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) David Lee Roth does a lot of jumping in this video. He credits his flashy moves to his study with marital artist Benny Urquidez. Have you ever tried karate, judo, or jiu-jitzu?

A. No. I do tai chi with a video sometimes, though.

2) Dave claims to be fluent in Spanish. Say something "en espaƱol."

A. El burro sabe mas que tu.

3) Dave appeared as himself in an episode of The Sopranos, playing poker with Tony Soprano. Are you a good poker player?

A. Probably not. I haven't played in years.

4) Though known for his prowess on the guitar, Eddie Van Halen wrote the opening of this song at the keyboard when he was still new to the synthesizer. When did you recently venture outside your comfort zone? Was it a success?

A. Well, I took up coloring and did very well at that, which surprised me because I didn't think I had any "artistic" talent aside from photography and writing. I learned to knit, and I do okay with that. I learned to crochet, and I do ok with that. So I suppose you could call that success.

5) Eddie's older brother Alex is the Van Halen drummer and his son, Wolfie, began touring with the band in 2007. Have you ever worked with a family member?

A. Yes, a long time ago. And my husband and I run a farm together, though that is more of a lifestyle than a job.

6) Van Halen's first manger was Marshall Berle. Mr. Berle's uncle was Milton Berle. Does the name Milton Berle mean anything to you?

A. He was a funny man who was on Bewitched a lot, I think, and on some game shows.

7) In 1984, when this song was popular, AT&T/Bell Telephone was broken up into 24 separate companies. Today, who is your phone provider?

A. ATT provides my wireless, my landline and DSL is provided by Lumos Networks, which is a fairly localized company.

8) Also in 1984, Michael Jackson was severely burned while filming a Pepsi commercial. Would we find any Pepsi in your kitchen right now?

A. No. We do not drink Pepsi in this house. My husband drinks Diet Dr. Pepper and I drink tea or water, with an occasional ginger ale or root beer thrown in for good measure.

9) Random question: Have you ever been so angry that you kicked or hit an inanimate object?

A. Yes.


I encourage you to visit other participants in
Saturday 9 posts and leave a comment. Because there are no rules, it is your choice. Saturday 9 players hate rules. We love memes, however.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Thursday Thirteen

1. We have been watching the home remodeling shows (because there is little else on). We are fashionably in style with the "open floor" concept of what we called a great room in 1987. If my kitchen had white cabinets instead of dark ones, we'd look like a modern reinvention of a home.

If these were white, I'd be in style.
Central Vacuum

2. However, our house is not overly smart. No automatic vacuum cleaners or things like that. We do have a central vacuum, which was a big deal at the time we installed it (again, 1987).

3. We will need to do some basic home updating in the next few years. New flooring, for one. Our carpet is now 12 years old and showing some wear.

12 year old carpet.
Parquet flooring, also installed
in 1987.
4. However, the last time we installed carpet, it sickened me terribly. We are not installing carpet again. We will go with some kind of hardwood or laminate floor.

5. We last painted the entire house in 2005. We have since painted the kitchen, living room, and bathroom, but the bedroom and the two rooms we've converted into "offices" need painting.

6. One room in this house was last painted when we built it, 1987. That would be the laundry room, which also still has the original peel 'n' stick tile flooring on it.

Not painted since 1987.
7. In 2013, we updated the two bathrooms and installed a walk-in shower. This has turned out to be one of the smarter moves we have made in recent years.

Laundry room tile needs replaced. This was also in the
one of the bathrooms.

8. In 2015, we removed the outside deck and poured cement. Also a good move.

9. Over the years we've gone through about 5 dishwashers. We don't use a water softener and have lime water. It eats up things like dishwashers and washing machines. It is especially hard on coffee pots, electric tea kettles, and warm mist humidifiers.

10. In the winter time, we buy a lot of distilled water to use in warm mist humidifiers to keep the machines from "liming up."

11. My husband also uses bottled water in his coffee pot.

12. I filter the water I drink from the sink twice - once with a Pur filter at the spigot and again with a Britta filter in a pitcher. Unfortunately, this doesn't help with the lime issue.

13. Our house, including the garage, is 1,560 square feet. We built it ourselves, with our own two hands, using a house-building kit similar to what Sears sold way back in the 1920s. Ours came from a company called TimberTruss, which is no longer in business. 
Home Sweet Home (in 2010). A few changes since then.


Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here if you want to read other Thursday Thirteens and/or play along. I've been playing for a while and this is my 535th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Money For Nothing

Because of some issues I'm having with my phone company, I started thinking today about all the ways we hand over hard-earned cash.

The phone company wants me to pay $3 a month to block a single irksome caller. It's a call that has no remedy as the call just rings one and a half times and that's it. Nobody is ever there when you pick up. I also know, because I asked on Facebook, that many others are receiving this call. But the phone company won't block the number unless I add call blocking to my phone. I refuse to pay for something I think the phone company should rectify. Ultimately, they are going to lose even more of my business because I'm going to get rid of voice mail and go back to an answering machine, and I'm also going to look into something other than their DSL for Internet. They stand to lose $100 a month over $3, if I can get it all sorted out.

Anyway, this brought to mind numerous other items that I pay for with minimal return. A head of lettuce is one. I buy lettuce because I'm supposed to eat healthy salads, but I haven't found a way to "process" lettuce so that it keeps for any period of time and is convenient. I find making a salad inconvenient as I am forced to spend 20 minutes making a healthy dish that I eat in 5 minutes. I may as well simply walk into a grocery store and say, here's $10, this is my "salad allotment" for the month, and walk out with nothing. Ultimately the salad fixings end up in the trash.

AOL also brought this to mind today because they've changed their log-in screen or something, and now I am having to log in with a password every time and I have three accounts. This is frustrating. I remember when AOL was the only access to the Internet for me, and so I paid for dial-up through it. Then after I was able to obtain dial-up through my local phone company, I no longer paid for AOL (by that time it had switched to a free version). I ignore the advertisements and use the email. However, I have a friend who still pays whatever she was paying for dial-up with AOL from way back when. I have suggested multiple times that she is paying for something she doesn't use, but to my knowledge she still pays it. I don't know how that keeps happening as credit cards expire but whatever.

This is why I dislike allowing companies to charge for things on your credit card automatically. It is too easy for a person to ignore the charge and for the company to simply take money. I had signed up for a trial run of a Zazzle Black account during the holiday season so I would get free shipping, and I forgot to cancel it within the one month period. I was dinged for the $9.95. That was my bad so I ate it.

Norton (virus protection) always wants to do its automatic charge and I turn that off, too. They charge the full price for automatic renewal, but you can always find a better deal and get it that way and save yourself $20 or more.

My mother-in-law was paying the phone company for a rotary dial phone rental - a phone that they had long since tossed. I finally convinced her to call and get the charge off of the bill. I wonder how many older folks are paying that fee on their phone bills when they haven't actually rented a phone from the phone company since 1965.

DirecTV is going up $5 on its charge on January 21, so we will once again be looking at our programming and trying to figure out how to deal with that. Here too there is a possibility we may simply pull out and take our business elsewhere.

Now we are trading money for air. Video games with "in game" purchases are raking in money in $0.99 increments. Every time someone gets stuck and pays the little $0.99 to move ahead, they are literally paying for their lack of patience. All of these games are winnable if people take the time to play them (sometimes over and over, but still, you are putting out your own time and not money). I personally prefer to pay for a full game up front and be done with it. I do not pay for in-game purchases but I know a lot of people do. I am playing one game that I bet people have paid $1,000 for in order to progress, based on the outrageous charges the company asks for the "diamonds" one needs to move forward quickly.

My point - and I do have one - is that we all need to be more careful in our purchases and watch our credit cards and bills. If you see something on a bill that you don't understand, call and ask about it. You may find out you're being charged for something you shouldn't be.

It's a crazy world we live in. Your job is to hold on to what you can make and hope it is enough to live on, and it's everyone else's job to try to take it away from you, apparently. That's capitalism for you. I hate it but I know it appeals to the innate greed of human nature.

Nothing to do but hang tight to my quarters and dimes, I guess.

Monday, January 15, 2018

When the World Smells Like Dead Pig

You don't want to eat
or drink, really, because
dead pig makes you want to gag
but there it is, a smell
trapped in the pockets of your sinuses.
All you can do is smell it,
hope that the antibiotics
do their thing and clear your nasal passages
so that the stench goes away.

As things clear up you start to think maybe
you should eat something again
(lost three pounds so far)
or at least drink a Boost
and then you read your Facebook page,
see that the White House Press Spokesperson
doesn't know how to change the settings on
an Amazon Echo
and blames Amazon
for her own failure.

Then the husband who doesn't believe in conspiracy theories
tells you he thinks the missile mistake in Hawaii maybe
wasn't a mistake but preparation
because we're going to bomb somebody
just to see a big boom.

You see words like shithole and president in the same sentence
then hear about earthquakes, mudslides, fires
and third-world countries in Alabama,
and after a while
you start to think it isn't just your sinuses
causing you to smell dead things.

Maybe you're smelling dead things
because after one last stupid tweet,
morality and all that is good in this world
rolled over and died.