Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Saturday, I spent 2+ hours searching for the perfect tennis shoe. (This was at least my 3rd search!) I assure you - it doesn’t exist. 20 pairs later, a splitting headache, and a tired husband, I decided that the pair I had bought at the first store was the best of all that I had tried.
You may wonder why we continued the search; basically, the cost. Have you looked at tennies lately? They are so expensive. It had been at least 2 years since I had bought a pair and it was painful to shell out the money for these.
I did some consumer research and asked several people what brand, type, etc. they like best. It helped some, but really, every foot is so different. The salesman in one store was just plain fed up with me. He kept offering (no forcing) a variety of shoes and every single pair I rejected. He finally walked away, shaking his head in disgust, I’m sure.
Hopefully, these will last another couple of years. I’m not interested in buying another pair any time soon!
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Ever since I can remember, I have been enamored by a cashiers job. Perhaps they would laugh to read this. My sisters and I would play anything imaginable that included a check-out: grocery store, department store, library... We were always careful to make the appropriate sounds, stamp and slide the books, and of course, bag everything carefully to not crush anything.
I guess I’m living a clerk’s life vicariously by going through the self-check. I know people complain about the lack of personal touch and interaction but I don’t mind. I’d much rather have the joy of scanning my purchases and hearing that beep.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Some of you may remember a previous post regarding toilet paper. :) Today, I brought one of my patients back to my chair and quickly felt a sense of déjà vu. No, there was no toilet paper today just a lot of rapping and dancing when I wasn’t directly speaking to her.
I will call her the orange goddess. Girls, orange must be the new pink! She was decked out in this bright color. Her shirt was orange, orange stripe on her pants, orange tennis shoes, nail polish that was orange, her purse, and finally the doll that was hanging off her purse. Never have I seen so much orange. It was a bit frightening. Where do you even find orange nail polish? It should definitely be outlawed.
To top off this exciting, colorful afternoon, the dentist was doing an exam when her cell phone started to ring (the ring tone must have been set on high…it was very loud!). She proceeded to answer it very loudly. She sat up and had a non-emergency phone conversation at high decibels for at least 10 minutes…no exaggeration. The doctor just looked at her and then went on to another room. Finally, she hung up (only after I had the details of pictures, CVS, etc.). I suggested/requested that she turn off the phone so the exam could be completed. She refused and assured me her sister would not be calling right now!!!
Sometimes I think we’ll never successfully house train Pippi. She had another BIG accident tonight – except I don’t really think it was an accident. She knows she shouldn’t, and goes somewhere we are not to go. Funny – she never goes as much outside, at least not as much at once, like as she does inside. Okay, I’m sorry if that’s more than you wanted to know.
Speaking of well-trained dogs, this has to be toward the top. If I could train Pippi to jump rope with me like this, I wouldn’t care if she wasn’t house-trained!
God does not call us to ease, but to faithful joy. . . . God seldom calls us to an easier life, but always calls us to know more of him and drink more deeply of his sustaining grace.
Saturday, February 18, 2006
I muscled off the packing tape only to find tons of packing peanuts, a little dog’s dream come true. [Side Note: I think packing peanuts are one of the worst inventions, they make such a mess and stick to everything!] I scrambled around and tried to pick them up before Pippi came bounding up the stairs. I thought I succeeded only to have her come and find more.
The box was packed tight and it was difficult to remove the item we had ordered. I struggled, due to its size, but finally managed to pull it out. It was beautiful, soft, luxurious, and exactly what we wanted! I sighed a huge sigh of relief – no $100 non-refundable return! Yeah!
You may be wondering what it was…well, come to our house and see! :) JK, it is a gorgeous california king bedding set. That was our big HSN purchase. It is very nice!
Many of you had some wonderful ideas about what we ordered…I highly recommend you spend some time inventing these great products. We were especially impressed with the dogbot!
Friday, February 17, 2006
(I do apologize for our lack of writing this last week. It bugs me when others go for long periods without blogging, and then I go and do it [or rather, don’t do it] myself. I have no excuses other than very long hours at work, home improvement projects, a lightning storm last night, and . . . I’ll think of something else soon, I’m sure.)
Tom, we love the idea of a dog-bot. But HSN doesn’t have one, or anything close. One night in passing we did see dog-steps advertised, to help your small (or old) dog get up on your bed. Pippi doesn’t need that yet – she can get up quite nicely, thank-you, at least when she wants to. They also have a deep cleaner that apparently does wonders on pet stains, but unlike your dog-bot, I assume, it doesn’t obey voice commands or act independently. And I can find no one item that comes close to completing all those tasks; if you find one, please let us know!
Rebecca, I’m all for your amazing cleaning products, but I don’t see them either, and that’s not what we purchased.
Kevin, I’d like to get a laptop, and HSN sells them, so that’s a realistic guess, but not our purchase.
Josh, I thought your suggestions were very original, and wondered if I could find any of them online. I had no luck with finding electric dog polishers or fur sinks at HSN.com, froogle.com, or even ebay (my favorite locator of hard-to-find objects). Ebay does list a “Rotary Grooming tool Dog Felt Nail polisher buffer,” which you can “buy it now!” for $4.49. It’s supposedly “The Fast and Easy Way to Trim, Shape, and Smooth Nails.” Is that what you were talking about? If you want one, you can check it out here. While at that seller, I also discovered a “20 lb Pet dogs Legs out Padded Front Dog Carrier tote.” I think it looks so funny, and am certain you would get some second, if not third, looks wearing it carrying Bailey! (Especially if you were out on a walk with Catherine carrying Hannah similarly!! I can so picture it, and the hilarious reactions you would get!)
So, my fruitless quasi-shopping trip made me wonder if such things existed at all, or if you made them all up. I am concluding that either great minds think alike – including yours and quite a few others – or you have heard of some of those objects before. I found mentions of electric dog polishers here, and they are also included on a list of useless inventions (some of the other items are also quite funny!). Electric dog polishers also show up on The Motley Fool site in the following example of economics:
When there is only one bidder for an electric dog polisher, the chances for mispricing are infinitely higher than when thousands of investors bid every day on the present price of IBM or Pfizer stock.
Elsewhere, I found the comment that “[i]nventing an electric dog polisher is an interesting concept, but the market would be extremely limited.” I think HSN is probably looking for more marketable products, but then, late night television is probably the time and place for such a product, were it to be sold.
But what makes me suspicious that your ideas are not totally original, other than the microwave socks, is the following quote, provided by the good folks at B&N:
After he became nationally famous as a comedian, Martin joked that his new wealth had allowed him to buy "some pretty good stuff. Got me a $300 pair of socks, got a fur sink ... let's see ... an electric dog-polisher, a gasoline-powered turtleneck sweater ... and of course I bought some dumb stuff, too." Actually, Martin is a serious art collector whose purchases include paintings and drawings by Roy Lichtenstein, Francis Bacon, Pablo Picasso and David Hockney.
And hey, maybe the microwave socks are an updated form of the gas-powered sweater??
Regardless of your originality, however, it was a great idea. Unfortunately, your guess is incorrect. For the real thing, you’ll have to wait for Alaina’s reveal.
Well, to top it all of, I’ve been working on an entry this afternoon and running into a lot of the above problems. Instead of editing from blogger, I was deleting my post and publishing from Word again! But then I just accidently deleted Alaina’s original entry on HSN from last week! Thankfully, I was able to hit my “back” button enough to recover that text, but all of y’all’s great comments are seemingly lost in the bottomless abyss of the internet black hole. (Okay, that’s mixing metaphors, but I can’t help it – that’s how frustrated I am!)
My (real) post shortly . . .
Thursday, February 09, 2006
But the one about which I set out to write – when people say often and pronounce the t. It just shouldn’t happen. How do you say “soften,” or “listen”? I’ve never heard anyone pronounce the t in those words. I learned this from Gary S. several years ago, but didn’t know the why behind it until recently, when I discovered the following usage note on Dictionary.com:
Usage Note: During the 15th century English experienced a widespread loss of certain consonant sounds within consonant clusters, as the (d) in handsome and handkerchief, the (p) in consumption and raspberry, and the (t) in chestnut and often. In this way the consonant clusters were simplified and made easier to articulate. With the rise of public education and literacy and, consequently, people's awareness of spelling in the 19th century, sounds that had become silent sometimes were restored, as is the case with the t in often, which is now frequently pronounced. In other similar words, such as soften and listen, the t generally remains silent.
I concede that this gives some support for the proposition that pronouncing the t in often is now becoming more frequent. Nevertheless, I agree with Gary that it should not be, just as you would not pronounce it in chestnut, listen, or soften. So I wonder, are there other similar words where it is not pronounced?
Finally, a word to those of you reading this who practice these pet peeves of mine: as far as your grammar around me goes, don’t change a thing for my benefit :) I don’t want you walking on pins and needles around me, and certainly don’t want you to avoid me because of a foolish pet peeve on my part! Furthermore, I’m not perfect, and make similar mistakes myself, so am in no position to judge!
One of the exciting aspects of the program is that you can help support one of the children in the schools. That’s something we can do to actually help make a tangible difference, both now and in the long term.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Thursday, February 02, 2006
This is hardly the most significant post I could come up with, but with the amount of time I’ve spent mulling it the last few days, it certainly deserves some space. Somehow in recent days I came across a blurb about the new Bugatti Veyron. From the first picture of the Veyron I saw (see photo nearby), I was hooked. Its color scheme, and my instant fascination with it, brings to mind a 1990 or 1991 Raleigh Peak mountain bike I discovered in an ad in Bicycling Magazine and drooled over for several years. I never received / purchased the Peak. I am afraid that’s not a good omen.
Definitely intrigued by the color scheme, unusual style, and the few tidbits of information I quickly picked up, I did a little research. Here’s a quick overview from Down Under. The article says that few will make their way to Australia; that’s a shame, as it would appear that in its vast open spaces the Veyron would have some room to run . . .
I found a more entertaining and fascinatingly informational review, however, here. The test driver/author has a sense of humor as well as style, and goes into some detail about how the car was designed and developed to actually achieve the sought-after speed (400 kph!) (note especially the part about the side view mirrors acting as “spoilers”). It begins:
When you push a car past 180mph, the world starts to get awfully fizzy and a little bit frightening. When you go past 200mph it actually becomes blurred. Almost like you’re trapped in an early Queen pop video. At this sort of speed the tyres and the suspension are reacting to events that happened some time ago, and they have not finished reacting before they’re being asked to do something else. The result is a terrifying vibration that rattles your optical nerves, causing double vision. This is not good when you’re covering 300ft a second. . . .
But once you go past 200mph it isn’t just the suspension and the tyres you have to worry about. The biggest problem is the air. At 100mph it’s relaxed. At 150mph it’s a breeze. But at 200mph it has sufficient power to lift an 800,000lb jumbo jet off the ground. A 200mph gust of wind is strong enough to knock down an entire city. So getting a car to behave itself in conditions like these is tough.
At 200mph you can feel the front of the car getting light as it starts to lift. As a result you start to lose your steering, so you aren’t even able to steer round whatever it is you can’t see because of the vibrations. Make no mistake, 200mph is at the limit of what man can do right now. Which is why the new Bugatti Veyron is worthy of some industrial strength genuflection. Because it can do 252mph. And that’s just mad — 252mph means that in straight and level flight this car is as near as makes no difference as fast as a Hawker Hurricane.
You might point out at this juncture that the McLaren F1 could top 240mph, but at that speed it was pretty much out of control. And anyway it really isn’t in the same league as the Bugatti. In a drag race you could let the McLaren get to 120mph before setting off in the Veyron. And you’d still get to 200mph first. The Bugatti is way, way faster than anything else the roads have seen.
This latter link also includes, on page 2, a link to a slide show with lots of cool shots. By surfing the net, I found this awesome shot, which is now (at least temporarily) on my desktop both at home and at work. Have I “peaked” your interest? :)
Well, before you decide to go out, buy one, and drive it home, you might want to save your pennies for a while – a long while. You’ll need about 130,000,000 pennies, in fact. (According to this site, that would be about 40 tons of pennies. I don’t think the dealer or the realtor would accept payment that way. [Correction: That should read 400 tons of pennies. Thinking about it on my way to work this morning, I realized my calculation was off by one zero!]) As one of my co-workers commented, he can’t imagine a house this expensive. Well, he and I could imagine such a house (such as this one), but not owning it. And Alaina and I agree – if it comes down to owning a nicer home versus nicer cars, the house definitely wins (not that we’ll be moving up any time soon!).
The possibilities, however, of owning one intrigue me. Let’s say that I need to go to Atlanta next week to review some documents (I do). It’s about 533 miles from here to there. Driving normally, mapquest.com estimates it would take me eight hours and 25 minutes to get there. A flight would take about an hour and a half, but I would need to allow for at least another 45 minutes (conservatively) spent at the airports on each end, for a total of three hours. But if I were driving a Veyron, even at less than top speed of 250 mph – say 220 – I could make it in two hours and 25 minutes. That cuts six hours off the normal commute! Of course, you’d have to allow time to fill it with gas a couple times, but it’s still less than the flight/airport time. Now, don’t you think a Veyron is a great idea? If only I can persuade Alaina.
And yes, there’s other little problems, like cops with radar guns (no, I doubt they could catch me, even with a chopper, but running over stop sticks at 200 mph would not be fun). Even worse would be the terribly slow traffic. Think about it. If I were to come over the crest of a hill at 220 mph and rear-ended another hot-rod going, say, only 90 mph in the same direction, that would nevertheless be like running into a parked car while I was going 130 miles per hour. I wouldn’t have time to say, “Uuh ooh” or even “ouch.” That makes me think of a funny joke, but I don’t have time for that now.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Recently we enjoyed yet another American Idol audition in the office. This time someone gave us a rendition of…actually, I’m not sure what. It was quite unidentifiable. She was singing to the dentist with her new dentures. Must have been a proud moment for her. Evidently, this was the first thing she’s really ever said in the office. How exciting for her to finally feel comfortable enough with her mouth! That’s a huge part of dentistry…making people feel more confident with her mouth and smile.
Last night, I was re-organizing all of our Christmas decorations…yes, I deemed these worthy of keeping. :) Pippi (mostly wanting my full attention) tried to “help” but instead pulled out an ornament and took off with it down the stairs. I chased her down there feeling frustrated and annoyed. She was in the living room and I told her to drop it – did she obey like a good little dog? Of course not; that would be too easy and would certainly attribute too much to our skills as pet owners. Every time I got within a few feet, she would bolt. I was pretty mad by this point…she was looking straight at me and clearly knew what I was requesting. Finally, I bribed her. This is a horrible thing, I know, but I was beyond dealing with her and was afraid she was going to break the ornament. Too late for that. She dropped it in favor of the Cheerio treat and I retrieved the broken ornament.
She spent some quality time in her crate to think about her actions (yes, I had to bribe her to get in there, too). She was glad when Andrew finally came home and let her out. :) She ran upstairs and settled on my lap for a nap…yeah, I love her and can’t stay mad for long!