Friday, May 27, 2011

TEXTING while DRIVING

You'll be hearing from me on this topic in the very near future.

Meanwhile,
DISCUSS in the comment section below,
please.



Friday, May 20, 2011

The end is upon us???

Better give the new Margarita machine a whirl tonight... You know, in case the world ends tomorrow. What time is that supposed to be in the Central Time Zone? I want to be properly Margarita-loaded for it, ya know?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Blogger issues

Surely many of you are aware that Blogger was all messed up last week. WELL, I am still missing a few of my comments and half my Vino page is gone. The vino page is the worst part, because I spent A LOT of time working on that since it was a brand new page, and because blogger may have been having issues while I was doing it, I have no idea if it is a total loss or not. I read in the help section that they have fixed things, BUT I also read in the comments that many of us are not back to where we were. I hope they get us all sorted out soon! Have any of you gotten your stuff back?

Anyway, I have been so busy painting the house that I have hardly had time to blog in any form. I am so happy to have COLOR in my house. When we moved in a few years back, it was ALL painted the same basic beige, BUT it was just done, and I had other things to work on, so I let it go. 4 years hence and I finally had enough! Poor Hubster has really been a trooper getting paint chips shoved under his nose. He knows it is all a farce. I pretend to let him have a say and then I paint whatever color I want. Kinda like naming our beastly children! LOL!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Books... Am I ready to give up the feel of paper in my hands?

My 12 year old son announced a few months ago that he wishes to receive an Amazon.com Kindle e-Reader for his birthday. Since his birthday is not until July, I decided I was not in too big of a hurry to worry on that request, not to mention that there are 3 girls with birthdays ahead of his, one already happened and 2 still to come. The birthday budget is $100 for each kid, with allowances made on an as needed basis.

So, I went to the overlord Google and requested data on the various e-Readers out there. The comparison's and the reviews seem to make the choice of the Kindle a no-brainer. I also ask people I know who have e-Readers, (I find this out when they talk about it on the FaceBook.) So far all the people I have talked to about this have the Kindle. Not a one with another e-Reader, thus far. This must mean that the Kindle is abso-fucking-lutely amazing!

I was fairly pleased to learn that one can download the Kindle software to a PC and use it without the costly e-Reader. My dilemma is whether I should go ahead and get my son the reader for his birthday OR should I order his selection of e-books to use on the laptop, so he will actually have something to read on the Kindle when he gets one. After all, Christmas would be a 5 month wait for e-books to actually use it and he is an avid (possibly rabid?) reader, just like his MOMMA! I lean towards the latter option and he has said that while the laptop would be cumbersome, he would be amenable to the idea -- temporarily anyway.

For myself, I am now in a conundrum. The fact that I am fast running out of room for books has reared its ugly head, once again. Once again, you say? Well, uhm, YES! You see in 1998, we moved into our new house and there was a stack of boxes packed with books that nearly filled the entire basement storage room. Hubster built a fantastarific shelf system for me and I crammed them all on there. They held up great, but we quickly discovered we needed some of the shelf space for other storage as well. Thus I was forced to thin out my books. The local church-run thrift shop was the recipient of untold numbers of my books which they sold, along with all the other masses of donations from generous folks, to buy clothes for poor children. That was the only easy part about giving up some of my books. It was like handing over my life  to someone else who then split it into a gazillion little pieces! In the end I had halved my collection, but being a book addict you know that I was also adding new ones to it the whole time... Counterproductive? Yes!

In 2002 we remodeled our basement and finished off the storage area, dividing it into 2 rooms. My laundry and storage in one room and my library in the other. Since my library area shrank significantly, I had to purge again. This was no easier the second time than it was the first time! 2006 rolled around and we moved 800 miles west to IL. I took all my books with me, but when we moved into our new house, it became apparent that I needed to purge yet again. (Are you seeing the 4 year pattern yet?) Well let me tell you this has become extremely difficult and I am horrified to notice that my shelves are sagging and while I have squeeked past the 4 year mark this time... the deck is apparently stacked against me.

The problem for me is that I love the feel of the paper and the weight of the book. Turning the page? Well, there is just nothing quite like it, especially when the book is suspenseful! So I must now decide whether I can give up buying books in the tangible format and convert to the obviously more ecologically friendly e-format. OOOOHHHH, but this is gonna be HARD!!!!

Do you have an e-reader? What kind, how and why do you like it? What do you dislike about it and why? Are you okay with the lack of a physical book? Inquiring minds want to know!

Monday, May 9, 2011

M-I-L's

I read a post today on a blog I follow and it was one that really struck a chord with me. Considering my own "up-hill on both sides" of the mountain battle, I was simply struck by the fact that so many of us are mistreated by our Mothers-in-Law. BUT, what is far worse is that so many of their sons allow it.

Just to be clear: Yes, I am aware that this abuse happens conversely to men who don't stack up to their wives mothers as well...

Anyway... read on and share your MIL nightmares here if you like.

Friday, May 6, 2011

surveys

OK, I decided to give survey taking a whirl... again.

I did NPD for about 10 years and got nothing for my troubles. Their surveys became longer and longer, more and more repetitive and less and less interesting. They started out offering cash prizes and then later went to a points program which you could enter however many of your points into a contest to win something. I never won anything until last year and when I did, it was supposed to be $20 in Zynga money cards, what I got was a $10 money card to play YoVille and the same for Mafia Wars. I have played these games, still do -- sort of. (Mostly I am neighbor to others that do play.) ANYWAY the point is, I was not even offered a choice to choose what games I would want money cards for. Honestly, what if I didn't play those 2 games? I would have had a useless gift. Moreover, they advertised it as Zynga cash and were not specific about the games to which they would send the cards for. I decided to point this out and sent a message to NPD about my concerns regarding how the prize was advertised and distributed by their prize agency. They seemed appropriately chagrined and said as much. NPD even offered ZYNGA money cards that were not game specific. (I do not think Zynga offers non-specific money cards, so while I said sure that'd be fine I was not expecting much.) Well nothing ever materialized and they never followed up. I figured after 10 years and countless surveys and hours of my time they could have been a bit more customer service-y with me, so, I gave up.

Recently I started following Odd Jobs Momma to see if she had any good recommendations for places to make a little cash from home. She posted one for surveys where you can earn cash and I decided to sign up. For the most part it is OK and if you want to do surveys they will definitely hook you up. The only problem I have with this particular survey site is their "tutorial" survey. This survey requires me to go to a web site for credit report scores, join it, get my credit scores and then answer a survey about my experience. I have gotten my scores on-line before, so that is not the problem. I find that I am extremely bothered that the first survey they expect me to accomplish, in order to open up other "locked" surveys, requires me to do something so utterly personal AND does not account for the fact that I may have (1) no need of my scores at this time (2) have already used this site before (3) may not wish to do a survey that requires my social security number. I believe there should be a choice of tutorial surveys for these very reasons, particularly #3.

If you have participated with any survey sites, please relate your experiences -- good or bad. I think this is a good topic to open up.

One of the links sent to me was to be a secret shopper. I have often wondered about doing this and want to know if anyone has any true life experience doing it to share. With what company were you associated and did you like it? I had previously found a company, but upon entering my zip code, was not able to participate. Guess there were no opportunities in my area. Of concern to me is whether or not these companies are legit and how to really tell. These days things on-line ar not always as they appear, as we all well know!

TA for now! =]

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Who ARE you?

This morning while checkin' out the posts of some of the blogs I follow, I came across a post from one of my more recently discovered fave blogs: My Husband Ate All My Ice Cream. I really enjoy Heather's posts for their humor and frankness. Tuesday she had a guest post from fellow blogger Tiffany over at Mommy Rawks.

I was really moved by her heartfelt post about being ostracized by other parents for being different than they are. Here I am linking back to Tiffany's post at her own blog, because like all of us newer bloggers, she needs traffic and followers.

I may be 40 now, but when I was a Mom at 21, I ran up against plenty of prejudice. I was first a single Mom which was apparently dirty, I was second a former (?) wild-child (though to be honest I think I was tame in comparison to most) and third I was YOUNG. My daughter was with a sitter for a few years, but when pre-school time came, I took her back to the place my brothers and I had gone as tykes. It was closer to work than anything near where we lived and they were willing to cut me significant slack in the otherwise expensive hoity toity tuition.

There I was in my ancient Crown Victoria OR occasionally in my boyfriend's old F150 dropping my daughter off whilst the other Mom's stared in horror that our Ford's might somehow contaminate their Beamers and Mercedes etc... I dressed in leggings and tunics or jeans and t-shirt's back then, though my clothes were fairly nice because I was benefiting from Mom's 30% employee discount at Woodward & Lothrop (a local department store, now defunct), but they were obviously from the JUNIORS department. The other mommies wore Sak's 5th Avenue, Nordstron's, Neiman Marcus and Garfinkle's (the top dollar department stores) attire. When parent meetings were held for class group activities, I was not invited, though I was expected to contribute same as the rest of them. No matter that they intentionally assigned me things that were a strain on my lowly budget, I always scraped it together. I was not going to be cowed by those snobs, many of whom had no clue I grew up right in their midst, though we were never in the same financial class as they were -- my parents divorce took care of that... Anyway, they ignored me and when I was at school for functions I was left by myself with no one to talk with, often when I was approaching they turned away. My daughter was not mistreated that I ever saw. She was invited to the other kids birthdays, but I imagine that was more due to school policy of inviting everyone in the class.

Eventually the boyfriend became the Hubster, but that did nothing to improve the snobby attitude straight through the end of Kindergarten. I was really glad when we bought a house and my daughter was headed to first grade in our new town. I had high hopes I would be less ignored by the other mom's since we were not living in snob-ville. Well it took a few years to overcome it, but I was eventually accepted there to a degree. My daughter was nearly in 5th grade before I finally began to feel like I was old enough to be listened to. Never mind that I spearheaded of a couple PTA programs and served as PTA Treasurer for 2 years (and a damned good one at that!). There were a few mom's who did treat me right and I still consider them among my dearest friends; Thank you Donna and Ellen! XX

So, tell me, do you find you are ostracized for some reason? Moving here at 35 to IL was a whole new eye-opening experience in snubbing, just because I am not local. That is for another day OR if you have nothing better to do with your time, you could go look at some of my early posts: The Bitchin Spot July 2010 archive.

Meanwhile, go over and give my Blog Buddies your attention and I hope you will become Blog Buddies too!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Thoughts on the death of OBL...

CONTRARY to the post I wrote late on May 1st, I am not inclined, as a rule, to celebrate the death of anyone. Death is sad and hard and it hurts. No matter who it is who has died, that person had a family who loved them -- warts and all. I did not party in the streets like so many around the country, but I was satisfied, maybe even a bit elated that the job had finally been done.

Osama bin Laden was a man who became a monster. A man who openly declared war on humanity and did irreparable harm. To what end? No one truly knows the mind of a sicko BUT surely to be such a person he must've been completely scrambled in the brains.

Given the breadth of his reach and how much strife he caused, I have a hard time feeling any remorse over his death. I think that his death brings a closing to an ugly chapter in history. Same as Hitler. Certainly the world is a better place without these kinds of people. What is unclear and really shocking to me, is how their mental illness' were not recognized and addressed BEFORE they ever got the chance to exact their psychotic behavior on large portions of the world.

If the death of OBL is a good thing, (and I believe it is) then I hope the US can move forward now that we have succeeded in finally achieving this goal. I am constantly reminded of the hypocrisy that is America. I love my country, but I do not understand it. The standards we set for ourselves and those we set for others are not generally the same and quite often are in conflict with each other. I believe quite vehemently that if GWB had not allowed himself to be distracted with revenge in Iraq, the OBL goal would have been accomplished long ago. We were spread far to thin to get the job done effectively. Iraq needed to be dealt with but perhaps not when and how it was. Then again, would the repercussions of the death of OBL have been worse than the predictions of retribution now? From all I hear on the news, he had essentially become irrelevant beyond being an iconic figurehead in the organization he started. It seems that if he really had lost his true authority, then in some ways we had already won against him. The invisible man surely had a hard time wielding power over his minions from afar.

On September 11, 2001, I was at home with my 2 little ones. My phone rang and it was my friend DK calling to tell me to turn o the tv. She knew me well enough to know I had kids cartoons on for them and I was listening to DirecTV music while eating breakfast. We watched together in horror as the second plane hit. It was all quite surreal, until we heard about the plane in DC. They were not positive if the Pentagon was the target, though I am betting they were pretty sure. There was confusion about the other plane that eventually crashed in PA and it was unclear if there were other planes set to crash into the White House or US Intel sites in DC. One of which my Hubster worked in at the time. That is when I became somewhat panicky. I got a hold of him at work and he said they weren't letting them leave yet. After that the phone lines were impossible to get a dial tone so until he walked in the door, and until there was certainty that no other planes had been compromised, I was in quite a state. To say I was relieved when he got home is an understatement. My sadness and horror at the fact that this had happened here in America was no less than the next person. I too felt the call for revenge that resonated through the country.


Now that the euphoria is dying down, I wonder how we proceed from this point. I imagine whatever we do we will need to tread lightly and with extreme caution.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Osama bin DEADMAN!

Nothing couth about this post:

We have officially killed that mother fucking bastard!
HOT DAMN!

Now, the backlash will come and we had better be ready!

KUDOS to our intel and military special ops teams!!