Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Essential vocabulary additions for the workplace (and elsewhere)
1. BLAMESTORMING: Sitting around in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.
2. SEAGULL MANAGER: A manager, who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves.
3. ASSMOSIS: The process by which some people seem to absorb success and advancement by kissing up to the boss rather than working hard.
4. SALMON DAY: The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die in the end.
5. CUBE FARM: An office filled with cubicles.
6. PRAIRIE DOGGING: When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on.
7. MOUSE POTATO: The online, wired generation's answer to the couch potato.
8. SITCOMs: Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage. What Yuppies get into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids.
9. STRESS PUPPY: A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiny.
10. SWIPEOUT: An ATM or credit card that has been rendered useless because the magnetic strip is worn away from extensive use.
11. XEROX SUBSIDY: Euphemism for swiping free photocopies from one's workplace.
12. IRRITAINMENT: Entertainment and media spectacles that are annoying, but you find yourself unable to stop watching them.
13. PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE: The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again. I often feel like doing this to my computer.
14. ADMINISPHERE: The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.
15. 404: Someone who is clueless. From the World Wide Web error message "404 Not Found," meaning that the requested site could not be located.
16. GENERICA: Features of the American landscape that are exactly the same no matter where one is, such as fast food joints, strip malls and subdivisions.
17. OHNOSECOND: That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just made a BIG mistake. (Like after hitting send on an e-mail by mistake.)
18. WOOFS: Well-Off Older Folks.
A few surprising spins on utility-room essentials can give you new appreciation for laundry day.
The Laundry Room
Sunday, January 28, 2007
I thought I would let my beautiful daughter, Korey, be a guest blogger this morning. She has been with us for a little over a year now and has a lot to share.
Here's just a few of her thoughts:
g dtyjjhuyjhuyjth?mm , bbbbbbbbbb b
bnnjb hj c vcvcv
Interesting! Thanks Korey!
Every summer, the Whalley Range All Stars rolls out “The Pig” to various festivals across the UK. Kids (and brave adults) don little piglet tails and assume their positions to watch a short show performed inside the pig. Between shows, the pig moves around a little and makes pig noises.
The same items that keep your bed comfortable and wardrobe neat can also preserve produce or hold CDs.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Discover hundreds of little-known uses for well-known products,
by just clicking on a product!
- Alberto VO5® Conditioning Hairdressing
- Arm & Hammer® Baking Soda
- Baby Magic® Baby Powder
- Canada Dry® Club Soda
- Carnation® Nonfat Dry Milk
- ChapStick® Lip Balm
- Clairol® Herbal Essences®
- Clorox® Bleach
- Cool Whip®
- Colgate® Regular Flavor Toothpaste
- Conair® Pro Style™ 1600
- Cover Girl® NailSlicks® Classic Red
- Crayola® Chalk
- Dannon® Plain Yogurt
- Downy® Fabric Softener
- Forster® Toothpicks
- French’s® Mustard
- Glad® Flexible Straws
- Gold Medal® Flour
- Heinz® Vinegar
- Huggies® Baby Wipes
- Irish Spring® Soap
- Jif® Peanut Butter
- Kingsford's® Corn Starch
- Lipton® Tea Bags
- Maxwell House® Coffee
- Maybelline® Crystal Clear Nail Polish
- McCormick® Food Coloring
- Miracle Whip®
- Mr. Coffee® Filters
- Oral-B® Mint Waxed Floss
- Reynolds Wrap®
- Smirnoff® Vodka
- Star® Olive Oil
- SueBee® Honey
- Tidy Cats®
- 20 Mule Team® Borax®
- Vaseline® Petroleum Jelly
- Viva® Paper Towels
- Wesson® Corn Oil
- Wilson® Tennis Balls
- Wishbone® Thousand Island Salad Dressing
- Ziploc® Storage Bags
I was more burdened by wet garbage than I thought, and more relieved than I expected by a fiendishly simple device called the Green Cone.
Regular composters are notoriously picky: no bones, no meat, no oil, no avocado pits or shells, no citrus peels, no dairy products. The Green Cone happily devours all that stuff, which means that pretty much all your kitchen waste can go in it, right now. File and forget.
All you need is some yard and a spot that gets sunshine. The Cone's perforated plastic basket is sunk two feet into the ground. The Cone stands 28 inches above the ground, collecting sun warmth to encourage the bacteria down below who are chowing on the garbage and seeping the resultant nutrients into the soil. Thanks to the ground seal around the basket, there's no smell at all, except when you open the top of the Cone to add more yummy garbage for the microbes.
Garden wastes should not go in the Cone, because they would overwhelm it with volume. Nor should paper or plastic products, which is about all you'll have left in your now light and odorless kitchen trash bin.
-- Stewart Brand
Available from SolarCone
Friday, January 26, 2007
Bee Attack Story By Ron Hatch
Was having late lunch at the Zion Road when I witnessed an elderly woman being attacked by bees just outside the hawker centre. At first, I thought it was flies. The lady tried to fan off the bees with a towel and wanted to enter the hawker centre for shelter. Frightened hawkers and patrons shouted at her to run to somewhere less crowded. She stood there helplessly while the little insects stung and finding their way into her ears, nose and mouth. Some hawkers tried to help by fanning off the bees with burning newspaper. Another person from the coffee shop across the street splashed water on her. Finally, she ran across the street towards Great World City where someone had set up a little fire and smoke. After the ordeal, her face and limbs were full of bee-stings. The poor lady wanted to just walk away on her own to seek treatment from a nearby private clinic. The ambulance arrived just then and passersby advised her to seek treatment from the hospital.
For one month in 2006, Evan from Lansing Michigan spent only $30 on food......$1 a day for the entire month of November! And he chronicled the whole thing in his blog.
From his blog:
For the month of November, I’m only spending $30 on food. The only exception will be things that are freely available to the average person (salt taken from restaurants, sauce packets from Taco Bell, free coffee from an office). Buying in advance is fine, but at the end of the month, it all has to add up to $30 or less.
I could never do that.
Evans blog doesn't have any way to go from one post to the next and since everything in a blog is posted in chronological order, you see the latest posts first. So I've compiled all his posts into this one list to make it easier to keep track of where you are and what to read next. Start at the bottom and read up. It's quite fascinating.
- Day 30 - In Conclusion
- Day 29 - The End Is Near
- Day 28 - Adaptation
- Day 27 - Looking Forward
- Day 26 - The End In Sight
- Day 25 - Less Than A Week Left
- Day 24 - More Energy... Sort Of
- Da y 23 - Thanksgiving
- Day 22 - The Benefits Of Dining In
- Day 21 - "Here's What You've Got To Do..."
- Day 20 - Three For A Dollar
- Day 19 - Revelations
- Day 18 - Hotdogs
- Day 17 - We Have An Office Kitchen
- Day 16 - Comfort Food
- Day 14 - The Weighting Game
- Day 13 - Are You Kidding Me?
- Day 12 - Here's What I've Bought So Far
- Day 11- The Dread of Eating
- Day 10 - Thinking About Food
- Day 9 - Beans
- Day 8 - A Strange Sensation
- Day 7 - Desperate Times Lead to Innovation
- Day 6 - Conversations
- Day 5 - I'm Still Eating Rice
- Day 4 - Not All Pots Were Meant To Boil Water
- Day 3 - The Slowdown Begins
- Day 2 - What Can You Eat For A Buck?
- Day 1 - Grab yourself a plate buddy
- So Here’s The Deal…
A soak in the tub can wash away your cares, but there's more magic to be found in the medicine cabinet.Baby Oil
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
I was checking my email when I realized it was awfully quiet in the livingroom. A little too quiet, even for her. She's a noisy multi-tasker with her toys while watching Blues Clues, talking to the dog and occasionally sipping her cup of juice. But this time, it was really quiet, more than normal. So I get up to go see if maybe she fell asleep (yeah, right) or something. Look in the livingroom, no Korey. Look into the bedroom, no Korey. Great, she must be in the kitchen again. As I cross the path of the stairs to my left, I stop dead in my tracks, take in a huge gasp of air as I am catching sight of this.......
She was on the 10th step of a 13 step flight of stairs. She can't even walk yet, but she can crawl and climb like she was training to compete in it at the Olympics!
Needless to say, I have a gate up now.
It's a new adventure everyday with her. She's growing up so fast. Tomorrow I expect her to be cooking me breakfast in bed all by herself.
Side note to Kasey:
Honey, I sure wish I had computer skills and a digital camera back when you were little. The things your sister does reminds me so much of you at her age.
Is it possible to locate a man, given only his photograph and first name?
A UK games company is testing the power of the Internet by asking that very question; they have recruited one of Earth's 6 billion residents - a man named Satoshi - to participate in this experiment.
We are each only five to seven people away from any target in the world. Someone, somewhere, knows Satoshi - so we must track these people, and thus Satoshi, down using word-of-mouth communication. People from over 80 countries are already participating in the hunt, with more joining every day.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
This neat little device can keep your coffee hot and your soda cool, all from your computer’s USB port. Seems like the perfect gift for someone who’s always on the road. The Chiller/Warmer is available for only $24.
Buy it here!
In every part of your house, everyday items — from clothespins to cotton swabs — are simply waiting to do surprising new things.
Wine Bottle or Cork
Ice Cube Tray
Monday, January 22, 2007
A redneck family from the hills was visiting the city and they were in a mall for the first time in their lives The father and son were strolling around while the wife shopped. They were amazed by almost everything they saw, but especially by two shiny, silver walls that could move apart and then slide back together again.
The boy asked, "Paw, what's at?" The father (never having seen an elevator) responded, "Son, I dunno. I ain't never seen anything like that in my whole life, I ain't got no idea'r what it is."
While the boy and his father were watching with amazement, a fat old lady in a wheel chair rolled up to the moving walls and pressed a button. The walls opened and the lady rolled between them into a small room. The walls closed and the boy and his father watched the small circular number above the walls light up sequentially.
They continued to watch until it reached the last number and then the numbers began to light in the reverse order. Then the walls opened up again and a gorgeous, voluptuous 24 year-old blonde woman stepped out.
The father, not taking his eyes off the young woman, said quietly to his son, "Boy..................go git cha Momma".
One of my favorite things to do online is make travel reservations. I haven't had the grand opportunity to do it very often but when I do get the rare chance, I can't wait to hit the keys. I'll even make reservations for other people.....just ask me! There's something very fascinating and magical to me about making reservations online....online, I say! No talking to a machine, no being put on hold, no talking to a thick accent.....just me, the screen and the printer.
The technological geek in me squeals every time!
Well, check this out. There's a new travel website in town and its name is Kayak.com
From their website:
What we are not.
Kayak.com is not a travel agency. With a travel agency, you pay a fee to get an airline reservation, a hotel room or a rental car. There are no fees with Kayak.com. We do not sell airline tickets or hotel rooms or rental car reservations. Instead, we direct you to other travel sites where you can make these purchases directly. Our way of helping you plan your travel gives you a more comprehensive list of your travel options. Really fast. And with no biases or hidden agenda. In short, you are in control of your travel choices. Since we search hundreds of travel websites (including travel agency sites), you now have to search only one: Kayak.com.
What we are.
Kayak.com is an excellent example (some would say the poster child) for Web 2.0. We are considered a meta-search engine and that means our website searches hundreds of other websites in real time for the best travel deals available. Kayak.com lets you look at a full range of airlines, hotels and car rental agencies quickly and efficiently based on the exact criteria you select. We have put a lot of thought into the design of our website, and it has won accolades from consumers and the press alike (2006 Forbes Best of the Web for example) because of its simple, straightforward design and ease of use. Building a better travel search product is what we are about here at Kayak.com.
Looks and sounds very promising!
Cheap Airfare, Hotel Reservations, Car Rentals - Kayak.com
Use Nail Polish to Color-Code Keys
Original Purpose: Giving yourself a well-groomed look from tip to toe.
Aha! Use: Color-coding keys. Lay keys flat and apply a thick coat of a different shade to the top of each key.
Reward: Keys of distinction.
Business Card Holder as Sugar Packet Carrier
Original Purpose: Keeping your credentials presentable.
Aha! Use: Making packets of your favorite sweetener portable.
Reward: Always having coffee your way — without a purse full of powder from broken packets.
Laundry Bag as Dishwasher Item Saver
Original Purpose: Saving delicate unmentionables from getting stretched in the spin cycle.
Aha! Use: Keeping mini Tupperware lids, baby-bottle caps, and other small items from falling through the dishwasher rack.
Reward: No more diving for treasure on the floor of the dishwasher.
Matchbox as Travel Sewing Kit
Original Purpose: Lighting your fire.
Aha! Use: Storing a tiny travel sewing kit. A matchbox is the perfect size for holding the essentials: needles, thread, buttons, and a few safety pins.
Reward: No need to panic when a button emergency strikes during a business trip.
Store Toilet Paper in Tall Vases
Original Purpose: Showing off all those long-stemmed roses from gentleman callers.
Aha! Use: Helping toilet paper hide in plain sight.
Reward: Guests don’t have to root around for a new roll in your not absolutely, positively tidy vanity, and you always know when you’re running low.
Magnetic Clip as Recipe Holder
Original Purpose: Keeping the office phone list within easy reach.
Aha! Use: Holding your recipe at eye level while you’re standing at the stove. Stick the clip to the stove hood and your recipe is exactly where you need it.
Reward: An end to the daily dinner dance from recipe to stove and back.
Bubble Wrap as Travel Jewelry Organizer
Original Purpose: Cushioning breakables before entrusting them to the mailman.
Aha! Use: Taking jewelry on a tangle-free trip. Place chains and earrings on a length of wrap, roll tightly, and tape closed.
Reward: Necklaces that emerge from your suitcase ready to wear, even if the same can’t be said for your clothes.
Beatriz da Costa
Six-Pack Container as Picnic Organizer
Original Purpose: Transporting your brew from refrigerator case to refrigerator shelf.
Aha! Use: Transporting condiments, silverware, napkins, and picnic supplies from kitchen to patio.
Reward: A free tote that makes polishing off the last bottle a little less dispiriting.
Toilet Paper Roll as Cord Holder
Original Purpose: Moving the toilet tissue round and round.
Aha! Use: Storing an extension cord. Coil the cord into a hank about 1 1/2 inches thick, then slide it through the tube for a neat package that won’t come unwound.
Reward: Tangle-free power wherever you need it.
Secure Straps on Hangers with Rubber Bands
Original Purpose: Bundling mail in the postman’s bag.
Aha! Use: Keeping camisoles and sundresses from slipping off their hangers. For this stop-strap measure, wrap a band (or two if you use skinny ones) around each end of a hanger.
Reward: Garments that stay put instead of sliding to the floor.
Tissue Box as Grocery Bag Holder
Original Purpose: Helping you through a weepie movie.
Aha! Use: Storing plastic grocery bags under the kitchen sink. After Terms of Endearment has exhausted your supply of tissues, stuff the bags into the empty box.
Reward: Order is restored in your cabinets, and bags are ready for reuse.
Keep Fabric Wrinkle-Free with Mailing Tubes
Original Purpose: Protecting posters and prints in the post.
Aha! Use: Keeping a scarf or a tablecloth wrinkle-free. Roll the fabric around the tube, then run a length of ribbon through it and tie a bow.
Reward: A smooth transition for your accessories, without blowing off ironing steam.
Store Laundry, Pantry, and Garden Items in a Shower Caddy
Original Purpose: Shelving all your suds, salts, and scrubs.
Aha! Use: Stocking extra supplies in your laundry room, pantry, or garden shed. Use the dead space around the doorknob when the cabinets can’t take anymore.
Reward: No need to tip this caddy to keep your tools handy.
Use a Desk Organizer in the Kitchen
Original Purpose: Keeping files orderly.
Aha! Use: Sorting cookie sheets, cutting boards, and jelly-roll pans in the kitchen.
Reward: No more cymbal-crashing sounds from your overstuffed cupboard.
Store Pills in a Contact-Lens Case
Original Purpose: Storing 20/20 vision overnight.
Aha! Use: Transporting non-prescription pills without all the bottles. Pop it into your handbag and you’ll have a headache remedy handy when the man in seat 7A drones on about his herniated disk.
Reward: More room for that fifth pair of shoes.
Hold Recipe Cards in CD Cases
Original Purpose: Keeping that Van Morrison disc scratch-free.
Aha! Use: Displaying a recipe card during meal prep. Open the case and bend it back as shown, then place the card (after cutting it to fit, if necessary) on top.
Reward: Easy-reading reuse of that easy-listening-album holder.
Label with Return-Address Stickers
Original Purpose: Donation lure from charities; bill-paying time-saver.
Aha! Use: Labels for less. Stick or tape them on anything you don't want to lose books, magazines, umbrellas, Tupperware containers, cell phones, the stapler on your desk at work.
Reward: Many happy returns.
Organize Bills with Napkin Holder
Original Purpose: Keeping napkins at hand.
Aha! Use: Organizing bills. Instead of keeping them in an office file (or a messy pile), try something more attractive. As you open mail, stash the bills in order of their due dates.
Reward: Bills that don’t look businesslike (but still need to be paid).
Pack Boxes with Popcorn
Original Purpose: Additional entertainment during the Bridget Jones sequel.
Aha! Use: Packing supply. Sprinkle plain, air-popped popcorn in a mailing box for cushioning. If you don’t have an air popper, cover the item with a plastic bag first.
Reward: Protect precious cargo; snack on the leftovers.
Tote Money, Keys with Binder Clip
Original Purpose: Securing papers.
Aha! Use: A clip-on key chain/money holder that's ideal for your morning walk. Take a 1 1/4-inch binder clip and pinch one of the wire arms toward the center to release it from its hinge. Slide on your key and refasten. Clamp to your waistband with a few bucks for coffee and a paper.
Gather Toys with Dustpan
Original Purpose: Collecting dust.
Aha! Use: Scooping up small toys — Lego blocks, jacks, Barbie shoes, plastic soldiers.
Reward: Reclaim your living room for grown-ups.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
I have been taking it easy on posts this last week or so because of all the chaos the ice storm has caused. We have had family staying with us all this week and so I haven't had as much time to post lengthier things. Everyone is returning to their own homes now and hopefully things will be getting back to normal.
In the meantime, here's another email joke.
"Sixty is the worst age to be," said the 60-year-old man. "You always feel like you have to pee and most of the time you stand there and nothing comes out."
"Ah, that's nothin," said the 70-year old. "When you're seventy, you don't have a bowel movement any more. You take laxatives, eat bran, sit on the toilet all day and nothin' comes out!"
"Actually," said the 80-year old, "Eighty is the worst age of all."
"Do you have trouble peeing, too?" asked the 60-year old.
"No, I pee every morning at 6:00. I pee like a racehorse on a flat rock; no problem at all."
"So, do you have a problem with your bowel movement?"
"No, I have one every morning at 6:30."
Exasperated, the 60-year-old said, "You pee every morning at 6:00 and crap every morning at 6:30. So what's so bad about being 80?"
"I don't wake up until 7:00."
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
The last few days have been exhausting. The ice storm of the century hit Missouri on Friday night and left devastation and desperation in its path. We lost our utilities and spent 3 days at my sisters house. Coming home yesterday was a blessing and a treat. It's sure nice to be sleeping in my own bed again, but I feel for those who are still battling the cold and the lack of daily luxuries. There's also a lot of work to be done. Our yard and street is so sad looking. Pics later.....
Ron said it best in his post:
By RON DAVIS
The storm hit Friday and held the city through Sunday. On Tuesday there was sunshine, at least for a while. In between there was ice, layer upon layer of rain that hit the trees and stuck fast. Because it had been warm -- 50s and 60s into Friday, just before the storm struck -- there was fog at night, and if you stood outside for more than a minute you could see through the shroud as ice-burdened trees gave way. You could hear them creaking and losing limbs with a sound like the rip of a well-worn flannel shirt, followed by a snap and the crystal sound of shattered ice. If you stayed outside long enough you could make yourself believe there was some sort of lumbering monster out there in the fog, stomping through the dark.
This storm was a freak, a super slo-mo disaster that seemed to arrest all motion and sense. It moved at a glacial pace, dropping devastation onto the natural order, but it left most of the unnatural intact. The roads didn't freeze over; the only hazards to driving were the obscenely amputated tree limbs, and the occasional power line they brought down (most of the lines stayed in place, almost looking festive with their streamers of frozen rain).
Most natural disasters are frightening, and should be; they serve notice that compared to a whirling cloud that touches ground, we are little more than pissants. The ice storm of 2007 will be remembered as a disaster without terror.
No terror, but plenty of panic. Because we knew the storm was coming, we planned without thinking, buying perishables to put into refrigerators that stopped working, or forgetting batteries for the flashlights. There was scant chance to die in this storm; the biggest threat to life was getting bonked on the head by a falling tree limb. Mostly the storm was an annoyance, a drag: No lights? No Internet? No cable?
The upside to the storm was humanity. People who live next door to each other had the chance to become neighbors, and often did, offering food or a warm fireplace. Those who would gouge the needy with storm's-a-coming prices were outnumbered by honest brokers who just wanted to help their fellow humans in a crisis.
The media did its job, and for the most part did it well. Some reporters said it looked like a "war zone" outside, ignoring the lack of bomb craters and buildings pockmarked by bullets, but most played it straight. The best reporting happened when the message was undiluted. Radio stations devolved into community message boards, passing along information on shelters, generators, hot food. One local announcer, best known for being a divider, rose above to be a broadcaster, spending dozens of hours at his post. Juliana Goodwin of the News-Leader -- a delightful woman, and don't you forget it -- reported on the announcer's work, and how he will remember "the incredible love people have shown each other." Perhaps he will recall that love the next time he's spewing hate.