Saturday, July 19, 2008

Blog Brain Interface

That’s what I need. Invariably I’m upstairs in the kitchen doing something and a fantastic, wonderful, very wise rant will come to mind and I totally write it in my head, but by the time I get in front of the computer... gone. Total blank, lost the whole wonderful rant.

Therefore I need a direct interface from my brain to blogger, although that might get a bit dangerous as I could be (for instance and not like I actually do this or thought of this or had this happen, this is just an example so I don’t want anyone saying that this has actually happened to me and spread it around like it actually has, this is just an example) in the bathroom and find a strange pimple thing somewhere private and I could think “gee, that’s a strange pimple-thing somewhere private” and the next thing I know, that’s being posted on this blog.

Ok, so I’m trying to think of what I did tonight that I got all riled up about:

I was cooking and, of course, had to cut open the big bag of cheese that has the “easy opening” that is impossible to open and the re-sealable bag that is impossible to reseal so it got dumped into a gallon zip lock bag. No, I’ve already covered that one.

Pulling out some reynolds wrap only to have a little end of it get trapped so that I’m pulling out a bit less than a full sheet and will end up with a tiny shred on the roll when the whole thing is gone if I don’t put a stop to it right now. No, that’s annoying, but not rant worthy.

Cursing for going to 14 different stores today with a list AND coupons (watch out, the world could be ending) and forgetting something that I didn’t have on the list, but really needed, like liverwurst and coffee. Ok, liverwurst is for the dogs, I hide their pills in there, but the coffee is vital. Luckily I still have enough beans in the grinder for a day or two, so its not total freak out run to 7-11 at 2 a.m. for my fix type of need to get coffee moments... but it could end up that way if I don’t write it down, then remember the stupid list.

I’m also pretty much convinced that the poison ivy era has passed, but now we have renegade mosquitos in the house that are eating me alive. How one of them could land on my forehead without me being aware is beyond me, but I have an itchy bite on my forehead and on my neck. I think they are stealth mosquitos. I look like a chewed corncob or a leper.

The big laugh of the night came from the Real Simple magazine I bought. When that magazine first came out, I thought it would be really cool to read about how to do simple things. After reading it, I realized that it must not be a magazine on how to do simple things, because everything in there is so obvious and I already do it... therefore the magazine must be called Real Simple for its audience, who must have no brain whatsoever.

I digress, anyway I saw an ad in the magazine for “a way to easily remove embedded pet hair from upholstery” The bold is what they put in their ad. I laugh, I laugh hysterically at their claims. I even watched the “demo” on their site and laughed some more. The mere pittance of dog hair they demonstrated that thing on. Sure it looks amazing on the video, but I’ll be going out to get one of those beauties tomorrow to test out on REAL fur, the fur of three Siberian Huskies. Now THAT’S fur!

The results of my test will be published on the Husky Review.

Friday, July 18, 2008

What a relief

I know that all of you have been really concerned, and somewhat frightened, but thankfully the list came out today... and we aren’t going to lose ANY of the starbucks in my area.

Yes, you can all come out of hiding now, there’s no reason to be afraid any more. I’m thankful to say that the Starbucks at the Arundel Mills strip mall, the one at the Safeway in the strip mall, the one across the street at the mall, AND the brand new one less than a mile down the road from there will all remain open... THANK GAWD!!!!

Of course, I won’t be going to Annapolis any time soon, because there’s only 1 Starbucks every mile as opposed to one per block, so dang, how can I survive there?

In case you need to check the list, here it is I hope you aren’t forced to go an extra block to get your fix.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

We interupt the previously scheduled blog post...

I was going to tell everyone all about my exciting time at a Star Trek convention yesterday, but that would require being able to type and think at the same time, which I'm not capable of right now.

No, I'm not drunk, I'm actually hopped up on a butt load of Benadryl. No, I don't have a cold (my gah you have a lot of questions, just shut up so I can tell you already)!

Last week I was doing yard clean up. Seeing how we prefer to let things grow wild until either we can't find our front door, or we feel that the neighbors are about to contact the county and bitch about our suburban woodlands effect, it was a full time fun fest that left me sweaty, tired, and with a clogged nose. Toward the end of this exercise in futility (as wildlife tends to continue growing unless you totally poison the yard), I came upon this vine thing that was growing out of control in the side of our yard. Undaunted, I proceeded to cut and pull this vine thing out of the ground and shove it into a garbage bag, pretty much slathering the vine thing all over my arms and legs in the process. While I was doing this I thought to myself "now does poison ivy have 3 or 5 leaves?"

Well, turns out it is 3 leaves, and turns out that yes, I was wallowing in poison ivy last weekend.

FYI: poison ivy takes a few days to kick your butt, so I was getting really mad when I started breaking out in little bumps and blamed the dogs for bringing in fleas, or for allowing illegal mosquitoes to hitch hike on their backs and bite me. When the rash broke out, I was still in denial, an itchy, agonizing denial, but denial nonetheless.

I've used about every topical ointment out there that promises "fast, long lasting relief". I'm sure their definition of "long lasting" is all of an hour, but my definition of "long lasting" would be a year if not more, so I'm going to sue. They also say "doesn't burn", but the fine print does say "this product will burn and cause you to run screaming from room to room in your underwear about 3 seconds after applying this lotion to insect bites or rashes caused by poison ivy if you've spent the past 15 minutes using the sharp end of a scissor to itch that spot prior to apply this lotion". That definitely needs to be in bigger print somewhere.

So, thanks to WebMD and other poor schmucks who have posted pictures of themselves all rashy and swollen from poison ivy, I was able to determine that yes, I have it, and that I should continue slathering anti-itch lotions on it (but not right after using a cheese grater to get some relief) and that an antihistamine would help with the swelling and irritation. I took 50mg of Benadryl, which is why I am now able to write a rambling three page blog entry that only includes 1 period.

Its been 10 minutes, I'm going to go lather up in more ointment and fall asleep while sitting on the toilet now.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Mystery Feet Discovery

I’m sure you’ve probably heard about the feet that keep washing ashore in British Colombia recently. Nobody is quite sure where the feet are coming from, or who they belong to. There is a lot of speculation on the origins of the feet and how they came to be washed ashore and found.

The latest information about the feet came in the form of DNA testing which shows that one full set of feet actually belong to the same person, a man. Another foot belonged to a woman. The authorities have released pictures of the shoes in hopes that family members recognize the shoes and can help reveal who the feet belonged to, and how they washed ashore.

Amazingly enough, some of the shoes that contained the feet were manufactured and sold as far back as 1999! All of the shoes are running shoes. I think the most important thing we’ve learned about this case so far is: RUNNING SHOES ARE NOT BIODEGRADABLE!

We must thank these feetless people for showing us that a running shoe can float for years and not decay in the least. Just think of all the shoes that people wear and how many of them are clogging our landfills and killing the earth! I think we need to immediately enact a law that states that all running shoes must meet certain decomposition properties and should decay within a reasonable amount of time (lets say a week) in a landfill, or better yet, just outlaw these pollutants altogether!

We must unite and ban the running shoe, as it is doing nothing but clogging up the shores of Canada, causing an eyesore!

Friday, July 11, 2008

iPhone update

Its 10:03 pm

Just got off of online chat with AT&T. A guy (whose last name was Schwarzenegger... no I didn’t ask) actually spent about a half hour resetting my whole account and junk and FINALLY got my iPhone to work.

I love it



really, I do.

In case you were wondering, he had to practically reset my entire account to get it to work. Some forums are saying that the problem is that the old SIM didn’t get turned off, or the current SIM needs to get replaced, or you have to have AT&T manually reset your stuff, which apparently worked for me.


Adventures of the new iPhone 3G

Having totally shunned buying anything brand new right when it comes out because of the lines, the hype, the problems, the angry crowds with pitchforks and torches when there are the problems, funny thing was that at 7 a.m. this morning, there was hubby and I at the mall camped outside the Apple store for the grand unveiling of the new iPhone 3G.

One of the reasons why we wanted to come so early was that so hubby could get some pictures of the fun to post in ireporter on CNN and to hone his photography skills, and since we were there, why not get into line and get the latest piece of wonderous apple technology.

The first guy in line, who had been there since midnight was a teenager. He wasn’t even going to get a new iPhone, he just liked to be the first in line for things. I found that odd, and a bit funny.

There was approximately 44 people lined up at that time, so after some pictures, I got into the line before more people showed up and made fast friends with the people around me, most of whom didn’t have an iPhone, so I was explaining how it all works using my “old” iPhone. I even convinced the one guy to call his wife and convince her that she needed one. I really need to start finding a way to get commissions on things like Dyson vacuums and iPhones.

I have to hand it to the Apple staff at the Annapolis mall, they walked around handing out water, provided us with Starbucks coffee and donut holes. They kept us up to date on what we would need to do, how they would run the show, everything. Fantastic staff, very cheerful... until the problems started.

Even though I was 45 in line, it took about an hour just to get to the front of the store. Apparently they were only letting in a few people, and frankly, the kid who was just there to be the first in line and was odd and a bit funny now really pissed me off because he was still in the store, lounging around and not buying anything which meant another person couldn’t be let in until one left. He was no longer odd and a bit funny, we all wanted to strangle him.

After an hour and a half, we finally made it into the store and it became quite clear why their estimate of taking only 10-15 minutes to buy and activate your phone was not working out as planned. First, AT&T was having issues with people who had corporate accounts with discounts. Then there were some issues with existing users being charged full price for the phone when they should have only paid the existing user charge, then the Apple store network got bogged down, then the iTunes store died a horrible death, therefore nobody could get activated.

While we waited in line to be “seen” by someone, we went and got all of the necessary accessories for the new phone: new case, new screen covers, screen cleaners, a protector for hubby’s laptop, etc. We carted those around with us while we slowly shuffled through the line.

FINALLY our turn came and we told the woman that we wanted two black 16gb iphones, we’re existing iphone customers, get us our phones!!!! The problem with us started the moment she tried to ring up our purchase, and like clockwork, AT&T said we needed to pay full price. We were then handed over to Pam K who was on the phone with AT&T trying to straighten that out. Pam was wonderful, and so was Mike who also pitched in to get us our phones for the right price. She spent a loooong time on the phone, so long that I actually left the store, went to Starbucks to use the bathroom and get lattes, come back and she was still dealing with them. FINALLY they had some sort of solution and AT&T activated my phone, then we went through a similar process with hubby’s phone and they insisted it was for the full price. Sigh. The apple store employees decided that it would just be better to “finagle” the price for us rather than deal with AT&T again, which they did.

By now its 12:30 pm, and although there were some not so very happy people in the store going through similar issues that we did, not to mention others that had sat around for a few hours while their phones were activated, we continued to joke around and be happy people because its not the employees’ fault all of this was going on and there were glitches in the system, so why take it out on them.

Our good behavior got us ALL of our accessories for FREE. Yes, they totally rang in our stuff and discounted it all down to a penny for us because we were so nice. So, nice gets nice things for a change. Since iTunes was clogged and since we’ve activated our phones before with the old model, they suggested that we just go home and activate them from there rather than wait who knows how long before they could activate them. Totally cool.

The only non-totally cool thing was that we didn’t have phones any more. The moment they activated the new phones, the old ones stopped working. Not having a cell phone after having one for so long is pretty much like having a lung removed. You are lost, can’t function, and know for certain that your car will break down on the way home at the exact spot where wild hungry lions have escaped from a zoo and are circling the truck hungrily. We raced home after stopping for gas even though we didn’t really need it, but was convinced that we’d run out anyway.

Got home and sure enough, still had issues with connecting it to iTunes because of the masses of people trying to activate their phones. After about 2 hours of hitting reconnect over and over and over, I finally got through and went through the screens to activate the phone, sync’d my phone and TAH DAH... no service. What? It also says that its January 17th of 2017 and 9 a.m. Um...

Hubby finally got through, activated his phone, sync’d his phone and his worked flawlessly. WTF???

I called AT&T and said WTF???

They said that it may take a while for my activation to go through. Sometimes it takes up to 24 hours. That sounded an awful lot like tech support telling me to reboot my computer and call back if that doesn’t work and then you’ll get someone else to yell at, but I said ok. I actually went through the effort to restore my phone, install everything again, re-sync... no service. BASTARDS!

The WiFi works great, I can get e-mails, and cruise the internet... I just can’t call anyone. I went two hours, stewing, then call AT&T again. They clicked some keys, verified my phone’s ID, said they were doing something to push the activation through... nothing. No service. Heaving sigh. They transfer me to apple support where I got to listen to some very nice hold music for a long time.

Jump through the hoops with them, and they said that there’s nothing they can do because that’s AT&T’s thing and yes, it can take up to 24 hours to activate. SONOFA......

So, hubby is very happy with his, very zippy quick on the 3G network, works great, wonderful, life is good... I have the equivalent of an iPod touch at the moment. I have my pictures, I have my songs, I have my e-mail, I can cruise the internet (as long as there is WiFi) but no phone. Frankly I don’t know who to be mad at.

Rather than sit and stare at the “No Service” thing until it changes, I put it aside and tried to go on with my life, but I keep going back and checking it, cursing at it. If its not activated by tomorrow (and frankly I have no faith it will) then I have to call someone back and get something done about it.

Its like half of my brain is gone without a phone... I can’t even think straight. I hate technology. When it works, you’ll hear nothing but happy things, but until then... I’m going to sit and sulk.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Mrs. Paul is a liar

I buy fish sticks for those nights when I just don't feel like whipping up a gourmet meal after I leave work. Ok, frankly we practically live off of fish sticks or anything you can throw in a microwave because the only gourmet thing I prepare after work is ice cream, which involves scooping it out of the container into a bowl.

I was drawn to the Mrs. Paul's brand of fish sticks because the container exclaimed "Sealed in FRESHNESS POUCH" (see picture above). Ok, tell me if I'm insane, but doesn't that "freshness pouch" look as though it contains 2 very large beer battered whole fish fillets? Those things look huge, and the product picture with the gigantic fish filet almost over flowing the plate, those are BIG fish filets!

So, not only am I going to get 10 of those humungous fish filets in this box, but they will come in the wonderful sealed freshness pouch, and by my horrid math calculations, there should be 5 freshness packs that contain two fillets each. This is much better than those regular non freshness pouch fillets that just clatter around free inside the box, which goes against all product safety rules. Since the great tylenol poisoning, everything has to be hermetically sealed and banded for our protection... except fish sticks. Apparently nobody bothers to poison fish fillets, so they just get shoved into a box too large for the meager portion they give you, to clump together in a freezer burned, ice encrusted lump by the time you get them home. Having my fish fillets hermetically sealed in this wonderous freshness pouch is ground breaking!

Um... right. This is the part where I accuse Mrs. Paul of being a total liar, liar, pants on fire.

1.) As you can clearly see, the "freshness pouch" is nothing more than a plastic bag. Not only is it JUST a plastic bag, but its a single plastic bag. Not only is it JUST a plastic bag, but its not even a resealable plastic bag. Like anyone would eat 10 of these vile things in one sitting. Apparently the freshness pouch theory was wrong, as all fillets are lumped into just one bag, and not lovingly placed in twos into a pouch, therefore, they became one ice encrusted lump just as though they had been tossed into a plain old box.

2.) The humungous fish fillets depicted on the box are NOTHING like the tiny little fillets that are contained in the plastic bag. They're tiny compared to the picture, I mean, just look at them, they aren't even the same shape as the ones pictured on the box.

So, I tried to recreate the picture on the box using one of the frozen fillets. Sure, if I put it on a tiny saucer and get really close to it with the camera, I can make this tiny fillet look like a 50lb fish fillet on a normal plate.

In reality, here is what it looks like on a normal plate.
Clearly it doesn't meet the container's specification, nor the expectation of what that picture tries to sell you. Oh sure, they got me to buy the stupid fish fillets through their cunning use of lying and deceit, but you can bet I'm not going to be buying any of Mrs. Paul's fish crap any more.

I guess I should have trusted the Gorton's fisherman after all.