Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bailout Bill Presents: Stimulas

A collaborative effort with Jena Fuller

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Short Rant

The other day I was driving and heard an interview with a tech person who had been testing the new and amazing Windows 7. The interviewer said something like "a lot of people complained that Vista required them to reboot a lot, how does Windows 7 compare to Vista?". The tech person actually said "Oh, well, that's one of the great things about Windows 7, it reboots a lot faster".

Um... gee, let me go out and buy that.

I'm also getting sick of all the back and forth about this new bailout bill. Sure, its full of pork, loaded with things that won't help the economy one bit, and will cost our great-great-grandchildren's children (except I won't have any of those, I'm sure I'll get penalized for that), but hey, the new administration says it'll work, so just vote it in and let's see about that. There's nothing that we peons can do or say to change anyone's mind anyway. I wrote my reps for the first bailout fiasco and received a lovely form letter that tried to explain to me why we needed the bailout bill and how wonderful it will be. I'm still waiting for wonderful, other than companies being able to buy cushy new corporate jets. Frankly, its a waste of time to write our representative. They'll only tell you why $14 Billion for babboon testical measuring grants will create jobs. So go for it, spend away.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Spice Rack (part 4: now what do I bitch about)

If you (and when I mean "you" I mean the 2 readers of this blog) have been following along with the "spice rack saga"... you should really find a more exciting blog to read, I mean come on, if a spice rack is a saga...

Anyhoo, I ordered the "wonder" spice rack on the 19th, and the page said it took 2 weeks to ship, so I pretty much forgot all about it (much like I'll walk upstairs for coffee, go pee and come back downstairs without coffee), and went about my rather mundane, dull, boring, listless, heart wrenchingly bland life as usual, until this afternoon when I tripped over a box that had been left next to our door. I need to talk to the UPS guy about where he leaves those packages, or just outright sue them when I break something one of these days. "Hey, what's this?" I think in my head after screaming an obscenity out loud (and one of these days I'll be able to turn those two around so my neighbors don't fear me).

Yep, despite the gloom prediction of two whole weeks before spice nirvana, a mere 5 days after ordered, my "wonder" spice rack arrived. I doubt that my hinting of complaining and whining for two whole weeks had anything to do with the early arrival, but hey, if I think I'm all powerful and can fear a company to deliver early from blogging, let me live that lie, don't burst my power bubble.

Having hopes dashed on many a delivery, I've learned not to giggle with glee as I open boxes, only to have my hopes and dreams dashed, so no giggling with glee this time... until I opened it up and found exactly what was pictured on the Website, and it actually fit into the cupboard that I had cleared just for its arrival. So I giggled a bit.
The Spice Rack

Sorry for the slightly blurry picture, its from my iPhone, I was too lazy to go get a real camera (and please note how I rub it in that I have an iPhone and multiple cameras so casually).

Ok, so it fits, now will it hold all of my spices? Yep, it does! Then I had to take them all out again so alphabetize them (please note the correct spelling of alphabetize... its not alphabeticalize... pet peeve #237), then put the handy stickers on the shelves to identify where each of the spices was located. I was very pleased to see that the list of pre-printed spices were actually NORMAL spice names. No "crunchy spider legs", or "small bits of rat poop", or things like that, just Paprika and Cinnamon, stuff that normal people use but not found in spice racks that come with spices.

Note to potential buyers: remove the shelving paper from the cupboard you put this thing in or you'll have spices hurtling at your head when it tips over, at least I did. Once that crap was removed, the spice rack was very sturdy and a few test drawer openings proved it to be quite sturdy.
Spice Rack Open
Look at the pretty spices!

So, yep, it fits 18 normal sized regular store bought spices, and it'll fit more if you have those little half plastic container type spices (just stack them) and by gawd... I have nothing to bitch about anymore!

So, worth the $25? You betcha
Does it work? You betcha
Could you put it on a counter? Well, yeah, but it won't exactly hinge down correctly, but it would be doable, don't see why not if you want to be weird about it.
Recommend it? Sure, it does what it says, and frankly in today's marketing world, that's very strange for a product to say it'll do something and get it and it actually does what it says, so I wholeheartedly say that if you want a spice rack that doesn't come with spices and holds regular store bought spice bottles, go for it.

Purchase yours here, and tell them I sent you.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bailout Bill Feeding Frenzy

Bailout Bill Feeding

Spice Rack Rant (Part 3)

I was totally amazed that someone actually commented on my blog about where to find the ultimate spice rack that was exactly what I was (sorta) looking for! First of all, I know of only a handful of people that actually read my ranting, but to have a total stranger in the spice rack industry find and comment and shamelessly plug their totally amazing, state of the art, spice rack was just too much for me to take... so I immediately ordered one.

Oh yeah, in two weeks this little beauty will be mine! Its an amazing self contained spice rack that has drawers that pull out and flop down so you can see your spices! It even comes with little adhesive sticky spice names so you can stick those on the drawer, and if you actually put the spices back where the correct sticky label is (I'll have to practice that) you can easily find the spice you want! I'm so stoked!

I actually ordered it, then went upstairs and figured that the above the stove cupboard would not be sufficient space for such a cool item, I'd need something a little lower (not only would there not be enough room for it, but I have this fear that spices will come tumbling onto my head when I pull the drawer out), so I cleaned out a shelf on the handy Ikea shelving unit that was cluttered with junk that shouldn't be there, moved all of my canned goods (hey! I had a can of spinach in there) to the shelving unit and now there's a handy space all ready for my new space age spice rack... why isn't it here already.

I really hope it works as the commenter said because I'm going to hate having to rant about how it doesn't on here, and dash the hopes of a small business, but I'm holding out hope that it is the most amazing spice rack (as advertised, or something like that, who reads web pages) and will do what I need it to do: hold my spices.

So, for those of you interested, here's the place to go. Of course you may want to wait until I get ahold of it and run it through its paces before shelling out $25 on it.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A New Beginning, Except for a Small Glitch

On Tuesday we’ll see a new face take the helm of our country. The masses of people coming out to greet our new President is both awe inspiring and scary to me.

I welcome our new President, and I hope that his idealistic and fresh approach of motivation the American people to help themselves and help each other will get us out of this economic mess, this morally bankrupt mode of behavior, and put us on the path to becoming an even stronger country together.

Then I see articles like this, and I’m reminded that no matter who leads this country, no matter what great ideas they have, no matter what great intentions in that new leader’s heart... there’s the fat, bloated, professional politicians that will suck the very life blood from that leader and point the finger of blame when nothing changes and we’re cast into the dregs.

Its always been my contention (supported by our constitution) that the President has very little power when it comes to running our country. Congress and the Senate write the bills, pass the laws, and should our President not want to sign those bills and pass those laws, they just go ahead and do it anyway. They fill those bills and laws with pet projects (most likely paid for by special interests) and have removed the line item veto from the President. Good laws are filled with bloated money making schemes that only help those with the money to make sure they get passed. Bad laws are passed and good people get screwed.

Take for instance, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. The intent is simple: ensure that products sold in the U.S. don’t contain anything harmful. The result is catastrophic in that it now requires anyone making anything for sale in the U.S. to provide expensive testing for each manufactured article, provide a ton of complicated paperwork to prove that each item does not contain a harmful thing, and each article manufactured has to include a certificate that states it passed these tests. While the intent is good (keep lead out of toys), the bill forgot to take into account the zillions of small U.S. owned businesses and stay at home people that manufacture everything from hair ribbons (using U.S. goods), to small home-based bakeries that can neither afford the $1,000 per item testing, nor should be required to if the products used in the manufacture of their goods were already certified. This, in effect, shuts down small businesses and stay at home types that rely on doing “crafty” things to help supplement meager work incomes.

Bake a cake for a cake sale for your child’s fund-raiser? Better get it tested, or else face fines and possibly jail.

So, getting back to the point of this rant, Ms. Pelosi thinks that Congress should do what our future President doesn’t want to do. Based on experience (you may recall the outpouring of human anguish and anger when Congress, then the Senate voted on the first bail-out bill... and passed it anyway), our new President may not even get a chance to shine, to bring to this country what he feels is the best way out of this economic slump... once again, Congress and Senate (please remember, most of the ones currently serving are the ones that caused this fiasco in the first place) will determine the country’s course of action.

Get out the hand-basket, and remember, point your fingers where it belongs: Congress and Senate... and when pointing, the middle finger is best used.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Spice Rack (Part 2)

I spent way too much time and gas on Friday toodling around town looking for a spice rack in sub-zero temperatures. As I suspected, there were no non-spice spice racks to be found (you should always trust a google search).

Even the ones that had spices were hideous and took up WAAAY too much room, and of course, would only fit the containers that came with the stupid spice rack, so I would have to transfer bought spices into the containers, and deal with how to label those spices that I would never use but would want to put an alternate spice into, and it was just too much pressure.

I came home in abject disgust and picked up the current stupid spice rack and tossed it in the trash. That's when I realized that without that ghastly wooden merry-go-round of useless spices I had gobs of counter space now. Glorious working space, enough room for the dog bowls (yes, I put the dog bowls on my kitchen counters when I'm preparing their food, if you have a problem with that, don't eat anything I make), and just generally a lovely no clutter look about the counter top now. Hmmm.

So, I'm going to go with the no spice rack spice set up I currently have (spices thrown in the cabinet above the stove, where some spices get shoved to the back, never to be seen again unless I pull a chair over and climb up to look), and bask in the glory of having an uncluttered counter top. Of course, I'm totally intrigued by this spice "rack" set up (to the right). Isn't that kinda cool?

Oh sure, how would you label those (unless you had the cool medical printer that doctor offices use to label vials of blood and stuff) and cooking would take on a sort of "mad scientist" approach, sprinkling bits out of a test tube.

The biggest problem is the price. How do I justify spending $80 on a spice rack in this craphole economy... of course if I don't, then I could be labeled a traitor to the country, as it is our duty as citizens to spend money to stimulate the economy, and the adage of years gone by: If I don't go shopping, the terrorists win... but I shall be strong and resist... until I burn myself leaning against the stove reaching up to grab the paprika, then we'll see.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

WTF?

I want a spice rack. JUST the freakin spice rack. I already have spices, I don’t need pre-filled spice containers, because most of the time the spices that come with the spice rack are obscure spices that NOBODY uses, and who knows how old or what origin those spices are. I don’t want to buy a spice, then have to pour it into a new container to fit in the spice rack because who can pour that crap into the tiny little opening without spilling half of it on the counter or sink or wherever, wasting most of the spices. Plus, if I buy a spice rack that comes with rat sprinkles, the stupid jar is labeled “rat sprinkles” so if I put oregano in there it the jar still says “rat sprinkles” and I’ll have to remember that “rat sprinkles” is really “oregano” and who has time to for that?

So, I need a little rack where I can put my grocery store purchased, various sized and shaped spice bottles... but do you actually think such a thing exists? Oh hell no!

Does the spice industry think that people have time to restock their spices and pour them into the tiny jars, or is this all an evil plan by the spice rack industry to drive you to purchase a new spice rack (complete with new spices) each time you run out of cinnamon?

Apparently some stores are even confident that we have all the time in the world such that if you do a search on “spice rack” in their stores, they throw up a freakin mortar and pestle that will “Maximize flavor by grinding spices and herbs with this invaluable kitchen tool.” Invaluable? Who has time to grind spices and herbs? Isn’t tossing them into whatever you are cooking enough, now you have to beat them in a bowl with a pestle or else you are denying your family the maximum flavor? Am I such a horrible person that I don’t care enough about my husband to grind spices and herbs in a bowl? I thought that’s what bottled spices were for... pre-loved spices, ground by dedicated spice workers so that I could just throw them in a pot of bubbling whatever.

So, I want a spice rack. I already have one, a nice revolving spice rack filled with spices that I’ve NEVER used not ONCE in the 10 years I’ve had it. It has a nifty hole at the top, handy for shoving random cooking utensils that don’t fit in the overflowing utensil drawer. It actually came with utensils like a worthless can opener that didn’t work for crap on day 1, a potato peeler that is useless, some measuring spoons that are long lost, and some other crap that I never used and threw away. Why the company felt compelled to build a spice rack utensil rack in one is beyond my comprehension, but whatever... its sitting there... unused.

If anyone knows where to get a spiceless rack that will fit any sized spice container, let me know.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Why Editors are important

Back in the good old days (let me hitch up my pants to chin level and go on about walking to school in the snow barefoot before I get to the point) when I aspired to be a journalist, we learned things like the W5 (who, what, where, when, why... and that pesky how), the importance of fact checking, and your best friend the editor.

Reporters were taught to be just that: someone that reported the news. There were no commentaries, or slant, no discernible bias, and stories got “aired” only after each and every fact was checked, the full story was known and all participants had been questioned. All sources were revealed and reported, blah, blah, you get the picture.

Now, the media is in such a rush to be the first, they don’t even care if they have no clue as to what went on, they’ll splash raw, live feed on the air (sometimes getting too much news, as in the case of one disgruntled person committing suicide during a particularly gruesome close up helicopter shot), and in other cases... getting EVERYTHING wrong... but they don’t care, they were first.

Case in point of why editors are essential to the life blood of serious reporting comes from the WBALTV Web site.

In case you missed it, as the point is subtle... here is the sentence in question:

“When officers asked him to put his hands up, he began fumbling near his waste.”

Um... EUUUWWW!!! Oh heck yeah, I’d shoot him too if he was fumbling near his waste, I mean come on, you know what’s next, he’s gonna start throwing his waste at them or something. Was he hiding a gun in his waste? That’s a pretty strange place for a gun and all, not to mention the fact that this man is sitting in a car near his waste, what about the upholstery?

By the way, I also invite you to watch the video, whose graphic announces “Street Explosion, 3 injured”. Poor John Sherman (Hi John... yes, I’ve met him, he’s a very good reporter) its unfortunate that his reporting is marred by morons typing up Web site transcripts and running the graphics at the news station.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A quick rant

I saw this article just now that the “Safety Council” says to ban ALL cell phone use, including cell phone hands free use. They say that talking on a cell phone is dangerous because your mind is on the conversation and not on the road.

Um... are we to then ban conversing with the passengers in your car? After all, that would mean that you are concentrating on talking to your passengers and not on the road. What about singing to the radio? What next, turning the radio station, or perhaps a total ban on radios in cars, along with navigation devices and DVD players. I think windows are distracting, that whole rolling them up and down, so we should make cars that have windows that you can’t fiddle with when you drive.

Babies are a HUGE distraction, so I think that we have to ban babies from cars PERIOD!

When will “councils” and our “representatives” realize that stupid people do stupid things and passing laws to keep stupid people from doing stupid things only allows the stupid people to live longer and breed. We need to stop saving the stupid and stop forcing the non-stupid to deal with stupid laws that the stupid are only going to ignore.

Friday, January 09, 2009

A Dose of Reality

I was reading an article on CNN about Alexandra Penney, a writer who made it big and was able to live life as she wanted to... until Bernie Madoff took everything she had.

Oh sure, I was ready to hate her. She’s done everything that I want to do: become a famous writer, make big bucks and use that money to do what she wanted, in her case being an artist. She’s got houses in nice places and clothes to die for and a social agenda that ranks right up there, its very easy to hate someone that has, and then laugh with glee when they don’t have... but actually, its not funny, nor should we hate her and post nasty comments on her blog entry about finding out that her life will never be the same again thanks to the greed of one guy.

She wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth, she wasn’t given the money, she MADE it on her own. As I said before, she’s someone that I would envy, but to laugh or mock her when she’s lost everything, I don’t think so. Rich people, for the most part, aren’t rich because they were handed the money, most of them actually DID something to get that money. They should be our role models and examples of what CAN be done in this wonderful country. We should aspire to be like them, to make enough money to live the lives that we want, but instead, people hate them.

Don’t you wish you were rich? Don’t you look at those who have and wish you had it too, or do you look at them and think that their gains are ill gotten, and therefore they should be hated? When does a person go from the struggling actor, writer, businessman, whatever and a person to be idolized to one that you hate and wish bad things on? What is the dollar amount? Is there a certain level to which someone goes from being the “everyman” to “the rich asshole”?

What about Oprah? She’s got so much money its not even funny, and yet because she gives her audience toys and cars, she’s ok? I’m guessing that if Oprah got taken, there would be such an outpouring of sympathy and concern, people donating their salaries and such to make sure she was taken care of... but why her and why not Alexandra Penney?

People tend to forget that the rich people hire us. They keep the economy strong by buying things and investing in things. They’re the ones we watch on the tabloids and try to emulate by buying the clothes they buy, being like them, and wishing we were like them. They’re the ones that keep the dream alive, that dream that says that someday we can have all of that. Without them, what is there to dream of? How do we hold onto our crappy daytime jobs and do what we like to do at night in the hopes that someday we will get “discovered” or create the next big thing that will help us pay the bills and maybe allow us to rub shoulders with the rich and famous. What is there if that’s gone, when all the rich people are gone?

Ms. Penney says not to feel sorry for her, but I do. Probably not for the reasons she thinks. I feel sorry that she had it all, now she doesn’t. I feel bad that she’ll have to start over again, just like me. I hope she makes it, because I think we all need someone like her to look up to, and to think “she did it, she made it, and so can I”.

I doubt that Ms. Penney will ever read this, but if she does, I hope she knows that there’s at least one person rooting for her.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Full Tilt Ramble

If you can’t buy the Shamwow in stores, then why are they selling them at Bed, Bath & Beyond?

A Snuggie is just a bathrobe turned backwards, and you don’t get ripped off by the company that sells them.

Just don’t buy any of that crap you see on tv. Eventually it gets sold in stores and you can see what crap it really is in person.

Apparently the media is all pissed off because bloggers and (gasp) Joe the Plumber are doing commentary and news reports. The gall! What, these people didn’t attend liberal, leftist, socialist high priced colleges to learn that you write “Senator” for Democrats and “Radical right conservative” for everyone else? How can they possibly control the general population and teach them that you have to push for “Global warming”... I mean “Climate Change” initiatives so that big-head ALGORE makes tons of money off of “carbon offesets”! I mean come on! We’re clearly in a warming trend here... sorta... ok, its really cold, but I’m sure that’s caused by humans too.

Just heard the President-elect Obama says that “soon it may be too late to save the economy”. HEY! Way to go on that blame deflection. Like milk, the economy expiration is stamped on 18 January 2009.

I hear the “new” stimulus amount is in the TRILLIONS. I have no idea how many zeros that is, nor do I care any more. I would like to suggest that if THIS new stimulus bailout doesn’t solve the economic woes, then Congress and the Senate should do what they’ve told the banks, insurance companies, and automakers... if they pass the new stimulus and it doesn’t solve the problems, they should quit their jobs not take ANY of the benefits or pay (aka: golden parachutes) they get when they leave office and they should go work at McDonalds. So... do we have a deal? Wanna get that bill through so quickly now? Yeah, didn’t’ think so.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Taint Watch 2009

It was a very good day for the “taint” count. I actually lost count because I was too busy rolling on the floor trying not to pee my pants when a news person actually said (and I’m not making this up) that “The Senate is trying to take the taint from Burris”.

HOOO Boy doesn’t that conjure up a really unpleasant (yet somewhat not surprising) image in your head!

I see California has found a solution for their economic woes: give taxpayers IOUs instead of their tax refunds. Yeah, that’ll work! Frankly, if I owed the State of California something and instead sent them an IOU, I’m pretty sure they would be cool with that. I really hope that whoever gets an IOU will call California 3 times a day demanding payment, charging interest and penalties along with late fees.

Oh, do you know where your automobile manufacturer bailout money is going to? Why, its going to ensure that you can watch the season premiere of Damages, without commercial interruption, thanks to GM and Cadillac!

Oh, but don’t worry, this was a deal that the company brokered in October 2007, you see, or something like that... waaaay before this whole economy thing broke open. Yeah, they were fine in October 2007 and all that. Besides, it not like they haven’t GIVEN the show a whole slew of cadillacs to drive around in the show, so its like they bought their very own tv show to highlight their cars so you’ll want them... just like you want Glenn Close and those other once upon a time movie stars that are now stuck on the little screen.

For my last bitter thought of the night: what’s the difference between banks, insurance companies, and automaker companies that piddled away their money on lavish homes, vacations, and everything but their business and Madoff?

The answer: Madoff wasn’t sleeping with politicians.

ok, really, one very last thought: The porn industry is now asking for a bailout. Heck, why not.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Its a New Year, nothing new here

Which means filing all of last year’s crap that has collected. Sure, I could do it throughout the year and then I wouldn’t have a big stack of paper in my “out” box, but there’s one thing that I hate and that’s filing stuff. Ok, I hate cooking, laundry (specifically folding and putting clothes away), and vacuuming (still waiting for my replacement Dyson hose, by the way, not very happy about that, well, except that I can’t exactly vacuum without the hose unless I use the floor attachment, but still). All right, I don’t like to do much of anything, but filing just sucks.

To make matters worse (or at least more pathetic) is that the file cabinet is right next to my desk at chair level, so I have to (gasp) swivel in my chair and put stuff in the file cabinet. I think what stops me is that whole putting things in the right folders thing. That’s just way too much work.

So, I pondered ways to file that wouldn’t be like filing and I came up with the “accordion folder” method. Instead of files, I have an accordion folder with tabs that say “phones” and “credit cards” and “house”, general stuff. I can actually put the file on my lap and shove stuff in the general folder area. I’m pretty sure that in a month I’ll just shove a wad of paper in any ol folder area and be done with it, but for now, that’s my method.

I’ve also discovered that I’m not a slave to bulk toilet paper. We were running low, and if there’s one thing you should NEVER run out of, its toilet paper. We have kleenex, so there was that buffer, but when we got down to 2 rolls, I panicked and realized that kleenex just wasn’t the same, so off to Costco I went. I could have just stopped by a normal grocery store (since I had normal non-bulk things to buy), but the mere thought of getting just one regular package of 4 wasn’t enough of a buffer for me. I could have gotten one of the bigger 8 packs, but even that seemed inadequate. If I was going to get more than that at a regular grocery store, then why not go for the 6,000 roll pack at Costco. Since I was there already, I also got dishwashing liquid and a platter of shrimp, because you always need a platter of shrimp that feeds 100.

I hear that Chrysler reported that their sales were down 53% and they were stymied as to what would stimulate the economy enough to get their car sales back up to “normal” and make money. Um, how about making 53% less cars, you asshats?

Apparently part of the whole Obama plan to make more jobs is to create 600,000 new government jobs. If you think this is a good idea then I’d like to point out that government jobs are paid for by... um...YOUR TAX DOLLARS! I’m hoping to get one of these new jobs, and personally I would like to be the chocolate czar.

If you invest money with Scottrade, do you even wonder if your money would be better spent by a company that didn’t have the President of their company hovering over some random city in a helicopter eavesdropping on his clients?

As usual, I listen to the news all day at work to drown out the sounds of my pathetic keening and sometimes insane cackling laughter as I write. There are a few things that I hear that I will actually stop what I’m writing to pay attention to, and frankly this whole Illinois Senator thing is highly amusing for one reason only... and that is the word “taint”. Ok, you laugh when someone says it too, just admit it, so you should actually watch the news because every time that whole fiasco is mentioned (which would be about 45 minutes of every news hour), there are approximately 30 minutes of “taint”, “tainted”, “tainting” going on and I end up on the floor laughing and wetting myself each time. Who knew the news could be this funny!