Thursday, March 17, 2011

3194 As if things couldn't get any worse in Japan...

It takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.

---------------------------------------------'s snowing.

3193 Baby shopping

Thursday, March 17, 2011

No matter how much you care, some people just don't care back.


Daughter and I went shopping for baby stuff yesterday, but not at a store, at a community college.

"They" (not sure who) run a multi-day consignment sale in a huge gymnasium twice a year, spring and fall. Rows and rows of tables and racks covered with everything from baby furniture and clothing and toys to maternity clothes and car seats. Some is lightly used, and some is never used.

Daughter got a slew of sacques and footie-sleepers for like $2 each, and a bag of undershirts and booties for $1, and several little shirt&shorts sets. I bought a little umbrella-folding stroller, and a light over-the-shoulder sling for my use. Hercules joined us when he got out of work. He fell madly in love with a huge solid wood "fancy name brand" highchair, and bought that. I think he just loved the wood - but the thing doesn't fold, it's huge, and their house is tiny. I think he'll be sorry, but they can just sell it next fall when they get tired of climbing over it, eh?

With all the furniture, books, maternity tops, and baby clothes, and keeping in mind that most things were less than $5, the total came to $209 - not counting the rather expensive highchair. (I paid for it all, except the highchair. Belated shower gifts.) She got a LOT of stuff. We don't know how big the baby will be, and she's hearing horror stories of women who'd bought a lot of newborn sizes, and everything was already too small when the baby came home from the hospital, so she stocked up on 6-12 month sizes yesterday.

That consignment sale is a great idea. Sometimes things are used for so short a period, it makes sense to cycle things through many babies.

Daughter is tiny. Pre-pregnancy she wore XS-XXS sizes. She's already huge in the tummy (six weeks to go), and she's having trouble finding maternity tops that will cover her belly. She can't wear mediums, they fall off her shoulders, but the small tops aren't long enough to cover the belly (they stick almost straight out at the bottom), and small maternity pants are too tight around the tummy, so she wears them with the waists rolled down to under the belly. That leaves a belly gap, and she has nothing to comfortably cover the gap. She doesn't like maternity dresses - they're not suitable for work, and she can't wear long T-shirts for the same reason.

I suggested that she pick out some maternity dresses yesterday, and I can shorten them to the length she needs to serve as tops.

She's seriously huge. I don't see how she can still drive a car - how she can fit behind the steering wheel and be able to reach the pedals - so pretty soon she may not be able to get to work, and the clothing issue will be a non-issue.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

3192 Meeting people

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.
-- Russian Proverb --


I haven't gotten involved with any Meetup groups here, because I've got too many things to do that aren't getting done to go adding more stuff to do. But I have been saving groups that I can check into when things loosen up.

There are a few problems. I put in a distance of 25 miles - but that is "as the bird flys", and so I'm getting alerts for a gazillion groups in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Even though I can see Brooklyn across the bay from my back windows, it's not exactly easy to get there! There's, um, a bay between us!

Second, it seems like four of every five groups more local to me are businesses, not just people who want to share time and events. By businesses, I mean self-help groups where you're supposed to buy the book, or "event coordinators" who get paid to pull people into clubs and shows, or people who are just getting people to pay for some kind of lessons or services. Of the one in five left, they're almost entirely booze/band/bar oriented, mainly it seems because 30 to 80 people or more regularly show up. There don't seem to be any small dinner or movie groups. Are the organizers not aware that they can limit attendance to the first eight or ten who respond?

All I want is a small dinner group. Please please please don't make me organize a group. I am not the organizer type. I've already tested and proven that.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

3191 Random stuff

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

You cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved.


Ever since the big swine and avian flu scares, people here and there have been wearing surgical masks. They're especially popular in Asia.

But --- something I don't understand --- when you see large groups of people in surgical masks, at least half of the people don't have them over their noses. They wear them over the mouth, but below the nose.

Why bother at all?

I've noticed that since the radiation leaks in Japan, more folks in the photos now have them over the nose. Uh, that doesn't fix radiation....


Tyra Banks is suddenly all over the TV talk shows, but she doesn't seem to have anything to say. What's she selling? What did I miss?


A few years ago I went to a friend's 40th wedding anniversary. They had at least 150 guests, and little containers of bubble stuff as favors on the tables. Most people didn't take them, so when I helped clean up, I collected about 5 of them.

I found them a few weeks ago, and brought them south. I've had fun blowing bubbles on the porch. They last a very long time, especially when it's cold outside, and when the wind is right they drift high into the trees behind the houses across the street.

Well, I'm running out of what's in the little bottles. I saw large bottles of bubble stuff yesterday, so I bought some.

Inferior! The bubbles pop so close to my face they mess up my glasses. And when they do manage to get a few inches past the wand, they fall straight to the ground and pop. Like they're heavy or something. Yeah, I checked. I got one of the little bottles and blew some test bubbles, and they floated merrily out to the street.

Sheesh. How do they make heavy bubbles?


Some of Daughter's friends threw her a baby shower on Sunday. There were 21 people there. Daughter has so much stuff! She's more got for that kid now than I ever had for her. (She slept her first four months in a laundry basket, and I made all her blankets, sleepers, and kimonos myself.) She and Hercules have one small kitchen, one small dining room, three bedrooms, and a small patch of hall. What the heck are they going to do with four baby monitors?

She's making noises at me now about getting baby seats for my cars. Are you kidding? I suspect that kid won't be allowed in my car until the kid is holding a learner's permit.


Something that has bothered me for a long time, brought to the fore with the disappearance of a semi-local wife....

Local police always look first at the spouse or the parent when an adult or child is missing. Yeah, ok. I can see that.

But the part that bothers me is that they don't seem to also gather all the evidence they can, and then see where it points. What it seems like is that they first decide on a theory, and then look only for evidence that supports that theory. And if they find even the tiniest bit (Neighbor: "Oh, yeah, they argued a lot.") then they tighten in on that theory and not only look at nothing else, but will reject anything that doesn't fit the theory.

To the point of actively hiding it at trial.

The first few days are critical to solving a disappearance or murder. Evidence that might be useful disappears quickly. Forming a theory, and then focusing only on evidence that supports that theory and missing (and thereby losing) other evidence is how innocent people get convicted.

How do you fight that?

Monday, March 14, 2011

3190 Selling

Monday, March 14, 2011

There are a lot of people who like to be told what to think.
They are more dangerous than the people who tell them.


BNG ran into a high-pressure saleswoman over the weekend ( Her experience made me cringe. (Turned off BNG, too.)

I can't sell. Nope, no way. Can't do it. Well, I could sell stuff on Etsy, or eBay, or my own website, or at a table at a fair, that kind of thing, because then people look at the stuff, make their own decision without input from me, come to me and say, "I want this." But I could never grab someone by the arm and say, "You want this! You need this!"

Many times people have tried to recruit me for one of those party-type things, like Tupperware, Avon (back when it was party), various jewelry and cleaning stuff and so on, and I just can't do it - because I feel like people get roped into going to the parties because they're friends with the hostess, and then they buy stuff they don't really want because they feel like they are expected to and have to support their friend, and then they regret it.

I just don't want to feel like I coerced people into buying things - coerced or shamed or fooled them into giving me their money.

I couldn't sell a space heater to an Eskimo without worrying that I'd taken his money for something he didn't really need, fooled him into thinking that he needed it when he'd done just fine for so long without it.

I just can't do it. I'd feel enormous guilt, and I don't understand how high-pressure face-to-face salespeople don't feel shame or guilt.

Yeah, they can make lots of money, but they lose friends. They have to keep expanding their territories, and recruiting people to sell for them, because after a while nobody wants to be around them, afraid of what they'll get pressured into next.

Sometimes I think you have to have a hard heart to be successful at sales. That, or have a terrific product that sells itself. If it's terrific, you don't have to be aggressive to sell it.

Which leads to the corollary - if you have to work so hard to sell it, and take so much pride in selling it, I am suspicious and figure I don't need it.