Friday, January 13, 2012

3445 Foiled again!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
-- Steven Wright --


Packing for flying:

If you don't like the idea of strangers handling your packed intimates, there's an easy way to discourage it and still not annoy them.

Buy gallon sized ziplock bags.

Fold your clothes to fit the bags, and pack everything in the bags in such a way that it's obvious what's in the bag, and so that the bags are flexible. A week's worth of panties will fit in one bag. If you wear underwire bras, put fewer in a bag so that the wires can be felt for what they are. Three or four t-shirts, or two turtle neck sweaters, one pair of jeans, or two or three shorts, and so on. Socks should go into a ziplock flat, not rolled, so they can be felt easily. If there are any hard parts, like buckles or decorated areas, fold the item so the hard stuff is on top and visible through the plastic.

If they can see and feel what's in the bags, they won't open them.

Everything else can go in bags, too. Actually, that makes it easier to settle at your destination and to unpack when you get home. Put things like shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. in your shoes, which should then go into OPEN clear plastic bags, not ziplocks. They will get annoyed if they have to actually open a ziplock.

Carry expensive jewelry with you. Costume jewelry in the suitcase, and anything else that might look tempting, goes into a large ziplock with a piece of cardboard the size of the ziplock. That makes it harder to "accidentally" drop or pocket something.

On your return trip, the temptation is to just jumble dirty clothes. Uh uh. Fold them neatly into the ziplocks, exactly as when you set out, so it's not obvious those are used panties.

They don't check every bag, by the way. The threat of opening the bag is enough to keep the average person in check. Of course, they seem to forget it's not the average person's suitcase that needs checking.... (Oh, yeah, for a moment there I forgot what the REAL purpose is.)

3444 Squirrels

Friday, January 13, 2012

Expectation is the root of all heartache.
-- William Shakespeare --


Four metal tissue holders bound for a Bed Bath & Beyond store in California triggered a radiation alarm at a truck weighing station. It turns out the whole shipment was made from contaminated metal. (They don't say, but I wonder if the metal came from Japan.)

The shipment came in from India through the Port of Newark. Have you ever seen a shipping container? They're huge. How many tissue holders would be in one container?

So, if four holders inside a truck can set off an alarm, how can an entire shipping container full of them escape detection?

Oh! Oh! I know! Ask me! Nobody is checking for shipments of radioactive materials! I mean, how difficult can it be? Wave a magic wand as they roll off the ship.

It serves political purposes (and the military-corporate complex) to natter about "dirty bombs" being set off in cities. Stuff like that instills a fear level that keeps us compliant and willing to give up control to those who claim to keep us safe.

Next time you're being groped at a TSA checkpoint, or your suitcase is being rifled and your packed panties sniffed, remember that the purpose is not to find contraband, but to keep you fearful and compliant. To both literally and figuratively keep you in line. To impress upon you that government agencies know best and you can't argue with them.

Shipping containers don't need groping because they can't be made fearful.


Recall: If you bought metal tissue holders from BBB since July, call Bed, Bath & Beyond at 1-800-462-3966.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

3443 Peanut Butter

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hard work pays off in the future; laziness pays off now.
-- Steven Wright --


Daughter has some decisions to make. Her job: She gets a call when a client is scheduled, and goes in then, a few times a week. So her job-related babysitting needs are sporadic. I had told her I'd babysit for things like doctor's appointments or whatever, or when she and Hercules need an evening out, but that she was not to use me for job babysitting. I need flexibility, and she must treat babysitting for work as a professional thing, set up some kind of business arrangement.

Well, she's going crazy finding sitters. She's been depending on neighbors and friends, and she's paying $10 per hour. One by one the sitters are dropping out. One had a mild heart attack which resulted in surgery. One has a young daughter who continues to treat Nugget like her personal rag doll despite Daughter's requests for closer supervision (I had noticed long ago that after the Nugget had been there, she flinches at any quick movement). One smokes in the house when Nugget is there, now that it's getting colder and outside is inconvenient. One is a total ditz. Friends are starting to be too busy.

So Daughter is now looking into day care centers, for three days a week (Daughter would prefer two, but three is the least any of them will do), and for a multitude of reasons she's not happy with what she's finding. Daughter doesn't trust immunizations, so she's been delaying them as long as possible. Although Nugget is now 8.5 months old, she's only up to the 4 month level on her shots. (Actually, I agree with Daughter. I think they give some of those shots way too early. And NJ is nuts - they require way too many.) Anyway, the licensed centers won't take babies that aren't up to date on their shots.

I suggested interviewing granny nannies who wouldn't mind a few dollars a week on an as-needed basis.

It's only going to get harder. Hercules' new assignment is going to require every other month in Europe. He was able to negotiate it down from two months there and two here.

She's got options-
Get Nugget up on the immunizations for day care, or
Interview casual grannies, or
Quit work until Nugget is ready for nursery school, or
Finish a room in her basement where she can work, but for that she still needs a sitter, or
Sell jewelry on Etsy (temporary change of career), or
Both quit their jobs, move to and find work in Reading, Pa., and then use his family for sitting.
(His family is putting pressure on him to do just that.)

I swore I would not step in and fix this, but that last option really scares me - I just bought this house and am nowhere near selling the old one - I CAN'T move again, and there's no way I'm staying here if they move away. I haven't said anything like that to them, but it's freaking me out. His family has enormous influence on him. When things were going fine here, he was able to resist them, but with the Europe thing and Daughter under pressure, he may cave.

So, this week I am the work sitter. I had the Nugget four hours Tuesday, five yesterday, I'll have her Friday afternoon, and as of now, two days next week. At Daughter's house, Nugget can pretty much roam free, and she seems to be happy puttering around. Here she needs constant supervision, and for some reason demands constant attention (probably because the separation anxiety is higher), and won't nap because it's not her room and not her bed, which means she gets overtired and fussy. So I can't do anything else when she's here. Yesterday I didn't eat lunch until after 5. So it looks like I'll be sitting over there from now on, where I'll have a little more freedom to get things done, but ... what? Everything that needs doing is here, not there.


I'm sighing a lot lately.


Monday, January 09, 2012

3442 Mousies?

Monday, January 9, 2012

"An education isn't how much you have committed to memory,
or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between
what you do know and what you don't."
-- Anatole France --


I found the above whilst wandering around the ether. Both sites credited where they got them, and I followed the links, and followed the next crediting link, and the next, and so on, so deep that I gave up. Tineye will give me a list of all the places they appear, but again, where's the original source? The moral: if you originate something, watermark it across the middle. Otherwise you'll lose it to the world. Also, if when everybody copied something they credited the originator instead of the last place they found it, then that link would travel with the item and always be known.

It seems so simple....


This is Tim Wise, and "The Pathology of White Privilege". It's an hour long, but well worth the time. Bookmark it or something, and then the next time you're thinking about watching a movie, or turning the radio on, listen to this instead. Yeah, listen. There are no visuals beyond him talking, so you can listen while your hands and eyes are busy with something else. He starts out with race, but it expands to our relationship with the rest of the world.



I bought Jasper an undercover mouse. He's very timid, so I left it on the floor without turning it on for a few days so he'd get used to it. When I did turn it on, he was fascinated by it. He crouched 18 inches from it and stared at it, eyes big, ears up, tail twitching.

And that's pretty much it. Eighteen inches, and watches it.

At the old house, we got field mice, and I could tell when one was in the house because Jasper would be "on point", staring under a bookcase or behind a door. I'd say, "Mousie, Jasper?", and he'd always look up and answer "Mew mew!" A different meow from the many voices he has for specific situations.

When he was staring at the undercover mouse, I said, "Mousie, Jasper? Get the mousie!" He looked up and said "Mew mew!" Several times.

So I'm pretty sure he knows what the rig is for, but I think because it makes a whirring noise, he's just too timid to go after it.

Lasers don't make noise.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

3441 Crackers

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Every exit is also an entrance.


Hmmm. I think the above quote is meant to be taken in a philosophical way, but one could get naughty about it, too.

Um, not every exit.


I have zero creativity. Thinking up titles for these posts strains my imagination way beyond what a title is worth, 'specially since with labels I can more easily find topics than I ever could with titles, anyway. So from now on (or for however long I feel like it) I'd going to use random words for titles. Jasper sometimes puts words in my head, so I'll just use whatever he wants.


For some odd reason today I was desperately trying to remember where we lived (when I was a kid) that we had a sandbox. I think it was probably at the Appleman's apartment in Benton, when I was in maybe fourth grade. Anyway, every so often, my mother had to go out to the sandbox and dig up the flyswatters and her spatulas. That's what she used to spank us with, and the kids would take them when she wasn't looking and bury them in the sandbox.

Don't know what made me think of that....

Hmmm. Maybe that came from Jasper, too. His litterbox needs cleaning.


Friday night's problem got rapidly better as the day went on yesterday. I feel fine now, but the AZO sticks still say UTI, so I guess I still have to call the doctor tomorrow.