Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
In other news, got a phone message today when I got home that DD had won the "Jellybean Challenge" at a local pharmacy's "Webkinz Extravaganza" that was held over the weekend (she had to guess the number of jellybeans in the jar). She got to pick any Webkinz they had in the whole store. She was SO excited. I won a "jelly bean" challenge when I was in second grade. I got to keep the jar of jellybeans. It's pretty exciting as a kid to win something. Heck, it's exciting as an adult to win something! One of my biggest "adult" wins was last year I entered a contest put on by Edy's and I won an ice cream party for my neighborhood (my street really)! I still have hopes of winning the Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes. I still go through that whole packet of papers when it comes and I send in my entry. Gotta be in it to win it, right?
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Seems to me, it shouldn't be this hard to buy the washer I want. Other brands are lookin' real good right now. Especially any brand that's IN STOCK.... I wanted to get the one Consumer Reports rated as their "Best Buy" but that's seeming less and less important.... If I make ANOTHER trip to the laundromat it's going to cost me ANOTHER $30-40 dollars! If it doesn't come in by Tuesday maybe I should start looking at other brands??
Friday, April 25, 2008
So after my washing machine broke (see my rant from April 4th) I promptly went to the Consumer Reports website and looked up their top pick for a top loading machine. Checked prices around town, then went up to Lowe's and ordered the machine I wanted. They told me it would be in in 10 days. Well it wasn't. And by that time I had about 2 weeks of dirty laundry saved up thinking the machine was coming. Ended up bringing 8 kitchen garbage bags of laundry to the laundromat which ended up costing to wash and dry......$40.00! I had so much clean laundry to bring home I didn't even have enough baskets - I ended up using some of my reusable supermarket grocery totes I have in my truck to carry some of it. Classy, I know. (Not as bad as the time we used shopping carts to move our stuff into one of our apartments, but that's another story.) Well "Ted" from Lowe's told me my machine was probably REALLY coming yesterday or today. Well I called yesterday and "Ted" wasn't there, and a somewhat less competent sounding person told me they are "getting a big delivery of GE washers and dryers" Friday and maybe my machine is on that truck. I said, "Can't you find out for sure if my washer is in that delivery?" But no, Mr. "Not Ted" claimed he couldn't possibly find out something like THAT. So we'll see if today is the end of the saga or not...
(See comment from previous post)
You know it's really tough to say what's going to kill us first. So many choices. An asteroid from space? The eruption from the Yellowstone Caldera? Global warming? The chemicals released in plastic water drinking bottles? Cell phones? Bird flu?
Well here's one bright spot of hope I found while refreshing my memory on the Yellowstone Caldera.
From the Discovery Channel website:
"One way of looking at the power of volcanoes is what scientists call the Volcano Explosivity Index (VEI) — sort of a Richter scale for eruptions. And like the Richter scale used to measure earthquakes, the power of an eruption increases exponentially from number to number in the VEI index.
The VEI scale runs from zero to eight. The higher the VEI number, the bigger — and less frequent — the eruptions. The Yellowstone eruption of 2.1 million years ago, was described on the VEI as an eight: mega-colossal, with a towering ash cloud 10 miles high that pours out at least a thousand cubic miles of ash. That Yellowstone eruption had 10 times the ejected material as a VEI 7 volcano, which modern humans have never seen either.
In fact, the last VEI 7 eruption was in Toba, Indonesia, 74,000 years ago, and it caused such global cooling that some scientists think it nearly drove humans to extinction."
So fortunately, unlike the humans of 74,000 years ago, WE'VE got the global warming going on, so if there's a huge eruption it will cool down the earth and maybe it will balance everything out! Whew, lucky us!
I first found out about the whole super-volcano-under-Yellowstone from a Discovery channel show I watched. At like 11pm at night. Right when I was planning on falling asleep. Why oh WHY do they put things like this on late at night?? I can't sleep for goodness sake after watching a show like that!! On my island no doomsday shows will be allowed on tv after 9pm! The other thing I know I can't watch late at night is those TLC shows like "The 600lb Woman" or whatever. I don't know why, but those shows are fascinating to me. One night they had a whole string of those "Stories from the Weight Loss Clinic" or whatever on and I was up until like 3am watching. Maybe I should consider watching C-SPAN at bedtime. Nothing on that channel to keep me up.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
From the USGS website:
The central Mississippi Valley has more earthquakes than any other part of the United States east of the Rocky Mountains.
The winter of 1811-12 was extremely difficult for the European settlers of the Mississippi Valley. While Tecumseh, the Shawnee chief and visionary, was attempting to unite the tribes of the valley in an effort to drive out the settlers, the region was struck by three of the most powerful earthquakes in United States history. These magnitude 8 quakes, centered near the town of New Madrid (Missouri), devastated the surrounding region and rang church bells 1,000 miles away in Boston. The scars that those great earthquakes made on the landscape remain -the quakes locally changed the course of the Mississippi River and created Reelfoot Lake, which covers an area of more than 10 square miles in northwestern Tennessee.
Now I'm not so brilliant that I found out about this on my own. I listen to some podcasts by a guy by the name of Cliff Ravenscraft (GSPN - Generally Speaking Podcast Network) and he lives in Kentucky and he just recently left his job as an insurance agent to podcast full time and since he was in insurance, he knew ALL about the risk of earthquakes in that area. After listening to a very interesting My Crazy Life podcast from April 18th where he explained all about this fault line, and also explained some very interesting (and surprising) info about earthquake insurance, I went and looked up the fault line on the internet to learn more about it. If you are likewise interested, you can just Google the New Madrid Fault, or here's an interesting link I found from the Arkansas Center for Earthquake Education and Technology Transfer.
Maybe I don't learn something new EVERY day, but today I did! Thanks Cliff.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
A new template that is not all green.
What was I thinking picking that other template in the first place??
Taught DD over the weekend how to use the toaster. Being the good girl that she is, knowing that her Mom is a scrapbooker, she took a pic of the first poptart she made on her own so I can scrapbook this amazing milestone. Not a bad pic, either!
On my island all fruit sold will be ripe and ready to be eaten!
Monday, April 21, 2008
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Too bad I don't understand any of it.
(Ok, that's a SLIGHT exaggeration - the ONE thing I can figure out is how many visitors I have each day, but everything else is pretty much Greek (or should I say geek) to me!)
Friday, April 18, 2008
For my birthday this year, I asked to go on a trip to NYC. I wanted to take the train to Grand Central, eat lunch in Bryant Park, go to the "Top of the Rock", then shopping and dinner at American Girl Place. My dear DH and dear father were so kind as to oblige my whim (DD also, but it's not like she had a choice). We were blessed with a beautiful warm, sunny day yesterday for our trip. Lunch in Bryant Park was beautiful. Then we walked up to Rockefeller Plaza. Now, I've been to Manhattan countless times in my life, and seen many of the attractions NYC has to offer, but I have to say, "Top of the Rock" blew me away. "Top of the Rock" is the observation decks on top of the GE building in Rockefeller Plaza. It's kind of expensive - $20 per person (and thanks again Dad for treating us to this) but I think it's definitely worth it. They have a few different levels at the top so there's plenty of room (although it was surprisingly quite busy for a Thursday in April - it must be crazy crowded in the summertime), and the best part is that it's enclosed at the top by large square glass partitions (rather than fencing), so you basically get an unobstructed, 360 degree view of NYC. The partitions seem to be good wind breaks too, it wasn't overly windy at the top which was a surprise to me (so anotherwords, no need to use a half a bottle of hairspray before you go like I did). It was just STUNNING. I'd been to the top of the Empire State building and the Twin Towers before, but this view is 100 times better. It was so amazing to see the city laid out in each direction. In particular I thought it was really cool to see all of Central Park from up there. Awesome view of the Empire State building and how it towers over the rest of the city too. Another cool thing of note is that if you've ever watched the weather on WNBC, you may be familiar with their "Doppler 4000 radar" - well THE actual Doppler 4000 radar is on top of the GE building, and it's big! Very cool! If you go to NYC on a nice day, I highly recommend this as a must-do!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
New poll in a few days. Don't want to overload you with excitement.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
"Amateur radio, often called ham radio, is both a hobby and a service in which participants, called "hams", use various types of radio communications equipment to communicate with other radio amateurs for public service, recreation and self-training. Amateur radio operators enjoy personal (and often worldwide) wireless communication with each other and are able to support their communities with emergency and disaster communications if necessary, while increasing their personal knowledge of electronics and radio theory. An estimated 6 million people throughout the world are regularly involved with amateur radio. The term "amateur" is not a reflection on the skills of the participants, which are often quite advanced; rather "amateur" indicates that amateur radio communications are not allowed to be made for commercial or money-making purposes."
Even in this age of cell phones and the internet, in a disaster, when there is no power and the telephones systems are tied up, ham radio is still a totally viable means of communicating, which makes amateur radio operations a very valuable service. A good friend of ours provided emergency communication during 911 among government emergency services. I don't necessarily have plans to get involved in that, but who knows.
Monday, April 14, 2008
If you think you know anything about Amateur (Ham) radio, go to this site and try taking a test or two: Ham Radio Practice Tests . I learned some of the material, but memorized a LOT of it. If you discover that you don't know too much about ham radio, but are interested, I found these Ham Radio Podclass Podcasts really helpful, and surprisingly interesting as well. I also read the book Ham Radio for Dummies (request it through your local library if you don't want to buy it).
This is all assuming of course you have some interest in this. Otherwise this is probably the most boring blog entry you've ever read.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
(I may or may not report back on "how different I feel" if it involves TMI. I have a feeling that's why they don't tell you about what's going to happen to you that's "different".)
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
The waymarking site is fun to peruse. A category I find really interesting is "Out of Place Graves" such as this one for Stonewall Jackson's arm. Or this one Pioneer Woman's Grave. There's tons of other interesting categories such as vintage gas pumps, time capsules, barber poles, Starbucks, pedestrian suspension bridges, U.S. Post Offices, plane crash sites, U.S. benchmarks, natural sinkholes, ginormous everyday objects, Route 66 the Mother Road, and waaaaay more....
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
The story of how the cave was first discovered and explored and opened to tourists is very interesting. I won't go into the whole story here, but I will tell you how Lester Howe first discovered the cave. In the early 1800s local settlers noticed that even on the hottest summer day, a cool breeze could be felt coming from a rocky ledge. They were too scared to investigate, but they called the ledge "Blowing Rock". In 1842 newcomer Lester Howe's curiosity got the better of him when he noticed his cows would congregate in this area on hot days, rather than stand under shady trees, and tying a rope around his waist he went in to explore. We bought a little book for 4 bucks that tells the whole story of the caverns from their formation millions of years ago, to how they came to be a tourist attraction. Well worth the $4.
If you live close enough to this attraction I highly recommend it. It's pretty kid friendly and a lot of fun, and very interesting and educational. The tour was about 80 minutes. They also have some interesting memorabilia on display. Between all that and the gem mining and the gift shop, we ended up spending a good few hours there in total. But this wasn't the end of our fun-filled day, but I'll have to save that for tomorrow, this is long enough!
Friday, April 4, 2008
By Want to see longevity as a CR category from Minneapolis, MN
The bearing that runs the machine and that the drum hangs from is shot after 7 years. The bearing is molded into the drum, so basically most of the machine needs to be replaced to the tune of [$] Call me old-fashioned, but I thought major appliances ought to last 10-15-20 years. Why create more trash?? Let's make'em so we can fix'em.
When you consider that the best rated front loaders can cost as much as $1,300, $1,600 and $1,900 they're going to have to be awfully energy efficient in their short life span (ours didn't even last 6 years) to end up a better value than the $500 top loader I'm buyin' today! GAH!
Thursday, April 3, 2008
We recently finished following this year's Iditarod dogsled race. This year some of the mushers carried GPS transmitters and you could even see where they were in between checkpoints via the iditarod.com website, very cool and exciting. Here's a pic of some beautiful sled dogs. I love their faces!
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
If you would like to see what people with too much time of their hands do with Ivory soap, check this out: http://www.ivory.com/PureFun_IvoryProjects_AmazingSoapCarvings.htm
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
At first glance it doesn't look that remarkable, but if you start clicking on some of the earliest presidents, there's some weird stuff.
For example, did you know this about Thomas Jefferson?
From age 19 on, Jefferson had a tendency to develop prolonged incapacitating headaches, usually at 7-8 year intervals, usually correlated with stress or grief, complicated by indecision and deeply buried rage:
- Violent headache for two days after behaving awkwardly in front of a girl he fancied (March 1764, age 20);
- Six week headache after his mother's death on March 31, 1776;
- Six weeks of headache soon after arriving, unhappy and homesick, as minister to France in 1785;
- While overburdened as Secretary of State, headaches recurred when he learned that a friend had become ill, but recovered (April 1790);
- About this time he had a second set of headaches, lasting from sunrise to sunset each day for 6 weeks.
"He was tall, homely, and gaunt. He had long limbs, big feet, a high voice... and was constipated. Three of his four sons died before age 20. Why?"Well, I wasn't sure I really wanted to know about one of our greatest presidents being constipated, but if you want to find out a little more, there's some info here: http://www.doctorzebra.com/Prez/t16.htm I thought it was interesting, but I won't bore you with the details here.
I'll leave you with one last thought from the Presidential Health website about founding father George Washington:
Was known as "The Potomac Stallion"