August 29, 2003

How to (Almost) FUBAR a Brand New Computer Keyboard

An occasional recipe for disaster by Valkyre:


1 brand new keyboard
2 packages instant oatmeal

DIRECTIONS: Empty 2 packages of instant oatmeal into bowl. Boil 1 cup water on stove top. When water is at nice rolling boil (100 degrees centrigrade, 212 fahrenheit), remove from stove and add to bowl containing instant oatmeal. Stir. Bring bowl over to computer desk. Set on desk and ignore the fact that the bowl is balanced precariously over the edge. Watch as bowl starts to tip towards new keyboard. Try to stop the fall with left hand. Only, bowl stops, oatmeal doesn't. Hot oatmeal spills onto left hand. Scream in pain and pull hand away and watch as oatmeal spills all over the keyboard. Bowl continues falling dumping hot oatmeal onto left knee. Scream and push swivel chair back, to get out of the way. Watch as bowl, in final insult, lands on left foot. Remaining oatmeal spills onto left foot. Worry about oatmealed keyboard more than the burns to the hand, knee and foot. Let husband take care of keyboard as you run cold water from the shower onto you knee and foot. Spray Solarcaine onto hand. Scream in agony from the sting as the Solarcaine hits. Decide against spraying the other burns. Find out later that the hand doesn't hurt anymore, due to the Solarcaine, but knee and foot does. Watch husband, take apart keyboard, remove oatmeal from inside and lightly hit it with the blowdryer. See him put it back together. Then, watch his smirk as he puts the plastic bag it came in back on, to protect it from future oatmeal disasters. Curse aloud as you find that several of the keys don't work. Set keyboard upside down at a slight angle and go to work. Find out, that sitting in that position all day helped immensely. Keyboard is now fine.

Yield: 1 enormous klutz

Posted by Valkyre at 07:27 PM | Comments (2)

August 27, 2003

Happy Birthday Speedo!

According to an article in today's Los Angeles Times, (You have to register at their site), the Speedo turns 75. I would say that it has aged well!

Posted by Valkyre at 06:09 PM | Comments (1)

August 24, 2003

Finding a Pink Slip

We've decided to junk out our old family sedan. A 1976 LTD. But, before I can do anything, I needed to find the pink slip. Easy enough! Or, so I thought. I would have had better luck trying to find Jimmy Hoffa's body. Over the past 17 years, I have been putting our "important" papers into a file box. There were folders marked, "Insurance", "Automobile", "Mortgage", etc. After about 10 years, it burst at the seams and important papers spilled all over. No problem, I taped it back and continued adding papers to it. Now today, I figured that it would be no problem finding the pink slip to the old LTD. Ha! I found the folder where I had been stuffing registration papers and pink slips for all our cars. I found the pink slip to a Pinto I no longer own. The original pink slip for my Camaro. Also, the second pink slip that I received when I changed my name after marrying Mike. Also, the pink slip to the '66 Beetle and our utility trailer. But, no LTD. Rats!

I now have 17 years of accumulated garbage scattered all over the bed. I dragged in a trash can, put in a liner and started getting rid of stuff. Tons and tons of receipts. For some reason, I kept every receipt from every electronic purchase we had ever made. Some of the stores don't even exist anymore. So, I had receipts for old Beta units and VHS units that we had long since tossed out. I know that you only need 7 years previous tax records, just in case you are audited. So, I started tossing out all the old returns. I've tossed out old insurance records and God knows what else. The barrel is now half full. However!!!! I found an envelope, that I had looked in before. It was with the vehicle registrations. It was a registration slip to a motorcycle that Mike sold about 10 years ago. I picked it up again and looked behind the motorcycle registration. There was a pink piece of paper right behind it. Woo hoo!!!! It was the pink slip to the old LTD. I found it! But, I am still going to purge this stack of papers and toss all the things I really don't need anymore.

Posted by Valkyre at 01:56 PM | Comments (0)

August 23, 2003

A Tale Of Two Cars

They say that people judge you by the type of car you drive....

I drive two cars. The one I drive most frequently is a 1994 Ford Escort LX. It is emerald green and has a useless spoiler on the back. It has a tiny little 4 cylinder that I refer to as the gutless wonder. The things I like about this car is that it is new enough to have some modern car conveniences. One of the things I love is a setting on the heater/air control panel called "recirculation". You switch to this when you pull up behind a diesel truck or a poorly running car. Just roll up the windows, hit "recirculation" and the nasty exhaust won't get sucked into the interior of the car. I love the fact that this car doesn't feel every bump in the road, gets good mileage and doesn't leak when it rains. However.....

The Escort is the Rodney Dangerfield of cars. It gets no respect. Since I have gotten the car, I noticed that I get tail-gated more, honked at and cut off more frequently. Of course, most of the tail-gaters are large behemoths whose bumpers are higher than the trunk of my car. I always worry what will happen if they hit me from behind. Decapitate me? If I don't make a left turn fast enough for the driver behind me: "Beep!" If I don't move as soon as the light turns green: "Honk!" And, usually, the impatient tail-gater is the one who rips past me and cuts me off....

Cut to the other car.... I've owned this one since 1982. It is a 1972 Camaro Rally Sport. It is about as ugly as they come. It's in brown primer. It has a brilliant white fiberglass raised hood. It has a built 350. Fat tires, dual exhaust. The works. If you are standing near it, when it is idling, the ground will shake under you. We have nicknamed it, "The Beast". The Beast has all the problems that accompany a 31 year old car with nearly 200,000 miles on the odometer. The doors sag, when you open them. All the rubber, that was nice and pliant, when the car was new, has now deteriorated. Which means the car rattles and shakes when one drives down the road. The seat covers hide the ragged seats, with exposed foam padding, that are being held together with string. The car leaks transmission fluid and oil. There are also holes in the floor of the passenger side in which you can see the road pass by underneath you. This is due to the heater core leaking inside the car and dumping hot water and coolant onto the carpet. Trashed carpet was removed, only to see the holes eaten into the rusty floor.

Seriously, though. After being abused in the Escort all week, it is nice to occasionally get behind the wheel of the Beast. Why? Respect!!!! (Or fear!) People rarely tail-gate this car. Even the behemoths back off from the Beast. I never get honked at. The other day, the car stalled in traffic, resulting in a 7 car gap between me, and the car in front of me. But, the guy behind me didn't let out a peep. I do not get cut off. In fact, people have moved over into the next lane from in front of me. I guess they do not want me behind them. When I am sitting at traffic lights, most of the time, the other driver in the next lane will not pull up completely next to me. The usually hang off the rear quarter panel. It's rather amusing sometimes. People, who have ridden with me, have even noticed it. I am the same person, regardless of the car I drive.

Posted by Valkyre at 09:01 PM | Comments (0)

August 21, 2003

Another School Year. Another Pile of Papers...

I always get writer's cramp around this time of year. It never fails.... When the girls pre-register for next fall, the schools send home a bunch of papers to fill out. I wouldn't mind so much, except that it's the same stuff year after year. To me, they could save more time to just send one paper home asking if any of the information has changed since the previous year. Better yet, have it all online. Those who can access their files via the internet, can log in and update their files if need be. Seems to me that they would save a lot of paper this way. And postal fees....

Posted by Valkyre at 09:20 PM | Comments (2)

August 17, 2003

A Good Day

I got a lot accomplished today, and I feel really good right now. I slept in a little bit, no big deal. Got up, had breakfast, and then went out to Sam's Club as soon as they opened. Turns out, everyone else had the same idea! Even though the lines were long at checkout, the cashiers were ringing everyone through rather quickly. I didn't wait too long. Took the groceries back home and then Mike and I went out to the Home Depot and looked at windows for the girls bedroom. Saw a couple that looked nice. There were 3 on clearance that we almost bought, but, they would have come to over $500.00 and the Escort needs to go down tomorrow to get the brakes worked on. (You can hear metal griding when you apply the brakes.) We picked up a few small items and headed for the checkout. I was looking for a short line, when Mike suggested we try the self check out. They had four of them there, and we found one that was available. We just ran the bar codes across the scanners and everything rang up fine. I paid with cash. It came to $24.91 and I put in a $20 and a $5 and it spit out the 9 cents change. It took about a 1/2 minute. I spent more time looking for the money than checking out the stuff. I liked it and will try to use that when I can. We also went up to Lowe's to look at their window selection too. Their inventory wasn't too great, but we will look around more at other stores. We also hit the pet store to get some food for Pepper. Saw a cute kitten that they were trying to get someone to adopt, but we already have a cat. I don't think he would fancy us bringing another cat home. I actually made a list of all the places we needed to go today and managed to get everything crossed off the list. I've never done that before. But, since I am so limited in time to getting things done, I've taken to writing things down. I also got quite a few things done around the house. Today, I just seemed to have a lot of energy. I hope I have this much tomorrow at work.

Posted by Valkyre at 08:05 PM | Comments (2)

August 12, 2003

Goodbye Old Shoes

I don't know why I am getting sentimental over these old shoes. They were on their last legs when I started with this job. I figured that they would be perfect for this job, since I get pretty dirty by days end. But, I hadn't taken into account all the water that I use during the day spraying down the kennels. By the end of the day, my feet and socks would be soaked due to all the holes in these poor shoes. Plus which, the constant soaking over several weeks were making them start to fall apart. Cardboard inserts fell out, etc. The one reason I was loath to get rid of these was because they gripped the slick, wet concrete. I tried wearing my hiking boots one day. They performed flawlessly down in the Amazon jungle. I figured that any shoe that I could walk effortlessly across mud with, would do great on wet, smooth concrete. I was wrong. I kept slipping and sliding that day and I was afraid I was going to fall and break my neck. So, I went back to Payless Shoe Source, where I bought these originally a couple of years ago. (They only cost $19.99) Turns out they were still carrying them, so I bought two pairs. (They were still $19.99!)

Posted by Valkyre at 08:56 PM | Comments (2)

August 11, 2003

Car Alarms

Why is it, that when a car alarm goes off extremely early in the morning..... That the only people who get awakened are everbody who lives in the neighborhood, EXCEPT THE OWNER OF THE OFFENDING VEHICLE!!!!

Posted by Valkyre at 08:29 PM | Comments (0)

August 06, 2003

One of the Things I Don't Like About This Job

One of the puppies died today. There was no apparent reason. I guess it's just one of those things that happen. I have become used to seeing stillborn pups as part of litters. That is quite common. A dog will have a little of 6 pups and 5 will survive. This one though, had seemed healthy for the past few weeks. All the pups from this litter had started to open their eyes. But, when I went to clean their enclosure today, I pulled out their basket and noticed that one had died. I picked it up, to make sure. The mother seemed concerned when I did that. So, I held it out to her. She sniffed it and then turned back to her surviving pups. They were fat and healthy and seemed to be okay. Who knows. I guess it just one of those things that happen. I'm trying to not get too attached to these little guys, but it's hard. I'm around them almost every day. And some of them are so darn cute that I can't resist sometimes and smother them with kisses. Oh well, life goes on....

Posted by Valkyre at 08:33 PM | Comments (0)

August 05, 2003

A Little Late

Our Credit Union, years ago, tried to get it's members to sign up for online bill paying. The only thing is, they were going to charge $15.95 per month for the "privilege". I couldn't see paying that much, we had free checking as long as we had a minimum amount in our checking account and our checks were free as long as we used their plain design. (I actually bought our checks from the Check Gallery, their prices were reasonable. Anyway, along came, a website that lets you pay your bills for free. The only catch is that the companies have to be registered with their site. I had no problem there, almost all of the credit cards we carry were on their site. And, they recently added utility bills. So, I can now pay all our bills online, for free. The only reason I bring this up is because our credit union has finally seen the light and has made their online bill paying free! They have blurbs all over their website now, begging people to sign up. Well, it's a little too late for me. I see no reason to leave I have had absolutely no problems with their site, since I have signed up. The credit union is bragging that since they have made their online bill paying free, hundreds of members have signed up. Hundreds? Out of how many million? It sounds like people are going to stay put with what they have been using to pay their bills online.

Posted by Valkyre at 07:51 PM | Comments (1)

August 04, 2003

For the Second Time in as Many Days...

...I have missed a pregnant Maltese. I've been able to spot all the other breeds when they are expecting, but it's difficult for me to tell when the Maltese are expecting. Especially, these last two. They were both first time mothers, they were very small and they each had only one puppy. Both puppies were tiny too. But, at least they were healthy. The procedure there is to remove the pregnant dog from the run and put her in her own enclosure in the nursery, where she can have her pups. But, last Friday and today, I arrived at work to find that they had had their pups in the runs. There are other dogs around, barking and carrying on and it makes the mothers nervous. Once I removed them and put them in the nursery, they calm down and everything is fine. It's the equivalent of a woman having her baby in either a nice, heated birthing suite at the hospital. Or, having her baby in the front seat of a pick-up truck along the freeway.

Posted by Valkyre at 05:17 PM | Comments (0)

August 03, 2003

Another Day Shot

Blah! Since I work 6 days a week, Sunday is the only day I have free. I had planned to do so much today. But, even though I slept in a little later, I was really tired when I woke up. So, after breakfast, I laid down for a short nap. Which turned into an hour. When I woke up, I had a headache. Most likely from too much sleep. So, I really don't feel like doing too much today. I hate days like this.... I may still be able to get some things done. But, not as much as I had planned. I wanted to take the Escort down and get the oil changed and the fuel injectors cleaned, but that's going to have to wait. I wanted to do that as early as possible. I did manage to get to Sam's Club and do some shopping, so the day isn't a total waste.

Posted by Valkyre at 02:37 PM | Comments (3)

August 01, 2003

Smart Kid

There was an article on CNN's site about a 15 year old teenage boy who was able to foil an attempted abduction and then used his Sprint cell phone to take a picture of the man who tried to abduct him. He also got a picture of the license plate of the car the man was driving. After the boy took the picture, the man grabbed him and they struggled. The boy managed to get away and gave the images to the police. A suspect has been arrested. I'm glad that under the situation, the boy managed to keep his wits about him enough to snap the pictures.

Posted by Valkyre at 10:00 PM | Comments (0)