Sunday, December 07, 2008

Today is Pearl Harbor Day

Dec 7, 1941. A day that forever changed the world. Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese.

My uncle was there, aboard the USS Maryland. As I understand it, the Oregon was supposed to have the inside berth, but the Maryland arrived first. So, the Oregon took the hits that would have otherwise befallen the Maryland.

Not too long ago, as I was looking around eBay, I found a picture of the sailors from the Maryland rescuing the sailors of the capsized Oregon. I bought it, framed it, and gave it to my father.

Fortunately for the family, my uncle survived the attack on Pearl Harbor and went on to live a long life. He is deceased now, but those who knew him have not forgotten his service to his fellow sailors.

To all the veterans of Pearl Harbor who remain, and to the families of those who did not return: Thank you.

Monday, December 01, 2008

It's Christmas time in the...Writing Center

Yesterday, I decided to decorate the Writing Center where Melissa and I work. I know it's right after Thanksgiving, but I LOVE Christmas.

I brought in two Mannheim Steamroller CDs, snatched the tree and decorations from the storage closet in the Humanities office, and had myself a GOOD time. Our tree isn't quite a "Charlie Brown tree," but it comes close.

I put the lights and ornaments on the tree, put down the tree skirt, and hung lights up as far as they would go. It's pretty festive, but I think I may have to add a few more things.

Melissa asked if we were going to go overboard as we did for Hallowe'en, and I said that was my plan. 8-)

Unfortunately, we'll have only about two weeks to enjoy it, so it's a good thing I set it up now.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's a big waste of time, but still pretty cool

My friend, Scott, told me about this really cool website called Fancast. It offers both full episodes of television shows and some full-length movies. You have to sit through little commercials, but it's NOTHING like when the shows were on tv.

Some of the shows are newer; some are older. I found Love Boat (still cheesy after all these years), and lately I've been watching Emergency! (Dr. Brackett is HOT!)

The video quality is surprisingly good, as is the sound. The only problem is a very slight pause now and then, but that may be because of my video card.

Of course, if you like the videos, they want you to buy them, but it's totally free to watch them.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My "Blueberry" bubble

I recently bought a new car. I have never HAD a brand-new car, and I was really excited about buying it. My nephew used to work at a used-car dealership, so he knew the ropes and told me what to look for, like pushy salespeople who call all the time trying to get you to make a sale.

My dealership is just as bad, if not worse.

I test drove a couple of cars that I was interested in and did some research on them. I decided which one I wanted, and I went to buy it. Then the "fun" began. The sales guys were friendly, but the wait was interminable...about three hours. I was tired and hungry and wanted my car. I don't know WHAT they were doing, but I nearly gave up and left.

The finance guy was nasty. He didn't appreciate that I was paying cash for the car, and he tried to get me to finance it. I said, "no." THEN, he tried to get me to buy some sort of maintenance package, and when I said "no" to that, he got snippy.

Not long after I got my car home, I got a survey about my experience with the dealership. I filled it out, and about a week later, got a call from one of the sales guys wanting me to change my opinion of my experience. He offered me two free oil changes to essentially lie about it. Apparently, the two guys had gotten into trouble because they had an unhappy customer.

Then, this week, I get MORE calls from the dealership...four calls on the same day, the earliest at 8:00AM.

If they call me again, Subaru of America may be getting a nasty mail from me. I have bought the car. I don't appreciate being harassed. They should ask my children what happens when people start getting on my case...it isn't pretty.

Anyway, I like my car so far. It's a dark blue, five-door, 2008 Impreza. My daughter says it looks like a bubble. I have named it "Blueberry."

Friday, July 11, 2008

Corn starch, and hazmat, and cops, oh my!

The town I live in doesn't get much excitement. It's quiet, unassuming, and generally minds its own business. So today, when I went to get my mail at the post office, I was surprised to see all sorts of commotion.

I saw several police cars, one rescue squad, and at least two fire engines. The entire perimeter of the post office was cordoned off, and workers were leaving. Great. Just great. How was I supposed to get my mail?

Across the street is a skating rink which offers a kids' camp (I guess), and the kiddies were outside playing, so it couldn't have been a bomb threat or a shooter. The gas company wasn't there, so it couldn't have been a gas leak. It turns out that it was something pretty simplistic--a package had burst open and something white had come out.

According to the news, the po was evacuated, the FBI and a hazmat team showed up, and five employees were decontaminated. The post office reopened about three hours later.

The mystery white "stuff"? According to the news, it was tapioca mixed with corn starch. Apparently, the letters SOS had been written on the side of the box. One of our networks reported (and that really boggles my mind--they NEVER report on this town (we're like the red-headed step-child (no offense intended to red-headed step-children (and I wonder if there are really that many red-headed step-children, anyway, and if they would actually get offended)))) that the "boys in blue" went to the home of the person to whom the package was sent and made him eat the tapioca. I assume it was to be sure that it wasn't actually dangerous.

And, wouldn't you know it? After all that, I had NO mail. Zero. Zip. Nada.The very least they could have done was throw some junk mail into my box...

And, yes, Melissa, the parentheses are JUST for you! 8-)

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy Birthday, USA!

I know I'm a day late, but better late than never. I LOVE the fourth of July. I like the fireworks and the smell of the gunpower in the air. I love the flags flying, and the fact that it's a holiday.

One thing I DON'T like, however, is that firecracker...the M80? There were several set off on Tuesday night, and I thought there had been an explosion somewhere.

The whole neighborhood shook. All of my windows rattled.

Other than that, we had a really nice holiday this year. The temperature was perfect, not too hot, and no rain! We could not have asked for a better day for our 232nd birthday celebration!

She's a grand old country, the US is. For me, I can't think of a finer place to live.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mother Nature needs a new calendar

With all the talk recently about "global warming," those of us in the midwest are saying, "BRING IT ON!" The spring temps that we usually enjoy this time of year are just now making an appearance. MY calendar says spring; I think Mother Nature needs a new one.

Unfortunately, the starlings don't care a bit about it; they are once again raiding my bird feeders and harassing the poor squirrels. I DID see some finches today, though, and I'm hoping that they start building a nest in the bird house I hung up last year.