"I want, I want, I want ... but that's crazy"

Friday, January 29, 2010

Flashback Friday - Come on Eileen

Hey, here's an 80s classic for you. This week's Flashback Friday is Dexy's Midnight Runners and Come on Eileen.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What a happy buzz!

How fantastic is this? I'm still on a high from yesterday's Carling Cup semi-final second leg between my beloved Man United and Man City. I'd probably feel a little silly about that, but fortunately all my fellow Red Devil Tweeps are still buzzing along about it as well.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Petty irritations

Ok, I will admit that this might seem a petty pet peeve, but I wonder if anyone else shares it.

I was buying groceries today, and when I got to the checkout lane, I placed the divider on the conveyor and began putting my items up as the person in front of me was checking out. The cashier did not have the conveyor set to advance automatically, so she reached up and removed each item, leaving empty space in the front.

I continued putting up my items until the back of the conveyor was filled, and I couldn't put anymore up, but she still didn't advance the conveyor. She completely emptied the front two-thirds of the conveyor and left me standing there waiting to put my items on it. Then when she completely finished checking out the person in front of me - after a coupon dispute that left us all standing there - then she finally moved the conveyor forward and began scanning my items.

Of course, the first items I had put up were the large ones that were to go under the shopping cart, then they were sorted on the conveyor by heaviest to lightest so that when I put the bags in the cart nothing gets crushed under something heavier.

Well naturally, she had my large items scanned and sitting on top of the bag carousel waiting for me to remove them, but I was still busy taking my items out of the cart and putting them on the suddenly empty conveyor. Then of course, she looked at me with irritation because I was not removing the bags quickly enough.

If she had simply advanced the conveyor - a touch of a button - I could have had my cart emptied and been ready to put my bags back into it as she was scanning the rest of my groceries.

Am I wrong, or does it seem that this is simple common sense?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Long, hot shower

I've just come from a lovely hot shower, and it reminded me of an incident -

Once, after taking a long, hot shower, I made the mistake of publically stating what a wonderful and simple pleasure such a thing could be.

Imagine my surprise at suddenly being attacked by a self-professed environmentalist, who proceeded to tell me how unbelievably small-minded, selfish, unconscientious and irresponsible I was being - along with any number of other unkind adjectives.

Though I was momentarily taken aback by this diatribe, this person went on for so long with the blathering that I was able to gather my thoughts for a coherent response.

I said to this person: I assure you that I would much prefer to save electricity by turning off the lights, along with natural gas by lowering the heat, and spend many hours making passionate love with my mate while staying warm within each other's fire, saving the world's food supply by missing meals as we feed on our own desires and conserving water by showering - quickly - together before returning to the warmth of our bed to begin again. However, seeing as this option is not open to me because I am quite alone, I will continue to occasionally indulge in the pleasure of a hot shower free of any particular guilt over the practice.

She walked away from me utterly speechless.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Flashback Friday - Pictures of You

I can't think of anything more appropriate this week than The Cure's Pictures of You for Flashback Friday.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Settle for less, or settle for nothing?

After recently getting the answer "no" - an unequivocal, no room for compromise or future changing of the mind, polite but in no uncertain terms "no" - I seem to constantly be getting the advice not to settle for less than what I want. I ask though, what if the options are "settle for less" or "settle for nothing"?

The prevailing wisdom - although I won't confirm the depth of that wisdom - seems to be that if I settle for less than what I want, it will ultimately leave me unhappier than settling for nothing, for now. That prevailing wisdom continues to say that if I hold out, I will get what I want and I won't have to settle. But how can I know that? Even failing any certainty, how can I even begin to believe that the odds are in my favor and worth the gamble?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Flashback Friday - Twilight Zone

This Flashback Friday I was torn. Do I go with some sappy, cheesy love song? Some equally cheesy girl-empowerment number? Some silly pop? Power ballad? Then I figured out where my head was. So it's Twilight Zone by Golden Earring.......

Friday, January 8, 2010

Flashback Friday - Rocky and Bullwinkle

Spending my Flashback Friday at home alone with some wine and fearless moose and squirrel, Rocky and Bullwinkle!

Finally fixed

I finally got the flat tire on my car fixed - after leaving it to sit in the driveway for two or three days. The can of Fix-a-Flat I bought was defective, so I finally just broke down and called AAA. It worked out better because they came and took the tire off, took it back to the shop to repair (they couldn't get the spare off because the cover was frozen onto it) and brought it back to put back on my car. It cost me $15 (not counting the $6 I'd already spent on the Fix-a-Flat), but I'm not complaining. I didn't even have to leave home to get it done.

The girls had a snow day today so they went off to spend the night with friends. That left me to an evening alone. I'm spending it with the moose and squirrel.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ahhhh Chocolate!

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of LG Chocolate Touch. All opinions are 100% mine.

Everybody knows that chocolate is a girl's best friend. I mean, diamonds are good. They're all pretty and sparkly and whatnot, but chocolate is .... well, CHOCOLATE!

And chocolate can be pretty and sparkly too, you know. In fact, it can be a lot more than that. It can call your friends, send text messages, let you use the Internet, link you up with all kinds of social media, take pictures and video, and even play your favorite music using Dolby Mobile technology for amazing sound quality.

Chocolate can do all that?!?! It can if it's the new LG Chocolate Touch.

Imagine the joy of having that kind of chocolate at your fingertips. It's everything you need all in one. You don't need a separate MP3 player anymore - and with Dolby Mobile's crystal-clear sound quality, this will sound better anyway. You can access your social networking sites with a single touch - that's Facebook, MySpace, Twitter available with the one-touch Social Networking Message Key. And with a 3.2-megapixel camera and video recorder with sound, you can take quality pictures and videos anywhere, anytime (well, wherever pictures and videos are allowed, of course.) There's even an image editor, so you don't have to upload to your computer to fix your pics before sending them to your friends or posting them to your Facebook or TwitterPic account.

The LG Chocolate Touch also has plenty of sweet visual effects and features, including a Rhythmical Beat that vibrates to the tune of the music on your ringtone! The mobile media features allow text, video, picture and voice messaging - even Visual Voicemail! How cool is that?

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I'm ahead :)

Here it is not even a week into the new year, and it's already been an eventful ride.

I got an e-mail from my editor late Sunday night asking me if I could come in to interview our Congressman, who would be stopping by the office on Tuesday morning. He's got staff reporters and a news editor who could have done it, so I didn't know exactly why he was asking me, but I was glad to do it. It's certainly a show of confidence in me.

So I dragged myself out of bed Tuesday morning (I was dreadfully tired for some reason), scraped the layer of ice off my car and ventured in. There was a light mist falling, and the temperature was quite low, so I had to stop three times during my usual 20-minute drive to scrape again. Even with my windshield wipers on and my defroster running at full-till, it couldn't keep ahead of the ice forming. Then when I was about 3/4 of the way there, I looked in my rear view mirror and noticed a police car behind me. He was just driving behind me, but there I was, slumped down in my seat trying to see through the ever decreasing clear space in my windshield. Then my coffee mug tipped over and spilled. Then my phone rang - it was the editor. I didn't feel comfortable answering and holding the phone to my ear while slumped down in my seat with six inches of clear windshield and a cop behind me. I was also hoping he wasn't calling to tell me the Congressman had already arrived. Well, I missed the first call, but he immediately called back, so I hit the answer button and then the speaker button. He was just checking to make sure I was coming. No problem.

I managed to make it into town without crashing or getting a ticket, only to find that the congressman was going to be late. Naturally. Politicians are ALWAYS late for interviews. I didn't mind though. It gave me a chance to prep. When he arrived, he sat down ALONE with me for a FULL HOUR in the conference room - no press secretary or other hangers on - and he let me ask him anything I wanted. That's a refreshing change. We had a good talk, and he's a good guy. I've always liked him, and his constituency is quite happy with him.

The drive home was much the same - three more stops to de-ice. I spent the rest of the day writing up a story that was too long, but it was good, so it was a good experience overall. And of course, it's a great clip for my file.

Today I had another big interview, this time with the managing director of the FCC. That's right - the Number Three guy at the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, DC. For me, that was cool. I'm a technophile, and of course I used to write the web column for the papers, so I got to ask him all the questions following up on columns I'd written before. I also learned some things I never knew about the FCC. I'm a geek. I don't care. I thought it was cool.

Unfortunately, I looked out to my driveway this afternoon and discovered that I have a flat tire.

Still, one week in, and I've got three solid positives (including my win with the car radio situation) and one negative so far. I'm ahead.

Free commemorative medallions at Mac's

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of iCoke.ca. All opinions are 100% mine.

Vancouver is preparing and celebrating for the 2010 Winter Olympics, and Mac's Stores have teamed up with Coca-Cola to offer their customers a special way to remember the occasion.

Exclusively at Mac's customers will be able to receive one of three free collectible Coca-Cola Medallions celebrating the Vancouver 2010 Games by purchasing any two 591mL Coca-Cola products at participating Mac's stores. The offer is available at participating Mac's locations from Jan. 4 through Feb. 28 (Jan. 6 through March 2 in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. That gives you a chance to buy all of your favorite Coke products and collect all three commemorative medallions.

That's how simple it is. Just buy your favorite Coke products and get an exclusive commemorative medallion of the Vancouver 2010 Games. Whether your favorite is Coke, Sprite, Diet Coke or Coke Zero, just buy two of the 591mL bottles, and you've got yourself a souvenir. (I'm a Coke Zero fan myself.)

Don't put it off, though. This offer is subject to availability, so if you don't hurry, you might miss out! When they're gone, they're gone. (Then you'll have to scour eBay looking for the remainders to fill out your collection.)

It's already started, so stop by Mac's for your FREE Coca-Cola Collectible Medallion today!

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Honda radio anti-theft nightmare resolved.... whew!

I did my usual Saturday thing today, and while I was at my mother's, I mentioned that Book's car battery had finally officially conked out. We'd known for a while he was going to need it replaced, and of course, last week, he tried to start it and it wouldn't go. We charged it up and got it working, but still, it was going to need replacing, especially in an Ohio winter.

When I took my car in to have the tires changed (finally) and oil changed and new wipers put on and all that fun winter prep stuff, they tested my battery and told me that it would need to be replaced soon too.

Well, mom offered to keep Book, Munch and Gin at her house while Pooh and I went to AutoZone for new batteries, so I took her up on it. It's a cold day, and the tech wasn't too happy about changing the batteries, but we got it all done.

Then..... little problem.

I started my car - a '99 Honda CRV - and got a message on my radio display saying, "Code."

Err, what?

So that's what that little anti-theft light means.

I thought, maybe there's a default, and it was never changed. So I tried "12345." Result: CodeErr1. I try "11111," and get "CodeErr2." Uh oh. That means I've got a limited number of tries at this. How do I get the code?

I got back to Mom's house and dug through the glove compartment. The owner's manual tells me there's a five-digit random code to unlock the radio. It was supplied on a plastic card when the car was new. Well, whoopee. I got the car used, and there was no card anywhere to be found with the paperwork. It also said if that number was lost, I could use the audio system serial number and retrieve the code by calling a Honda service center. Problem: the serial number is ON the radio and getting at it requires pulling the dash. There's gotta be an easier way.

So, naturally, I went online for help. I went to Google and typed in Honda CRV radio anti-theft code. That led me to a blog post with about 50 comments full of horror stories on this system. I tried all the advice I found. Check the manuals to see if the code stickers are there. Nope. Look under the ashtray or in the fuse box cover for the stickers. Nope. Pay a service center $125 to pull the dash to get the serial number. Not gonna happen. Press 1 and 6 then turn on the radio to get the serial number. Nope - apparently that's only for cars newer than 2003.

I got lucky, to a point. I looked inside my glove compartment and found a white sticker stuck to the top with an 8-digit serial number. No explanation as to what it was. I was hoping.

I wrote it down, along with the VIN number and came in to call Honda customer service (800-999-1009, if you ever need it). No good. They're closed until Monday morning. Then I thought, "Ok, this is all numbers and codes and such. There's got to be a way in this day and age to retrieve it online."

I searched the Honda Web site. They don't make it easy, but I found it here at Honda's radio and navigation system theft protection page (there's no direct link to it anywhere I could find that made it clear that's what it was). I needed my VIN, the radio serial number, along with the registered phone number and ZIP code on file to prove ownership.

The car's registered in my name, so I tried my phone number and ZIP code. It didn't work. I tried my old phone number. Also didn't work. Three tries and you're locked out, so I was nervous at this point. I thought, "My mother originally bought the car - used - at a dealer. Maybe it's got her info." But, her phone number's changed since she bought it. I didn't know if it might have the old info. I took a chance and tried her current info.


My radio code popped up on the screen. I went out and entered it into the radio, and LO AND BEHOLD I've got a functional stereo in my car! (I was very nervous reading all those horror stories of "I haven't had a radio in 3/5/8 months!")

Turns out since my mom's taken the car up to the dealer for service, they've got her current info in the computer system, and it's in Honda's mainframe, even though I'm the registered owner of the car.

Believe it or not, the whole fiasco took me only about a half hour to resolve once I got home and started investigating. I called my mom and gave her the head's up since she's also got a CRV. Her serial number and radio code were both in the glove compartment, so she's set when the time comes to change her battery.

If you've got a Honda and find yourself facing the radio anti-theft beast, now you know what to do. It wasn't easy for me, so I thought I'd make it a little easier for you.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Flashback Friday - New Year's Day

It's Flashback Friday and it's New Year's Day (U2). You were expecting this, weren't you?