Saturday, December 31, 2016

What will you do with all that extra time?

As you know, there will be an extra leap second inserted at the end of 2016 as follows:
2016 December 31, 23h 59m 59s
2016 December 31, 23h 59m 60s
2017 January 1, 0h 0m 0s
Keep in mind there will be only one second added to keep all clocks in sync. For example, it will occur between 18:59:59 and 19:00:00 on the east coast and 15:59:59 and 16:00:00 on the west coast. While there may be extra smooching in London at midnight tonight, folks in New York might have an extra second at the dining table while people in Los Angeles might be tuning into Ohio State versus Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl.

Kickoff for the Fiesta Bowl, it might be noted, is at 7 pm eastern time - the first kickoff of the new year. And, depending on when the ball is actually snapped could result in an extra second of play. Think about that!

The Taxslayer Bowl is already underway which I only mention because Taxslayer. It conjures up images of accountants running around using slide rules as sabers. In that game, it appears that Kentucky could  use an extra second as they are trailing Georgia Tech by 17 points in the third quarter. Unfortunately for Kentucky, that game will end long before they get their extra second.

Spend your time wisely and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

What are the rules these days?

It's been a long time since I was single. I don't have any idea how first dates work but as far as I can tell, there's a new rule that all first dates must take place at McMenamins, a local restaurant chain and brewery in the Pacific Northwest. We happen to live right next to one and go there often on Mondays when growlers can be filled for only $8.

We've been there twice when an obvious first date was in progress in the booth behind us. You can tell because both parties are trying too hard to be attractive, sometimes with bad results. (Too much makeup, too much cleavage, WAY too much cologne . . . .) The conversation sounds more like an interview than an exchange of ideas, each one trying to impress the other with their resume.

We heard one that sounded along the lines of
I work in astophysics. . .  
I like pink. . . 
I'm not sure that couple had a future.

Last night, we went to a different McMenamins and we were seated next to a couple who were making out in the booth next to us. Not just pecks on the cheek, here. Hubby and I sat opposite each other, with my back to the couple. Hubby used my head to block his view, shifting in his seat as necessary. While I couldn't see anything, I could hear everything which was mostly a lot of slobbering and not much in the way of conversation.

Why the hostess chose to seat us there, I have no idea. Maybe because an old, married couple would be less offended than a young family with children. Who knows?

McManamins has good beer. They have a pretty good menu, too. If you're single, it's a great place, apparently, for a first date. If you're on your 9,855th date, however, you might think about bringing score cards.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Another disaster narrowly avoided!

It is our custom when we travel that Hubby makes the coffee but this morning I got up first. In an attempt to be self-sufficient, I made the first cup of coffee in the single-cup, in-room coffee maker.

I thought I was doing Hubby a favor by letting him rest from his travel duties but the gurgle of the machine and the smell of coffee woke him. As he padded around the room, he brought me my now-finished coffee and started preparations of his own.

A few moments, later, just as I was about to take my first sip, he snatched my cup away from me. In my addled state, and still dark hotel room, I had made decaf, he explained. That sip of coffee could have led to a full day's disaster. But for the careful inspection of the disposed coffee wrapper by my ever vigilant husband, this day could have turned out quite differently.

Let that be a lesson. Don't get out of a hotel bed until the coffee is ready. It just isn't safe.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Beer Hunting

I've discovered beer. And, pounds have discovered my waistline. I realize I don't have much to complain about. People roll their eyes when I do. (Thin, they call me.) Still, I don't like it. (The bathroom scale is back to its usual antics.)

I make excuses. Like menopause. That would do it, too, wouldn't it?

Or, I could blame my brother but he only led me to it - beer - but he didn't make me drink so much of it! We went to a taphouse - Feral Public House - about 18 months ago and had a tasting flight. We had a very informative server who picked our beers for us and introduced us to a whole range of flavors that I had no idea existed in the realm of beer. Bud Light, Coors, Pabst - those were the beers that I was familiar with and avoided. If I drank beer, it was a bottled India Pale Ale that left a syrupy residue on my tongue that I found unpleasant. I tended to avoid beer if I had the choice.

But these beers - the ones we tasted - were different. Eclectic, ranging in styles and flavors that were unfamiliar to me.

Onto the bandwagon I jumped.

It just so happens, I live near the beer capital of the world and in a town where craft beer is growing at a rapid pace. There are 11 breweries or tap houses within biking distance from where I live and countless more venues that have local craft beers on tap.

That one flight led to various brew fests, the Brewcouver passport, and the Pour of Discovery passport. Passports are passport-like booklets that get stamped every time you visit one of the breweries named within. I completed both and got, as reward, a t-shirt, pint glasses, a growler, and tokens redeemable for more beer at the next fest.

I also signed up for membership in WABL (Washing Beer Lovers). That cost $30 but my membership can be renewed for free if only I collect 50 more stamps. I started Labor Day weekend and already have 38. I should be able to 50 by the end of the year or shortly thereafter. Easy peasy.

I also have a brewery passport app on my phone which covers the United States and Canada. In the seven months since I've had that one, I've already collected 59 unique stamps.

Okay, maybe I've gone overboard but I have to say, not only is the beer good, beer people are friendly. (I would say they're friendlier than wine people but I don't want to offend my wine-o friends who have been very welcoming and generous.) Also, I find that beer is easier - than wine - to taste. By that, I mean the different ingredients, nuances, things that make one beer different than another. Wines can be so esoteric and pretentious.

And, so, I went beer hunting last weekend, all in the pursuit of more stamps. In fact, everywhere I go, I'm in search of more #WABeer.

Maybe I'll become a beer blogger and attend the annual Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference. Or, roam the country in an RV in search of great beer. (We wouldn't be the first to do it.)

Or, maybe I'll get distracted by something else. Who knows? In the meantime, I'm having fun and that's what it's all about.

Join me in a pint, won't you?



BTW, Camas won.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Monday

There's always later, right?

Lucky me, I was locked out of work this morning which means I couldn't log onto my desktop. Oh, woe is me, that I should be forced to goof off!

So, I made myself a latte and plunked myself down in front of the fireplace decorated in holiday cheer, opened this page and then . . .

I would write more except that I am incessantly distracted by all manner of things, not the least of which are the leaf blowers making a racket outside my window.

Thing is, I can't write more than a few words without having to look something up - like the correct spelling of something, or word usage. Then, I'll get an email notification and respond to that which reminds me to look up something else or handle some quick item and before I know it, my latte is gone, the leaf blowers have moved along, and I feel like should be getting on to doing something.

Oh, well. Maybe later.

In all my complaining about Sunday, I forgot to show you this.


We installed a new kitchen faucet Sunday. And by "we," I mostly mean "he." I just stood around and handed him things.

Looks great, doesn't it? It's made by Kohler and is available from Costco for $150. Did not require fancy tools, extra trips to the hardware store, or bandages. I don't think it even required swearing.

Much nicer than our old one and one of the best things that happened last Sunday.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Days of the Week

I don't know why Mondays get such a bad rap. Sunday is the real downer for me. Anyone who thinks Sunday is great:

  • Watches football and
  • Doesn't do the 
    • Meal planning,
    • House cleaning,
    • Shopping, or
    • Laundry.
The best day, in my opinion, is Thursday. Also know as Little Friday, Thursday is all about being ready to coast to the finish line. By Thursday, all the chores are done, ignored, or forgotten and there's nothing to do but look forward to goofing off. After preparing three squares a day, on top of working, Thursday is the promise of pizza and a movie the following night. It's knowing that even though you have to work one more day, you get stay up late and sleep in on Saturday. 

Friday is what happens after the roller coaster reaches its ascent. It's the downhill ride after the click-click-click-click anticipation of Thursday. Its not as thrilling as the peak, the moment when you're filled with the promise of time off, the weekend. Friday, is all too brief, the joy too short. Saturday is pleasant when things slow down but it disappoints when you realize you didn't do all that you wanted. But Sunday is when the brakes are applied and you are jolted into realizing the ride is over.

I don't have anything against the rest of the week but as far as I'm concerned Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are about waiting in that long, serpentine line to do it all over again.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

A pint is a pound

I woke up this morning with the intent of complaining about my weight only to have the bathroom scale be kind to me. I would complain about something else but nothing comes to mind. 

Instead, I will encourage you to do two very unrelated things. The first is to wear C gear. Any gear with a C on it will do. I myself am wearing a Cincinnati Bearcats hat. 

I'm wearing my C in support of the Camas Papermakers playing in the Washington State 4A football championship game tonight at 7:30 in the Tacoma Dome. Their hat has a C on it for Camas rather than a P for Papermakers. (I wonder what they cheer…) I don't have a Papermakers hat but if I did its C would look exactly like the Cincinnati Reds C (a C not currently in my collection).

I have hats for the Chicago Bears, Chicago Cubs, and the State of Colorado. I would like to get Colorado Department of Transportation hat because it would read C DOT but I don't think that exists. 

Secondly, and more importantly, I'd like to remind you to donate blood. I don't need to say anything more about this. Just go do it and share a pint with someone. 

I did yesterday fully aware the blood bank was in need of O+, O-, A-, and B- blood. I'm A+ but they accepted me even though I wasn’t exactly their type. 

Maybe not but donating probably helped my relationship with my bathroom scale.

Paper beats rock!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Four eyes are better than one.

Then, how about six?

When I had my eye exam two years ago, the technician-child declared my eyes were fine but predicted I would need bifocals the next time around.

Listen, punk, I wanted to say. I'm only 50. That doesn't make me old.

Except, maybe it does. Two years later, I got a prescription for progressive lenses.

I just got my first pair from Costco, yesterday. While Seattle boasts the highest per capita ownership of sunglasses, it's doubtful that I will have much need for them until that one week in August when the sun comes out. Nevertheless, I wore them in the car on the way home and thought it was pretty cool to be able to see out the windshield while simultaneously texting. (Settle down, I wasn't driving.)

The other pair - my regular glasses - I got from an optical shop. I was led there by some advice to get good glasses. Meaning, glasses from Costco are cheap.

No, glasses from Costco are inexpensive, I wanted to say. I was well aware that glasses elsewhere could cost $600 which seemed inconceivable when I knew I could get frames, lenses, and all the coatings, yada yada, from Costco for about $200.

You get what you pay for, the optical shop told me.

What, exactly, is that?

The optical shop gave me a vague answer. A computer makes the lenses.

When I went to pick up my sunglasses, I asked the Costco guy, Zak, the same question and I got a lot more information, none of which I can remember, exactly, but it was, like, a lot. And, it seemed, more informational. He told me about the lenses, how they're made, and how the Costco model allows them to sell them for less.

Well, mea cupla, then. I had already purchased a pair from the optical shop. And I've been sweating ever since that I won't like them.

This whole debacle came about when, about a week ago, I stood at the Costco counter wearing frames I intended to buy and the sales woman asked, Would you like my opinion?

The answer should have been No. But, no, it wasn't. Without hesitation, I dove headfirst into the rabbit hole. I proceeded to take selfies whilst wearing different frames and solicited opinions from around the globe. Which is when someone said, Get good glasses.

I went through the whole selfie/text/solicitation of opinion routine again at the optical store until, finally, and just before I was ready to give up on the whole thing and abandon any hope of corrective eye wear ever, we had a winner. And all I can think is, I made a terrible mistake.

So, when you see me at Christmas, just lie. Tell me you love them. Because, otherwise, I'm going to Costco and I'm buying whatever I want and I won't care one tiny bit what you think. Which, is what I should have done in the first place.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

No relatives were harmed in the making of this holiday.

Wasn't it October just a minute ago? Thanksgiving blew through like a breeze and now, all of a sudden, it's December.

Sure, there were warning signs. The kind that go up right after Halloween. First it's decorations. Then, it's Christmas music. Slowly at first, starting with the light stuff - music that doesn't hit you over the head. Charlie Brown stuff. The Grinch. Softly, slowly building. By the end of the month it'll be so ubiquitous, you'll want to choke. But it's only the First so not yet.

Hubby got the Christmas decorations from the garage first thing this morning. Wasting no time, he clearly hasn't grasped the concept of procrastination. Neither has the weather. My phone tells me to expect snow as early as Monday.

I see two redeeming qualities for the month of December. First, the days will get longer soon enough. Second, we get an extra second on the 31st. (I figure that's good for an extra long kiss on New Year's Eve.)

Also, Holidailies. Without it, I find way too many reasons not to write. In November, the month of NaNoWriMo, I even used housework as an avoidance technique. How desperate does one have to get?

Turning the page of my calendar to December, I will try to look for the positives to stave off the inevitable stress that accompanies the month: A quick road trip this weekend. Symphony tickets the next. A visit with the grandbabies after that. Some holiday. Then a boozier holiday.

I told Hubby not to get me anything this year. I tell him that every year but somehow he can't resist. I'll give him a kiss and tell him I love it. I'll use it for a few weeks to demonstrate my joy then quietly relegate whatever-it-is to a corner of my closet, my Island of Misfit Toys.

I'm really not as grumpy as I seem but I will be by the 31st. Duck and cover. You might not come out unscathed this time.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Could have been a disaster, but wasn't.

I don't know what's up with my local grocery store. Over the last few months, on several occasions, I've come home with bad produce. It looked good in the store but was it was rotten when I cut into it, or was spoiled in the package. I've never paid much attention to the Best By dates on the packaged stuff. But, maybe it's time. They looked okay from the outside....

Yesterday, however, it got personal. I had purchased packaged coffee beans the day before and was looking forward to grinding some fresh beans for my first cup of the work week. I mean, if you have to work, you need something to look forward to. Especially, on a Monday morning. Friday is a loooong way off.

When I went to open the bag, releasing the trapped coffee aroma from within, I found the bag had been previously opened. No escaping coffee vapors and, worse, possibly tainted coffee! This would have been a complete disaster - a zombie apocalypse - if I didn't still have some coffee beans leftover from the previous bag.



After work, it was back to the store to get another bag of coffee. I checked the seal in the store before I left, lest we have a repeat of Monday's fail on Tuesday.

This morning, I finally got the fresh cup of coffee that I yearned for and it was everything I dreamed of. The slight suck of the coffee bag as the seal is broken, the air rushing into the once vacuum packed bag. The odor of fresh roasted coffee so alluring I want to breathe it in all day. The savory, creamy richness of a caffè Americano. The first cup from a fresh bag is the best.

After my coffee orgasm, I dumped the old beans on top of the new beans as is my habit. I figure it's easier to scoop the old ones off the top of the new bag than scooping them out of the bottom of the last bag. As I was doing so, I spilled beans all over my counter. They were the old beans, not the new ones, but eyeballing them I quickly estimated they amounted to the equivalent of half a cup of coffee. They must be saved!

I slid them into the coffee bag I had worked so hard for but as I did I wondered Actually, how clean was my counter? 

The answer was clear. Does. Not. Matter.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

This is as political as I'm going to get.

On the night after the election, we went to downtown Portland. There had been a protest the night before and early in the day, just after election night, I was a little nervous about it. As the day wore on, however, my sense of panic eased to the point where I wasn't planning on leaving the country just yet. I remain committed to renew my passport, however, seeing as I live relatively close to a border that, as of yet, has no wall.

We were going downtown to see David Sedaris who was speaking at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. It was going to be an NPR crowd, I reasoned. The crowd was bound to be made up of sleepy pacifists. Still, Hubby was worried about what to wear. "I just don't want to look like a Republican," he told me.

We took Uber and as our driver pulled up we could hear his radio blaring through closed windows. As soon as we opened the door, he switched stations from the Def Leppard song he was rocking out to, to a smooth jazz station. Is that what we look like, smooth jazz people?

A few days later, we were taking it easy in our Bellevue home - the Hyatt - and switched on the TV to find it wasn't working properly. Nice thing about having the Hyatt as your second residence, you can just call some guy up to fix little problems like that. A pimply faced youngster with a tool belt soon appeared and fussed with a few switches on the back of the TV and within mere moments, he had it tuned to TCM. Is that what we look like, TCM people?

Yes, as it turns out. We told our Uber driver to switch the station back to the rock station which turned out to be an '80s pop hits station. The next song was by Debbie Gibson and we found ourselves longing for the smooth jazz station. As for TCM, we ended up watching a Natalie Wood movie marathon.

So, yes, we look like smooth jazz people. And, TCM people. I guess that's better than looking like a Republican.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Is it possible to have too many socks?

Here's my solution for cleaning up my sock drawer.

The sox box.
First, I put all my socks in a shoe box and slid it under my bed. I find hiding things there the best way to deal with things. There are lots of things down there.

Next, I did laundry. Any socks that came out of the dryer were ones I wore within the last laundry cycle. I put those away in the sock drawer. I now have exactly seven pairs of clean socks in the drawer - socks I recently wore so presumably they still work fine as socks.

New rule: I can only wear socks from the shoe box under the bed if the socks in the drawer fail to adequately supply my hosiery needs. I need the ones with the pink stripes, for example, because they're the perfect choice for under my boots. Or the pink socks with the martini glasses on them because it's New Year's Eve. Socks called upon to be worn from the box are then granted residency back in the sock drawer.

Theory: By the next time we are supposed to change the clocks around again, I should have the perfect supply of socks in my sock drawer, all worn within the last six months. All socks that I chose to wear because they made me feel good. The perfect supply of socks required to keep my feet warm for one winter. Anything left in the box gets donated.

I'll let you know how it all works out.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Who won?

Wore my Cubs hat to the grocery store which generated a few comments including this:
Who won?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

October

Followed a fire truck into the grocery parking lot the other day. It was one of the big ones where there's a guy whose job it is to steer the back wheels. It was super cool but even better was the effect it had on little kids who were thrilled to see the big rig roll in. They stopped in their tracks, tugged at their parents' hands, and waved at the firemen.

Nobody waves at an accountant. Little kids waved at me when I drove my Z3 but I think it had to do more with the car.

My house is a mess and it's dark outside when my alarm clock goes off. I would blame the mess on the remaining days of Tax Season Part II but it might have a little something to do with laziness. Why clean when I could, say, find a nearby brewery? And, I could probably get away with sleeping in if it weren't for those pesky tax returns that need to get finished.

If it wasn't for my birthday and a trip to Hawaii that awaits me in about a week, I would just call October off. Alas, work awaits me know. I wonder if I'll remember how to goof off when it's all over?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Make America Great Again!

... and bring back common sense!

I just got a check in the mail for 17 cents from my insurance company. I have no idea why. I was thinking about using it to make my grocery list. Instead, I think I'll send it back to them. See if someone's head explodes.

I used to have a bus pass for King County Metro. I go there often enough that it made sense for me to have one with a small pre-paid balance. I had used it up all up about year ago so went online and loaded another $10 to the card. Just a few weeks ago I went to use the card and was informed there was no balance on it.

I looked into it and found my credit card had been charged the $10 so I asked King County Metro where it went and found out they have a Use-It-Or-Lose it policy. If I don't use the card within 60 days of loading money to it, they just keep it for themselves. But, just for me, they would re-apply the $10 - provided, of course, I use it in the next 60 days.

I don't live there, I explained. Was there another way to activate the card? Sure, they advised. I could also go to a retail location where Metro cards are purchased or reloaded. Doesn't that defeat the purpose of buying it online? Not only that, I don't live there.

Could the money be refunded? Why, yes, we can refund that. The fee for that, however is $10.

I have another bus card for where I live which, until recently, was on a bus line. This was quite handy especially since I sold my car. I can get to almost anywhere I need to go on foot or by bicycle but every once in a while it was nice to be able to take the 5-minute bus ride into town. So, I bought a pre-paid card for Clark County as well.

This system worked well until the first of September when the route that went by my place was discontinued. Now a 5-minute ride is a 30-40 minute journey. I don't suppose they'll refund the unused balance of the card.  Maybe I'll donate it somewhere. Along with a check for $0.17.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

This, somehow, strikes me as funny.

New tax on Chicago residents will fund pension shortfall - CNN Money
" Chicago residents and businesses will face a new tax on their water and sewage usage next year to help shore up a pension fund for municipal employees. " 

Push Ups for a Cause

I'm doing 22 push-ups for 22 days and posting about it on Facebook. It's one of those "viral" internet things designed to raise awareness, in this case, of the 22 veterans who commit suicide each day. This is an important issue of which we need to be aware. It's sad and it's shameful that so many are unable to get the help they need. This is true not only for our veterans but also for the 96 other people -  civilians - who commit suicide each day.

According a report by the Office of Suicide Prevention, an average of 19 Veterans died per day by suicide in 2001. This number increased slightly from 2001 to a high of 21 per day in 2010, with a subsequent decrease to 20 per day in 2011 and remaining stable since that time. In contrast, the average number of civilian adults who died by suicide each day has increased steadily from 62 per day in 2001 to 93 per day in 2014. According to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.
The Office of Suicide Prevention also reports the risk for suicide was 21 percent higher among Veterans when compared with U.S. civilian adults in 2014. This calculation takes into account statistical adjustments that I am not prepared to discuss. The point, however, isn't to minimize the significance of veteran suicide with statistics - or push-ups. The point is veteran suicide needs to be part of a larger discussion because suicide affects us all.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Looking Good

Fashion is something I do not get. If I look put together, I can assure you it was either accidental or someone else picked my outfit. Take, for example, longs. Longs are anti-shorts, longer than pedal pushers but shorter than floods worn, if ever, by men made fashionable in the late 60’s by my father. And, maybe one other dude spotted earlier this year in a Walgreens parking lot.

Another fashion concept: “boyfriend” fill-in-the-blanks. Boyfriend shirt. Boyfriend jersey. Boyfriend jeans.

Pre-ripped? Ripped, torn jeans used to be earned, not purchased. You had to wear them until you wore them out. Of course, when that happened, they ripped at the knee or butt. The fabric didn’t just open salaciously at intervals along the thigh.

Imagine my surprise when I came upon designer acid-washed, pre-ripped boyfriend longs. (Who washes their jeans in acid?)

For $80. On sale. Which means, at some point, they were priced at something more than $80. $100? More? $100 longs? Oh, joy! (I still have trouble wrapping my head around $100 denim of any variety!)

Without thinking, I grabbed a pair along with a pair of skinny jeans and sought out a dressing room.

Skinny jeans are another concept I haven’t come to terms with. In my day, we just called them tight. I seem to recall soaking new jeans in a bathtub in an attempt to shrink them to perfect tightness. A) I have no idea why. B) It never worked.

Now, you can buy them “skinny.” So skinny, in fact, no living human being can actually wear them. They are a result of an overstock of pants from another planet of stick people shipped to Earth by mistake.

I managed to get a pair on as far as my knees, then seriously considered laying down and calling for help to get them back off. (Thankfully, I managed without assistance.)

The boyfriend jeans were tight. Not skinny tight but they definitely didn’t look like I had borrowed them from any boy so I tried on another pair one size larger. These were way more comfortable but looked exactly like I had borrowed them and I realized I had no desire to borrow any boy’s pants. Ever.

And, then, I don’t know how this happened, I bought them - those $80 boyfriend longs. The tight ones. With holes in them. They’re uncomfortable but Hubby described them as cute weekend jeans.
He had me at “cute” but weekend jeans? I couldn’t even imagine a weekend when I would wear these. Travel? A restaurant? Visiting friends? (Maybe.) I could wear them to paint baseboards but are you kidding? I’m not wearing $80 jeans to paint! (Also, have you met me? Not a chance you’ll find me painting baseboards!) So, now I have uncomfortable pants that I can’t wear anywhere.

But “cute,” he said.
And since I work from home, they’re my weekday pants. (Why wait for the weekend?) Definitely, a move in the right direction from yoga pants (on a good day) or pajamas!

At least, they’re fashionable.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Wild Side of Portland International Airport

The military uses chickens. Boeing uses turkeys. Both are testing aircraft for their resistance to birdstrikes by launching bird carcasses via cannon at speeds in excess of 400 miles per hour to test the aircraft’s ability to withstand a collision with a bird, or flock of birds.
“The current certification standards for turbine engine (60 inch and 100 inch size) testing are as follows: an engine must be able to withstand the ingestion of 16 small birds (3 oz. each); 8 medium birds (1.5 lbs each); or 1 large bird (4 lbs) (Eschenfelder 2000). Turbine engines are not required to be able to withstand the ingestion of a bird larger than 4 pounds. Eschenfelder (2000) concluded that these engine ingestion standards may be inadequate because they do not reflect the sizes and numbers of birds encountered in actual birdstrike incidents.” (Portland International Airport Wildlife Hazard Management Plan, 2009 Update)
While manufacturers are responsible for the safety of their aircraft in such collisions, airports are tasked with the goal of preventing them in the first place.

According to the Portland International Airport Wildlife Hazard Management Plan (WHMP), “Between 1990 and 2007, 82,057 wildlife strikes involving civil aircraft were reported to the FAA.” One study reported, “ . . . 197 human injuries and 11 fatalities nationwide resulting from wildlife strikes between 1990 and 2007.” This, resulting in almost $100 million in damages and over $30 million in associated costs (chewing electrical cables, damaging infrastructure, etc.) annually industrywide.

"Wildlife strike" sounds as if the aircraft industry is under attack when we just get in each other’s way. That's what happens when you build an airport where animals live. When airplanes and wildlife try to occupy the same airspace at the same time, the wildlife pretty much loses.

And, so, Portland International Airport (PDX) has a Wildlife Department. And, a Wildlife Hazard Management Plan.

I read Portland’s Wildlife Hazard Management Plan and found it very interesting for the extent to which considerations must be made in order to avoid wildlife collisions. First and foremost, they must control the food, water, and shelter that attracts wildlife to the airport. To do this they must consider landscaping (which plants can be planted and where); grass length and mowing schedules; grasshopper control; man-made structures that attract nesting opportunities; mitigation to relocate animal populations to more desirable, and less dangerous, places; raptor tagging and tracking; conforming to the myriad federal, state, and local regulations (you can't even imagine); and, coordinating with various agencies and wildlife experts such as the Audubon Society.

I found the report interesting because I never before considered how much went into avoiding animal collisions at airports. Here are several excerpts:
  • Between January 1998 and December 2008, 752 bird strikes and 4 coyote strikes were reported at PDX.
  • Raptors ... were the most frequently struck group of birds . . . .
  • . . . the red-tailed hawk is currently the number one wildlife species of concern at PDX.
  • Portland International Airport (PDX) is the 34th largest airport in the country and home to the 142nd Fighter Wing of the Oregon Air National Guard. Bordered on 3 sides by open water features, located on a major migratory flyway and at the confluence of 2 major river systems, PDX is located in a region rich in avian wildlife.
  • Hazing and harassment are the primary means used to clear wildlife species of concern from the airfield to allow for safe aircraft operations. Techniques currently used to haze birds include pyrotechnic devices (e.g., shell launching pistols, 12-gauge shotguns), remote controlled propane cannons, other auditory frightening 
devices (e.g., vehicle air horns and sirens), visual deterrents (e.g., green laser), paintball markers, and bean bags consisting of a 2 inch square heavy cloth bag filled with lead pellets contained in a 12-gauge shotgun shell (used primarily for coyotes).
  • There is no record of a cat ever being struck by aircraft at PDX.
  • There have been numerous occasions when stray dogs, or escapees from airline carriers, have run loose across the airfield before they could be caught.
  • In order to effectively reach all areas of the airfield, wildlife control vehicles are all-wheel drive capable with the ability to communicate, via radios, with other airport assets and with the Air Traffic Control Tower. In addition, each vehicle is equipped with air horns, sirens and spotlights. Vehicles used primarily for airfield patrols are also equipped with pyrotechnic scaring devices, such as a shell-launching pistol and/or a 12-gauge shotgun.
Regarding grass alone:
  • Most studies show that a compromise of 7 to 12 inches works best at deterring both small and large bird species. The Wildlife Manager will continue to follow the most recent grass height studies. . . .
  • To avoid attracting wildlife species of concern near the runways, grass within a safety area around the runways will be mowed only at night with the runway closed.
  • The thatch that remains after mowing also influences gray-tailed vole populations, a major prey species for many birds of concern at PDX, in ways not yet clearly understood. PDX will continue to investigate the dynamic relationship between use of the airfield by wildlife species of concern and grass mowing.
  • 750 acres of mowed grass that lies within the fenced perimeter portion of the Primary Zone (the area within the airfield perimeter fence, a 300-foot buffer around the perimeter fence, and the runway protection zones (RPZs) located at the end of each runway. )
Regarding insects:
  • ... the Port initiated a grasshopper control program in 2008. . . . surface numbers of earthworms in the Primary Zone are monitored by Operations Department personnel.
Who knew? (Pilots, maybe, but not me!)

Friday, August 19, 2016

Old Guys Rule

What NFL game is Ed Hochuli officiating next because that's the one I'm watching. Born in 1950, "He is best known for his athletic/muscular physique ... " (Wikipedia)

hubba hubba

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Back Home


Andrews Bay, Lake Washington
Factoid: Spiders poop. 

(All over my boat.)
I've been meaning to post something about Wildlife Management at Portland International Airport but I've been bogged down in what turns out to be interesting research. Once upon a time, I saw a vehicle on the PDX tarmac with the markings of the Wildlife department and I was mildly amused. It seemed incongruous amongst the jets, fueling trucks, luggage trailers, food service trucks, and the personnel in reflective vests getting planes ready to arrive or depart. Was there also a zoo at PDX?

But, more recently, I read in the preface to Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach the method by which the military tests aircraft against what is called birdstrikes: by shooting chickens out of a sixty-foot cannon. And I thought, huh, there must be something to this wildlife thing.

So, I went back to the PDX website and started reading about wildlife management. And reading, and reading. It's interesting stuff.

And, I'll tell you about it someday. I'll lose internet later today so I just wanted to let you know what I've been up to: page 28 of 137 of Portland International Airport's 2009 Update Wildlife Hazard Management Plan, Port of Portland Mitigation Sites, Portland International Airport 2009 Landscaping Standards, PDX Raptors . . . .
 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

And then this happened:


Cruising from Port Ludlow to Bainbridge Island, we were passed by the John C. Stennis aircraft carrier in Puget Sound returning from a seven month deployment to the South China Sea.

Taking the stern wake was awesome!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

You can come out from under you bed now.

I'm fully caffeinated. 


More good news (probably)!

I missed this in Science class.

" This is because the smaller bubbles need a higher internal pressure to balance the greater surface tension, which is inversely proportional to the radius of the bubbles. "

This, from an article that explains what that little thingy is that rolls around in a can of Guiness after the beer is gone. 

The full article is here:

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Warning! I'm out of coffee!



This is quite accidental, running out of coffee. I should have anticipated it days ago as I poured the last of the coffee beans into my grinder. It was totally avoidable.

As it is, I am surviving on half-caf this morning, rationing the last bit of the caffeinated coffee to last me through tomorrow. Tomorrow's coffee will be almost entirely decaf. (My latte will be caffeine free.)

No, I am not ill. I have not been advised by a doctor to reduce my caffeine intake. I am not turning over a new leaf. I'm going on vacation and refuse to open an new bag of beans two days before I go, preferring to keep them fresh until I get back, but I planned poorly and am running out of coffee (the real stuff) ahead of schedule. Alas, all I that remains is decaf. Already I am wondering what reason I will have tomorrow to get out of bed.

Be not afraid, world. My destination is stocked with full-strength joe. What happens between now and then, however, is anyone's guess.

Friday, July 22, 2016

What can you get filled at the drugstore that used to be available only at the corner pub?

A growler. Of course.

For those of you who don't live in the craft beer capital of the world, a growler is a half-gallon refillable container used for purchasing draft beer to go. It can be filled at a brewery or taphouse. Or, now, at your local drugstore. No prescription required.

Just last week, I had a growler that needed to be filled and I was aware that Bartell Drugs in downtown Bellevue had a growler station. (See? It's right there under In-Store Services, following 1 Hour Photo and CareClinic.) It happened to be the closest place to go, that I knew of, not counting the neighboring grocery store which also fills growlers. The grocery store would have been the better choice but the novelty of getting beer at the drugstore compelled me to check it out.

The growler station was located in the front corner of the store, behind the souvenirs, next to the soda fountain and coffee bar, just around the corner from the artisan cheeses. (Did I mention this was Bellevue?)

Sure enough, there were six or eight beers on tap. We were allowed to try a couple from tiny paper cups which, btw, are not ideal for tasting beer. For our growler, we selected the KZOK Electric Citrus IPA brewed by Bellevue Brewing Company.

(Wait, there's a brewery in Bellevue? What's going on here?)

Beyond the novelty of buying Bellevue-brewed beer at the local drugstore, I can now set my sights on a new goal. I'm 4,170 points away from a $5 discount at Walgreens where, as it happens, I might also fill my growler. So, forget the potato chips, I'm devoting my steps to beer. Or maybe an eyebrow wax.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

How much for that spatula there?

Here's an idea for Amazon: What I'm thinking about is the self-storage industry. People are storing their unwanted, un-needed, can't possibly get rid of stuff in storage lockers and buildings covering hundreds of millions of square feet and paying billions of dollars for the privilege. What if, instead, you could just send it to Amazon?

Just think: How many spatulas do you think are in storage today in the world? Hundreds? Millions? Couldn't we do away with some and still have enough to go around on National Pancake Day? How many dishes? Lamps? Sofas? They're just sitting there. Unused.

Amazon's computers and warehouse systems could separate sofas from spatulas and predict how many of each item are likely to be recalled by their owners. Some items never will be and it could be that only a predictable number of spatulas will ever be recalled at any given time meaning that we, as a collective, could do with far fewer spatulas.

As the owner, you could identify your stored items as "absolutely not for sale" - like personal papers - or "available for a price" - like spatulas or sofas. If someone wants to buy your spatula or, say, your husband's ridiculously outdated recliner that's been held together over the years by duct tape, you might be tempted to take the money thereby cancelling your rent payment and ridding yourself of that awful eyesore. Or spatula. A notification would allow you to accept, deny, or counter the offer.

The mail storage industry already exists. I don't mean male storage or the storage of mail which are entirely different things. I'm talking about storage by mail. Mail storage works when you need to store less than a storage-locker-worth of stuff. You mail it in, they store it, then they mail it back whenever you want. You pay by the box rather than by the locker-space. If Amazon ran it, it might resemble a highly computerized, automated, centralized mashup of mail storage and eBay, The result is either a higher utilization of stuff or a tremendous cyclical industry when the new owner realizes she didn't really need a second spatula and sends it back to storage. (Makes me think of Sylvester McMonkey McBean.)

This could put some existing self-storage facilities out of business. But I have a plan for that, too: micro-apartments. (They could be furnished with the surplus spatulas.)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Imagine my relief?

Yesterday, I was going to Tweet, "No one ever got listeria from potato chips." But then I thought I should fact check that statement. I asked Siri to look up potato chip recalls and it turns out there have been three in recent history:
So, then, I thought "Well, no one ever got listeria from Spam!" But in
No listeria-related recalls were found, however, so pig out but be sure to floss!

Pretty cool

Steve Walters was in my high school class. I won't say what year. (It was a long time ago.)

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Get an extra kiss this New Years Eve!

  INTERNATIONAL EARTH ROTATION AND REFERENCE SYSTEMS SERVICE (IERS) 

SERVICE INTERNATIONAL DE LA ROTATION TERRESTRE ET DES SYSTEMES DE REFERENCE

SERVICE DE LA ROTATION TERRESTRE DE L'IERS
OBSERVATOIRE DE PARIS                                   
61, Av. de l'Observatoire 75014 PARIS (France)
Tel.      : +33 1 40 51 23 35
e-mail    : services.iers@obspm.fr
http://hpiers.obspm.fr/eop-pc


                                              Paris, 6 July 2016
                                                           
                                              Bulletin C 52
                                
 To authorities responsible for the measurement and distribution of time                                         


                                   UTC TIME STEP
                            on the 1st of January 2017
                      

 A positive leap second will be introduced at the end of December 2016.
 The sequence of dates of the UTC second markers will be:                
                
                          2016 December 31, 23h 59m 59s
                          2016 December 31, 23h 59m 60s
                          2017 January   1,  0h  0m  0s
              
 The difference between UTC and the International Atomic Time TAI is:

  from 2015 July 1, 0h UTC, to 2017 January 1 0h UTC   : UTC-TAI = - 36s
  from 2017 January 1, 0h UTC, until further notice    : UTC-TAI = - 37s 


  
 Leap seconds can be introduced in UTC at the end of the months of December 
 or June, depending on the evolution of UT1-TAI. Bulletin C is mailed every 
 six months, either to announce a time step in UTC or to confirm that there 
 will be no time step at the next possible date.


                                              Christian Bizouard
                                              Head
                                              Earth Orientation Center of IERS
                                              Observatoire de Paris, France

Dear Condominium Homeowners Association:

Who's idea was it to change the light bulb in the streetlamp outside my bedroom window? And, what is the reason the new bulb is bright enough to see from outer space? Maybe that's an exaggeration. I don't go walking after dark so it's possible that you changed all the streetlamps and their current purpose is only to guide incoming flights to PDX.

I am surprised that no one else has complained. Mine is not the only bedroom to face this particular streetlamp. It wasn't so bothersome a few months ago when I kept my windows closed but with the warmer weather, I tend to leave my windows and blinds open. I don't mean to over-share but the rather strong glow of this streetlamp blinds me in the middle of the night when I return from a trip to the bathroom (although I do find it a convenience for my path to the bathroom to be so well lit).

Or maybe we have a night-duty nurse as a neighbor? Perhaps she sleeps during the day and you are simulating daylight during the night hours for her benefit?

Maybe it was to deter crime. If so, it's working because I am unaware of any. Of course, I wasn't aware of any crime before you changed the light bulb. But, if I was thinking about committing a crime outside my bedroom window, I would think twice if I had to wear sunglasses in order to do it because who wears sunglasses at night?

Whatever the reason, I would ask that you change the light bulb back to its dimmer setting so that I might get some rest. Or else, might I suggest you provide sleeping masks to all my neighbors whose bedrooms also face the streetlamp?

Perhaps I'll take a walk at midnight tonight to see if there has been dancing in the streets around the complex during the wee hours. Maybe, I'm simply missing out on something.

Unrestfully yours,
Owner of 3B

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Best Fitness Advice: How to Get Free Potato Chips

In case you were wondering, and I'm sure you weren't, this is my favorite workout video:



The woman in the green yoga pants is an individual that goes by the name Betty Rocker. She used to put out a series of free workout videos on YouTube with the hope that you would eventually buy into her nutrition program. She still puts out videos but with less regularity. Her workouts are generally in the 15-minute range but will kick your butt.

The posted video is 36 minutes and while it doesn't require a lot of jumping around as most of her workouts involve, it is definitely ass-kicking. I have been doing it for over a year and have never done the whole thing. I can do two-thirds at one stretch but my usual routine is a 1.5 mile run, followed by one-third of this video, followed by sit-ups and other calisthenics. The whole routine takes 45-60 minutes.

Now that I have my Health app linked in with my Walgreens app, I should be able to earn enough points to buy potato chips in no time.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Julie McCoy . . .

. . . was a character from the television show "The Love Boat" which ran from 1977 to 1987. More recently, Julie has become Hubby's nickname for me because I carry around a virtual clipboard of sorts with all the entertainment options available to us at any given moment. My Google calendar keeps track of what's playing in the Seattle, Vancouver, and Portland theaters; Pacific Northwest brewfests; art walks; and, concerts.

There's so much going on that someone has to keep track of it all.

If you want to know what's going on, all you need is WUV. (Just click on the link or look for the WUV tab at the top of this page.)

Monday, June 20, 2016

More Than 100 Reasons Not To Move To The Desert


1) It's hot.
2) Still hot. 


3) It was 106 at 10:26 pm. 
4) The forecast was for 90 at sunrise. 

Still, I went out around 7:30 to fetch the newspaper and 93 felt refreshing. Go figure. 

5) 124?! Are you kidding me??
6) You get the picture. 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Now & Then

What are Now and Then up to now? Same old, same old. They're bumping around in the back of my brain. But they're thinking of making a break for it, finding new life on fresh pages.

Sure, I say that every year but this time I mean it.

You know, unless I find something else to do.

Problem Solved

I finally got around to cleaning up my office recently. The problem arose as to what to do with my In Box, overflowing with paper.

I shoved it in a closet. Hey, I figured, if there's something really important in there someone will be sure to let me know.

Is it me or is Starbucks getting desperate?

They keep sending me emails, offering 30, 50, 100 stars! The last one read, "Come in before 10am and collect 30 Bonus Stars on almost anything you'd like . . . "

Please, just buy something.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Maybe not like you . . .

Forbes | From Tax Geek To World's Fastest Triathlete: A Q&A With Olympic Gold Medal Favorite Gwen Jorgensen
" ...before Jorgensen was the top female triathlete on the planet, she was a tax geek, just like you and me. That’s right; at the time she was identified by USA Triathlon as having the necessary swim-run background to excel at the sport, Jorgensen occupied a cubicle in the corporate tax group of Ernst & Young in Milwaukee, doing the things young tax geeks do: formatting spreadsheets, loathing busy-season dinner choices, and using the Internal Revenue Code to prop up a second monitor. "
Go, Tax Geek, go!

Last Week Tonight

A humorous, if not horrifying, look at the debt business. And, make no mistake, it is a huge business. It's 21 minutes long - just long enough to watch while eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.




For a tax geek perspective on the story, you can read about it (in far shorter time) at Forbes | John Oliver Buys And Forgives $15 Million In Medical Debt: But Is The Forgivness Taxable?.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

What the floss?

I went to the dentist recently and came back empty-handed. No lollipop, no toothbrush, no floss. I didn't even get a dentist because he had already gone home for the day. I saw my regular hygienist and the dentist phoned it in the next day.

At the end of my treatment she offered, "Do you need dental products? A toothbrush? Floss?" To which I replied, "Need? No." But that wasn't really the point. The point is I've come to expect the free toothbrush and floss. Because, otherwise, why go to the dentist hygienist in the first place?

Also, there is a toothbrush hierarchy. The new toothbrush is to replace my old toothbrush which becomes the travel toothbrush; the travel toothbrush becomes the boat toothbrush; and, the boat toothbrush becomes the one under the sink that I keep just in case I need to clean some really tiny thing.

Now, you might wonder why I would need or care about a $1.50 toothbrush if I have a boat. It's not about the $1.50. It's about the fact that I have to put cardboard the size of a playing cards in my mouth before I have my head irradiated every 12 months. I don't want the dentist - the dentist who, btw, tells me i should come see him twice a year - to get my teeth scraped with a torturously sharp metal toothpick while I gag on my own spit.

But, wait! There's more! I can also get my gums poked once a year with a teeny tiny depth gauge just to see how far they can sink it below my gum line. They tag team for this event. One pokes while the other records the reading. I hear one call out 1, 2, 3, or 4 while the other one scribbles. Greater depths merit a lecture on the value of regular flossing.

For this I pay a subscription which is to say I pay in advance of services. For an annual sum, I get two scrapings, buff, and waxes, one gum prodding, and one X-ray per year at the risk of brain tumors. (Do we know if the rats in this study had good teeth?)

Sure, I can read yesterday's paper in the waiting room for free but is it too much to ask for a free toothbrush? (And can you make it red?)

Friday, May 27, 2016

Nostalgia on the Sea

We are about to meet up with some of our boating friends this weekend and I am reminded of our very first boat cruise. It was in 2008, I think, and we cruised with the very fine people of Rainier Yacht Club. We started in Lake Washington (in Washington), went through the locks into Puget Sound, and worked our way towards Thetis Island in Canada with several stops along the way.

Naturally, for a trip of this magnitude, I felt it was only necessary to bring my Starbucks Barista coffee grinder and my Starbucks Barista espresso machine. (Both were re-branded Saeco machines.)

It rained during most of our trip and by the time we got to Canada I was tired of being cold and wet. Then my coffee grinder jammed and I thought I was done with boating forever. Luckily, we were traveling with a Porsche mechanic and a boat mechanic who were more than eager to help and tear the thing apart.

They fixed it in no time, even as I was wringing my hands with worry, and order was restored. The rest of our trip was without incident (at least so far as coffee was concerned) and we have been boating ever since. Also, I learned a couple things:

  • It is not necessary to bring a coffee grinder and an espresso maker on a boat. It might make sense on a larger boat but cruising on our boat is more like camping with a water view. (Pre-ground coffee and a press pot will suffice.)
  • Always travel with mechanics in your posse. I can't tell you how many times those two have come to our aid on the water. They became good friends and our boating mentors.

I still have that grinder (and the espresso maker) and they both work fine. Every time I get ready for another cruise, I pre-grind the coffee, pack my press pot, and remember.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Time to buy a lottery ticket . . .

  • The Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, and Seattle Mariners all lead their respective divisions in major league baseball.
  • For the first time in 45 years, there are no Canadian teams in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

. . . because what are the odds?

Friday, May 6, 2016

It's not Google you have to worry about, it's Starbucks.

" Starbucks will ultimately know as much about your day as Google and Facebook do. " 
ZDNet - Starbucks' digital transformation: The takeaways every enterprise needs to know
They are doing this by expanding their digital ecosystem by partnering with companies outside their industry to offer goods and services to Starbucks customers.
" In a statement, Howard Schultz, the chief executive of Starbucks, said, 'We see a future in which the Starbucks retail experience seamlessly extends to the mobile devices our millions of customers carry with them every day.' 
The New York Times - Some New York Times Articles to Appear Free on Starbucks App
My Starbucks Rewards members will soon be able to read Starbucks-recommended articles using the Starbucks app and can also earn stars, Starbucks' digital currency, for purchasing a subscription.

Starbucks' relationship with Spotify allows members to listen to the same music that plays in their stores through the Starbucks app. It also allows members to influence what music is played and earn stars for in-app purchases.

Members can earn stars by using Lyft. They will also be able to tip their drivers with Starbucks eGift Cards.

The latest building block in their empire, in partnership with Chase Bank, is a Starbucks prepaid debit card.
Despite some possible rewards points complexity, Starbucks stands to reap a specific benefit from its card deal with Chase: better cash flow.
The Motley Fool - Why Starbucks Wants You to Load Up Its Prepaid Visa Debit Car
Starbucks will have access to what you read, what you listen to, where you go, and now they will have access to your purchasing habits. Starbucks already offers a prepaid card - which generates $150 million annually in positive net cash flow - but it can only be used on Starbucks merchandise. A debit card will allow members to earn stars for third-party purchases and will give Starbucks a whole lot of data on members' purchasing habits.

It's interesting, on a theoretical level, how businesses are blurring industry boundaries but scary, too, because we have to trust that these businesses will safeguard our information. Starbucks plans to invest over $250 million in technology in 2016. Let's just hope they get some good IT people for that.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Specialists in the 2016 NFL Draft

A total of 253 players were drafted in this year's NFL draft, five of whom were as specialists. The Chargers, Jets, and Broncos drafted punters. The Buccaneers drafted a kicker and the Lions drafted a long snapper - Jimmy Landes from Baylor University.

Only two specialists were drafted in 2015 - a punter and long snapper Joe Cardona.

If you are following along, Nathan Theus, the long snapper from University of Georgia, was signed by the Broncos. The Cardinals, the only team without a long snapper going into the draft, signed Kameron Canaday from Portland State University.

Clint Gresham, former long snapper for the Seattle Seahawks, remains unemployed although he reported on Twitter earlier today that he plans to write a book entitled, "How I See the World - Upside Down."

Okay, I made that last part up. (The title, not the book.) It's really called, "Snap Chat."

(Okay, not really.)


Friday, April 29, 2016

NFL Draft Day 1

No specialists were drafted on Day One.

Waist Management - Corsets are Making a Comeback

I don't know how I stumbled upon this but apparently this is already out there. It's a thing. I was simply unaware. Your waist can be trained. Or tamed.

One is effected by wearing a steel boned corset. Literally. Taming refers to the trend of wearing a latex waist cincher, according to Waist Training 101: Everything You Need to Know:
" The most basic definition of waist training is the process of using a steel boned corset to modify your waist into an hourglass shape with semi-permanent results. . . . The hourglass figure is attained as a result of the moving of floating ribs and the reduction of space in the abdomen. Weight loss tends to happen mainly because the corset also acts as an external LAP band, not allowing you to eat large quantities while wearing the corset.
" We tend to refer to the current trend of latex 'waist trainers' (yes, the Kim Kardashian variety) as 'waist taming', as there is no way to truly cinch them and even the firmest latex can't compare to stainless steel bones. "
When I put "waist trainer" in my search engine, I am disturbed by the images that are returned. Women are altering there bodies, sometimes to extreme lengths. Some are smiling or posing provocatively while others post pictures of their injuries or disfigurements as a result of wearing these devises.

When I enter "corsets" on Amazon.com, I see products that appear to be marketed as sexy lingerie while others use the words "corset" along with "weight loss" and "fat burner" as part of the product name. I saw one described as a "sport workout shaper." Another has it all: the "Waist Trainer Corset for Weight Loss Sport Workout Body Shaper Tummy Fat Burner."

Waist Training 101 says, "Women discussing 'waist training' these days are, more often than not, likely discussing it as a part of their workout plan." 

Corset Center also attributes the trend to Kim Kardashian:
" Kim started the whole craze when she posted a photo on Instagram of her wearing a corset device. . . . Since she posted the photo, sales have skyrocketed for these waist training devices, and more women than ever before have jumped on the bandwagon. . . . 
" The highly coveted hourglass figure is what women are after . . ."
This is not the first time corsets have been in fashion. And, it's not the last trend to promulgate an ideal female body image. But, wow. I am aghast.