Sunday, September 29, 2013

Do It

A friend of mine posted on FB that she had a mat stolen while she was staying at an RV campsite. She wandered about and found it at another site and confronted the woman who was there. The woman denied it but the woman's husband threw his wife under the proverbial bus and my friend was able to recover her mat.

The other woman and her husband were in their seventies.

But here's the real story: My friend and her husband were attending a WPA event called Do It.

Now, WPA stands for Western Pyrotechnic Association. And, Do It is an event held in Nevada and is short for Do-It by the Ammo Depot.

Of the Do It event, the WPA website says:
. . . this event came from the need to have a second event during the year and geared more towards the hobbyist. . . .and now boasts attendance in the triple digits. This event is geared towards those who like to develop and create pyrotechnic items.
By my tally, we have over a hundred amateur pyrotechnics in RVs in the desert by an ammo depot.

I would sooo not be worried about the mat.

National Coffee Day

This one makes you levitate.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

This Could Be The Start of Something Good

We've been married 24 years today. I'd invite you to the party but I didn't invite you to the wedding so we're about even on that score.

Started the day with coffee in bed. We'll probably end the day with a little Farkle. (We Farkled twice yesterday already.)

Not sure what we'll do in between but I think we're off to a good start.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Ballet Dancers in Everyday Situations

HTL Blog | Ballet Dancers In Everyday Situations

h/t Kristin Graham on FB

I Have A Headache . . .

The last time I bought a cup of coffee, I spent about $4.50 and I got roughly 2 ounces of coffee in it. (The rest was foamy milk.)

The last time I bought Jack Daniels, I spent $42.74 and I got about sixty ounces.

You do the math.

. . . and now you know why.
+34° 10' 6.26", -118° 34' 46.53"

This is the original image:

I like this one better but I couldn't figure out how to rotate it and maintain the same ratio. It seems to "square" when I rotate it. 

I went back and rotated the image in my camera but now my computer doesn't want to read the card. Maybe later.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My Next Career

Ice Cream Taster.

Turns out, it pays better than my current job.

How's That For Cute And Cuddly?

You've probably already heard about Ty Warner's tax problems and that the Beanie Babies creator plead guilty to tax evasion. But that isn't the half of it.

Not even close.

The amount of income tax he failed to pay is $885,300 on unreported income of $3,161,788 according to the Department of JusticeThat's less than a million dollars. So, how did he end up owing another $52 million?

Because he didn't file his FBAR.
U.S. persons having a financial interest in or signature authority over a foreign financial account, including a bank account, brokerage account, mutual fund, trust, or other type of foreign financial account may be required by the Bank Secrecy Act to report their interest in the account to the IRS by filing Form TD F 90-22.1, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). A U.S. person may have a reporting obligation even though the foreign financial account does not generate any income.
Reminder: FBAR Filing Due by June 30 | Forbes
This Forbes article, Beanie Babies Founder Ty Warner To Pay $53M For Offshore Tax Evasion, provides a much better explanation of what penalties Mr. Warner is paying. It's not just tax evasion, it's the non reporting of the existence of the foreign account, whether it makes any money or not:
. . . when it comes to penalties, FBAR charges and penalties . . . are the real gravy train for the government.
. . . A willful failure to file an annual FBAR can trigger a civil penalty of up to 50% of the amount in the account at the time of the violation.
That's serious dough. The account in question - the one that generated the aforementioned $3 million in income - was in the neighborhood of $100 million dollars. And fifty percent of that is - bingo! - a whole lot of gravy.

Just so you know:
Who Must File an FBAR. A United States person that has a financial interest in or signature authority over foreign financial accounts must file an FBAR if the aggregate value of the foreign financial accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year.
General Instructions Form TD F 90-22.1, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Otherwise, what's the point?

"No point making coffee since there wasn't any cereal or milk."
Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich
Excuse me, but that would be exactly the point.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fear the Roo

Buy it here.

You've got to love a school that has a kangaroo as its mascot and a football team named for goulashes.
The Zips name is unique in college athletics and comes from "zippers", rubber overshoes made by the BF Goodrich Company that were popular in the 1920s and 1930s. . . . The university's mascot is "Zippy", a kangaroo. Zippy is one of only a few female college mascots in the United States.
Akron Zips | Wikipedia
Fear the Roo? According to a University of Akron website she is a "perpetual freshman." However, she won the 2007 Capital One Mascot of the Year. (The new slogan for Capital One will soon become "What's in your pouch?")

According to Zippy's Fan Site:
Zippy is the marsupial mascot for The University of Akron . . . To win the mascot challenge, Zippy went furry head to furry head against various birds of prey, mammals and nonhuman objects from other universities.
. . . for thirteen weeks.

According to Wikipedia, "The University of Akron is regarded as a world leader in polymer research." The stadium was known as the Rubber Bowl, although it was named for the predominance of the tire industry in Akron. Also,
In 2013, the Rubber Bowl was acquired by Canton, Ohio-based Team1 Marketing Group Inc. with plans to renovate and update the structure as the home for a professional football team. Renovation work began later in 2013, but initial plans for a professional team in the revived United States Football League (USFL) have fallen through.
(Revived USFL? Really?)

University of Akron now has a new stadium, the InfoCision Stadium–Summa Field. InfoCision is the name of the stadium and Summa is the name of the field inside the stadium. There are are separate names for the premium seats, too, but they had to cut it off somewhere. Otherwise, it would be the InfoCision-Summa-FirstMerit-Towpath Credit Union Stadium, Field, and Suites. The student section, on the other hand, is known as the "Roo Zoo."

Summa Health System, an Ohio Non-Profit Hospital, purchased [it's naming rights] by means of its for-profit insurance company, SummaCare . . . I think I could write a post entirely on the subject of the previous sentence. Better still, InfoCision Management Corporation is . . . company that operates call centers. The second-largest teleservice company in the United States . . . I don't know why I find that hilarious, but I do.

I was hoping they played Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah whenever the team scored a touchdown but it's better than that. They cheer:

Zzzip! Zip go the Zippers!
Zzzip! Zip go the Zippers!

There's nothing to fear here. Except Ohioans are nuts.

From the University of Akron Facebook page.

Friday, September 20, 2013

On Being Fifty

For the most part, I'm pretty excited about it. I can't tell you why, exactly. It's not an accomplishment in the sense I achieved something through any kind of effort. I just kept getting out of bed every day. (Which, as I understand it, gets more difficult as the years pass so maybe it is something just to get out of bed.)

I'm not really worried about menopause with one exception. I'm worried the system will shut down when I'm in PMS mode and I'll be stuck there forever. Hopefully, it shuts off when I'm in a better mood.

I'm excited because I bought myself a present and it arrived today. I'm not going to open it, though, even though I already know what's inside. I'm not going to tell you what it is, either. You're just going to have to wait. I'll put a picture up in a couple weeks.

It's just that I'm going to be fifty. It feels remarkable to get there. I feel remarkable. Really great.

I don't have any plans for that day. Don't care if I do. I'm just looking forward to getting out of bed another day.

As long as there's coffee.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Random Musings

Yesterday, I was thinking - probably as I was trying to get my fair share of blankets (or mattress, or sofa) - that marriage is a constant balancing act of trying to merge and, at the same time, defend one’s territory. Once upon a time, when there were princesses and castles and stuff, wasn’t that sometimes the point? To enlarge one’s kingdom and/or to defend it through strategic marriage?

As it is with land and bedsheets, so it is with souls and self, in a way, although it’s different for men and women. It seems to me that young women are far more anxious to merge than men. (Not in a physical sense, as we all know that men will merge whenever they can.) What I mean is they are anxious to “become one” in that marital blissful fairytale. (Not that I make light of that ideal, but an ideal it is.) They get married and absorb themselves into their new relationships and wake up at age 30 and wonder what the hell happened to their self identity.

Young men, and this may be stereotypical, I realize, prefer to defend their territories at first - keeping their “boys nights out” sacred and resisting the urgings of their mates to spend each and every waking moment together. It’s only when his mate starts to pull away to reawaken her identity that he tightens his grip on his chattel. Not that any man really thinks that way, but there’s a certain territoriality in relationships - as in, “she’s mine!” - that prompts a man to become defensive when his previously overly attentive wife tries to define herself as separate and apart.

Weird stuff, relationships are. All relationship are like this to a greater or lesser extent, I think, but family relationships in particular are all about pushing apart and pulling together. It keeps changing, like taffy.

Like cells. Even as cells divide, they don’t drift apart. They remain part of each other. So the struggle is normal. And by struggle I don’t mean drama - although that’s sometimes a part of it - I mean growth. Have you ever seen a baby being born? A plant emerge from a seed? Anyone who has kids knows that growth is struggle.

But growth is good, too. There are rewards as a result of struggle. Sometimes, kids grow up to be nice people. Another is longevity of relationships and as long as that’s mutually satisfying overall, that’s a good thing. And if the person you’re with feels the same way, you’ll get a little more share of the blankets at night.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Seahawks and Superbowl

Buy it at

How To Lose a Million Dollars

Put it on the internet.

Here's the next million dollar idea: Build a hotel across the street from every hospital in the nation and call it Hotel Precaution. The next time a doctor says he'd like to keep you at the hospital overnight as a precaution, you can opt to stay across the street at The Precaution for half the price and get a free bagel in the morning.

I don't know exactly how much it costs to spend a night in the hospital but I figure half-price is in the neighborhood of $750. Heck, for $750, I'll throw in a free USA Today. For $750, I'd build a sky walk and have a staff of nurses who could push you across on a gurney if you needed midnight medical care.

And for family members of patients who are staying at the hospital or The Precaution, I offer Bedside Manor. You only get yogurt and cold cereal for breakfast but it only costs $150.

I'm telling you, this is it.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

My Freezer Runneth Over

And not in a good way.

I was going to ask if anything was good running over but then I realized it could be a good thing as long as what we're talking about isn't an appliance.

My first appliance mishap was in 1991 when we bought our first house. When we moved in, the dryer didn't work which I didn't figure out until I tried to dry something. That something was my underwear and I didn't get any dry ones until after we got a new dryer.

In 1999, in the same house, our hot water heater leaked. This problem was compounded by the fact that we were out of town when it happened. When we got home, we stepped into four inches of water. We spent the next few months living in a hotel.

Our next house didn't leak so much that I remember. The dishwasher leaked once - again while we were away - but our nephew was home so the water was pretty well contained.

Our current house is a sieve. It rained in the living room once. Not due to a leak, mind you. It was due to humidity that had somehow built up in the house. A rain cloud formed in the vaulted ceiling and it rained. (It's Seattle, so maybe I'm not the only one.)

We had up-flush. This was due to water pressure that had built up in the sewer system outside the house and caused everything to back up through the toilet dumping the City's finest on my bathroom floor.

My front loading washing machine has been a perpetual problem. Some sort of float switch keeps getting snagged with something from time to time. (Seahawks tickets in someone's pocket, perhaps?) The problem with this is - besides the obvious - if I don't leave the door of the washing machine open, it gets moldy inside (an unpleasant reality of front loading machines). If I leave the front door open, I sometimes come home to water all over my laundry room floor. (These things never happen when I'm actually home.)

Last week, my freezer flooded. It was a float switch, again, that must have frozen. (If it was Seahawks tickets, then something really fishy is going on here.) Again, I was not home.

Until, I was.

I stopped by the house between work and taking one of the kids out to dinner. I don't remember what I stopped for but when I came in the back door I could hear water running. From experience, I knew this could not be good.

At first, I thought it was my dish washer. Hell, I was hoping it was my dishwasher. I had run it earlier that day but I had run it much earlier in the day and logic quickly told me that it couldn't be the dishwasher.

As I moved into the kitchen, it became apparent the sound of running water was coming from my refrigerator - my freezer, actually - but we have an ice maker so that sound happens from time to time. But it didn't click off like it was supposed to.

I thought, It's the arm thingy that tells it when the ice tray is full. It must be stuck. I'll just reach in and flip it up and then that'll be that.


It wasn't the arm thingy. That broke off earlier in the day after the freezer had manufactured more ice than it could handle. But I didn't know that. Not yet. Not before I opened the bottom drawer freezer full of ice cold water that dumped onto my naked feet.

Shocking does not quite describe the feeling.

The only good news was, I was well familiar with where the water shut off valve is located in the house. I shut off the water immediately, mopped everything up, and went out to dinner. Afterwards, I pulled out the fridge and turned off the intake valve so I could turn the main valve back on again.

Now, I had water but no ice.

Which made Jack, very, very sad.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Something Is Terribly Wrong Here

I got to work Monday and found someone had contributed a package of Oreo cookies to the lunchroom. Of course, I ate one. Before lunch, even.

But they're still here! It's Tuesday and there are still Oreos in the lunchroom. So, I had one for breakfast.

C'mon, guys, do I have to do everything around here?

Monday, September 9, 2013

It Works Too!

'X-ray vision carrots' gets kids to eat: Share your fun vegetable names - Parent Buzz -
In the study, 147 students ranging from 8 to 11 years old took part in a vegetable tasting. When researchers changed the name of carrots to “X-ray vision carrots”, a whopping 66 percent were eaten, far more than the 32 percent eaten when they called the carrots “Food of the Day” and 35 percent eaten when they left them unnamed. 
When the grand-kiddies came over, we were just coming home ourselves after traveling for almost two weeks. Even before we got home, trunk still full of luggage, we stopped for takeout to feed everybody. (The grand-babies brought their parents.)

I made oatmeal for everyone for breakfast the next morning but I had to work that day so dinner became takeout again. This time, pizza.

Breakfast the following morning was toaster waffles although my grandson got bonus points for eating oatmeal instead - requesting it, even.

By dinnertime, I was feeling very guilty about all the junk I had been feeding everyone. I wanted to cook a meal and I wanted to get my five-year-old, picky eater, grandson to be involved in the decision making.

When it came to vegetables, I didn't get much help. He pretty much rejected everything we offered. As it happened, I was browsing Food Network Magazine wherein there was an article substantially similar to the link above.

We asked our grandson if he would like some X-Ray Vision Carrots for dinner. That got his attention. How about Super Power Peas? Yes, please! He ate all his vegetables and asked for more!

I don't care if I have to trick him to eat his vegetables. It's worth it.

As for the x-ray vision, he'll just have to keep eating the carrots until it works.


My facial is NEXT Monday.

Which means, I'm WORKING! And that will never do.

It's a good thing I have chocolate.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Time for Some Ice Cream

Or, quite possibly, a nap.

Or both.

Actually, I'm getting a facial tomorrow. I would feel guilty about taking the time on a Monday afternoon during one of the busiest work weeks of the year except I've been entertaining grand-kids for the last 72 hours and I'm exhausted. I'm thinking a facial is just what this grandma deserves.

We played secret agent and Garbage Pail Kids. We fashioned a bow and arrow out of sticks and yellow yarn and then turned the front yard into a giant spider web using the rest of the yarn, stringing it back and forth across the lawn between the shrubbery. We built vast mansions out of playing cards and read stories late into the night.

One of them has mastered my coffee maker which is no simple task. But, he's been watching me make coffees and lattes with it since he was in a high chair, studying each step. Now, at the age of five, he can make it for me. (I wonder if he can teach his grandfather how to do it.)

They're gone now and the house is blissfully quiet. I'd clean the house but it seems like too much work. I think I'll drop the top, go for a scoop of ice cream, and just think about it for a while.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Cornhole Chronicles 2013

"The Wave" in the VIP section.
There isn't a way to cover this event that will do it justice. The Second Annual Cornhole for Cash Tournament at Blechschmidt Meadowlands was a massive event that attracted sixteen teams from around the Pacific Northwest that included all age groups and skill levels. One player from as far away as Idaho regretted not being able to make the trip saying he would spend the day “thinking about our cornholes.” We weren't entirely clear what he meant by this statement.


VIP seating and practice courts were added to the Meadowlands to meet the demands of the sold-out event. The press was everywhere.

Warmups began early in the day on the Ford and CWU courts. Trainers met athletes in locker rooms to discuss strategies and prepare for battle. Several athletes were playing with injuries this year, electing to push through or anesthetize the pain, while others were forced to sit on the sidelines.


Among the players this year were members of the Cornhole Players Association and the American Cornhole Association. Also present were the members of last year’s championship team, Team Cornholio.

Coveted trophy.
Playing on the Jack Daniels and Maker’s Mark courts, the teams vying for the coveted 2013 Cornhole For Cash trophies in the Round One match-up were:

The Courne Supremacy vs. Children of the Corn
Favorites vs. Elite
Snapping Turtles vs. Wolfpack
Pretenders vs. Corno for Pirates
Corn Stars vs. Corn Balls
Good Gals vs. Cliffhangers
Blue Bags vs. Rabbit’s Foot
Avengers vs. WB

An athlete bribing the Commissioner as Round One match-ups were assigned.
This player was later brought up on charges of using performance enhancing drugs.

The study of cornhole is really a study of style, each athlete having his or her own personally honed technique.


Bowling "lean":

"Joe Cool":

Tongue action:

Follow through:

Perfect form:

The brackets were updated between rounds as revelers ate and enjoyed themselves in the Beer Garden.

Beer Garden

As the night wore on, pumped-up attitudes began to wane. Corn Stars took a losing attitude when one was overheard saying, “We’re just here to have fun. We’re all winners here.”

One of Wolfpack's team members, fresh off the practice court, said “We probably won’t win anyway.”

Martin on Courtney, "She carried me. I drank another beer and didn't throw it in the hole. There’s a lot of good cornholes out there.”

Others were bolstered by the increasing intensity of competition as teams were eliminated and all that remained was the cream of the cornhole crop.

Cornhole bookies saw an increase in action when husbands competed against wives and moms competed against sons. Other rivalries found L1 pitted against L2 - even for which was which "L" - and Josh competing against Mark - widely known as a grudge match. "Mark has to win or he’ll cry," said a close source.

By 6 pm, shade began falling on the courts although players on the Jack court still had to contend with the sun in their eyes. The hum of the outdoor lights signaled the oncoming nightfall.

Elite vs. The Courne Supremacy in the finals!

This was sports drama at its finest, ladies and gentlemen - mom versus son. Judges were called in to rule whether mom and son could play on the same end of the court or if they had to play opposite. Finding no prohibition in the rules against it, judges allowed that mother and son were able to play on the same side of the court.

Field deterioration.
The crowd was enthralled into silence or the spectators could have been asleep as the final match ensued. There was a slight delay as there was an issue relating to board alignment which had been a persistent problem during the tournament due to the slope of Blechschmidt Meadowlands. (Possibly due to a mis-stake, according to one source.)

The Band.
Even as the tournament wound down the band, which would play long after the tournament was over, warmed up.

Controversy over starting field position in the Final.

The story of the final match is a story of resilience and redemption. Ethan, of Elite, played his rookie year in last year's event and took it hard when he was knocked out in early rounds.
Ready to win.
Taking a loss again in Round One this year, Ethan felt certain he would be repeating history. This year, however, would be different. Literally a lucky draw, Ethan was paired with Mark, a seasoned pro in the sport of cornhole, and a rumored nominee for the Illinois Cornhole Hall of Fame. Mark sat the the rookie down for a pep talk that not only bolstered Ethan, but brought a tear to the eye of everyone in the house as he told of how he had fought the odds and all manner of oppression to become the fabled champ that he was. 

Ethan, Mark was sure, would do the same. All he had to do was get his head in the game. And he would have to. Ethan would be facing his mother, Corrie, in the final showdown. 

Corrie, of The Courne Supremacy, is a fierce competitor who narrowly missed taking the championship last year. She was looking to take it all this year when she was paired with Gunner, another of the professional players who graced the tournament. The Courne Supremacy had no problems sailing through the Winners Bracket to the finals.

But The Courne Supremacy met their match in Elite who fought their way through the Losers Bracket to the final showdown. In the the best three out of five match-up, Elite came out on top.

Mark and Ethan of Elite.

Ethan with Gunner and Corrie of The Courne Supremacy.
As the final match wound down, the band played on into the night and long into the wee morning hours. Players and fans filed out of Blechschmidt Meadowlands or found their beds wherever there was space. Though exhausted, the organizers of the event, B&B Productions, were already moving on to their next event, the NFL Fantasy Draft Party, which was to take place a few short hours later.

Thanks to B&B Productions, the Commissioner, other senior officials, the players, and the fans for making the event the true classic that it is.

Until next year....

Monday, September 2, 2013

How Lucky Can A Girl Get?

Got a couple new pairs of Luckys last weekend - a pair of longs and a pair of shorts. This brings my Lucky total to eight - five pairs of jeans, one pair of capris (which you could call extra-longs), and now longs and shorts.

I love my Luckys better than my Sevens. The first pair of Sevens I loved so much I sent them to Denim Therapy to get repaired when I ripped through the back end. It was worth every penny.

Later, when more of the back end gave way, I patched them on my own with iron-on patches. This made them terribly uncomfortable to wear but it gave them a little extra life.

When the knees finally gave out, I sent them to an outfit I found online that promised to convert the remaining denim (of which there was now very little) into a skirt. I paid them money.

No jean skirt yet. Just promises.

I'm feeling ripped off but not willing to declare defeat yet.

I love my Luckys but I miss those Sevens.

Sticky Situation

After Rehoboth, we drove to DC and had about an hour to kill before we needed to get to the airport. When we rolled down the windows, we realized we would melt through our clothes in that time. There were parts of my body sticking to other parts of my body that weren't even supposed to touch. Luckily, we had suitcases full of clothes.

We found a parking garage and changed our clothes right there, behind the car. We were located near a large public park where others might have had the same idea as there were lots of people playing in the fountain, running, or biking. And, it was hot. Too hot to care.

There were a lot of pleasure boats cruising up and down the Potomac and tied up outside the restaurants. It looked like a nice place to have a boat. We wandered around the Georgetown Waterfront Park for about thirty minutes before we found refuge and sustenance in a local restaurant.

Refreshed, we walked a couple blocks to the canal before retrieving our car - which was a whole experience in itself. By that time, there was two-way traffic in a garage that was only big enough for one-way flow. There was an underground traffic jam as drivers tried to figure out how to maneuver around concrete posts without hitting oncoming cars that often had to back up to accommodate, sending a line of cars back up the down ramp. No one seemed too agitated so perhaps this is a common occurrence.

We waited until we were at the airport to change back into our travel clothes. Five and half hours later, we were "home" where it was mercifully cooler.

We had brunch at Lapellah where I did not take a picture of my food (which was a delicious homemade corned beef hash with two sloppy eggs, btw). I have taken pictures of my food here before, however. (Yep, I'm that person.)

We have another day off today. So, diet starts tomorrow.


There's something about being skinny that gives people permission to comment about my weight. As in, "You're so skinny!" (Thank you, Captain Obvious, but what's your point?) Why is this any less rude than saying, "You're so fat!"? Hair is another thing people like to comment about. ("You're hair is so long!")

I've been on both side of this equation. Just this weekend, in fact. But there's one thing you won't have to worry about, Slim. I probably won't make any comments about your hair.