Friday, July 30, 2010

What a Cool Idea!

As a parent of a toddler and an infant who thinks she is a toddler (girl baby - you are not even 8 months old! quit thinking you can walk, ok?) keeping a paper shredder out in the open where it might actually be used regularly is just not in the cards.

Behold this nifty gadget that was featured in a Real Simple Daily Email I subscribe to - the ID Blocker:

ID Blocker

I haven't tried this.  I haven't been asked to endorse it.

But is sure is cool looking.  And could be the perfect solution to that gigantic pile of papers in my kitchen waiting for me to set aside some time for shredding.  (Did you just laugh so hard you snorted?  Me too.).

Well at least maybe it will keep the pile from getting any bigger.

Photo credit: The Spoon Sisters

Thursday, July 22, 2010

There's a Place

I just returned two pairs of $5.00 shorts. They were intended to be a cheap mid-season fill-in for the growing Boy.  I felt lucky to find anything so late in the season - especially at the children's store in the outlet center near where I live.  All that being said, I would rather have an induced labor with no epidural than return something at that store again.

What is the problem you ask?

First, the sales associate was not especially friendly, helpful, or efficient.  Maybe my expectations were too high.  After all, we're talking about a Place where I can buy shorts for $5.00.  When I first walked in he was all, "Welcome to the store.  If you need any help please let me know. Blah.  Blah. Blah."  I did need to ask for help. It went something like this:

"Do you have more little boys' socks?"
"Um.  Where did you find those?"
After showing the young gentleman where in his store the little boys' socks were located, he took a brief respite in the stock room for the duration of a good nose picking.  "Uh, no.  Only what is out."  And sure - I believed that the guy who couldn't find the socks on the floor of the store where he worked actually looked in the stock room.  Whatever.  Next item.
"Ok.  Do you have more sunglasses?"
A few minutes later, I found about a dozen pairs of sunglasses in the clearance bin.  And some little boys' socks too.
Terrible?  No.  Annoying?  Yes.  Frustrating?  Yes.

Second, I was the only person in the store.  Just me.  One customer.  Seeing as how I was the ONLY customer in the store would it be wrong to think it shouldn't take five-ever to do a return.  Seems like a reasonable assumption.

Finally - why OH why do they need my ID to process a credit card return?  And why OH why does the sales associate ask me for my last name after having had my ID.  In his hands.  With my last name on it.  Right there.  Doing its job.  Identifying me.  "Well I just scanned it so you are in our system."  It was very difficult to not lean over the counter and say "DUH" right in his face.  Maybe if I was taller it would have happened - but with the leaning and jumping and what-have-you that would have had to happen to do this the impact probably would not have been as profound (if it would have had any impact to begin with).

I did say, through gritted teeth, "You JUST had my ID for ten minutes."  He didn't seem to understand the relevance of this comment.

I just looked up the return policy (since the ID requirement is new).  According to the store's website my ID is now in their database.  The database is utilized to determine whether or not to authorize returns.  So basically, my ability to return merchandise which otherwise complies with the store's policies is now decided based on an algorithm in a database.  I decide one day after purchasing something to return it to the store with the receipt and the store could say, "No.  Sorry.  Database is saying no."  That is not going to work for me.  I almost never have my kids with me when I shop.  And if I do I certainly don't make them try clothes on in the store.  Maybe - despite being a large children's store - the policy makers have never tried shopping with infants, toddlers, children and various combinations thereof?  Returns are a necessity - not a luxury.

Retail randomness such as this does not play well with me.  This is a Place I will no longer be patronizing.

Photo credit:  Thomas Rockstar on Flickr

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I have a Twitter account.  I don't use it that often.  Occasionally, though, I feel like checking it out or sending a "tweet" or what-have-you.

I don't think I "tweet" that well.  I think what I do on Twitter is more "blurting" (which is different from "bleating").  It seems the perfect medium for shouting out to the world that I have a Stevie Wonder song stuck in my head (and that I'm glad it isn't a Hanson song instead!).  Or a good place to bemoan the usage of the (non)word "heighth" in everyday conversation (that one really gets my goat and it seems to be more and more prevalent.  Go away "heighth" you are not a word!).

For the most part, "tweeting" (or "blurting") feels so self-indulgent. It is like walking up to anyone you see, imagining they give a shit, just spewing a few sentences regarding whatever is on the tip of your tongue at them, and then walking on.  Every once in a great while someone will reply to something I share on Twitter but usually my thoughts just go out into the great void.  And that is okay.  Sometimes things just need to be said and no response is required.

If you (once again, see me assuming someone is reading this!) want, follow my blurts, click on the link on this page :D

Image credit: 7son75 on flickr

Friday, July 9, 2010

Doubt (or Perils of Urban Planning, Part III)

So this whole reworking the pattern thing is very hard on the sleep-deprived brain.  It is especially difficult when one is lying awake at night trying to sleep but somehow being compelled by evil forces to do long division with knits and purls and cable needles flashing before one's eyes like a bad '80's movie montage (presuming a movie was every made about knitting - imagine it - the crisis scene where the lady heroes of the film must redesign a sweater to avert a major disaster at the county fair which ends with them dancing around their kitchen while drinking wine).

Anywho . . .

After (stalkerishly) perusing all the ravelry photos for the Urban Aran - under both the original and modified (cardiganized) titles - I am rethinking my choice.  I am feeling that, despite modifications and what I imagine  to be some extremely aggressive blocking, this is a garment for a woman.  The element that I find most compelling - the diagonal cable panel - will forever pull in waist and make this a feminine sweater.  And I say this with all due respect to all the knitters who have made the sweater for men and the men who wear it.  This is just my opinion.

Despite feeling a bit like I've had the wind knocked out of me on this one, I have not given up on an Aran zipper cardigan for the Boy.  There are a few other patterns I am looking at - all of which would require some modifications to create the sweater I want to make.  So we're not done here yet.

We will build this city (maybe on rock 'n' roll?).

Also, I am having anxiety about having enough yarn to do the swatching I need to do to make this work and to make the sweater.  I have 1,000 yards.  But still . . .

Read the previous installment here.  Start from the beginning here.

Photo credit: stolte-sawa on flickr

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Perils of Urban Planning, Interlude

It came!  It came!

The yarn came over the holiday weekend!

I love the color!  I can't wait to use it (but I will - I will, I will, I will!  Haste makes waste and all that)!

Now I just have to figure out what the heck I am doing with it!

Hooray for exclamation points!

Read the previous installment here.  Read the next installment here.  Start from the beginning here.

Photo credit: marine_perez via flickr