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Here’s The Scoop … Green Is For Grouch ….

April 5, 2010 by Barbara

SEEING “RED” ….

Dear Readers … It is officially spring in Chicago…With that comes something this writer has never faced before… an apartment that is in a building that has a “forced air” system that uses water -warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer  running through pipes that are connected to vents…The brochure the building slid under my front door last weekend explained this is “typical” of systems used in larger residential structures in Chicago….Hmmm…The brochure went on to explain the “process”…as the water is either heated or cooled, fans inside the walls blow the warm or cool air produced over coils and then through vent sin each apartment and all parts of the building…It went on to when heating the temperature of the water is gradually increased …and of course when cooling the temperature must be gradually decreased…The the crux of the brochure comes to light…”The key word is gradually”…Because they say rapid expansion and contraction of the pipes can cause fractures or leaks…and therefore to switch from warmer to colder temperatures must be done slowly… After that the brochure spells out the “pros and cons”…Forced air heating and air conditioning is reliable and results in less expensive utility bills… and they follow the municipal ordinance that requires them to provide heat from Sept. 15 through June 1…So in other words….. Forced air is “green” …… and spring in Chicago…with a few warm Florida -like days…is just like living in Florida with no AC!…..Give me a “G”……

Speaking of “green”… The $$$ kind of “green”…What’s the deal with framing a picture?.. (It’s been a very long time for this writer to have the need to do so) …. Why does it cost so much for putting up some artwork on the wall?… Who would believe the cost for little pieces of “wood” that range in price from $12 a foot to $30 and up ….And the process….is more like having a session….be prepared to spend some time….It entails which wood to choose? …The real stuff or the pressed? …It’s a little like buying Rooms To Go or Crate and Barrel!…..Are you in it for the short or long term?….Then there’s the mat…That too is a process…pick a color that “compliments” the art work…… including the umpteenth shades of white…..the choice of paper… quality …or not….being a few steps below….like that diamond with the clarity and the  cut and a few floating flaws on close inspection….Choose the thickness… Will you be matting it with a single mat or doubled … again it shows the $$$$…. Going for the plain edge or beveled?… (princess cut or round?)…Don’t forget the glass…”skimp” with the regular glaring sun damage prone pane ….. upgrade to UV protection …. or go for broke with the top of the line non-reflective UV …Cha-ching!…. Before you know it as you pile on with the experts “must haves”…the “expert” is piling up on the big bucks!… What to do?…. Economize and tweak it …..take out a loan…. do it “piecemeal” …or bite the bullet?….No wonder so many walls are now bare in America!.. Give me an “R”……

How “green” is it …environmentally and $$$$ -wise….when every baby item…from the mobile that goes on the crib …and the “Angel Care Alert Monitor”…the hand held color camera monitor .. along with the baby swing…… the vibrating and baby bounce seat…and the baby play mat with the moving colored fish…all come with countless batteries required …double A…triple A..C and D….So much for an early induction for this new generation to being “green”… Although, quite frankly it stands to reason ….for those in charge….(pun intended)….that baby being soothed…motivated…and engaged …through constant battery operated stimulation for increasing their brain power and lengthening their sleep time far outweighs any concern of where those batteries ultimately go!…. Stocking up on Duracell…… Give me an “O-U-C-H”……

Yep, …”Forced ” … “Framed”  & “Fully charged”….. “Green” is for “GROUCH”!…..

more to come…..

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Here’s The Scoop … A Different World …

March 31, 2010 by Barbara

THE  TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGING….

“A Different World
Bucky Covington

We were born to mothers who smoked and drank
Our cribs were covered in lead based paint
No child proof lids no seat belts in cars
Rode bikes with no helmets and still here we are, still here we are
We got daddy’s belt when we misbehaved
Had three TV channels you got up to change
No video games and no satellite
All we had were friends and they were outside, playin’ outside

Chorus
It was a different life
When we were boys and girls
Not just a different time
It was a different world

School always started the same every day
The pledge of allegiance then someone would pray
Not every kid made the team when they tried
We got disappointed and that was all right, we turned out all right

Chorus

Bridge
No bottled water, we drank from a garden hose
And every Sunday, all the stores were closed

Chorus

Chorus

It was a different world

[Thanks to 2step for lyrics]”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AlrFOBmdVI

Dear Readers…. Timing is everything inside  and outside of politics…and it was particularly amusing when the very day this writer strolled into THE mega-baby store aka Babies R’Us located 20+ minutes away in the  western “burbs” to see the plethora of innovative and profitable inventions that cover every aspect of a new baby’s wants…needs and overall protection … which could be “over” protection when it really comes down to it!… Thus, the amusement in the timing of hearing the song  “A Different World” on my FM -HD radio on my new friend Cybex #1…..(prev. posts)…

There is a seat that sits the baby and stops he or she from doing the classic “weeble” moves as they are learning to sit up…No more will the new parent have to sit behind them or surround them with pillows as they invariably go all “wobbly” and end up slow-motion falling to the left…the right or backward like a bowl of jello!… No these youngins will never have to endure the Polaroids of their early mishaps due to large heads and not enough oomph yet to hold it altogether…They’ll be sitting on a chair that stops them from that embarrassment… Perhaps it’s a sign that it’s time to sell your Prozac stock as the lack of early falling over for this generation must surely mean anxiety levels will drop later in life for these lucky chair owners!…Yep, I purchased one in green with the matching tray attachments ….Don’t get me started on “attachments” ….”Attachments” are the bread and butter of baby manufacturers…the more of them the better …it’s like buying a new car!…

They have a “spa” for the baby…no resemblance to a bucket is this invention…On the box it looked like the old commercials that offered to turn your plain pink 50’s era bathtub into a “whirlpool” bath even though the water still only reached halfway up your thighs…and your knees were bent due to lack of length and don’t forget the noise level was set at jackhammer!… On this one “Nana” took a pass…

Swings no longer go only back and forth…they go sideways…and vibrate and …yep attached are toys….Just how many different toys can can one play mat hold?…As many as you want to pay for and in whatever motif …still gender based…which is surprising in to see that is still enforced…….

Baby strollers are also “attachment” crazed… First comes the stroller ….then comes the car seat that “attaches” to the stroller…with the “attached” base that stays in the car(s)……and don’t forget the vibrations…For what is life without feeling good vibrations 24/7?… (Umbrella strollers are relegated to the very end of the aisle sort of like a Yugo in a room full of  BMWs and Volvos)…

Want to carry the baby around hands free?……No slings (baby’s necks and large heads have been in the news of late…tragedy for many who used it before 4 mos.)…But carriers are lined up ….for the front …the back and for the guys… Cribs are no longer just cribs…they turn into beds…junior beds ….twin size beds …even sleigh beds…It only requires buying the “attachments’…. Matching dressers have changing “stations”… You don’t want to show your age by asking about changing “tables”…They do still make them… and they too morph in future years…becoming a desk…that is if you purchase the highchair that later becomes the chair to the “stations” desk!…

Diaper bags…again the choices are aplenty…with familiar names such as “Columbia” …and other adventure gear companies logos prominent on the front……Some smart marketing people realized they can mark up the bag with their name on it …It offers the buyer is a  little less chagrined when “He” walks with it sans his own bag that use to stow his old “adventure ” gear!… Special bottles…with or without insert bags…special nipples…and an assortment for those who want to be “green” and use “green” plastics that have none of  whatever it is that the “green” buyers think will seep into their new baby’s very being if it so much as touches their lips…

Electronics for all this paraphernalia that rivals the top of the line Cuisinart Food Processors sitting on your granite counter top …It’s for sterilizing everything from bottles to nipples to pacifiers….(We all know it’s really for the 1st child only…For child #2…3…and 4 …it’s sufficient to pop in your own mouth…stick it under the faucet or apply the 10 second rule!)…. If you purchase them all……you will end up with a counter full of them…and your food processor won’t be seeing the light of day for quite some time to come……

Monitors are a must!……No such thing as privacy for baby.anymore…..There’s a camera that monitors its every move…it even tells the temperature in the room…and then there’s the Angel Care device that monitors for breathing…and the alarm that goes off after any sort of delay…If the mothers and grandmothers are to be believed it is a must for it went off and saved the baby….real or unreal…it’s scary enough to be a must buy if you ever want to avoid the “Terms of Endearment” re-enactment with Shirley McClain pushing and prodding the baby sure it is breathing…. http://www.angelcare-monitor.com/United-States/en/home

More protection comes with saving the baby’s umbilical cord…purchased online ….if you can afford it…It’s to have in the future for anything that comes this baby or its siblings way…To be used for regenerative medicine that is sure to be standard medical practice in their lifetimes… http://www.cordblood.com/index.asp?fbid=zPGz11Ts5Yn

Babies no longer sleep on their stomachs …that was in the 80’s…(just like no epidurals)…. We were told it was required to keep the baby from choking if it spit up…as the “experts” were sure babies were unable to turn their heads…It was also to keep them from having a flat head…Now that’s a no-no…backs are the way to go… The “experts” now say those same babies who could not turn their head if they spit up cannot move their heads enough and that might have led to the increase in SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)… http://www.sids.org/ndefinition.htm

They have pre-packaged “swaddling”…No need to learn how to do it with a blanket from the knowledgeable maternity nurses…and they have “sleepers” that look like a small size “sleeping bag” with arms instead of blankets…The thinking is these babies that cannot turn their heads can somehow move the blankets up over their heads and suffocate..HUH?… No matter they still seem to make sense…

The mattresses have 2 sides …one for the crib and one for the Junior bed…because the mattress for the crib is like a rock…again to prevent suffocation we are told… Sheets have made a big leap forward they now unzip from the corners and the sides…No need to undo the entire ensemble each time the baby …acts like a baby!…

There are mobiles wind up and battery operated and then there are “learning centers”…to start the baby on its way to that early admission to that private pre-k with the waiting list …Baby Einsteins one and all….no down time…for these little ones once they leave the womb!…

There are CDs…videos …and books …..All of them selling the latest theories of raising up this child…There are lactating experts…and child rearing gurus….and they all have one thing in common…expectant parents …who are ready… willing and able to buy what they are selling…all in an effort to get it right ….and give their children what we all want for them …a childhood worth remembering….

It’s definitely…”A Different World”…One that comes with a lot of love ..a lot of excitement and anticipation…and of course a lot of charges on the credit card!….

more to come….

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Here’s The Scoop … Chicago … Shamrock Shakes And Ponytails …

March 30, 2010 by Barbara

RIGHT OF PASSAGE?…

Dear Readers … No more single day “Chicago” posts…as I was neglectful and time pressed with pressing LBTS posts and everyday life to post …So for now time to time updates will have to do…

Continuing on where I left off on day 7 ….Cybex #1 (treadmill #1 out of 5) and I are now old “friends”… We meet everyday…and have moved from a straight out fast paced walk to going at an incline that “mocks” walking up hill…The benefits of that are to increase the momentum for a quick and rapid decline of the “computer seat” that came from more sitting in front of the computer than walking the “hills” of LBTS!… So far so good …Although my new scale (the one that brought the reality of too much baked goods consumption and taking a pass on revving up the endorphins) has a malfunction …A display snafu that shows an incomplete digital number…and you can’t have that when you need to see the numbers go down…(creeping up…that’s another story )…The dreaded call to the company I purchased it from with the expected “call the manufacturer” response…Surprisingly it turned out so well I thought I should go play the lottery…A few simple questions and the Rep. said they will send  out a new one…They don’t want the first one returned (Whew! Since I have not yet found the local post office/UPS )..  I was advised to put it wherever old scales go…Hmmm…Where do old scales go?…

As I faithfully and passionately walk the Cybex”cline” …I am really catching up on country music and new names.who are making it on the radio..It’s akin to the new athletes from figure skating to football  that escape my recognition…I am still stuck way back with names that are (if their lucky) now sports commentators to sports commentators …. or doing commercials…

While the downside to radio (still Ipodless) is usually the commercials …(HD radio still succumbs to them)…. for this writer they are providing some of my best entertainment in going down memory lane..Yes, still!…One was a commercial with Mike Singletary (speaking of old time familiar football players) “hawking” car dealerships in the norther suburbs nearby where I grew up and lived until 16 years ago…The one that really got me smiling though…Shamrock shakes at McDonalds! I had to laugh at this one…as I remembered back to the first year in Florida when St. Patrick’s Day rolled around…My husband found out that in South Florida (at least in our neck of the woods) there were no Shamrock shakes…and no recall of having any knowledge of their very existence…. As much as he tried to describe the “classic” Shamrock green shake to each McDonald employee he came in contact with in the month on March…he made no headway…  just receiving a lot of vacant stares and move along mister “snickers”……But here in Chicago they are still going strong …for a limited time…til next year!…

Observations come often with time at the gym…The “factions” …there’s the yoga crowd…the swimming class groups…the glider aficionados …weight training- spot exercise fanatics…the  obligatory “walkers” who seem to walk back and forth in “preparation” to get on with it but never seem to quite get on to it as they “stroll” the “aisle”as the rest of us sweat…

It’s a time to observe who reads the signs and actually participates and sanitizes the equipment after each use for the next in line who might not want to become so closely related to the prior participants DNA… Watching the overwhelming number of members as they haphazardly walk away thinking perhaps their sweat doesn’t count …Then there’s those “posers” with the pseudo spray of disinfectant from the community spray bottle applying it with swift skimming single wipe in order to have followed through for appearance sake only…As for me, I spray before and I spray after double time and double…triple sprays to keep my sweat to myself and others at bay with a new baby on the way… I figured after I needed to get the H1N1 shot to be around the soon to arrive granddaughter, so this is a no-brainer!…

Prominent in all workout locals…is the ponytail….What is it with “ponytails’?… Are ponytails a woman’s “tree rings”?…Could be …I think maybe you can tell the “circle of life” from where a ponytail is located on the female gender  …You start out in life with one or two way up on your toddler head like antlers…(usually lopsided antlers)…and as you approach your teens and twenties…it slowly starts inching its way down…(2 “pigtails”, in this writer’s opinion need to be left for the toddlers…and no it’s not ok to wear em’ into your 40’s and call it a “southern” thing!….”Daisy Duke” is no ones’s reality!) …Somewhere around 30+ the “tail” is slightly above the neck…and after that, unless you’ve gone the way of  head hugging short…aka “Supercuts #5″….it never ever goes above neck high … Any higher on a senior gal just looks like a flashing neon light of denial ….Botox, lifestyle lift or full out plastic surgery it doesn’t make it right!.. And while we’re on the subject of ponytails…let’s address the subject of accompanying bows……. Ladies, come on….those too need to be left to the Sesame Street contingency! … Bad as it is to see a senior missus with a misplaced ponytail…add a bow, any bow…any size…any color…  and all that comes to mind “Whatever Happened To Baby Jane” …Need I say more?…

With my ponytail firmly planted in the age appropriate location…Cybex #1 is awaiting my return … for there are more “hills” to climb and more observations to come….

more to come….

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Here’s The Scoop … Day 7 In Chicago … Time’s Up! …

March 26, 2010 by Barbara

T-N-T

Dear Readers….At the end of the first week in Chicago… Day 7 is the day of the 2 “Ts”… Tipping the scale  & hopping on the Treadmill… T-N-T …

As someone who has always known working out is a double duty commitment each and every day…I did something I never thought I would do….For the first time in over a decade I consciously made the decision to my put exercise routine on the back burner during this last LBTS municipal campaign…Something had to give with only 24 hours in a day…and daily long workouts…along with 3x a week weight training got the big heave-ho!…It’s a slippery slope when all that gets relegated  to the wayside … The expected results creep up like an unwelcome visitor from the past…First there’s the loss of muscle tone…and those little aches and pains … along with a surprising lack of limberness and of course the gradual weight gain that hardly seems so gradual when it is calculated at the end of 5+ months of sporadic workouts and “tastes” (maybe more than tastes) of what your host/hostess has put out to satiate the group ….But alas, avoidance can only last so long….and while the jeans still fit…which we all know is the true test for any woman when it come down to it ….and the “cookies are in”… literally……. The time of reckoning came a- calling with the arrival of the brand new scale delivered yesterday by UPS…It’s a floor scale that is calibrated like a doctor’s scale and it’s selling point is that it waits to show the dreaded number after you step off of it …I should have known this was not going to be a “friendly” scale when it showed up in the box with the full color picture of what was inside on both sides!  …What’s up with that? No outer box …No brown paper wrapping!…….As I picked it up I could swear the clerk had a look of either understanding all that comes with such a purchase…or it was that sort of look you get when you actually pick up and read the tabloids in the checkout line!…I signed for it …and carried it to the elevator hoping against hope that no one would zone in on the picture showing what was inside…..Safely inside the confines of the apartment I followed the directions in setting it up…batteries etc… but knowing full well no self respecting woman weighs herself after first thing in the morning…Unless it’s a doctor’s appointment or Weight Watchers… due to the dreaded 2-3 lb. gain as the day goes by….I waited until this morning to face the consequences of my decision made all those months ago…… I stepped up the to the “plate” (the scale)…stepped on it ….I waited as the directions said… and I stepped off…It worked just as it promised…and with every extra pound …all 14 of them…It said loud and clear  … you knew this day was coming!…

So, today I moved on…to the treadmill for the first of the 2 hour a day workouts that will make this 14 lb. “decision” a thing of the past……. That same drive that was behind the election will suffice in getting the pounds to go away… (Again, I’ve got to rectify what I helped create!)….I got my gear together  and entered the gym downstairs in my building…I used my brand new membership card..and signed in ….This is the same gym where Obama (His home is a few blocks away) was photographed coming to 3 times a day …I don’t know if he was on my designated treadmill …seeing no nameplate that said Obama walked/ran here….Luckily it was relatively  quiet this morning …Although I did appear to be “sandwiched” in between the 2 college  girls running next to me at full speed (7-8 MPH) with their coordinated colored Ipods powered up and firmly in their hands…and the “parade” of Senior (much more senior than I)  citizens coming from their morning water aerobics class in quite an array of eclectic bathing suit cover-ups that gave some real insight to each swimmer’s personality …..I powered up my non-Ipod…a newly purchased FM-HD radio which is all juiced up from being connected to my “hub” overnight…It came outfitted with an armband…and I purchased a set of new earphones that fit behind the ear with “buds”…I took a deep breath and hopped right up on treadmill #1 the one with CNN streaming to my right with captions in front and the sports channel to my left…..I pushed the digital on the radio until I  found the local country music station and began …one step at a time…increasing the speed as I listened to Urban, McBride and Garth Brooks… Yep, another flashback to a time long ago….This writer loves country music…I have since I was  19 and dating a boy named Marty ….His taste in music at the time was Pure Prairie League …. It was enough to lead the way for me to find and enjoy country singers from John Anderson to old recordings of Patsy Cline (she is simply the best, in my opinion)… The thing you have to understand about the old country music singers is they always sounded the same live or recorded… while too many times singers in other categories were all about the studio enhancement (not just Milli-Vanilli)…With my FM- HD music reasonably cranked…and CNN inches away… my journey back to wellness has begun…Day 1…begins on Day 7 in Chicago….It took 5 months to get this way and it will take at least that long to fight my way back… that’s a lot of country music …Tick…tick..tick….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4xp2lgiAjY

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milli_Vanilli

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwrL9MV6jSk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwG0yromS1c&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkkM7K6smQA

more to come….

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Here’s The Scoop … Day 6 In Chicago… Stuff …

March 25, 2010 by Barbara

STUFF FOR YOUR STUFF ….

Dear Readers … As George Carlin said “Actually this is just a place for my stuff, ya know? That’s all, a little place for my stuff. That’s all I want, that’s all you need in life, is a little place for your stuff, ya know?”…and for the past 2 days I have been purchasing …and moving my stuff into the stuff I purchased…because stuff needs to be in stuff or you can’t find it when when you need your stuff! …

I love hardware stores…especially the old ones like Ace…Not only does this too bring back memories BHD (Before Home Depot) but I like smaller businesses where the employees are more engaged with the customers and I enjoy seeing what their buyers buy to stock them..It’s the Mack Groves experience on a smaller scale …(LBTS Readers can relate)…

Yesterday I hit the jackpot at my local Ace located a few blocks away…From the moment I walked in with the woman at the register who was extremely helpful from beginning to end as I filled up my cart with all the stuff I needed for my stuff and a few extra necessities …such as locks with keys for the storage units rented out that morning…(for the stuff I need occasionally and lack of closets)…and 2 new shower heads…that are actually made in America….(the salesman told me)… I made my way from aisle to aisle and found containers…stands… both small and large organizational items …as I admired the buyer’s taste…I ended up with pretty much everything on my list …No kitchen sink…but a Umbro stainless steel kitchen clock  …again their buyer did well and so did I…Also on the list, I “enlisted” in city life and the lack of a car … I joined the area women who dress in black  (it’s a Chicago/New York thing)…in now pushing a newly purchased cart.. black (what else)…heavy duty.. made in America and already assembled!… We can nod at each other as we pass with our stuff…as the “sisterhood” of neighborhood cart pushers…The Chief Blogger is going “green”!… Nahhhh…..(inside joke)….

Paid for, wrapped and gingerly packed in my new cart I headed home…to find nothing broke…better yet it all worked as intended … (no returns!)…I am happy to report my stuff is now sitting pretty in the stuff I bought hold it… Check them off THE list…

Today,  was the appointment with one of the building’s maintenance men to further organize stuff…the stuff I could no do myself…(lack of tools, one thing I did forget to purchase…It wasn’t on THAT list)….He  caulked the newly purchased tub deflectors… I forgot that combo shower/tubs with regular shower curtains do not contain the water … Did you know they now make “hookless” shower curtains?…Two thumbs up!……He also attached the  “Clutter Busters” …a 4 tiered towel rack with a hook that attaches to the bathroom door hinges…(For some reason this building chose bathroom towel racks that are in the wrong place and those plastic door hooks that do not actually have a hook at all but have a slippery modern piece of round plastic)…The shower heads were switched out and the kitchen clock was hung…They will be called back for another round…I still have more stuff coming…

For this writer, the kitchen is a place to hold the diet coke..the microwave…the coffeepot… the dishwasher…and the carry-out menus…When I was getting married my mother-in law threw me a recipe bridal shower (she obviously didn’t know me very well) and my very astute aunt who was in the same mind-frame as this writer when it came to kitchens…came armed with delivery menus and a can opener!… My mother was a fabulous cook and my “out” to my daughters over their mother’s lack of culinary skills …”It skips a generation”…recounting my grandmother was also not into cooking!…(Didn’t tell them about her longtime cook though!)…After a move to one house in our married life…my husband observed my plans to purchase new kitchen appliances he suggested “cardboard cutouts”…Hmmm…He may have had a point!.. But, we all know even a non-used kitchen needs shelving space for items that always seem to tall for standard placed shelving…thus the dreaded removal and replacing of shelves with the predictable hangups of getting them out without scratching them or you and the replacement of putting them back in without getting them stuck or crooked… no matter how many tries unassisted… it’s not pretty and the language is certainly not PG rated…Why is always the last one that is the most troublesome…especially when you have finally found that rhythm to the process somewhere between shelf 3 and shelf 4……It’s like looking for your keys…They’re always in the last place you look…(another insider joke)…

Satisfaction is short-lived as this list has gone quickly into the shredder…It is quickly replaced with a new list…for yet another foray to find stuff for the stuff still unstuffed…including finding one to hold the lists!….

more to come…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvgN5gCuLac

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Here’s The Scoop … Day 5 In Chicago … Zip Up Cardigans …

March 24, 2010 by Barbara

FOND MEMORIES ….

Dear Readers … At every turn this writer is faced with new hassles involved with getting situated…technically and otherwise ….and while the to do list does not seem to be getting shorter (still looking like a list for Santa)…some things are a strange combination of flashback moments…odd recollections long ago buried wherever those experiences go deep within the brain …and some “perks” that might just outweigh the lack of expected warm weather and sunshine when I exit the building … That would be no humidity and the hair I used to have…straight without a blow dry…so for all those who can relate …what’s a little cold and dreariness when it come to non-humidified hair days?…

A call for an expected delivery came with a familiar address…The company I contacted is located in a northern suburb where we first had our business…on the same street… When it popped up on my now fully functional computer…(Terry was right…the speed is just as I had with Comcast at home)…a whole lot of memories came to the surface of those days…where we lived …which house…quick calculations of the ages of my daughters along with cars…clothes…friends…employees…and so much more… music …TV….and the like…

Yesterday,  in the quest to set up a satellite work area to continue working the BCbythesea hubby found S. Stein & Co. for office furniture..my son-in-law and I made our way with our Google directions to meet with Bob…who promised he had what I needed…warehouses full .. He had of new and old office furniture… The drive over…puts complaints of congestion on A1A (LBTS) and not being able to get from point A to point B high on the laugh-o-meter in comparison and this was after 12:30 pm!… As we exited and went over the bridge it was an easy find…4th floor parking and  a walk right into the showroom… While we waited for Bob we made our way around …. What’s up with office chairs? …It’s worse than trying out mattresses…Talk about the princess and the pea…Office chair manufacturers must never sit down for long…Each one was harder than the last…Does no one needs padding these days?…Ergonomic means $$$ dollars for no padding … It’s sort of like the bill of goods the mattress manufacturers pulled a few years back when suddenly the “bean counters” decided that no one really ever turned their mattresses over despite being advised to do so from the overzealous salesperson upon purchase …So they made the decision…that it was no longer needed (like they made them any different than before?)…. They now charge the same or more (mattress pricing needs a whole other post) ….for a one-sides mattress….We tried and we tried and after trying dozens of chairs this writer could not find one  like our tried and true La-Z-boy Voyager executive office chairs… But Bob was not dismayed…he made a beeline for the La-Z-boy catalog and found the Voyager is still in production (imagine that)…and we ordered 2!… We still needed file cabinets and the like …and Bob took us to a place …where file cabinets are put out to pasture… all shapes…colors…sizes and conditions… what stories must have been contained in them in their hay day?….In the end despite aisle after aisle and making our best attempt to find what would suit our needs….none met the criteria and so the file cabinets looking like dogs at the pound were left to await some other visitor to their “Villages” on some other day… Those file cabinets too, will be ordered…What was left apparently was contained in yet another warehouse and that was a salesman only visit or so it appeared…. The results for that search are to come by phone today…

Other long missed comforts are appearing each and every day…stuffed Chicago pizza is a phone call away…egg bagels…and a certain type of toothpaste I was sure went the way of the double sided mattress… The “uniform” of black worn by this writer (and at times mentioned by friends and foes in jest and anything but jest) is the norm around here …. sort of like “cardigans” with zippers…it really is like coming home….again!…

Today, as I sit here ….I’m kind of loving it here… and while there are a few pangs here and there for friends seen daily along with walks  into town on El Mar Drive……and the nagging feeling that I forgot a very important appointment by not being in attendance for the Commission meeting last night … I am looking forward to seeing what else will be coming my way old and new … Time to zip up the “cardigan” ….

more to come…

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Here’s The Scoop …. Chicago Day 4 … Toss The Hat Time? …

March 23, 2010 by Barbara

DARE TO BE GLIB ….

Dear Readers … as you saw the internet by the previous post (3/23/10 LBTS Agenda) is now up and running …after Terry from AT&T showed up to save the day (s) with news  that AT&T sold me too much speed…Whatever that means…He assured me all I needed was available and it would save me $5 a month…I was prepared to do what any half of a “wealthy white couple” would do (reference to a lame attempt at payback from BTSTimes  article…for those new readers unfamiliar and taken aback by this statement ) …to say whatever it costs just get me online!… But, not before a Tech call to a Tech in parts or countries unknown…a dropped cell phone call after waiting 5 minutes…(it was Mon.)…a re-call and starting over… (looks like Techs get no special treatment when it comes to waiting their turn when calling in)…to find out about their Firefox dislike…Welcome to Safari…The “Mac” issue with Firefox…I am told AT&T does not hook up with Firefox….(there is non-PC bias out there still?)… so AT&T and Terry went on Safari….with some more questions for “security” that bring you back to your past…such as your favorite teacher…your first pet..your first car.. I almost used that one until it was make and model…I remembered make Toyota but not the model .. almost 40 years later! … Factor in if you have a spouse who might be stuck one day with technical difficulties and he too would need to know what he hasn’t heard about since 1981!… Got it all entered and accepted …without embarrassing myself in front of 30-something Terry who was careful not to groan or snicker with the answers as he typed them in…and then he advised what I have heard so many times before in the last 3 months of moving in…”keep these answers …codes…passwords somewhere safe”…That file is now getting pretty thick … as it was placed alongside the living will..power of attorney…insurance and other important lifesaving papers that are in place for some catastrophic event  in the future…(safe enough?)… When Terry gets done …that beautiful green light is strong and steady…as if to say it’s here to stay … and we are now not only online…we are wireless!… Pretty funny the thrill of going wireless when you sell wire for a living!… I am happy to say…it took…it made it through the previous agenda post…it made it through the night and it was still showing green when I awoke this morning …Ahhhh… All was right with the world ….(not talking healthcare here folks…just the “world “of being connected)…well…that is until…. I went to turn on the Direct TV to find out …it was frozen!… I then spent the first 25 minutes of the day speaking to yet another Tech on the other end of the telephone line……who needed to re-set the boxes from his end …then directed me to unplug the modems and re-set the boxes…(see no matter what…it’s always starts with unplug it!)….and again I was waiting for the “green light”…in this case it is blue and it’s a dial that spins you into a hypnotic state if watched long enough ……When it is up and running and doing its thing… Success after the first attempt… which was a first in itself …and yet another note to attach to the box on the procedure “in case” it happens again said the Tech… (pick a day that ends with y)… Now with green lights glowing .. blue lit dials moving … and the Techs securely at bay ….do I dare to toss my hat?… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBTWF1bDPn0

more to come…

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Here’s The Scoop … Day 3 In Chicago … Not Running Smoothly ….

March 22, 2010 by Barbara

WHO HAS THE WD-40?…

Dear Readers… Do you remember the episode of Friends with Phoebe on hold for assistance …She was on for days…DITTO!…

I fully intend to be able to put the agenda on next…and to watch the March 23rd LBTS Reg. Commission meeting tomorrow night…I may have only one functioning ear…(telephone ear…no bluetooth for this writer)…but I will be watching…here or somewhere in this building where AT&T is fully engaged in allowing a streamlined view …Granicus willing!…

Last night was particularly painful when my new Mac  laptop and I came to blows after I found out it had a mind of its own when “Taxi” would not allow for “Adobe”to make an appearance….. Annoyingly it kept getting into my face essentially saying it was closed for business to come back later!…The arrow for the “go back one page” or go forward totally disappeared as well…(was that kind of like the middle finger?)… And of course all the downloaded backup for the commission meeting was loaded (finally) on “Adobe”…Now thanks to Mac being as temperamental as a 2 year old…I could not open any of it! …So I did what anyone with computer problems does after 48 hours…I had a major meltdown… and cursed the day I ever decided to take the leap into upgrading  in order to make my life easier!…

After the allotted 15 minutes were over (think Holly Hunter in Broadcast News)…I decided to do whatever it took to find “Adobe”  and worry about the fallout of what would be required to correct my corrections …later…much later!…

Somehow, my Mac must have realized this writer meant business and it actually coughed up my “Adobe” saved PDFs… from wherever it was hiding them …

When in doubt…one thing has not changed with any plug-in device old or new…Pull the plug, count to 10  and start over…It still gets the job done!…And it did..on the 7th try!…

Now with my notes firmly in hand…and written out the old fashioned way …in blue inked pen on yellow lined legal pad paper…just to make sure they will be there when I need them to post …  Almost time to get back to business… So that’s one down……

AT&T called as they said they would Monday morning (prev. post)…and a recording proudly told me my “problem” was fixed… As the automated recording spit out the good news…I took a quick look at the modem that I was told would be green only to see it was still flashing red!…Before I could push the  option button to report that the recording was a little too quick in its declaration…a call-waiting was shown from AT&T…So I hit the “flash” thinking (wrongly) it was an actual living Tech…NOPE!… It was a second recording asking me to survey the job they had done…Hmmm…. a pat on the back before the end of the first recording…That’s some overzealous “piggybacking” for sure!… Of course a quick “flash” back to return call one…and it was already gone…leaving me to call AT&T for help on a Mon. morning…We all know what that meant…Phoebe time once more!…Another trouble ticket…and as Jackie Gleason said…”Away we go”… (TV references do seem to be flowing today..)…

So, it look like more of the same in day 3…as I look for the WD-40 ….in the  hope somebody has a few cans… and that they’re headed in my direction… ready to unlock and load … get thing running smoothly… for day 4…

more to come…..

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Here’s The Scoop … It Takes Two Hands … Day 2 In Chicago …

March 21, 2010 by Barbara

ADVANCES  IN TECHNOLOGY ? ……

Dear Readers …  Long ago my husband told me the story about his grandfather who had just received one of the first new digital watch….upon receiving the gift he said now he had to use 2 hands to see what time it was!… Thus, it is the same situation and then some (to put it mildly) with upgrading to a new laptop and and learning new gadgets that protrude from the “ports”…the “hub”… such as external drives named “taxi” and the backup actually named “backup”… All I am told to make my life easier and portable!…This  definitely takes more than 2 hands!… It takes many more steps than ever before … It involves re-steps… and set-up… Then the re-set-up because a step was missed?… I am informed these various appendages attached to the laptop are not in “sync”… or in “lay-man” terms… what should appear does not!… ARGHHHH…… Send in a tech-savvy daughter from down the hall…who then zips from one thing to another with the greatest of ease …So confident and cocky is she … and way too fast … which leaves this writer not only in the dust..but thoroughly overwhelmed and further confused that she might be undoing something the tech in Florida did and could she actually be adding in yet another step to the ever growing list of steps I now need to remember!… (She assures me she has not!)… Maybe, a visit from a young tech savvy 20-something or younger is needed in LBTS rather than from Granicus …(prev. post) …From a quick look while up and running in that brief period of actual Verizon usage …it does now appear that the hours look correct for both the March 15, 2010 swearing in and the March 17, 2010 organizational meeting …..But, with the status quo of computer snafus over the last few days…I do not dare to try the video to check if it is correct… (But that and the back-up for the  March 23rd Commission meeting are slated for next….. “Technology”  willing…)

Needless to say, Dear Readers,  …. after taking more deep breaths than I can count in an attempt to stop saying out loud the #!# words I am definitely muttering under my breath …I too understand there is something wrong when it now takes 2 hands to tell the time of day!…

And how are things In LBTS?….

more to come….

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Here’s The Scoop … Getting Situated …

March 20, 2010 by Barbara

BOXES AND MORE BOXES …

WIRELESS INTERNET …TECHNICIAN REQUIRED …

SNOW ….

Dear Readers …As I sit here in an apartment down the hall from the granddaughter to come…awaiting At&T for wireless…looking out at the windy city and yes, the snow (they were wearing t-shirts here yesterday)…plus a room full of boxes to unpack…Some “filler” of sorts….

Louis Marchelos on St. Patrick’s Day .. ..showing he too has 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason!…

Want S’more … http://heresthescooponline.com/

more to come….

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