Category Archives: Ideas

And do the Hoagy Pogey While You Bang Your Head Against a Mirror on Friday the 13th

I spend more time trying not to waste time than I would have spent wasting time without the attempt to avoid it.  The wasting of the time, I mean.

I hate going places to get things fixed.

Because I hate waiting in line, and I hate having someone tell me to my face that there is nothing they can do, and that I should just GIVE IT UP, FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE, YOU STUPID IDIOT.  THAT THING IS DEAD AND JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF COULDN’T RESURRECT IT!

They haven’t actually said that, but I know they are thinking it.

So, lately, my Apple devices have been giving me various problems.  And I decided that I should go online to figure out how to solve them.  I’m a pretty tech-savvy person, so I figured I might be able to do it myself.

There is loads of advice on the internet on how to fix your Apple devices.  I would venture to say that there is more advice on the internet about this than about how to fix anything else – including your zipper or your credit.

It took me awhile to figure out that most of this advice, given in very reliable-looking technogeek jargon, is full of crap.

I have done everything recommended on every forum and it has not made a bit of difference.  I did get a bit suspicious when one guy said that you have to hold down the Home button and the Power button while you stand on your head and drink a cup of coffee.  But he said it worked for him, so I went with it.

It turns out that spilled coffee does not improve the inner workings of Apple devices.  Neither does throwing them across the room while you try to keep burning coffee from going up (or down) your nose.

So I am trying to figure out if the people on those forums accidentally fixed their devices and just figured that whatever event preceded these miraculous repairs must have been responsible.

Or, do they have so much time on their hands that they can visit every forum on the internet and giggle wildly as they type in stupid, but remotely possible, advice to gullible people like me?

Well, I have learned my lesson.  Yessir.  No more ridiculous attempts to fix things on my own.  I made my appointment and the Geniuses of Apple can sort through this mess.

Let’s keep that little coffee incident between you and me, okay?  People can be kind of fussy about warranties.

An Apple Genius can fix this, right?  I mean, there might be a couple of small pieces missing, but that's no big deal... photo credit: phot0matt via photopin cc

An Apple Genius can fix this, right? I mean, there might be a couple of small pieces missing, but that’s no big deal.  Right?
photo credit: phot0matt via photopin cc


Why I’ll Be Looking for a New Job Next Year

So, I got a new job this year.  Actually, it’s the same job – just at a different place.  I was teaching at my previous school for 13 years, and then got the opportunity to transfer to one closer to my home.  When I was swimming in a sea of boxes in the middle of August, and locked out of my room by a cockroach, it occurred to me that volunteering to change schools was not the most intelligent decision I had ever made.  In my previous school, cockroaches were usually polite enough to die before I encountered them, and I’m pretty sure that I had a lot fewer teaching materials stored in all of the cubbies and walk-in closet than the plethora that suddenly seemed to poised to swallow me and my new, zero-storage room.

But it was too late to go back.  And I adjusted, and made a few medication changes, and prominently displayed an ant farm in the middle of the classroom so the cockroach could make an informed decision about whether or not he wanted to risk another sudden appearance in front of a woman who was not above sticking insects in a transparent prison with fake plastic buildings.

It has taken me until now to realize the true advantage of my new position, and to kick myself for waiting 13 years to make this discovery.

“I love that dress!”

“Wow, you look so fashionable today!”

“You always look so chic!”

“You look beautiful!”

Okay, the last compliment was from a kindergartener who was probably trying to angle a sticker out of me.  But, still.  Suddenly, praise for my wardrobe is greeting me on a daily basis.

And I haven’t bought anything new.

I just plucked out my same ole winter rags that I’ve worn for the last several seasons, and people are acting like I just walked off the runway.  Modeling runway, I mean, of course.  Because if I just walked off a plane runway, I’d probably be tackled by Homeland Security and accused of terroristic acts.  And full body searched.  Which would not be pleasant.  And probably would not make me feel very good about myself or my clothes.

So, anyway, I now realize that, instead of spending money on clothing each season so I won’t blend into the wall because people are so used to me wearing the same 5 outfits, I just need to change jobs every year.  I need to employ my faculties finding a new faculty to employ me, instead of agonizing over new, risky fashion choices.  Consider it my little contribution to the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Movement.

And, maybe, if I can keep this ingenious plan going for the next 5 or 6 years, I’ll save up enough money to buy this sweet little pair of Jimmy Choos.

Maybe I can buy one half of the pair now, and put the other one on layaway? 

What?  You weren’t expecting me to donate the cash to charity or something, did you?


whatimeant2invent #4

So, the other day I mentioned my intention to enlist my 9 year old daughter into “Mom Camp” for the summer.  Then, the other other day, I was with my mother-in-law on a tour of a potential independent living facility (for her, not me), and suddenly – poof! – two ideas met and married each other within seconds in my brain.  It was a match made in heaven.

Actually, it was a match made in the Catholic chapel at the independent living facility.  And if you have followed me for awhile, you will probably be quite surprised that it was only an idea that struck me, and not a bolt of lightning – what with my Harry Potter nativity at Christmas and my attempts to join the Order of the Temple of the Jedi.

Anyway, here’s the idea.  I guess it’s not technically an invention, but oh well.  And I must give some credit to one of my commenters on the Mom Camp post, Time to Be Inspired, who thought, for just a moment, that I was talking about a camp for moms instead of a camp run by Mom.  Easy mistake to make when you think about it.

So, as we were being shown all of the lovely facilities at the independent living site, I grew increasingly convinced that this peaceful place, with all of the amenities (hair salon, library, three dining areas, heated pool, etc…) was exactly the type of place to which I needed to immediately move.

Of course, there’s the problem of the 9 year old daughter.  And the Wonderbutt.  I think I could sneak Mrs. P.I.B. in as a therapy dog – at least until the first thunderstorm, during which the residents would see that she is the one who needs the therapy.

O.K.  So, I can’t live there.  But a month week weekend there would be just the kind of camp  I need.  A camp of peace and quiet with three meals a day and an emergency pull cord in my room in case I get bored am attacked by my viciously inefficient colon.

So, here’s my idea:  PLACES LIKE THIS SHOULD RENT OUT ROOMS TO MOMS!  WHO NEED PEACE AND QUIET!  And don’t want to do archery and karaoke and make a craft like those other “mom” camps advertise.

Think about the money they could make!  They could even have some kind of Frequent Trier Program, where the more times you “try” the place out, the better chance you have getting permanent residency when you’re actually old enough to live there.

Every mom who is reading this KNOWS that this is a great idea.  And someday, when someone else implements it, and makes millions of dollars, you can point out to them that I, Mrs. Cap’n Firepants, mother of Dimples, Wonderbutt and Mrs. P.I.B., was the first one to think of it.

Yet another reason that I am advocating for next month to be Google Search Trauma Awareness Month. Why did this pic show up when I searched for MOM CAMP?
photo credit: ialla via photo pin cc

Mixed Messages from My Wardrobe

The oldest piece of clothing that I own, and still wear occasionally, is a pair of shorts that I don whenever I am painting. Every once in awhile, I throw them on even if I’m not painting, because I might be a bit behind in laundry.  Yesterday was one of those days.  For some reason, I got the lame-brain idea that it might be fun to take the Dog Who Poops as he Walks out for a spin around the block, and those shorts were the only pair that were not in the hamper.  In retrospect, I’m not sure why I cared if I was wearing clean shorts or not, considering the fact that I spent 3/4 of the walk carrying a hefty bag of stinky dog poop.

Those shorts are a size 10.  I hadn’t worn them in a few months, and I was a more than a little discombobulated by the fact that they suddenly seemed to be tight around the waist.  I will be the first to admit that I’ve gained some weight.  But not enough to pop a button in size 10 shorts.  There was no denying, though, that I felt like there was a boa constrictor wrapped around my stomach when I was finally able to fasten them.  According to Painter Shorts, I need to be doing a lot more strolls with the Dog Who Poops as He Walks before I turn into the Girl Who Rolls Down the Street.

My size 2 skirt, purchased 2 days ago, begs to differ.  According to that hot little number, I have nothing to be concerned about.  I should be strutting my stuff more often just to give other people the opportunity to feast their eyes on my lean, slender physique.  The Dog Who Poops as He Walks should be grateful that he is accompanied by the Girl Who Struts Beside Him with Plastic Grocery Bags.

This is what we’ve come to, my friends, a 43-year old body that, ON THE SAME DAY, fits into 2 sizes that should be as far away from each other as Obama and Romney.  No wonder we all have distorted self-images.

Painter Shorts tells me, “This is what happens when you get too big for your britches.  Now, let’s do something before you burst.”

Hot Number Skirt flatters me, makes me feel like a cover model, and pooh-poohs the idea that I might need to cut back a little on the carbs.  It also tells me to ignore the fact that there are Size 00 and Size 000 skirts on the racks that raise their eyebrows in alarm if I even dare to take a peek at their tags.

I’m pretty sure I’m not fat.  And I’m very sure I’m not thin.  I suspect, despite the size 2’s in my closet, that I am somewhere in between.

What would happen, do you think, if we stopped putting sizes on clothing – just stuck them on the rack from smallest to biggest, and shopped for the size that looked like it would fit (instead of the size we hoped or thought would fit)?  Should we start a Size Revolution now, or just wait until the first day we spot a size -1 on the rack?

Angels Cross Here

My sister, Crash, texted this picture that was ostensibly taken near Appalachian State University by someone she knows.

Assuming this is an actual sign, and one of us isn’t being bamboozled, what the heck does it mean?

The guess from her friend was, “Watch out for flying, drinking, hula hooping college drunks.”  At first, I thought that was a bit redundant.  I mean, don’t all drunks hula hoop?

My take was, “Angels cross here, so don’t throw boomerangs at their knees by accident.”

Another possibility, “It’s best to walk in erratic 3/4 circles so raptors won’t land on your shoulder.”

Any other ideas?

By the way, my Spring Membership Drive is still going on.  Yesterday, I snagged one more subscription!  Only 5.988888 million or so to go to reach my goal!  I’d be much obliged if you are a new reader and commit to a subscription!

whatimeant2invent #3

A spray on Knox gelatin for synchronized swimming competitors.  That is my next invention.

When we first got our 9 year old daughter involved in synchronized swimming, we had absolutely no idea what we were getting into.  The first time one of the parents mentioned “knoxing” to me, I thought it was her way of hazing the gullible new mom.  Since then, though, I have found she was not making this story up.  Knoxing is only done for shows or competitions – not for practices.  Which meant that Dimples had two months to fall in love with synchronized swimming before she encountered one of its major drawbacks.  And, by then, it was pretty much too late.

Painting Knox gelatin into the hair keeps it in place during performances.  It does not easily wash out in the pool water, and it’s not harsh on the hair (like the petroleum jelly swimmers used in the Ester Williams days).  With some finesse, it washes out with warm water and shampoo (and a bit of elbow grease).

It is not fun to put on, though.  I actually haven’t done it myself, yet.  I’m afraid I will mix the gelatin and water to the wrong consistency, or burn my daughter, or make it look so horribly gloppy that we will have to start over.  And you really don’t have time to start over when you have an hour before a performance.

Fortunately, for novice moms like me, “knoxing stations” are usually set up somewhere around the pool, and experienced knoxers will do the hair of the younger girls.  It takes a village to do my daughter’s hair because I am apparently bad at putting it into a ponytail and bun as well.  The only thing I don’t screw up too badly is taking pictures.  Although that’s happened before, too…

Dimples' coach painting her hair with Knox.

Knoxing almost finished. They put a lighter layer on the bun, which is also held together with a hair net and approximately 10,000 hairpins.

Knoxing complete. See the headpiece? I put that on. It fell off about 5 seconds into warm-ups, as did the ones on the other two girls' heads that I affixed. My ineptitude is glaringly evident in the Syncrho mom department.

The problem with this whole process – actually, one of many problems, is that, if your child is involved in more than one routine, the Knox starts to get a bit clumpy and gloppy.  It eventually begins to wash out – even when I sternly tell it not to – and there is no way anyone is going to go through the whole knowing process more than once in a day.

That is why my Knox hairspray idea is so good.  And, if you couple it with my first whatimeant2invent idea, the hair-growth stopping pill, you could have a complete beauty empire with these two products.  Come on, Mark Cuban, you know you and your Shark Tank rivals would love to jump on this…

whatimeant2invent #1

I am going to start doing something really stupid.  I know it’s stupid, but this action is to replace an even stupider action – which was actually an inaction.

I am an Idea Person.  When I was kid, I used to dream that I would one day operate a tiny store to which people would come to buy my ideas.  They would walk in, and I would say, “What kind of idea do you need – a story, a new product, a type of building?” They would tell me, and then I would pull out my index card file and find an idea for them.

I’ve given up the dream of my little Idea Store, but I still think of new ideas constantly.  Some of them are story ideas, which I reserve for myself.  Some are teaching ideas, which helps a lot to keep my students on their toes.  But some are ideas with which I have no, uh, idea, how to do anything.

I’ve floated a few on Quirky, which is a great concept, but some of them don’t really fit into the Quirky format.

Over the years, I have been constantly bombarded with my own ideas being flung in my face by other people who also had them and actually knew what to do with them.

Recently, I was reading an article on CNN that showcased some of the most recent innovations being worked on.  One of them was a highway that charges your car.

I had this idea years ago.  I know – you don’t believe me.

Which is why I am going to start flinging my ideas out to the web.  In my head or on my iPad they do no one any good.  So, I am going to release them to the world.  If they love me they’ll come back with lots of money.  If they don’t, well, someone else will probably find a way to make some money.

Here is Idea Number One:  A pill that slows hair growth.  (I’m hoping my very wonderful hair stylist is not reading this because I am honestly not trying to put him out of business.)

But, seriously, think about this ladies.  Less hair cuts per year.  And, even more importantly, less hair coloring to cover the grays that grow out.  And, what about shaving/waxing our legs and other unholy parts?  Lots of money is spent on trying to make hair grow, but has anyone actually looked into making it grow slower?

Idea #1 has now been released.  To those of you who want to use it, it would be nice if you gave me some credit, but I’m pretty sure a blog post is not legally binding.  And to those of you who know about a product that already does this, I would be happy  if you put me out of my misery and inform me right away.

Fast Hare. Oops. Wrong kind of hair. photo credit: oldbilluk via photopin cc

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