Thursday, February 10, 2011

Handheld Hell

I am usually one to embrace modern technology. I like all the fancy gadgets available that are supposed to simplify our lives and the ones that are just kinda cool. There are several new fangled gizmo's that I use through out my day but there is one that I believe to be the workings of the devil himself. Papa Bears high tech universal remote and I DO NOT get along.

It is a lovely looking little contraption. It is the perfect size and shape to comfortably hold in your hand. It has a screen that allows you to load a picture or image as a background to personalize your remote. On that same screen is your list of activities the remote has been programmed to control. It first glance it seems completely harmless.

According to the directions and Papa Bears instructions, you are supposed to be able to touch just one single button to turn on everything you need to watch or listen to a specified component with the TV. Just one single button. Just one. This NEVER happens... OK, I guess I shouldn't say never. Let's say 99% of the time this doesn't happen. There is that 1% surprise that randomly pops up. Those are the times I should be buying lottery tickets because it just seems to be dumb luck when the Devil's Wand actually performs as it should.

Just once I would like the repetitive request of "Mama, Handy Manny. Handy Manny, Mama. Mama, Handy Manny" to be granted with just 1 button. This Never happens... I have tried...several times... After shaking the sh..-heck out of the stupid thing just to get it to power up (the battery doesn't fit properly in its slot and the piece of cardboard helping to hold it in place sometimes shifts) I push the "Watch Shaw Direct" and the TV comes on proceeded by several beeps and lights but alas, no Handy Manny. Now the simple thing to do would be push power and start again or just turn on the things that didn't turn on manually but no. Papa Bear says that when I do that it screws it up. Take a look man! It already IS screwed up! Its just one little screwy screwball of screwed up crap!

To avoid "screwing it up" I have to push the "Help" button. Really? Help turning on the TV? And this is supposed to be more convenient than turning everything on manually? I wouldn't require "help" with that. Pushing the "Help" button now sends me to what seems like a never ending list of questions I must answer. I'm not so good with quizzes at 7:30 in the freaking morning but that is what I must do. "Is the TV on?"
I press "yes".
"Did this fix the problem?"
"Is the Shaw Direct on?"
"Did this fix the problem?"
"No". "Is the DVD/CD on?"
"Did this fix the problem?"
"Is the Audio/Video on?"
"Did this fix the problem?"
" Is the TV tuned to Component 2?"
....and then it goes through asking if each of those items are tuned to their required settings. Ughhhhhhhhhh. I just want Handy freaking Manny - preferably before it is over!

Papa Bear thinks it is just me that can't work the POS (piece of stuff) but the truth is HE is the only one that CAN work it. My friend, Sketch babysat once and had to go through the list of "help". Sketch is quite electronically literate and had trouble with it. My Dad, who also enjoys gadgets made it work but not without a few kinks. It is definitely not just me. Little Bear tries and seems to have more luck than me but not even half the time he attempts.

I am seriously starting to think Papa Bear has placed that Handheld Hell in my living room to drive me further insane than I am already. I don't know how much more I can take before I drop kick the Dastardly Demon remote through the front of Papa Bear's beloved TV.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

For The Love of Bacon

Bacon, bacon, bacon. I love it! I have always loved it and I will likely love it until I'm dead - hopefully not from a bacon induced heart attack.

Apparently my good pal, Chesty McBreasty thinks my love for bacon is unhealthy which is evident by her eye rolls when she asks what I had for lunch and she already knows the answer. According to her it is not normal to have bacon for lunch -just the whole pound. I know its not a great health choice but I love it. If I balance a lunch of bacon with a dinner of veggie filled salad I should be just fine...or at least that's what I tell myself. I would never allow my children to make a meal out of bacon but for me I think it is just fine.

When at a restaurant, if the waitress rhymes off the specials and even one of them includes some form of bacon I'm sold. I like bacon in my salad, in my soup, in my sandwiches, in my wraps, on the side, just about anyway besides beverages and ice cream. I love it!

I'm not prejudice either. I like all kinds of bacon. I'm not a huge fan of things like Maple Bacon and weird stuff like that which I will eat if not given another bacon choice but I like my regular strip bacon and pemeal bacon or "Canadian bacon" the best. While I'm not picky about what kind of bacon I eat I am very picky about how I like it cooked. I don't want any of that floppy limp crap (but I WILL eat it). I want the s*it cooked out it. I want it just a hint before burnt. I want so that if you were to drop it, it would shatter. X's sister used to run a restaurant and would drop my bacon in the deep frier...OMG...the BEST bacon you will ever have!

For Christmas I received a jar of "bacon salt" so I might turn less traditional items into bacony goodness like popcorn or tuna sandwiches or tacos or pasta or just a piece of toast. I'm not above sprinkling bacon salt over my fruits and veggies either. I have to say bacon flavoured cuccumbers or cauliflower sounds pretty damn good to me. The possibilities are endless.

Sorry this is such a short posting but I need to stop writing about bacon. I am suddenly having a hankering for some deep fried, bacon salted, greasy, bacon with a side of bacon.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Stupid Smart Meters

So the Ontario government has come up with a plan to "create a culture of energy conservation in the province" by attaching this wretched little metal box know as a "Smart Meter" to the side of our houses which tracks our energy usage. Basically this means if you don't want to pay through the nose for your hydro you have to put off using energy sucking appliances until after 9pm on weekdays or on weekends. While I appreciate their mission I do not appreciate their "off-peak" times.

Currently I do laundry almost all day most days and if I miss a few days then non-stop all day everyday. My dishwasher runs at twice a day most days and if I actually cook a big meal which produces more dishes than usual it could run more than that. With all day to do these things I rarely make it to bed before 1am and never before midnight. When I work I leave before the "off-peak" time starts and don't get home until 10 or 11 at night. If I'm not supposed to do my household chores through the day to avoid high rates then I'm going to have to start at 10 or 11 and instead of going to bed at 1am I'm looking at more like 4am by the time I'm done what needs doing during "off-peak" periods.

I know, lots of people run their dishwashers and washing machines while they are in bed sleeping. Knowing people who have had monstrous flooding and other issues while doing so has made me a bit leery. I have rotten luck to start with, there is no need to tempt fate.

I'm sure I will get used to the lack of sleep eventually. Nobody likes change and needs time to adjust orrrrrr maybe I will just stop doing the laundry and dishes and with the money I'll be saving by not using "on-peak" energy I can just buy my family new clothes and paper plates.

From what I have read about these meters they are attached to the sides of all residential homes and small businesses. How is that fair? They should be attached to the sides of office buildings and department stores. They are the one sucking all the in demand "on-peak" energy so they too should be forced to conserve or pay for it like the rest of us. Maybe I can take my laundry and dishes to be done during the day to Sears since they don't have to pay extra for the "on-peak" energy and I could serve as part of their demonstration team. I think it would increase sales for customers to be able to see the appliances in action, no?

If you want my opinion (if you are reading my blog than you must), it is just stupid to make only some of us smart about our energy usage. What's good for the goose is good for the gander or shove your stupid Smart Meters up your....nose!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Time For Some Catch Up

Last week some dude from some web company sent me an email asking if they could advertise on my blog. I responding that I didn't think my blog was a good fit to advertise his site and that the blog has been dormant for almost 5 months. 5 months? 5 freaking months? That's the longest I have gone without blogging since I started this almost 2 years ago. I think its time for a little catch up. Be warned this may be a little unorganized and a whole bit scattered but here is the update:

We have been spending a lot of time (and money) on the never ending addition renovation to our house that started in June. It is still not complete and I am beginning to wonder if Papa Bear is trying to extend this project so that our first grandchild can have a hand in the construction. Our bedroom is done, the family room is done and the office is done. The bathroom is 1/2 done and the basement has miles to go. We also have half a roof to finish and almost the entire old part of the house to finish residing. I love the parts that are done and I hate the parts that are not.

Since I quit my day job last summer i was finally able to do something I have wanted to do since Little Bear started school and that was to volunteer and spend time in the boys' school. I'm just helping make snacks on Wednesday mornings but its been great. If I had known what a big smile it would put on my kids' faces to see their mama in the hallway at school I think I would have figured out a way to make it happen before now. I also got to go on my first field trip which I almost had to opt out of because both Little Bear's and Fuzzy's classes were going on the same field trip on the same day putting me in a position where I had to choose which boy to go with. The boys and I made a deal that I would go with whichever classes was more in need of volunteers. It turned out Little Bear's class had lots of parents and Fuzzy's had hardly any which put me on the trip with the Junior Kindergartens. It was a fun day.

I worked a ton before Christmas. Actually I worked a ton from May until before Christmas and now, like my blog, business has been pretty dormant. This time of year is a slow time for the home party business but this is getting a bit much. I went from working 15-20 days out of a month to working 1-2 nights a month. That is putting a huge dent in my spending budget and I'm getting a bit of cabin fever. Even my Magic Pumpkin is trying to tell me I need to get out of the house more when it decides not to start after sitting without being started for 3 days. I know most people are thinking 3 days is not a long time to be home bound but for me it is unheard of. From the day I got my licence about 12 years ago, I haven't spent 3 consecutive days at home without being sick with the flu or some other debilitating illness. It doesn't help when my few close friends are really busy and I am not.

My little bears have been sick a bit this winter. Mostly with just colds and coughs and a quick but mighty bout of the flu. Basically I have bought more than my quota of tissue and Tylenol. I'm also getting used to checking the shoulder of my sweater for Wee One's snot wipes before going out and washing my hands until there isn't any skin left on them. Little Bear actually missed 2 days of school due to illness this year and that is unusual for him.

Most recently we have had a decent amount of snow dumped on us. Most people bellyache about winter and snow but I love it. If I didn't already love living in the country, winter in the country would do it. More snow and less shovelling. Its great to stand at the window with the boys and watch Grandpa push the snow out of the driveways with the tractor from the warmth of the house. Until this week I had forgotten we even had a shovel. Since we live in the country my boys take a bus to school - Snow = fun, Too much snow = Snow day...not so much fun (for me anyway).

There hasn't really been too much else going on here. I got glasses - just another reminder that I'm getting older and closer to that terrible birthday that is creeping up on me. I had top sales at my job for 4 months in a row. That was pretty cool. I learned to geocache (to me a form of treasure hunting) with my baby brother. I did a home party fundraiser for someone I wasn't sure I wanted to do one for which turned out really great both from a business and a personal prospective. I didn't make a New Year's resolution that I was going to break anyway.

That's about it. That's the last almost 5 months in a nut shell. I guess you can see now that my lack of material is the reason for my absence. Hopefully something exciting and blog worthy comes up soon so I can get back into the grove. For now consider yourself caught up.