August 31, 2006
Tonight beloved husband tried to the best of his ability to install a towel bar in the downstairs bathroom. You must understand that he is very good at this sort of thing. He takes his time, he checks the parts, he used the template that came in the box to get the hangers level. He predrilled the holes in the wall... everything. Very meticulous - because he's an engineer and that's the way he does things.
He gets the hangers up on the wall solidly, gets the right side of the bar holder pushed into place, with much effort. Puts the bar in the holder, slips the other side onto the bar, places it on the hanger and... it absolutely will NOT click into place. The second side refuses to set into the hanger.
We tried everything making it looser, making it tighter. He pushed with all his strength... and left a ring mark on the wall. But the towel bar refuses to work - period. Tomorrow I'm taking it back. What a waste of time and money. Oh yeah, I'll get my money back, but we're out our time (which I consider to be very valuable), not to mention gas... all because some moron got cute with a hanger design.
I can't tell you how annoyed I am right now. I want to find the person who designed this and slap them silly. It wouldn't change anything - but I would sure feel better. Sheesh.
Girl 2: "Is there really something to eat in the car?"
Mom: "Yes, remember the chicken and bacon."
Both Girls together: "Goodie"
Me thinking: "Good heavens."
August 30, 2006
August 29, 2006
Not the part about President Bush attending a wedding. Not even the part about the protesters showing up.
No, what should scare you and scare you big time is this
For me, June marked the first month I don’t dare leave the house without a hijab, or headscarf. I don’t wear a hijab usually, but it’s no longer possible to drive around Baghdad without one. It’s just not a good idea. (Take note that when I say ‘drive’ I actually mean ‘sit in the back seat of the car’- I haven’t driven for the longest time.) Going around bare-headed in a car or in the street also puts the family members with you in danger. You risk hearing something you don’t want to hear and then the father or the brother or cousin or uncle can’t just sit by and let it happen. I haven’t driven for the longest time. If you’re a female, you risk being attacked.
I look at my older clothes- the jeans and t-shirts and colorful skirts- and it’s like I’m studying a wardrobe from another country, another lifetime. There was a time, a couple of years ago, when you could more or less wear what you wanted if you weren’t going to a public place. If you were going to a friends or relatives house, you could wear trousers and a shirt, or jeans, something you wouldn’t ordinarily wear. We don’t do that anymore because there’s always that risk of getting stopped in the car and checked by one militia or another.
The slow creep of Sharia working its way into a society. It starts with the hijab... it starts with trying to blend in and not call unwanted attention to yourself. It starts with trying to keep a low profile to keep yourself and your family safe.
It seems like such a small thing - covering the head. It seems like it shouldn't be an issue to "go with the flow". The problem is, it doesn't stop there. If you notice, River has already had given up driving. Once the hijab is established, the noose is around the neck. That's when the slow strangling begins. That's when more and more rights are taken away until, as a woman, you have nothing - you are nothing.
If you are a woman blogger, if you are a blogger who believes that everyone should have an equal opportunity in life - I urge you to link to River's post. Make a commotion, shine the light on this slow creep of the enslavement of women in Bagdad. Because it is nothing less. And there should be a tremendous outcry from the civilized world. There should be pure outrage from every liberated woman in the world. This is wrong.
Congratulations Matt I can't wait to read it!
August 28, 2006
Now mind you, the problem was there when we bought the place and we knew it would have to be fixed. This is the only place around the house with gutters, the rest of the house has direct run off for various reasons.
We have these issues -
one - there is some rot that can be seen on 2 of the side boards - we think there's a good possiblility the facia boards need replacing too - but we can't tell
two - the gutter itself is pulling way in spots and needs to be fixed. Plus a couple of down spouts need to be made bigger to accomodate a fast flow
Currently, most of the run off goes behind the gutter and falls directly onto the back deck. Not good.
So, we had a gutter guy come by today. He was doing an estimate for us. Apparently he's all about the gutters. He doesn't do any wood work, which is fine, except for 2 things.
When I asked him about carpenters to do the wood work - he couldn't recommend a single person - not one! How is it that he doesn't know anyone? I have got to think that this happens to more people than just us.
Next he was really pushing to have us do the gutters - right now. His "rationale" is that it will stop any further wood deterioration. When I said I thought we should do things in order and get the wood done first - he was practically jumping up and down to tell me that it wasn't necessary, that he could do the gutters now and we could get the wood done in the spring. It was explained at great length to me - that fall was the time of year when all the workmen were booked solid (which made me wonder how he even had time for me) and I would have real trouble finding ANY carpenter available before next spring... right.
Mind you, the 2 pieces of wood you can see that are visibly deteriorated are on the ends and don't hold the gutter, but he's talking about putting in a flashing so, if the wood is replaced later, the flashing would have to be removed and reinstalled. How does that make any sense at all? Not to mention, if the facia board needs replacing and he does the gutters now - they would still have to be pulled down and the board replaced then replace the gutter... double work.
Am I missing something here? I have no idea what kind of work he does - we hadn't gotten into references - this was just an estimate. But I don't like to do stuff ass-backward.
I suppose our next endeavor will be to find a carpenter and see what a wood expert has to say about the issue. And I think we'll stick with working our way outward from the house - do the wood first and then the gutters.
Why is it always such a pain to get work done on a house? I have yet to be able to find anyone anywhere who can recommend a good person for anything. I've asked others about things like plumbing, electric, painting, etc etc. Does ANYONE ever have any work done on their house? I can't get a single even lukewarm endorsement of anyone who does work on houses. This stuff annoys me.
Last night, just for grins, I hit the web browser. I nearly fell off the chair when the darn thing connected! I didn't think it would work because I can't make phone calls (the signal is sporadic enough that a regular call drops as soon as I answer - on a good day I can get an entire sentence out... like "hello" before it hangs up).
Since I wasn't expecting a connection I didn't really know what to do at first, so I browsed over to Instapundit's pda page which worked just fine. Then I set up my VPN to work - that will let me use my Treo to download email when I'm on the road... I got right in! Yay!
I nearly set up the email client until I realized I wanted to wait for my expansion card to arrive - I will need to put the mailbox on the expansion card so I don't overload the internal memory. (this would be because I have friends who are very active emailers - it's a wonderful thing, but does take up space).
On checking Amazon tracker - I see that my expansion card is in the state - so I am hopeful I will receive it today or tomorrow. Then I can get the email set and tested. And - even better - start adding pictures to the phone numbers. When a known number calls me - it will display the picture too.
It only takes some little things like this to keep me happily occupied for hours. I can fiddle around with this stuff forever and not get tired of it. I also downloaded some great security software that will allow me to lock things up whenever I need to - or even to remotely send a message and either lock or lock and destroy the data on the Treo. Very cool.
Now if you'll excuse me - I should get back to work. Then I'll do some Sudoku... yes the only game I've downloaded sudoku for palm - where I can mess about with puzzles that are huge time wasters - gotta love it.
August 27, 2006
Let's just state the bleedin' obvious...
I don't know too many people who travel without toiletries, this means people MUST check bags unless they want to buy all that stuff when they arrive at their destination. And since we're like Sherlock Holmes we can deduce that if you check your bag... ... ... you won't be carrying it on the plane with you! Geeze, what a waste of news space.
A better use would have been to tell us how many more bags are being lost and how much more is being stolen because people MUST check bags. You know that each of those numbers has risen dramatically. Heaven forbid that news people actually dig that info out for us and let us know what our chances might be of arriving with our possessions in tact.
August 25, 2006
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The armed undercover officers who protect U.S. airlines against attack no longer have to fear being overdressed. They've been told they can ditch their suits for outfits that blend in with their fellow travelers' attire.
"The manner of dress should allow you to blend in and not direct attention to yourself, as well as be sufficiently functional to enable you to conduct your law enforcement responsibilities, and effectively conceal your duty equipment," he said in a memo to air marshals that was obtained by Reuters.
They complained that passengers, particularly on flights to vacation destinations or on low-budget airlines, could easily identify them because they were clean cut and dressed in business attire.
Considering the way I've seen people dress at the airport, it seems that any clothing that covers your body would be suspicious and cause attention to be directed your way. People wear the most incredibly awful stuff when they travel. They go for skin tight with belly and hips showing, all the way to pajama loose with even more belly and hips showing. I have to say - if I'm traveling - I do not want to see these bellies or hips - it's just gross. Why people want to display their disgusting flab to the world is beyond me.
Then they wonder why they're treated like morons by the airlines. You are going to be treated the way that you look. If you look like the only effort you can be bothered to make is to wear clothes that make you look outlandish, you have set the agenda for your dealings with everyone you meet. You will not be taken seriously. Period.
I feel sorry for the Air Marshalls - although wearing blue jeans and shirts with jackets will very likely cause them to blend in a bit more. They'd have to go way down the dress scale to get anywhere near today's regular passenger. I nearly feel over dressed when I wear blue jeans and t-shirts... and I don't feel like I'm dressed nice enough if I travel this casually. I prefer business casual when I travel... although depending on what we're doing, I don't always dress that way.
Air marshals have also criticized policies that made them identify themselves at the airport, and sometimes at hotels. Brown said he could not immediately change boarding procedures, which have been criticized for forcing marshals to enter the jetway to the airplane in full view of passengers waiting to board.
They do need to change the way the Air Marshalls are seated - since it appears that all you have to do watch to see who is headed down the jetway early (before seating calls). This is just stupid. They should have a method of entering the terminal that doesn't involve the usual security lines. And once they are in the gate area, they should be seated like any other passenger - but with the first boarding group.
Once again - we have insecure security. It isn't fair to the Air Marshalls to expose them in this manner. But I really have to wonder what they'll end up wearing as their own "business attire".
August 23, 2006
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) - Dutch F-16s escorted a Northwest Airlines flight bound for India back to an airport here Wednesday after the pilot radioed for help, and police arrested 12 passengers who had aroused suspicions, authorities said.
Then of course there are these other recent events on planes...
Several alerts have been sounded since the terrorism plot was outlined in London. On Friday, a British plane made an emergency landing in southern Italy after a bomb scare, and the U.S. Air Force scrambled jets to escort a United Airlines flight from London to Washington as it was diverted to Boston.
Wednesday's security alert was the first at Amsterdam's international airport since September, when a British Airways flight returned in similar circumstances. It turned out to be a false alarm.
What do all of these have in common?
Oh c'mon surely you see it too...
Not a single person in any of the news stories about airline threats has been stopped by "airport security screeners" prior to them boarding the planes. Plus, none of the passengers or crew believes that the "security screening" works.
If airport security worked the way people are told, none of these suspicious people would have gotten on the planes. No one would be looking for terrorists amongst us while looking for seat 14A. But it doesn't work, and there's no way it ever will work in it's present form.
Tell me again... what are we paying these people to do?
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