Saturday, May 30, 2009

New Sheets part 2

So those sheets I bought from BB&B for $15. . . (see post "New Sheets", May 22, 2008)

They're terrible. They shred to bits. Before I wash them I have to vacuum them so as not to clog the washing machine or dryer lint trap. My Dad says you get what you pay for with paint. I found this to be true with sheets.

So, I bought some newer sheets: $60 at Costco. They are so nice. I prefer the color over the chipper BB&B sheets, and they are the perfect friction coefficient--not too rough, not too slick, but just right. They're probably the equivalent of the $100-120 sheets at BB&B, and I am so happy. So really, if you do the math, I spent $75 to get the sheets that I was eventually satisfied with. Not a bad price, considering.

The experience of shopping at Costco was much better, as well. Costco makes decision-making easy by narrowing down the choices. In the sheet section, there were only 4 colors to choose from and two styles. It only took me 5 minutes to decide (as opposed to 45 at BB&B). Check out if you need validation that you're not the only one.

So, word to the wise: buy the good sheets. You spend a lot of time in bed, might as well make it comfortable.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

On blogs

Edit, edit, edit. No amount of editing is too much--4 or 5 people may read the blog.

Make it funny. You don't want people to get bored and not make it to the end of the post. The last line or paragraph should send them away chuckling to themselves, like good Broadway sends you away whistling.

Moderate embellishment is acceptable if it makes the humor more robust.

Don't get discouraged if nobody writes comments--everyone writes blogs that bomb from time to time. Just keep at it. It is a skill, and like any skill, requires practice, focus and hard work to improve. You can do it. Keep writing. Keep editing.

Use the "Link:" box to refer to refer to funny websites. This enhances the reader's experience by providing additional content in an interactive way.

Avoid reading too many Mommy blogs--they're not the highest quality writing and may make you lazy about your own. Look for more crafted writing, like, to guide you.

As you mature as a blogger, you will find the joy of spending way too much time writing and editing entries that may attract not more than one hand's worth of readers. As Despair, Inc, has said about blogging, "Never before have so many people, with so little to say, said so much to so few." But with time and effort you may get a blog-following of your immediate family and a friend or two. Keep it up--blog, blog, blog.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


I was going for the screwdriver in the butler pantry. Apparently, the butler pantry door did not want me to get the screwdriver and let me know in no uncertain terms. As I opened the door--admittedly with some force--the top three hinges released while the bottom one held. Down came the door to my forehead with a wack. "Is there blood?" one of the parents, who had just sat down for lunch, asked. I wasn't sure, so I reached up to the bonked forehead. Yep. I applied pressure with the palm of my hand as I had seen my Dad do years ago when he sustained a wound to the forehead. (Parents--your children notice what you do. You can teach them so much without words.) Like my Dad, I walked over to the sink, hand on forehead, to let the blood fall harmlessly down the drain.

Fortunately, it was not nearly as bad as that Labor Day, but it certainly brought the memories back. On the way to the ER we told stories of that day, how there was a flap on Dad's head, Holly being so interested in the cauterizing machine, the alarm going off at the house and the police walking through discovering the blood stained bathroom (there was blood on the wall, one person reminded us). "Well, Dad," I said, "this is something we both share--forehead lacerations."

We went to the new IHC hospital complex in Murray. It wasn't too busy. I walked to the desk to check-in and removed the paper towel to show the nurse. "Looks like we need to sew you up. Do you have some photo ID?" I guess they wanted to make sure that it was really me and that I wasn't just posing for someone else who was supposed to get sewed up. After looking at my driver's license, they determined that it was me and sent me back to Triage Room 3. One guy came in, sat down at the computer and started asking me questions. Do I have any major medical problems? "Um. . . no." Do I take any medication? I listed three. Am I allergic to any medications? "Not that I know of." Have I ever had surgery? "When I broke my leg." Have I had a tetanus shot in the last 10 years? "Yes, when I shot the nail through my thumb." He didn't look at the wound.

I met a very nice woman who explained all about what she would do and what Dr. Boyd would do. She would give me some numbing shots (which hurt, actually), then Dr. Boyd would sew it up. Soon to be Pte and Hma Hinckley couldn't decide if they should stay in the room and watch. "This will be good practice for you," said Dad to Mom. "You're the medical chief." They both stayed.

Dr. Boyd put a few stitches under the skin, then sewed up the surface with 10 more. Some other guy came and put "Steri-Strips" on it. The nice woman came back and put a huge band-aid over it. I'm not supposed to get it wet. Tape some plastic over it in the shower, she said, to avoid that. Come back in 5 days to get the stitches out. For the next 6-8 months I should take 50-60 SPF sunscreen everywhere I go and apply it liberally--this will help minimize the scarring.

The incident did bring about something I've been hoping for. Mom said that I may have to gut the kitchen and re-do it while their gone. "It would be pleasure."


Some things must be done right. For example:
  • Driving routes. They must be the absolute most efficient way to get there. You gotta know the roads. You must be aware of the traffic patterns during the various times of the day, like morning and evening rush hour. I detest back-tracking because it is geographically inefficient. Of course, it can be condoned if it is more time efficient than a more direct route. Take the same route to the airport every time. When you are taking the 6:00 am flight, this will avoid unnecessary route planning for a tired head that was probably up until midnight packing.
  • Absolutely and under no circumstances must you resize electronic pictures that include circles so as to obscure the circle into an oval. Doing so immediately reveals your unprofessional lack of sensitivity to image integrity and basic computer skills. If you don't know how to resize the image, let someone else make the flyer.
  • Daily maintenance routines must be performed efficiently. This means lining up activities in the proper order. Shampoo hair first, then soap body in the following sequence: left arm, right arm, chest, stomach, back, left leg, right leg, face and neck. Pants first, then shirt. This allows you to loop the belt without having to lift up the shirt. This process must be reversed, however, when dressing for Sunday. In that case, the shirt must come first so you can simply pull up the trousers over the shirt, avoiding any unnecessary tucking or adjusting. Left sock, right sock, left shoe, right shoe. Always tie left first so as not to get things out of sequence, requiring you to re-think what must come next and hence slowing down the entire process.
  • Trying to scrub every plate, fork and knife is too time consuming, so just rinse those off and stick 'em in the dishwasher. Leave the pans for last, hand washing them and counter dry them.
  • Click the alarm clock volume to "Lo" before setting the alarm. This lessens the annoying sound of the voice that announces each number as you rotate to the correct time. Be sure to switch it back to "HI" so you're certain to hear it in the morning.
  • CD's must always be upright in their jewel case or CD holder. If they are randomly rotated then it strains your eyes and neck to read the artists and titles, especially for those who are not familiar with your library.
  • Pay attention to the "Artist" column in your iTunes library. If you do not, then you might end up with several names for one artist and you won't know which song or album is under which version of the artist's name. For example, "The Mormon Tabernacle Choir," and "Mormon Tabernacle Choir." If you have not adjusted the names, then when you're looking for Amazing Grace, you may have to look under several Choir entries--highly inefficient. Double check the album names, as well. A little work while importing songs can save you a lot of time finding them later.
  • Wallet goes in the left front pocket; the iPod too, when necessary. Keys and phone go in the front right pocket. Change, when carried, goes in the left. Don't put your wallet in your back pocket--it can misadjust your chiropractically aligned back. Save the back pockets for receipts, small screws and guitar picks.
  • Put the toilet paper on so that the end lays on the front side not the back--it saves time and energy.
  • Fold shirts in half, pants in thirds. For hanging pants: those with creases, hang according to the creases. For no crease pants, fold them out (the front of the pants facing out). Wrinkles are less likely with this approach.
  • Getting in the car: sit, door shut, keys in and start, (lights if needed), belt, (if present, iPod into FM transmitter, choose playlist, radio to 89.5, volume), in gear, check left side blind spot, go, adjust climate control, adjust volume again if needed. Getting out of the car: park, lights off, keys out, belt off, (disconnect iPod), open door, get out/lock doors, (put iPod in front left pocket).
  • In Windows, always open the browser first with gmail on the first tab. That way, you can quickly and easily navigate to your inbox when the notification window appears on the bottom right hand corner. At work, Open Outlook first so it's the left most button on the Start Bar for the same reason. Try to open links in new tabs as opposed to new windows (except Google Calendar). Sometimes this requires a right-click and choosing the option "Open link in new tab." This keeps the desktop and the Start Bar from getting cluttered.
  • Always keep the milk in the same place. This avoids confusion in blurry-eyed mornings.
  • Always click "Preview" before you post a blog to make sure the layout works. Edit if necessary.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


I worry about a lot of things. Here are some examples:
  • Dropping my keys in the sewer drain in parking lots
  • Hitting a sewer drain on my bike
  • That others think I am shoplifting. To avoid this, I walk slowly out of stores with my hands in clear view.
  • Running out of soap in the shower
  • Running out of toilet paper
  • Not getting up on time to go to work
  • Forgetting something important at work
  • Locking my keys in my car. I keep an extra key in my wallet for this purpose.
  • Someone breaking into my house and stealing my computer. They would probably do it during the day when I'm at work.
  • When I was in Junior High - getting AIDS. They had all those sex ed classes that told you if you got AIDS you died. There was that show "Go Toward the Light" of that little boy who got AIDS from a blood transfusion. I worry about getting it when other people are bleeding.
  • Stepping in dog doo-doo
  • Losing one glove
  • What I'm going to eat for lunch
  • What I'm going to eat for dinner
  • Getting in a car accident
  • Plumbing problems, especially bursting pipes. I don't like how they're all in the walls and ceilings and floors and that you can't see them. There's no way to know if there is a problem until it's catastrophic.
  • House fires. I keep my bedroom door closed at night for this reason, just like they taught you in elementary school.
  • Moose attacking me while hiking alone
  • Forgetting my eye drops
  • Dropping my iPod
  • My iPod getting stolen
  • Identity theft, credit card theft, etc.