Kindle Fire…my newest toy

Kindle Fire: Out of the Box

Kindle Fire: Out of the Box (Photo credit: Brian Sawyer)

Who knew I’d need want another tech toy?  I mean really, how many ways do I need to be connected to the internet?  But I’ve been looking at them for a while now and finally decided to take the plunge.  I have to admit it’s pretty cool.   It was so easy to set up.  Maybe because I already had a Kindle eReader?  Anyhow, I’m pleased with it, with the look of the pictures, the speed, and how easy it is to use.  I may even read the user’s manual at some point in time, but maybe not.

I’m having fun with it.  Unfortunately, Clara came over and wanted to play with it.  When I told her no (hey, I’m selfish that way), she got mad.  Then she asked me if I’d buy one for her (ha, as long as it took to buy one for myself, good luck, kid).  I really never did like to share my toys.

It’s the cat’s meow

I’m sure I’m the only person who hadn’t already seen the commercials for the nifty new product called The Cat’s Meow.  It’s a simple device designed to give your cats hours of playful exercise.  I first heard about it on someone’s blog (I’m so sorry that I can’t remember the blog) and wondered if my kitties would enjoy it.  Then I forgot about it until we got it in our store as part of the As Seen On TV merchandise we carry.

Anyhow, I ended up buying it at work yesterday.  I came home super tired last night so just sat the box on the counter.  Got up this morning and thought I’d pull it out and put it together for the kitties to play with.  Oh, right…C batteries.  Let’s see, I’ve got AA, AAA, D, 9V…but no C.  Needed to go to the grocery store anyhow, so picked up a 4-pack of batteries (it takes 3).

I put the batteries in and turned it on for them.  They just sat there and watched it at first.  But they finally got brave enough to touch the little wand moving under the layer of fabric.  After a while they seemed to think it was fun.

"Come on, Spook...let's trap it."

“Come on, Spook…let’s trap it.”


So I was thinking I’d managed to find something fun for them to do to entertain themselves…$20 for the Cat’s Meow itself, another $4 or so for the batteries.  Then the UPS guy showed up with a couple of boxes on my Subscribe and Save orders from Amazon. One of the boxes was fairly large.  I took everything upstairs and put the things I’d ordered away.  Next thing I knew, both cats were playing in the box and with the packing paper that came wrapped around some of the merchandise.  Why do I always forget that I can just give them an empty cardboard box and some newspaper and they’re purrfectly content?  Head thump!

There’s a reason they call it work

It's just around the corner...

It’s just around the corner… (Photo credit: ecstaticist)

It sure felt like work today (and yesterday and the day before…).  On what was a day off work for a lot of folks, it was another busy day for us.  People rushing through the doors as soon as we unlocked them.  I know we had some good bargains and a lot of people have already started their Christmas shopping, but I’m just not into it yet.

Unfortunately for us, we had a huge delivery today (I know, I know…you might think they wouldn’t send a shipment on a holiday when they know it’s going to be crazy busy.  But, if you happened to think that, you’d be wrong…way wrong.).  The store did not look its best.  It really bothers me when our customers have to run an obstacle course to get to what they want.  I know I hate it when I go into a store and it looks like that.  But that’s another story for another time.

With everything going on, I was exhausted by the time I left.  And, uh, yeah…in more than a little pain as well.  I’ve taken some meds for my pain, but am still fighting it.  I think the weather may be contributing to my increased pain levels too.  They’re talking a little snow tonight.  NO!!  I don’t want snow.  But not a lot I can do about that, is there?  I guess I need to go to bed and try to get a good night’s sleep, but I’m still wide awake.  I’ve got one more day to work before I get a day off.

I know I need to take care of myself, but oh my!  I have so much that needs to be done at work.  It just seems like a lot of, oh you know, work.  I guess they really do call it that for a reason.

Great customer service at Amazon

Image representing Amazon as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Seriously, you usually hear about customer service issues when the customer service leaves something to be desired.  But not today.  Nope, I’m pretty happy with my experience today.  I had a package that was supposed to have been delivered last week, but I was so sick that I didn’t really look into it until yesterday.  I logged into my UPS account to track the package.  UPS said it was delivered and that someone with a name other than mine signed for it.  So I thought I’d check and see if the UPS driver had dropped the package off at the office.  No…didn’t happen.

So I went on to email them about the situation, explaining that I live by myself and that it’s not possible that someone at my house would have signed for the package, that it hadn’t been signed for at the office or by any of my neighbors.  And I asked them what they were going to do about it.

Well, after checking my email several times today with no response from UPS, I decided to contact Amazon directly.  I clicked on help, then on one of the links there to contact customer service…had the option of email, phone call, or chat.  I chose chat and was connected with Fidel.  After asking a couple of questions, Fidel was able to immediately order a replacement for me at no cost and I’ll get it Monday.  Wow!  He apologized for the inconvenience and set it all up…quick, easy, and exactly what I was hoping for.

Do I appreciate great customer service?  You bet I do!  Will I continue to shop at Amazon?  Heck yeah!!

I’m a dork…need proof?

Fashion Hairstyles for 2012

Fashion Hairstyles for 2012 (Photo credit: Agnes Jr)

Okay, this isn’t really something that I relish admitting.  I try to be this ultra-cool, sophisticated, modern, with-it chick…but somehow it never works out.  Yeah, I get the adorably chic hair style but refuse to take the time to style it myself…I mean, really…do you know how long it takes to use all of those expensive hair styling appliances every morning before work???  Do you???

And I go to these fancy schmancy stores to look at clothes, thinking I’ll walk out with new threads on my back and totally be stylin’…but no, it never works that way.  I end up buying the same old comfortable, safe, unstylish styles….so people never even know that I’ve bought new clothes, all of my clothes look alike.

I don’t go to clubs, very rarely go to parties…and the parties I go to are usually family parties or parties thrown by close friends (and really, aren’t close friends pretty much family anyhow?).  You’ll have to search high and low to find me in a spa or resort.  Manicure?  Pedicure?  Wow…when I wore nail polish almost every day it ended up damaging my normally strong, healthy nails…so I gave up the nail polish except for special occasions…and those don’t come around very often in my life…thank goodness.

Okay, if none of the above will convince you that I’m a dork…here’s the clincher…back in the day, in my teens and early twenties, I was practically an Osmond groupie!  Yep, there, I’ve admitted it…there’s no taking it back.  We (my friends shall remain nameless to protect their über sophisticated reputations) would travel around to see them every summer…trying to find out what hotel they were staying in (and we were usually successful in that regard), following them around…even staying on the same floor as they  did once…yep…kind of a stalker kind of thing going on here now that I think about it.  But we were kids…they were kids (well, okay…not really)…we were out having a good, safe time…our mothers loved us!  Think about it, instead of having dorks for daughters they could have had party animals that they had to spend every minute worrying about…that’s it…I became a dork for my mom…yes!  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it~


And now it’s time for the weekend

2008 Calendars

2008 Calendars (Photo credit: Scott Ingram Photography)

Okay, I know it’s not really the weekend…really, I do.  But since we’ve changed over to a new 4 week rotation of our work schedule, I have a difficult time figuring out what day of the week it is.  I worked all weekend…will have to work 3 out of 4 weekends a month…had to work today too.  And now I have 2 days off.  Thank you, Chris for giving me two days off together…that makes all the difference.  But it sure does play mind games with me.  It just seems like tomorrow is Saturday since I have 2 days off…

Hey, you don’t have to tell me…I know I’m lucky to have a job when so many folks don’t.  And I do appreciate it…but you better believe I’m still in the market for a promotion to store manager…keep your fingers crossed for me, would you?

I’m planning to get outside early and do some work in my “garden”…how in the world can the weeds grow so fast?  (Hmm…blog idea, with pictures)  And I need to do a little housework (okay, really I need to do a lot of housework), and I want to run over to Sahara Mart to pick up a few things…I’ve simply got to get back to eating healthier and exercising…no time like the present for that, is there?

I also want to take a little time to relax, maybe read a bit on my Kindle…which I’m loving, by the way.  It’s probably about time to plan another vacation.  I’ve been thinking about going down to Nashville, TN…do a little research for my book maybe? We’ll see!

So I hope you have a peaceful, productive, pain-free day tomorrow…that’s my hope for all of us!

Trippin’ at WalMart

A picture of the inside of a remodeled Walmart...

A picture of the inside of a remodeled Walmart in Miami, Florida. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First, allow me to say, I hate shopping at WalMart!  With a passion!  Yes, they have low prices…but that’s the only positive I see in shopping there.  Customer service is nonexistent.  Invariably, something that I want (or several things I want) are out of stock.  The stores are much too large for a quick trip…whatever I want is going to be in the far corner…always.  They have hundreds of check-out lanes and usually have only 2 or 3 open.  Long lines, long waits…

Having said all of that, I did make my once quarterly shopping trip to WalMart today.  I’ve been putting it off for something like two weeks now.  I’ve told myself I was too tired after work to face the mobs there.  On my days off, I’ve convinced myself that I will stop after work the next day, then, that day, I can’t make myself do it.  So, this morning, I got up, got ready and headed out the door before I could talk myself out of making the trip.

Were they busy?  Of course.  As busy as they would be this afternoon?  Probably not.   Surprisingly, I was unable to get only one item on my list (do I take a list?  You betcha!  I’m not walking up and down all of those aisles and buying more than I need) and I was able to pick it up at Kroger for just about the same price.

It didn’t take me as long as I thought it would.  And of the 3 check-out lanes open, the one I walked up to got me through pretty quickly.  Yes!!

But, let me ask you a question…do you think the people who shop at WalMart view that as the kind of store where you don’t really have to get dressed to go shopping?  I didn’t get all dolled up to go there, but I did throw on some clean clothes and a little make-up, styled my hair, you know, the basics.  Women there with rather large busts wearing skimpy little spaghetti strap tops (of course with their bellies showing), short shorts that were very tight and left nothing to the imagination.  One lady was wearing a t-shirt with food on it (actual food, not a picture of food)…and yes, Simone, the pajamas, always the pajamas…altho, I must say, I see this everywhere…I live in a major college town and this has become a common look.

Am I being too critical?  Maybe.  I’d love to have the body confidence to feel comfortable wearing things like that (well, maybe not the food on my shirt) in public…I try not to judge people by how they look, goodness knows, I’ve had those judgements made about me in the past.  And ultimately, I guess it’s no one else’s business how you dress.  But sometimes it is kind of funny!!

You better deck those halls

christmas 2007

Image by paparutzi via Flickr

Well folks, the countdown has begun.  It’s now only 13 days until Christmas and, since today is almost over, you might even say it’s only 12 days…but who’s counting, right?  Have you got your tree up?  (I do, mine was easy to put up, just carry that little baby down the stairs, put it on the table and do a little fluffing. No struggling with lights for me.  No dragging out boxes of ornaments and decorations.  It stays decorated, just stored away in the spare room…easy, instant decorating.) 

 Have you done all of your shopping?  I thought I was finished, but then I came up with something different for a couple of people so I still need to run out tomorrow and buy those things.  And a couple of gift cards.  And something for Spooky and Goldi (yes, I buy a little something every year for the cats.  Usually a can of expensive cat food and a couple of new toys that they won’t really play with…kind of like kids,  they keep going back to the empty boxes.)

Do you have your Christmas cards sent?  I don’t.  I don’t even have them addressed.  Okay, granted, I’m not sending out a lot, but I had those adorable cards made with Spooky looking at an ornament on the tree…just understand, I only had 10 made and I’ve got at least that many family members to send cards to.  Sorry…

Have you done any baking or candy making?  I haven’t.  I tend to wait until just a few days before Christmas to do that.  Less time to be tempted by all of those goodies, right?

Do you have everything wrapped/packaged?  I haven’t done any of that yet.  I used to do gorgeous package presentations, all kinds of ribbon and little tie ons.  Now it’s gift bags for me.  And gift bags are reuseable…much better than throwing all of that paper in the trash.

Hmm…sounds like we’ve all got a lot to do in the next 12 days…so get to deckin’ y’all!

Ho ho ho

It completely amazes me how many people are doing all  (or most) of their Christmas shopping early this year.  And it’s not just toys or art supplies.  A lot of people are buying a lot of decor items, rethinking their decorating style, and spending a lot of money.  I’m not sure about doing that myself…well, that’s if I actually decorated for Christmas which I don’t do much of at home any more…but I have a lot of ornaments that my mom and step dad made for me, I have ornaments that one of my best friends (who has since died) made for me, I have some that one of my aunts made for me, some that various family and friends have given me.  I kind of like the memories that those ornaments are wrapped in…just seeing them again brings back such loving feelings.  I can’t imagine that new ornaments would bring back the same memories.  Of course, we all create new memories every year, but I don’t want to replace my pleasant old memories.  I simply want to add new ones.

I’ve made a lot of ornaments over the years, just not in the past few years.  One of these days…What about you?  What are your favorite Christmas ornaments and do they have precious memories associated with them?

The long and winding road to fitness, day 133

I had a much-needed and well deserved day off work today.  I slept in…until 6 am, if you can believe that!  Then I just stayed in bed reading until closer to 7 am.  Finally got up and fed the cats, made toast and juice, took that upstairs and read Sunday’s newspaper while eating breakfast.  What a pleasure to be able to take my time getting ready for the day.

I did walk for 20 minutes.  I went to a little park in the neighborhood.  It’s hard to believe that I’ve lived here for ten years and have never stopped  at that park.  I’m definitely going to go back, with camera in hand.  There was a lady playing with two large dogs in a field, nice walking trails, playground equipment, tennis courts, picnic tables, shelter houses.  I had no idea that the park was so nice.  So that was a fun experience.

I also did some lower body strength training and range of motion exercises for my shoulder.  I was surprised that my shoulder wasn’t bothering me more today.  I did a lot of heavy lifting over the past couple of days at work…and the boxes are often too big for me to comfortably wrap my arms around (yes, that’s because I’m short…not much I can do about that).  But my shoulder didn’t feel any worse today than it does any other day.

I eventually went out to the gas station to spend way too much money on gas.  How is it that gas prices can jump over 25 cents in one day?  Oh, I don’t think you want me to get started on my answer to that question.  I also ran into CVS to pick up a couple of things that were on sale…

With coupons added to the sale prices and a $2 ECB, I ended up spending less than $1 for these items.  Don’t you love saving money on things you use anyhow?

I did finally bake the squash I bought a few weeks ago.

I also cleaned and baked the squash seeds…

Makes for a quick, easy, salt-free treat.  Have you ever roasted pumpkin or squash seeds?  What seasonings do you use?  I used a little olive oil and garlic powder for these.  I also like Cajun seasoning.  Okay, now I’m off to eat some squash for my dinner.  Hey, how about that…that’s a vegetable…or is it a fruit?  Well, no matter, at least it’s healthier than fast food, right?