Archive for December, 2006

New Year’s Indulgences?

In blogwalking across the Internet, I came across a great New Year’s concept.

What if, instead of New Year’s resolutions, I came up with a list of planned New Year’s indulgences? Jenny Crusie, comedy/romance author extroardinaire, suggests just that in her blog at Argh Ink.

I’m already pretty good at setting goals – and unfortunately pretty talented at beating up on myself about the things I don’t achieve. Maybe this year, instead, I can come up with a list of a few specific areas I’m going to indulge, pamper and just generally do to take care of myself. It would be a refreshing change of pace for me for my 40s. :)

This bears some reflection – I’ll post some indulgences tomorrow.

Posted on Sunday, December 31st, 2006 by Jeri
Under: holidays | Comments Off

New Toy

I have a confession to make. There is an area where I am NOT a geek, where I am so far behind the pack that I am an embarrassingly late adopter.

After buying Bryan an iPod for his birthday, and ensuring my kids were tricked out with the appropriate MP3 players (thanks, Grandma Jackie!!), my spouse got me one for Christmas. It’s a cute, tiny, peridot green nano with 4Gb of storage. I am glad he didn’t get me the video, I prefer the tiny form factor of the nano.

After loading about 36 hours worth of music on it, mostly from CD but some from the iTunes store as well, and playing with it both on my computer and in walkaround mode, I have to say it’s pretty awesome! I can load only the music I like from albums, pick and choose favorites from multiple decades, and cut across all genres. It occurs to me – these little devices probably get to be as personal as toothbrushes, as purely custom as the music mix becomes over time.

So I now get to load and listen to music as diverse as Allison Krauss and AC/DC, Bach and U2, and Peter Paul and Mary and Pantera, in excellent audio quality and gapless playback. My collection has ended up evenly split at about 8 hours country, 8 hours folk, and 8 hours rock, with the remainder metal, pop, classical and show tunes. Sweet.

Note to self: do not untangle Christmas lights for storage while wearing iPod earbuds. The result is messy!

Posted on Saturday, December 30th, 2006 by Jeri
Under: consumers, technology | 1 Comment »

Flu Season

I came home the day after Christmas with a nasty flu/cold bug- that’s a picture of one at right, ick! – with achy body, hacking cough, low fever and just plain wiped out. I’ve been holed up at home with a big box of ultra soft Kleenex, working some and vegging some, ever since.

I’m a big believer in lots of rest, plus taking echinacea, zinc and vit C, to help lessen the severity and duration of colds and flu. I really like Odwalla’s C Monster fruit smoothies, and EmergenC Vit C fizzy drink packets, as mid-day vitamin pick-me-ups. I also drink enough peppermint tea to float a boat.

So, finally, this evening I got out of the house for a few minutes – I needed Robitussin DM, cough drops and more C Monster, so we went to the grocery store. It was pathetic how nice a diversion it was just to have that little outing. Hopefully I didn’t pass the plague along.

Posted on Saturday, December 30th, 2006 by Jeri
Under: home | Comments Off

Weird Vegas Jobs

One fascinating thing I noticed in Vegas were the jobs that exist there – and probably nowhere else on the planet. Can you imagine the newspaper help wanted section?

Stiltwalker - Must be able to walk on stilts, make balloon animals, and assist volcano dance performer for 8 hour shift. Must have strong bladder. Apply at Margaritaville.

Lei Hostess – Must be attractive, flat chested, and able to wear coconut shell bra, grass skirt and go barefoot on stone floors for a full shift – and ask restaurant patrons whether they’d like to get lei’d with a straight face. Apply in person at Kahunaville.

Juggling, Whistling Bartender – Bartender with cheerleading background preferred. Must be able to juggle glass bottles and lead cheering, shouting sessions and referee piano duels on a regular basis. Apply at Kahunaville – be prepared to demo juggling skills.

Singing Gondolier – Must have boat handling, water safety and rescue, great sense of balance, and excellent a capella singing skills. Must be generally outgoing and gregarious with customers and look good in horizontal black and white stripes. Apply at the Venetian.

Underwater Stagehand – Certified master scuba diver to support artists underwater with octopus oxygen regulators and assistance on and off the set underwater. Submit application to “O”, care of Cirque du Soleil. (Thanks to my retired showgirl massage therapist for this one! Her husband is an “O” rescue diver and underwater stagehand.)

Pirate - Professional pirate for the Sirens show – must be able to dance, do own stunts, swim in warm and cold water, and handle fireworks and explosives. Tattoos, piercings and long hair a plus. Apply at Treasure Island.

Card Distributor – Not sure what to call this one – but there are always a crew of skeevy folks handing out cards for the ladies of the evening after the sun goes down. How do they get hired – and paid?

The other difference that Bryan and I noticed is that most cities are about 66% day shift, M-F workers, and the remainder evening and night shift workers in the service or health care industries. Vegas has got to be the reverse, with a support infrastructure of child care, health care and other services to match.

Posted on Friday, December 29th, 2006 by Jeri
Under: travel, work | 1 Comment »

Power Source

One of our adventures in lovely, rain-soaked, tax-free Oregon was to go by Costco on the 26th and finally purchase a generator for our home. Apparently we got a very nice deal – a Briggs and Stratton Powerboss 7000, powered by a Honda DX390 13hp engine – for only $899. It has a 7 gallon tank that will last 13 hours at 50% load.

Honda-powered generators are the go-to-name in portable generators, and usually cost three times that much. They are reputed to be quiet, reliable, long lasting and easy to pull-start. All the research I’ve done indicates that we got a tremendous deal and that others who have picked up this generator are quite pleased with it.

Now we need to build a little “doghouse” shelter for it in the side yard, behind a locked gate but away from the house so there’s no danger from carbon monoxide gas emissions. We’ll need to look closely at the generator configuration before building the shelter to ensure we give it plenty of ventilation, as well as access for gas refills, pull starts and maintenance.

It’ll be great to have that standby power source in place and no longer be reliant on our not-so-consistent city power!

Posted on Wednesday, December 27th, 2006 by Jeri
Under: home, technology | Comments Off