Friday, February 20, 2009

The Gewgaw, Teeny Tiny Lamp

The metal box is only two and a half inches tall when closed. When the lid is popped open, and the front of the box pulled down (as shown) a tiny metal flask with a screw top is nestled inside. It almost looks like an ink bottle or something, until you remove the lid to reveal a wick. A tiny well near the top of the box holds matches (I think).

The only identification is on the bottom: "U.S.A. M.D. Pioneer New York, NY. No clue what the original use was.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rained out

If you're wondering why we're getting so much rain this season, it's because of our baseball team.

If we make plans to hold a practice, it's rained out. We have been rained out the last three weeks, without exception. We will be starting the season having only had two practices.

It is also a guarantee that the minute we cancel practice, the weather clears, and within the next few hours, or by the next day, it's beautiful, albeit soggy.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Creative Tax Dodging & Penny Pinching

My husband and I have been assessing what to do if faced with higher taxes for just about everything, short of food (I hope...) It seems like every time we get ahead a little, devious government officials think up new ways to get hold of our wallet. Because we didn't borrow off our home or buy more house than we could afford, we'll be asked to foot the bill to bail out those who did.

But we're creative.

Higher Gas Tax: I suspect I'll be brushing the cobwebs off my bike. Carpool more to kids' sport events. Plan regular trips more efficiently. Maintain the cars. Don't fill up the tank. Make my son walk to Gamestop.

Higher Sales Tax: This is a slam dunk. Purchase any big ticket items (appliances, cars, computers) NOW. Buy off the internet from out-of-state retailers. Buy from the secondary market (E-bay, craigslist, garage sales and charity shops that don't charge sales tax. If we must purchase something new and locally, it should be on sale or clearance. Use coupons liberally but only for things you need.

Entertainment: We live in a wonderful area with lots of free and cheap entertainment. Make use of beaches, parks, trails, outdoor malls and points of interest. Research unique leisure time opportunities. Yearly passes save money, if used liberally. Memberships to the zoo or the museums help the organizations and can be a real bargain IF you bring your own food and drink.

Don't just recycle: It's a pain, but taking cans and bottles to recycling kiosks really adds up. Do it during shopping trip. Better yet, use reusable water bottles instead of single use bottles. Remember, many bottled water producers get their water from municipal sources anyway. Tap water is the best bargain in town. If your pipes are old, use a filter.

If any of you have any ideas or suggestions, please write, and I'll post 'em!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Bad Hair Cut

I'm a lazy slug, which is why there hasn't been much to write about.

If you scroll below, you'll note I wrote of a retro barber shop my dad goes to. I should follow my own advice, but hub prefers I cut his hair because it's free, the skin flint.

This 'hair-owing' tale should prove to him once and for all he should get his hair cut by a professional.

When I cut my husband's hair I do it in the backyard, which is very trailer trashy, but hey, it keeps hair out of the house. Our neighbors probably think they have Ma and Pa Kettle living next door. He sits on a step ladder while I cut away with my Conair clippers attached to a really long extension cord.

His hair looked like the punch line to that joke 'what's the difference between a good and bad haircut?' (2 weeks). In his case, it was more like a month...It was too long, and he was parting it on the side. He was unintentionally morphing into a sloppy Rod Blagojevich look alike.

With trusty electric clippers in hand, I started with the 3/4 inch comb attachment. I started by shortening the sides and back of this hair. We were chatting about nothing in particular, when I removed the attachment to clean the clippers. I combed his hair - the top was still long, as I hadn't yet trimmed it.

I was still chatting when I picked up the clippers and made two long swipes through his hair in the back. Unfortunately, I had forgotten to put an attachment back on. As I started cutting, I noticed the clipper sounded a little funny.

To my horror, I had cut two bald paths through the back of his head. I screamed.

My hub thought I was kidding. Unfortunately, I wasn't. He looked like Moe Howard if Curly had cut his hair.

Many men would go ballistic. He just asked if I thought I could fix it.

In the end, I had to cut it very, VERY, V-E-R-Y short. He looked a little too much like a survivalist minus the fatigues and the paranoia, but overall, it looked pretty good, and I just might cut it short again, especially during the summer.

When you cut someone's hair that short, certain details become apparent. I noticed he has a red birthmark on the back of his head, just like my son, and he's developed a funny little chubby speed bump on the back of his head near his neck.

Toilet Plunger Carjacking

I've used a toilet plunger to remove dents out of my car, but never this!

Does it work? I'm going to try tomorrow. While watching this video, I couldn't help but think 'I hope that plunger is brand new, because he licked his finger twice.'