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Please Enter a Valid Number

Every now and then, I feel there is too much technology in our lives. Oh, do not get me wrong, I enjoy checking the weather on my smart phone and using Google to research the things that flit across my mind.  Nevertheless, sometimes that same technology is overwhelming.

     For instance, this weekend I received an automated call from the village hall of my town.  I was not home when the call came in, thus a message was left via voice mail.  When I returned home, I checked my Caller ID and noticed that the village had called.  My problem…I do not know how to access my voice mail on the house phone.  My cell phone dials voice mail automatically, but the landline requires that I dial a number and put in a password.  I use to know the number and the password, however, the phone company I use, just upgraded their system. 

     I should know this information, except that my husband set up the new voice mail.  I wrote down the number and password somewhere.   I do not remember where I put the numbers, and my husband is out-of-town camping.  I would have called him on his smart phone, but apparently, his phone has gone deaf, blind and dumb.  He is not available to take my call or my text.

     Therefore, I do the next best thing, and Google my phone service provider. At their website, I am asked for my user name and password.  I do not remember this either.  I try every combination that I know without any luck.  Finally, I look up voice mail in the help section of the web site.  I am able to surmise that if I press *98 I can call my voice mail. 

     I call and I am asked for yet another password.  I am okay with this request, because I know my husband made it the same number we have used since phone companies have begun asking for passwords.  I confidently typed in the number and I am told that the number is not valid.  I type it in again, thinking that maybe I pressed a wrong digit. I receive the same message. Rats!

     All I want to know is what the village is calling my house to warn me about on a Friday night!  I worry that maybe we are under some sort of boil water order or maybe there is a killer roaming the streets. I need to know if I should barricade the house.  I think about calling my neighbor to ask if she received a call from the village, but it is getting late.   

     I am still thinking about that call when I go to bed.  I cannot sleep, so I go out to the computer and check the village’s website to see if there is some sort of word of caution. Nothing.  I open the back door and listen. Nothing.  The only thing I do notice is that it smells like a swamp outside.  So much for technology helping me in this situation.  The village could be calling me to tell me the world is ending.  I would not know, because I do not have a flipping password.

     The next day, my neighbor is sitting out on her porch. I wave and ask her if she received a call from the village.  She informs me that she did and that the village was calling to inform its citizens that they would be spraying for West Nile Virus.  Hmmm, that explains the swamp smell and the phone call.  Whew, nothing horrible except that poison is being sprayed in my town to help alleviate the mosquitoes carrying a deadly virus!

    As soon as my husband comes home from camping, the first thing I am going to do is have him write down all the passwords to everything we own in a notebook. I will keep that notebook in a safe place for the next time technology wants to send me an important message. Nothing like being prepared.

 

Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 
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The Sexy Sandal Scandal

       I never wear open-toed sandals. I think my toes are ugly and my feet are too big. So when I happened upon this pair of brown, leather sandals with bronzed buttons up the center in my bedroom, I ignored them.  I kicked them into my closet, thinking they were left there by my sister who had just been visiting from out-of-town.  She would wear that kind of sandal, because she had beautiful toes.  (She should, she gets them professionally done twice a month! ).  I figured I would give them back to her when she made a return visit later in the month.

       A few  weeks later, when I was getting dressed for a night out with my husband for dinner and a concert, I came across those sandals again.  I actually picked them up and looked at them.  They were larger than my sister’s feet. She wears a size 8, and I wear a size 11.  Bigger sister, bigger feet, go figure.  They  were appealing foot wear. Whomever the owner was that had left them in my bedroom. 

       I sat down on the bed, and just for the heck of it, I slid them on my feet.  Wah-La, they fit!  They fit so perfectly that it was like they were made for my feet.  Did I have a secret Fairy- Shoe Mother who dropped the perfect sandal into my bedroom?  This was so weird.  I looked at them on my feet in the mirror.  It was like magic, because my toes looked beautiful in these shoes.  They looked sexy and young. I made up my mind. I was wearing them.

       My husband took me to dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant.  When we walked into the joint, I spied other women looking me up and down in that judgemental way that us women look at other women.  In the past, I would have checked my clothes to make sure that I didn’t have a button glaringly open or a stain on my blouse. However, that night, I didn’t believe they were looking at anything but my shoes.  I know they were admiring my feet and my magic sandals, just wishing that they, too, had a pair.

       After the Mongolian beef arrived, my husband commented on how beautiful I looked.  I was waiting for him, with bated breath, to comment on my shoes.  He didn’t disappoint me.  I knew there was a good reason why I had married him. 

       “Did you buy a new pair of sandals for tonight?” he asked.  “They are really sexy.”

       “No, “ I said and smiled at him. “I found them in our bedroom.”

       He looked confused.  “Excuse me? You found them in our bedroom?”

I explained the story of how I found the sandals. And ended with the statement, “Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers.”

       “Did you ask our daughter if they were hers?” he wanted to know.

       I had not thought about them possibly being my daughter’s.  She was the only other person I knew who wore size 11 shoes.  I scoured my mind and tried to remember her wearing the sandals. I could not recall.  However, the seed my husband placed in my head was starting to grow. 

       With dinner over and the check paid, my husband and I headed  to the concert.  Once more, people were looking at my delicious sandals and smiling.  I felt like Cinderella at the ball, and I vowed that I would never give up these sandals.  They were made for my feet.

       The following morning, my daughter and grandson came over for a visit.  As I was telling her all about dinner and the concert, I went to my closet and grabbed the sandals.  My face fell as hers lit up.

       “Oh, mom, you found my sandals!  I was looking for those everywhere.”

       She tried to take them from me, but I whipped them quickly behind my back.

       “No! You cannot have them.  They are magic and they make my feet look sexy.  Even Dad said so.”

       My daughter blew out a breath and exclaimed, “But they are mine!”

      My eyes began welling up with tears. This happens to women when they are old and they cannot have their way.  Consequently, my daughter, being the fine young lady that I raised her to be, proceeded to tell me that I could go and buy my own pair of “sexy” sandals at Target.  Defeated, I handed over the sandals and went to the bathroom to wash my face. 

       While I was in the bathroom, I heard her talking on her cell phone.  All I could hear was, “They’re mine.” and “Oh, all right, dad.”.   I collected myself and went out into the kitchen. My daughter, scowl on her face, told me to try on the sandals for her.  I put them on and another tear at the loss of these dear shoes slid down my face. 

         “Mom.” My daughter said quietly, “Those sandals look really sexy on your feet.”

         I looked up at her unbelievably.  “Really?”

         She smiled. “Really. You can have them.”  She hugged me.

         I kissed her.

        “They look too old-fashioned for me, anyway.” She kissed me back.

 

 

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

 

New and Improved for You

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Choose-A-Size Paper Towels
Property of Grandmother Musings

“New and Improved” and “Better than Ever”.  These are slogans all buyers should be wary of when they are shopping.  I have found that they do not generally mean that the product is better, just different.  

Take my paper towels for example.  First, the manufacturers said that they had “improved” their product when they changed from full sheet to choose-a-size sheets.  Soon, when I went shopping, the only paper towels I could find were the choose-a-size type.  I put them in my cart figuring that I could always use two sheets if I needed more.

I realized after one roll, that I liked the choose-a-size much better than the full sheet paper towels.  It was wonderful to use only what I needed, when I needed it.  It saved me money, too.  Now, I will only buy the choose-a-size type of paper towels.

That is of course, until the paper towel manufacturers figured out that if I am saving money by using the choose-a-size paper towels, they are losing money!  Yesterday, when I went grocery shopping, I discovered that I could no longer buy my favorite brand in choose-a-size. I now am only offered the “New and Improved” full sheet paper towels.  See what I mean about those sneaky slogans?

They have also used the Olympics to trick me. Suddenly, my old laundry detergent is inferior to the new detergent with the Olympic logo.  The fact is they changed the label so much that I failed to purchase my detergent.  I was foolishly led to believe that my type of detergent was out of stock.  After looking for a week at three different stores, I realized the detergent was not out of stock. They had just changed the label.  Now, instead of Bleach Alternative, the label says, Vivid & Bright.  It is so frustrating!

Consequently, all buyers should beware of the ad campaigns that tout slogans like “Better than Ever” and the like.  Truthfully, those slogans typically mean that more profits are needed for the company.  Moreover, if you are reading this paper towel manufacturer, I beg you to quit messing with my choose-a-size paper towels!

 

 

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

Wonder has a name: DERECHO

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A long lived Derecho storm system moved across the Chicago metro area yesterday morning.” This system according to The Examiner caused considerable damage and power outages to many in the Chicagoland area.

My question is…what is a Derecho and where did this term come from all of a sudden? It seems that in the last week or so, many meteorologists and weather reporters have been spotlighting this new word. The word is so new, that at Dictionary.com, the only entry they have for the word is its Spanish origin.  There is not a definition.  If you want a definition, there is one at Wikipedia.com.  It states that a Derecho, pronounced (day-RAY-cho), is a widespread, long-lived, straight-line windstorm that is associated with a fast-moving band of severe thunderstorms.

Source: The USA TODAY Weather Book by Jack Williams
As the line of thunderstorms moves along, usually to the east, humid air flows up into the storms. Cold air from aloft descends to create winds.

That is great, except that we had a word for this type of windstorm.  It was called a Squall Line. However, I looked the term Squall line up and found some differences between a Derecho and a Squall line. A Squall Line is defined in The American Heritage Science Dictionary “…as a line of sudden, sometimes violent thunderstorms that develop on the leading edge of a cold front. Squall lines can form up to 50 to 149 miles in front of an advancing cold front and can be more than 99 miles long. The thunderstorms of a squall line can produce severe weather conditions, such as hail and rain accompanied by winds of over 60 miles per hour; they are also associated with tornadoes, especially in spring and early summer.”

This all sounds very similar to the newly touted Derecho, but according to Jack Williams at USA Today, “Derechos are the result of squall-line thunderstorms that create one downburst after another as they move along. Downbursts are winds that blast down from thunderstorms.  Occasionally, a Derecho thunderstorm will spin out a small tornado or two, but straight-line winds do most of their damage.  Derechos are most common on the central and northern Plains and across the Midwest into the Ohio Valley in the late spring and during the summer.”

Hmm… I guess a Derecho is not a Squall line after all.  However, why have I never heard of this weather term before? In my research, I found out that a man named Gustavus Hinrichs, the director of the Iowa Weather Service in the 1880’s coined the name, Derecho.  It comes from a Spanish word meaning, “straight ahead” or “direct”.  Hinrichs intended it to contrast with “tornado” which comes from the Spanish word for “turn”.  Okay, so the word has been around for a while. I just wonder why the meteorologists and weather reporters feel the need to bring “Derecho” out of the closet, now?

Jack Williams states in his article at USA Today, “…that while most people in the Midwest are unfamiliar with the “Derechoes”, these windy storms are very common.”  Well, darn, if they are so very common, why haven’t they been mentioned more often?

 I have two possible answers to this question.  The first is that meteorologists and weather reporters want to look super intelligent, so they pulled out this weather term to impress their viewers.  The second is that our weather is changing so rapidly and is so erratic that a term to describe it had to be found.  Consequently, the super intelligent people in charge of the weather scoured through the tomes of weather history to find just the right word, “Derecho”.  I suppose it is feasible that our record-breaking weather this year is beyond even the experts’ description.

I am wondering how the fall and winter weather will be. If the last seven months have given any indication, we are in for a few more record-breaking days and possibly a few new words from the back of the meteorologist’s closet. I have one they can use… “Deep-poo”.

References

Derecho. (2012, 7 23). Retrieved from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derecho

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary. (2002). Retrieved 7 25, 2012, from Dictionary.com : http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/squall%20line

Williams, J. (2005, 5 20). ‘Derechos’ are lines of windy thunderstorms. Retrieved from USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/weather/wtsm1.htm

 

 

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

 

 

Stupid is as Stupid Does

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It is 2:00 A.M. and I am working on my computer at the kitchen table.  My eyes are blurry and my back hurts.  I decide to go out in the back yard to see if it is still as hot as it was earlier in the evening.  I save my work and go to the back door.  The dogs come running as soon as I open the back door. I squeeze past them so they do not get out. If the dogs get out they will wake up the whole neighborhood with their barking, and that is not good.  I close the door behind me.

It is still as muggy and stagnant outside as it was earlier in the evening. I instantly begin sweating in my purple P.J.’s.  A moth flies toward my head, and I slap it away.  Enough of this, I say to myself, and turn to open the door and go back into the house. I turn the knob and it is stuck.   I turn it harder. Damn! I have locked myself out of the house.

Another bug of some sort buzzes my ear, and I swat it away.  What am I going to do now?  I do not want to knock on the door and wake the whole house.  Then I remember the spare key we placed in a well-hidden place in the garden.  In bare feet, I cautiously walk through the flowers and weeds to get to the statue of a gnome.  I slap the mosquitoes away and bend down to find the key under the gnome.  It is not there!

Not knowing what kind of creepy crawly creature I may be touching, I put the gnome back and walk out of the garden.  Maybe the key is in the garage.  For the life of me, I cannot understand who took the key from the gnome.  Shouldn’t he be protecting my keys or something?  Isn’t that what garden gnomes are supposed to do?

I go to the side door of the garage. We do not usually lock it, so I am happy when the knob turns. I push the door.  It will not open more than an inch.  Oh, there is a refrigerator blocking my entrance. This said item is the refrigerator my daughter dropped off earlier to keep in the garage for drinks.  The refrigerator is hanging over the door just enough so I cannot budge the door open.  Double Damn! Why didn’t they check to see if the door opened after they placed the refrigerator in the garage?

I carefully make my way from the garage to the front of the house. I am cautious and avoid cutting my foot on something I cannot see.  I am hoping that the front door is magically opened.  No.  Ahhh….I retrace my steps to the back door again, trying the knob again in vain.  The two dogs have their noses crushed against the window looking at me.  I know they would open the door for me if they could.

Having no other choice, I leave the back yard once more. I head for my bedroom window where I dread waking up my husband; however, at this point, I have no other choice.  Like a thief in the night, I sneak up to the window and tap gently.  I know if anyone on the block looks out their window and sees me, they will think I am a burglar.  I am just about to tap on the window again, when lights blind me, and a voice booms in my ear.

“Please move away from the house and put your hands up.”

My heart falls to my feet.  I quickly turn around ready to explain, and I see that standing there is my husband.  The flashlight is in his hand and it is shaking due to the deep belly laugh he cannot control.  I am furious now and slapping bugs away from my ankles.  I probably will have malaria from all the darn bug bites.

“Jerk!” I mumble to my husband who is crying in hysteria.  I walk around to the back door that he has left open.  The dogs are happy I am unharmed, and I give them both a loving pat on the head for their good intentions.

Trying to control his humor, my husband follows me into the house.  It seems he heard me rummaging around the back yard and got up to see what was going on.  Seeing that I was locked out, he grabbed the flashlight and snuck behind me. He then waited for just the right moment to ambush me.

With a chuckle still vibrating in his chest, my hubby kisses my cheek and goes back to bed.  The bugs really bit me up and the bites require a little Benadryl cream to avoid the itching that will inevitably come by the time I wake up.  Other than the bug bites, I am doing okay.  I did learn a few lessons about locking yourself out of the house.  The first lesson is never trust your husband. Second, dogs only want to love you and let you in.  Finally, do not depend on garden gnomes to hold your spare keys.

In the end, I understand that I need to pay attention when I wish to wander outside in the middle of the night.  I am going to put a spare key somewhere accessible to me. I never want to be locked out of the house, again.

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

Fortune Cookies…For a Better Future

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The best part of ordering Chinese food is the meal-ending crack of the fortune cookie.  It is exciting to see what little bit of wisdom is held in a crisp cashew shaped cookie, and they are tasty as well. However, lately, I have been disappointed in the quality of the fortunes found in the fortune cookies.

When I open that cookie, I want to hear something positive, something full of ancient wisdom, or something that I might hear from a palm reader. Since fortune cookies were introduced and created in the United States, the fortunes inside used to be based on proverbs, Bible verses, and English versions of  Confucius Teachings. Somewhere I think these wise little notes have gotten lost.  I do not think people want condescending words or nonsense in their cookies.  Maybe the fortune cookie companies need to get back to basics and hire more competent fortune writers. After all, people like me who order Chinese Food depend on this knowledge!

Here is an example of the ridiculous “fortunes” I have received lately…

“You have a quiet and unobtrusive nature.”  Huh? That is not a fortune. This is not even me!

“Help, I am a prisoner in a Chinese Bakery!”  Really? I am sending the Calvary to free you, now!  

“Eating causes obesity.”  Thanks. I’ll just stop eating now, Dr. Oz.

“You love Chinese Food.”  Duh!

Here is what I really want to read…

“The golden egg of opportunity falls into your lap this month.” Whoo-hoo!

“If your desires are not extravagant, they will be granted.” Is desiring a clothes-shopping trip on Rodeo Drive too extravagant?

“An admirer is hiding his or her intentions toward you.” Provided that my admirer is not a stalker, this could be good.

“You need a new environment. Go on vacation.” You are right! I would like to lie on a white sandy beach and drink rum all day in my bikini from Rodeo Drive. As long as it is not too extravagant…

If you are feeling discouraged and disheartened by your fortune cookie, please feel free to comment.  All comments will be forwarded to the worker who is trapped in the fortune cookie bakery for a speedy review. 

Fortune: You will read of a light haired woman who will make you laugh.  

 
 
 
 
Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

It’s A Punny Day

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Puns, a form of word play, are used to create humor and often require a large vocabulary to understand.  You will know a pun as soon as you hear it and get the meanings.  They usually make the listener groan…ugh.  Newscasters love to use puns as do comedians and writers.  Some famous people like William Shakespeare and George Carlin are known for their puns. Puns were also found in ancient Egypt, where they were heavily used in development of myths and interpretation of dreams.

Below are a few puns, some are mine and a few are from other “punsters”.  Feel free to share your favorite puns.

1.    I had a pool of thoughts concerning the recent economic downturn; however, they cannot hold water with the new statistics.             Jamie Nowinski

 2.  White collars are clean because blue collars do all the dirty work.       Jamie Nowinski

 3.  “No, ’tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church-door, but ’tis enough, ’twill serve: ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man.” Romeo and Juliet (Act iii, S.1)

 4.   I used to work in a blanket factory, but it folded.             www.DigitalDreamDoor.com

 5.  I made wine out of raisins so I wouldn’t have to wait for it to age. Stephen Wright

 6.  Energizer Bunny arrested – charged with battery.               www.DigitalDreamDoor.com

  7.  When you dream in color, it’s a pigment of your imagination.             www.DigitalDreamDoor.com

 8.  Two fish swim into a concrete wall. One turns to the other and says Dam!’  www.DigitalDreamDoor.com

 9.  Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, ‘I’ve lost my electron.’ The other says ‘Are you sure?’ The first replies, ‘Yes, I’m positive.’  www.DigitalDreamDoor.com

 10.  And then there was the person who sent ten puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.  www.DigitalDreamDoor.com

 

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

 

 

 

 

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