Thursday, June 25, 2009

Speaking of Garage Sales…

We’re having one this Saturday.

I love having garage sales. Some people don’t feel the amount of work you put into it is worth what you earn, but I’ve always liked having them, even when I haven’t made an insane amount of money. In this case, the money isn’t even going to me. It’s part of our Relay for Life Team’s fundraising effort.

Already we have several boxes of things for sale. Tonight and tomorrow is pricing and planning, then we’ll be up early Saturday morning to get things rolling. I have some team members helping me out, and several people I work with have been great about donating items.

The fundraising effort has gotten off to kind of a slow start, but we’re getting there. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Saturday gives us good weather and a good turnout.

If you’re in the area, come check out our sale at the corner of 9th and Moro in Manhattan, KS.

Craigslist Spammers Go Away!

Craigslist has always been one of my favorite places to browse for free and cheap stuff. It’s also been one of my favorite places to try to sell stuff because it’s so easy (I’m generally too lazy to take out a paper ad, and a garage sale only works if you have a lot of stuff to sell).

Unfortunately, while the process is still easy, it’s gotten more annoying. Spammers have started replying to my “For Sale” ads with emails saying “Do you need help?” or some variation thereof. One said “I can help you. Give me your number so I can call you and tell you how.” Sure dude, it’s 1-800-GETALIFE (my first response wasn’t that nice, actually). I didn’t actually respond to that one, but out of curiosity I did respond to another one. I got an automatic reply that linked me to somewhere I didn’t bother to explore because I don’t care for spammers and scammers.

Seriously, the only way you can help, jerks, is by handing over a wad of cash and buying my stuff.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Crafting for Charity

My big plans to try to sell things on etsy have been postponed in favor of trying to sell things to raise money for the Relay for Life this year. I’m not sure if anything is going to sell to tell the truth. My stuff isn’t all that exciting…it’s actually pretty basic…and because I’m still a beginner, there’s a lot I have to learn. But you have to start somewhere, right?

These are the three scarves I have finished so far. I can kick one of these out in about two days if I work at it. I love extra long scarves that can wrap around a couple of times and I like working with different yarns and colors.
I also tried my hand at a couple pairs of earrings last night, and while the finished product isn’t perfect by any means, I’m kind of proud of myself for just doing it.

Hopefully I’ll be getting some tutelage from a friend of mine on how to enhance my knitting skills very soon. I also have an idea for a knitted purse which I think I could do with the right material, small needles, and my need to try different things. I wonder if my friend could teach me how to read a pattern too…I know it can’t be that hard, right?

If you see anything you like, let me know. While I’m officially selling things at our in-town fundraisers, I’m always happy to take a Paypal payment with shipping and handling and mail it for anyone out there.

Jon and Kate Exploit 8

I know I shouldn’t get on a soapbox about a show I don’t even watch, but lately all I hear and see is Jon and Kate this, Jon and Kate that, Jon and Kate file for divorce, blah blah blah. And no, I don’t take the time to read the articles because I don’t watch Jon and Kate and I could care less what they do or don’t do.

I do feel sorry for their kids, and I’m sure I’m not alone. This is not a cliché but a reality. I wasn’t a child of divorce but I’m not blind or ignorant to the issues friends of mine dealt with when their parents split up. Having said that, I’m also a firm believer that kids are resilient and can bounce back from a divorce, though it would be naïve to think it doesn’t have a lasting effect on them in some way.

I have to wonder if these kids have a double whammy against them. They’ve been on a television series first of all. That alone is kind of cringe worthy. Can any fans out there tell me what the point of this show is? The Duggars have their Christian, frugal living thing going on, which I can respect. What’s Jon and Kate’s deal? From advertisements, I get the idea that one or the other of them were just trying to cash in on their brood. So now, after all that, the parents are getting a divorce which has become media fodder in itself. Even if they’re trying to keep their kids out of it, they’ve already invited the camera vampires into their house…I don’t think there’s any going back.

I don’t feel sorry for those two at all. But I hope the kids don’t experience any emotional side effects from this whole thing, at least not any that are going to seriously damage them later in life.

NOTE: Okay, so it was explained to me that the kids are a set of twins and set of sextuplets and the show started out as a documentary. So that’s something, anyway. Still feel sorry for the kids, but it seems as if fans of the show were rooting for the couple to work it out. I still kind of get the exploitation vibe from the whole thing, but I can admit my wrongs as long as I can voice my opinion.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Russell Stover

I had every intention of taking pictures on our trip yesterday, but I walked out of the house and forgot my camera. No worries was completely rainy and gross and we didn't do much. We had a chinese buffet, walked the mall, sold Jon's cards, then headed home.

I did score several jewelry making things at JoAnn's Fabrics on the cheap and we stopped at the Russell Stover candy store in Abilene, KS. It's one of those places we've always said we wanted to stop at but never did. Yesterday we decided to do it.

The store is pretty nice, though new things are pricey. They had chocolates Valentine's Day and Easter that were marked down at a pretty good discount. We snagged some "bloopers" for cheap, some salt water taffy, and Sherbet fudge.
This won't be a normal thing, but the outlet is close so I'd definitely be up for making another trip at some point. And right now, that Sherbet fudge is sounding good...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Back in Groove

Now that the first meeting for Relay for Life is done, I’m back to feeling gung ho and motivated for this again. We have our theme picked out…”Footloose”…and it seems as if our fruit sale is going okay after only two hours. Our biggest seller is bananas. Haven’t done a money count, but it’s looking good. I’ll be extremely happy if we can get rid of all the fruit we bought today. I’ll be even happier if we run out due to high demand.

Tomorrow, Jon and I are taking a day trip to Salina to meet someone who wants to buy some Magic cards from him. I’d like to get an early start to the day and just have a serendipity adventure…no planning, just checking out what looks like fun and browsing around the city. Having never been to Salina except to drive through it, this should be an adventure. It’ll also give me a chance to take some pictures. We’re working with a tight budget, but I’m fully of the mind you can still have a nice day on just a little bit of money.

This means I might have something exciting to post on this blog in the next day or two. Here’s to hoping.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Relay for Life: Trying My Hand at Organizing (Again)!

Right before we moved, the prospect of having my own place, getting involved in more things, and doing something good with my time all seemed like a great ideas. I was highly motivated, had all these thoughts and all this energy, and was ready to just go. But between then and now, I got tired.

I decided to head up a Relay for Life Team for work. Cancer has touched a good number of people, including myself, and it’s another cause I feel strongly about. Plus, I’d always heard good things about the Relay for Life. It’s a tiring venture: an all night walk where members of your team take turns walking so that everyone has at least one team member walking for 12 hours straight. I had a good response for a first timer and we currently have a team of ten members.

But with everything else going on, I’ve been slacking, and by slacking, I’m also beating myself up a little bit. I don’t want to let the team down. I want to be a good captain and I want to raise our team goal. But in the several years since I’d last organized anything, I’d forgotten that even responsibility doesn’t overshadow my procrastinating ways.

I’m sort of back on track…kind of hanging on by one rail…but I think I’m getting there. We have our first meeting tomorrow and our first fundraiser a week from Saturday, a garage sale at my place. Luckily I had the foresight to take the Friday before off so I could gather tables, make signs, etc. We also have several other fundraisers which are pending approval.

Wish me luck in organizing this and making it successful for our team. If anyone out there would like to make a donation, the link is

I’m also looking for fundraising and theme ideas, so don’t hesitate to give me your thoughts. Or send me some momentum in a bottle. I think I’m going to need it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Not What I'd Define As an "American Hero"

There are a few blogs I read, not because I agree with what they’re talking about but because they often give me things to think, blog, and rant about. I’m so middle of the road about most things and so non-confrontational that I never really get into Troll Wars on blogs, but there are times when I really just want to throw my hands up and say “What the hell are you talking about?”

I recently had an issue with the “celebrations” of the murder of Dr. Tiller. I don’t agree with abortion, but I do agree with choice. If a woman chooses to have an abortion, that decision is between her and God. As I may have said before, I don’t believe anybody has a right to speak for God. You can speak about him, you can tell of your own worship…heck, even though it’s not my thing, I don’t have an issue anymore with people who evangelize. As someone on another forum once said, it’s great that you’re so passionate about your beliefs. But it’s not for any of us to decide what God loves or hates. So when I found out that people were celebrating a murder in the name of God, I was pretty irritated.

On the other hand, I recently read in one of these blogs where Dr. Tiller was called an “American Hero.” Sorry, but I don’t agree with that either. He offered a service…a highly controversial service which has been called into question… but a service nonetheless. I don’t normally hear doctors who help cure cancer called American Heroes, or dentists called American Heroes. An abortion doctor is not an American hero. An American Hero is a soldier who fights for his country or does something that in some way impacts a greater portion of the country for the good.

Last I knew, abortion really hadn’t done much for the population as a whole.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday's Random Thoughts

Our internet was finally hooked up on Friday night and since then I've been enjoying watching our Netflix Instant Viewer through Jon's XBox 360. While I'm missing out on True Blood since we don't have HBO, I totally feel like we're getting a deal with our less than 10 dollar a month Netflix subscription, at least at the moment.

Does anyone else remember "Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theater"? My siblings and I used to watch it when we were growing up. We'd head down to the Glens video rental kiosk (when they still had it) and find all the episodes on VHS to watch at home. Back then it was the epitome of cool. When it came in Instant Viewer, I snagged it to the queue right away and watched a few episodes. Still love it, even though the cool factor has shifted to total cheese. But it's still fun! Robin Williams as the homeliest frog prince ever kicks it...I love Robin Williams, just never would have thought of him as a "prince."

But the random thought comes from the fact that the second episode was "Rumplestiltskin" and I realized how much I don't like that story for several reasons. Now quick disclaimer here, I dont' know if I've ever read the original version, or if there really is an original version. Jon said he thought there might have been something that to do with collecting body parts which probably would change things, but the story itself and the way I know it to be portrayed just bugs the heck out of me.

First of all, you have a miller who puts his daughter's head on the chopping block and promises her services to the king. It might not be the same as pimping, but it's close. Then you have a king who for all intents and purposes couldn't care less about the girl. He just wants the damn gold. I've read enough historical and fantasy romance novels to know that this may have actually been realistic. That doesn't make it any less annoying.

Now I understand that Rumplestiltskin is supposed to be the "bad guy" and that of course you wouldn't give your first born child to a weird little man. But let's face it...he DID help the daughter out when she needed him. If he were a mob goon, I'm sure the new Queen wouldn't have even had the chance at a little name guessing. It's pay up or check out with those guys (from what I hear). So here this poor little dwarf is, helping a girl out, and she stiffs him, all the time keeping the big secret from her jackass husband because after all, he only married her because "she" made him rich.

The whole thing seems ridiculous. And I don't know why it even bugged me today of all days, and it really didn't bug me enough to lose any sleep over, but I felt the need to rant about it since ranting and TV could both me considered hobbies. Maybe.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Dear ATnT

I’d like some clarification on what it takes to be a customer who actually receives competent service.

Several months ago, we ordered to DSL. After being told we’d be hooked to internet and waiting a week for it, we were given the “Oops! Sorry, we can’t install at your address” line. It wasn’t the fact that you couldn’t install the line that bothered me, though that was pretty irritating in itself. It was that your system not only gave us the wrong information, but no one bothered to call or email us when the “glitch” was found. My guess is that the “glitch” wasn’t found until we called you on it, but what do I know?

Against my better judgment, we decided to go through AT&T again for DSL after we moved. I didn’t expect much this time around, but I suppose a little part of me thought that maybe the first time was a fluke and things would run nicely this time. We were told that our internet would be hooked up on May 28 so that it would be ready when we moved in. It didn’t really come as a shocker when we didn’t have internet on June 1, nor was I surprised when my fiancé was told it had been hooked into the wrong apartment and it would be a week before someone could come out to fix it. The new date was June 8, 2009.

Today is June 8 and we still don’t have internet. After being told a tech would be here between 8am and 12pm, my fiancé called to see if they could pinpoint a time. He was told that the order didn’t go through and now they wouldn’t be able to send anyone out until June12.

Seriously? I can’t believe that one of the biggest chains in the nation could care so little about customer service and competency. Then again, maybe I can. Maybe for some reason, we’re the only ones who have issues with you. Maybe everyone else gets great service from AT&T and for some reason you’ve decided to make all your mistakes in this one little area of the world.

The first time we had issues, you obviously didn’t care. This time around you don’t seem to care either. That’s fine. Obviously, as one customer in a sea of millions, we’re not your top priority. It seems that customer service isn’t reallyy our top priority either, but I’m sure you’re doing the best you can, especially if you’re making it a point to screw over as many people as possible. Screwing is a tough business these days.

I’m not sure if actually talking to someone there is going to help since every other time we’ve talked to someone they make it clear that they’re doing nothing more than reading from a script. Since you’re so good at keeping up with things, I’m sure we’ll have our internet on Friday…because golly gee, AT&T is right on top of everything! Of course if we don’t, then we’ll go the other a route. While I do prefer DSL over cable, I also prefer to work with a company who doesn’t jack me around every chance they get.

So thank you, AT&T, for all the hard work you put into frustrating this small portion of your customer base. I know I’m not important, nor is the work I do through the internet…not important enough for you to actually use some intelligence when getting addresses right and making sure orders go through.

Keep up the great work.