A long time ago I had a temp job through an employment agency working at a very well-known food company updating their mailing list. This mainly consisted of inputting address changes and new requests into a database to be sent free recipe cards. I’d always been a very responsible goody two-shoes who tried to do everything right on all my jobs, temp or otherwise, but this time I decided to have a bit of fun. In addition to making all the necessary corrections and updates, I also added to the database several names of pets belonging to people I knew. All I did was take the pet’s first name and tack on the last name of the person; hence “Chessie Gibbs”, a cat of my acquaintance, began receiving free recipe cards in the mail. Years later a friend of mine told me her dog was still getting recipe cards. Clearly the company had yet to notice my handiwork.😁
As a rule I don’t print anyone else’s writing on my blog; no quotes, no guest posts, but today I’m going to break from that tradition with an anonymous piece of writing. Quite a few years ago I had a work-from-home part-time job grading “practice” SAT essays for a test prep company. (Side note: I didn’t get this job because my own SAT scores had been so fabulous – they weren’t – but because I did very well in college and had a number of writing credits, primarily in local newspapers, to demonstrate my writing skill.) Most of the student writing I saw was unremarkable. I saved this short piece, part of a response to a question I no longer recall exactly (something about various individuals’ worth to society), not for its writing per se but because I thought it was a stitch, too good not to now share. I give you “Ben’s” words:
Secondly, a toy factory assembly man could be considered invaluable because he puts together a lot of toys every day, but the man could be a sleazy bachelor who goes home every night and drinks. There’s a good chance he doesn’t have kids, because he wouldn’t be able to afford them. So, in fact, the man could do nothing for nobody and still be considered full of worth because he produces a lot of toys.
So there’s this tree right outside my window. I like it fine. Over the years, though, it has grown closer and closer to my window and when it’s leafed out, it makes me feel a little claustrophobic. Also, and more significantly, due to the decreased distance, squirrels – at least one if not more – began to jump from the tree to the roof. When they first started doing this, I didn’t know what it was and found the “thump” sound alarming: What was that? I didn’t much enjoy the squirrel-jumping and was concerned that one day one might get the idea to jump to my window ledge and chew its way through the screen instead (this is not wildly far-fetched; not once but twice in my life, in two other places I lived, a squirrel chewed its way in through a window screen and came on in).
Last year I got the idea to stick a weed-whacker out the window and trim the tree myself (that’s how close it was). This actually worked fairly well so far as opening up a little space but it made no impression on the squirrels who continued jumping to the roof without concern. This week I was able to borrow a “pole trimmer” to stick out the window and trim the tree which I did yesterday. The trimmer allowed me to do a much better job eliminating limbs too close to the house. I was very pleased with the results. I figured that when a squirrel came along he’d think twice about attempting the jump now and likely turn back around and go another way.
That’s not what happened. Here’s my shabby & quick artist’s rendering of how it was before I used the pole trimmer to trim the tree.
Here’s what happened after I trimmed the tree. The squirrel is NOT turning tail but as of last evening, still jumping, only now it is flying further through the air as it jumps, therefore increasing the sound when it lands on the roof. I created the setting for a squirrel projectile.
If Amazon could they’d come have sex with you at your house as a benefit of Prime.
I saw this fellow in someone’s yard shirking his gnome duties.
In late 2017 I posted photos of *expired” marked down produce the small, local grocery store sells. It’s not unusual to see rotting vegetables or even mold; the addition of a SALES ARE FINAL NO RETURNS OR MONEY BACK sign particularly amused me. Here’s the original photos.
Recently the store stopped refrigerating said old produce. That’s right – why waste valuable cold storage on festering vegetables?! Now they reside in a cardboard display outside the cold bins. One of the main items is bagged lettuce – as IF bagged produce didn’t already have enough issues what with the various recalls and E. Coli outbreaks.😕
I have a few kitchen appliances but not a lot by most standards. I like to do – or at least think it’s probably a good idea to do – many tasks by hand, both for the exercise and because it makes me feel more connected to the food. (I’ve mixed and kneaded hundreds of pizza doughs, for example, and the process feels important and satifying). There are kitchen chores though, that aren’t possible without the help of an appliance, like a blender, which of course I have. To save space & money, I bought a food processor attachment for my Oster blender four years ago for $17. Thanks to it I could make fake icecream and things like hummus. I got good use from it.
In the winter the plastic base of the food processor attachment broke. I decided to try gluing it.
That worked for awhile but several times lately, rather than grind in its normal, high-decibel fashion, the food processor attachment, apparently not seated correctly due to the repair job, has made a HORRIBLE sound when I’ve turned it on, not unlike that bad grinding, scraping noise when a car shifts incorrectly. This sound is so alarming I’ve become frightened to use the attachment, even though hurriedly turning the machine off and trying to “reseat” the attachment tends to take care of the problem. I just don’t think my nerves can take it!😦
So, I looked at Amazon. NOW Amazon wants an outrageous $50 for a new one and $34 for a used-like-new one. And it’s thin plastic! And not even high end caliber! $50?! Instead, I looked at other possibilities, keeping cost and “footprint” in mind, as well as ratings. This led me to a small, 4-cup Cuisinart food processor. I can assure you I’ve never owned a Cuisinart anything. Around my kitchen, in addition to Oster, the brand names tend toward Black & Decker, Hamilton Beach, etcetera. Serviceable, unfancy wares. The reason I purchased the little Cuisinart (for under $20) was because it is refurbished through a program called Amazon Renewed. Basically, a supplier fixes up used appliances and they re-sell them (I bought a refurbished Sony CD/cassette player from Amazon in 2017 and its been fine).
Here’s what caught my eye today in the description of Amazon’s refurbished goods:
The products will have minimal to no signs of wear and no visible cosmetic imperfections when held 12 inches away.
12″ huh? I bet they’re just dreamy from oh, 8 feet away. What they’re really saying here is:
You’ll like it better if you don’t look at it too closely.
Are those words to live by or what? As someone who very routinely looks at everything closely, I can see how I’d be well-advised to apply this philosophy to more of my life, not just used kitchen appliances!