More Inventions I Could Really Use

Great Scott!  We’re talking about inventions again!  Now that I think about it, I guess I could use a time machine too…

New followers-you have missed the insanity that really got this little blog out of the hangar and on to the runway.  I Could So Be An Inventor was a hit with people who know me, anyway.  Lucky you, I’ve been saving more of them up.  Here’s Part Deux.  These aren’t as good as the original set, but I certainly think I could use some of these!

1)  Food expiration alarm-How many times have I bought a bag of spinach with lofty goals of eating salad and putting spinach on various sandwiches, only to forget the dang thing in the back of the crisper drawer (or the hole that used to be the crisper drawer in my fridge)?  Such a waste of money.  If there was an alarm that would sound a certain amount of time before food expired, it might encourage more people to use vegetables and leftovers BEFORE they expire.  You know, saving money and stuff.  In my house it would have to be a pretty shrill alarm.

2)  Appliance Resuscitation Device or ARD–  Your major appliance bit the dust?  There may still be hope.  You’ve heard of an AED?  This is the version for appliances:  a set of two paddles that you can attach and try to jolt it back to life.  I could really use this right now on my dishwasher and garbage disposal!

Looks like this appliance could use an ARD. It’s fallen and it can’t get up.

3)  Dead Rodent Detection Device-I believe I mentioned that we needed on of these in Living With An Evil Genius (Or Two).  He hasn’t delivered.  It would work much like a metal detector.  Then once the dead body is located, it is incinerated by fancy technology that I can’t even begin to comprehend.  This is because I REALLY don’t need any more holes in my walls.

4)  Real Life Censor-This will take the frustration out of those naughty words that you accidentally mutter. It syncs into your brain waves and senses when you are about to cuss, and then bleeps you out.  In some households I would be afraid of it getting overloaded…  You can upgrade to the Austin Powers Model that covers up anything indecent by projecting an image of something else over it.  Both models only work when children and elderly grandparents are in the room.

Having a real life censor for some people would be like being R2D2. Bleep.

5)  Brain Upgrade– Works much like the memory on computers.  Plugs into your ear when you need more memory.  I need about ten of these.

I just wanted an excuse to use this picture! I doubt it would look like that. Maybe more like a unicorn horn? Nah, that would just be silly. You don’t WANT people to know you have a brain upgrade, right?

6)  Fat Cloaking Device– Not your ordinary cloaking device, but what is?  Feeling fat today?  Turn this one and you are one slender hot mama.  No discomfort necessary.  Just as useful as the Mess Cloaking Device, ‘cept better.

7)  Political Ad Replacer– Too late for this year, but could prove quite useful in the future.  Detects whenever there is a political ad on your TV.  Plays footage of animals doing funny things, because who doesn’t like cute animals being funny (and who actually likes political ads)?  Can also be used to zap political mailings into pictures of Blake Shelton.  You’re welcome.  I could really like politics if that were the case.

No Politics here. Just Blake Shelton.

8)  Chocolate Powder-This isn’t your grandmother’s cocoa!  Sprinkle it on any food and it will taste just like chocolate.  It doesn’t add calories.  Hate broccoli?  Now it tastes like chocolate pudding.  Despise liver?  Now it’s chocolate cake.  Doesn’t work on fruitcake.  Nothing can alter fruitcake.

9)  Useful Information Filter-This is exclusively for ADD folks only.  This special filter attaches to your brain and screens out the crap you usually retain and keeps the important stuff in the right place.  Don’t worry, you’ll still remember all the words to “Bohemian Rhapsody”, but can also remember when to pay your water bill.  Comes as a bonus item when you order the brain upgrade.

Don’t worry, it really wouldn’t look like this. I’m just messing with ya.

10)  Idea Enhancer-Takes those great ideas that you always get that usually go nowhere and helps bring them to fruition.  If your enhanced idea lasts more than four hours, contact your physician.

11)  Child Tractor Beam-Tired of your toddler trying to get away?  Kindergartener won’t come out of his room when you call?  Can’t get your ten year old to come home from his friend’s house?  Turn on this handy dandy tractor beam and they’ll be right there in a jiffy.  Not the same as the toilet tractor beam, thank goodness!

And last but not least-

12) Nakedness Alarm Disarming System-New in January 2013, this remote provides all controls to disarm the Mom Nakedness Alarm.  Simply plug in the code, and you can pee/get dressed/take a bath/poop/etc in peace without a child needing you to “Make the Bop-It listen” or any other nonsensical thing kids need the moment they know you are naked.  This is because they won’t know…

That’s all I’ve got for now.  I’m sure I’ll have more.  Who can finish off a blog post about inventions without a Tony Stark reference… I can’t.

Oh come on, you know we all could use one. I’m talking about the GLOVE LIGHT people!

Anxiety and Finicky Appliances Don’t Mix: Why Refrigerator College Isn’t for Me

Yup, I’ll never be as cool as Frank Jr.   He gets go to Refrigerator College.

We can put that career choice right up there along with being a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model and financial advisor.  Not gonna happen.  I will never be an appliance repair person.

Every time I turned on the washer last week, I got an error message.  It would only flash for a few seconds and then disappear.  I was really driving myself nuts.  Why would it do that?  What is wrong with my nearly new washer?  Did Best Buy do something to it to make us regret not buying the extended warranty?  Is it in cahoots with the dormant dishwasher and the humming garbage disposal?  I got out the manual, but of course nowhere did it list the error code I was seeing.  Oh crap!  Oh crap!  Curse you appliance gods!

The error kind of looked like it had a “c” and an “l” in it.  Maybe it’s the filter?  So I tried cleaning the filter. I followed the instructions to the letter.  I opened the little door, I undid the little hose thingie, I had a rubbermaid container ready to catch all of the water out of the little hose.  No water came out of the hose.  However, all kinds of water came out of the filter chamber when I loosened the end.  It went everywhere.  Two towels later I finally got the filter out-it was clean, although it was slightly stinky in there.  I put everything back and turned on the washer.  Same error code.  Next I tried to clean out the gasket-there was quite a bit of hair stuck in there.  I turned it on again-there was still an error code.  Arrrrrrrrrgh!

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try the next recommended step, which was to dial the LG service number on my phone, and let the “washer” talk to the phone.  Does this make anyone else think of when they ask droids in the Star Wars movies to talk to ships?  No that’s just me?  I was looking around for R2-D2 and C-3PO-though I bet this wouldn’t be one of the six million forms of communication that 3PO was supposedly fluent in.

After deciding that I didn’t feel comfortable letting my washer talk in robot language right in front of me (who knows what it might say about us), I opened my laptop and found a website that explains all of the error codes.  I felt pretty stupid-it turns out the washer was just telling me that the child lock was on.  As soon as I saw it on there, the code made sense.  Of course!  Duh!

Hey wait a minute, if I COULD find an R2 Unit, would it talk to the garbage disposal and fix it?

But wait, there’s more…

The next morning was the first day of the weather deciding that, oh yeah, it’s FALL!  I anticipated this happening.  I made sure I turned the heat back on before I went to bed last night.  It’s been warm and humid, which has made it feel even warmer.  This morning was the WAKE-UP call!  It was cold enough that the dog climbed in bed with me after my husband left for work.  I have the heat set at 60 at night because my husband is the reverse Princess and the Pea with 8 or so blankets on the bed.  At a little before 7 am, I have the thermostat set to go up to 66 degrees.

The reverse princess and the pea…  It’s sort of like this, but with blankets.

When the alarm went off, I went into the bathroom to hear a HORRIBLE noise coming from somewhere.  I thought it was the humidity control thing in there, but as I fiddled with that I realized that it was coming from the FURNACE.  Nooooooooo!  I went downstairs, turned off the heat, went to get my son out of bed, and then went down to the basement to fight with the furnace.  I finally pulled the door off the front and it wouldn’t even stop running.  It sounded like it had swallowed a train or something.  There was a wheel thingie turning on there, and I had no idea what it was or why it wouldn’t stop.  When it finally stopped running 10 minutes later, it started to get very cold in the house.  I texted my husband that it wasn’t working right and making a horrible noise.  Since he was there at work the day after his horrible accident, he had only gone in to wrap a few things up and could come home (apparently you really shouldn’t report to work after almost having your toe amputated by rogue metal).  Meanwhile I was still coming up with ways we would have to heat our house alternatively since we couldn’t afford a repairman.  What could we burn?  Where could we burn it?  Could we chop down our tree?  Our neighbor has a chainsaw. I bet if we mowed our lawn she’d lend it to us.

He came home, and he got it to work.  He just TURNED IT ON.  That’s all.  There was no noise, it was putting out hot air.  It was like he had a magic touch.  When I asked him how he did it, his first response was that a magician never reveals his secrets.  Then he said that he unwrapped his foot and showed it to the furnace and scared it into working.  Ha ha.  Thanks furnace.  This is the thanks I get for vacuuming you out, changing the furnace filters,  and removing the dead mouse with two wooden dowels as giant makeshift salad tongs?  Make a liar out of me?  I see how you are!

See?  Anxiety and Appliances that don’t behave are not a good mix.  No furnace school for me.  No refrigerator college.  Not even coffee pot repair classes.  The appliances don’t like me.  It’s a conspiracy!

Oh humble large appliances and important things in our home, please please please stop the conspiracy and live together in working harmony!

Let’s Build Something Together, Shall We? Like A Paycheck…

Job interview humor. Gotta love Ziggy.

I have a job interview tomorrow.  At Lowes of all places!  I think that’s kind of cool.

I’m interested in this because 1) It’s different from anything else I’ve ever done 2) It’s retail in a way but not in the high pressure sales sense and 3) It’s weekends and maybe nights here and there, opposite my husband’s schedule.  Not to mention that shopping there is something I consider pretty fun, and I’m a girl.  I’ve done the math-I can make just as much working less hours if I don’t pay for childcare.  No offense, childcare people.  You are some of the most under appreciated and underpaid people out there!  I know because I could be working in childcare right now, but that ironic situation keeps presenting itself-you care for other people’s children but you don’t make enough to pay for your own child’s care.  I figured up that I’d make $20 less for half the hours spent at work.  This isn’t laziness speaking, this is common sense.

Oh come on, I’ve seen The Money Pit enough times. That qualifies me for a job at Lowes, right?

So how does one prepare for an interview for a home improvement store job?

I think I’ll start by getting in a couple episodes of House Crashers and Bath Crashers.  Then I’ll go outside and hammer some nails into some wood, and follow that up with some speed drilling.  I’ll lift full cans of paint for strength training.  Then I should probably study up on different kinds of tools and appliances, just in case there’s a test.  Finally, I’ll research the names of different types of pipes and fittings.  Now if I could just remember what position I applied for.  I DO remember filling out the application online, because there were about 76,000 questions on it.

Although I call a lot of things “thingies”, I know what all of these are really called.

It became apparent pretty quickly that I was going to have to find SOMETHING after my job ended.  I have been putting applications at quite a variety of places.  But there have been criteria, it’s not like I was throwing myself at any place that was a business.  If it was a place that I knew I’d despise working at, then I didn’t bother.  I know I need a job, but I also need my sanity.  Part-time where I can still be with the kids most of the time and still pursue writing, or full-time if it paid enough to justify putting the younger one back in childcare.  I haven’t heard back from anyone other than two childcare centers that I can’t afford to work at (see paragraph 2), and I have my theories as to why here.  I’m not saying that working weekends and the occasional evening is ideal.  The Princess has already put her foot down and told me that I can’t ever get a job because she’d miss me too much.  She also told me the same thing when I left her with her dad while I got groceries the other night, but her tune quickly changed after she was given ice cream with lots of syrup after supper.

I’m not holding my breath about this one, or anything at this point.  I’m just happy that someone thought I was worth interviewing.  I’ll keep ya’ll posted on how it went.

This is me in a job interview. Sometimes I even surprise myself at what comes out of my mouth.

The Internet: Brain Sucking Distraction or Useful Source of Information?

I have really got to get a life.

I have purposely avoided the computer, trying to only focus on the job search thing twice a week.  But yet it continues to suck me back in.  Especially Facebook.  Something about looking at everyone else’s supposed fabulous lives helps pass the time?  Who knows.  I do know this-that I really need to stop googling everything and anything when I am online doing whatever.  Somehow I wind up on some of those forums that you’re not supposed to really look at when you are not quite in your right mind.  “I have been unemployed for three years, and now I’m dead.”  “I quit my job and my skin burned off”.  “I have been jobless six years and now I live in a toaster oven.”  Ok so none of those really actually existed, but they might as well have because that’s how I take them.

A while back I took a little detour through a nearby town to stop at a locally owned appliance place.  I haven’t had a working dishwasher in a really long time and my mother had offered to help either fix the one we have or aid in the purchase of a new one (I’m sure the mountain of dishes in the kitchen when she visited was a bit of a catalyst in that situation).  I’m bringing this up because all of my research about dishwashers took place on the internet, except for the guy at Lowes who was in his third day of work there and he really really liked Samsung dishwashers because he had one.  Not exactly scientific research there.  Anyhoo, it turns out that it does not matter what the product is, EVERY product out there has an I-hate-this-product website.  EVERY product.  They could make an appliance that pooped out solid gold eggs and someone would find a reason to complain.  Funny that the very dishwasher that is sitting dormant in my kitchen is actually one of the top rated ones out there, but people hated it just as much as any of the other ones.

I walked into the store with two wide eyed children, and the appliance guy looks me up and down.  I try to talk to him, explain my situation.  Told him about my dishwasher, made sure I made it clear that we had bought several appliances from them in the past and wanted some “expert” advice.  Then I opened my mouth and said I had been looking on the internet.  At that very moment, I think I made Hulk angry.  He proceeded on a ten minute tirade about how the internet is evil and that I should not be looking up, well, anything.  I think If I had lingered the villagers would have come out and burned me at the stake.

I politely thanked him for his time, turned and ran out of there as fast as I could.  This is why the big stores are doing well…

I had a point, and it was about the internet.  Anyone can post anything on the internet anywhere.  That’s what makes it so great, and so awful at the same time.  If you need information on something you can get it quickly, now whether it’s correct or not depends.  The same goes for an opinion.  Or pretty much anything.  You seriously can type in just about anything and something will come up.  Not so good for an anxious person.

If you’ve been hunting for a job anytime recently you have probably noticed that EVERYTHING is online.  EVERYTHING.  Even a job at Casey’s is one you are directed to the internet to apply for.  I am not so proud to say that I will never ever be hired for a job at Kum and Go.  I am a very intelligent person, but I can’t pass their test.  And you can’t take it a second time.  Every job I have applied for this time around has been online.  That’s just how it is.  Good for me as far as the convenience-I don’t have to leave my home as long as I have the internet.  Bad for me in the fact that they most likely skim over my application and toss it in the trash.  Or laugh hysterically “Bwah ha ha!  How dare someone with a music education degree apply for this job?” and light it on fire.  Oh wait, it’s probably all digital-doubt they actually print them out.

I have several websites I check twice a week.  Ok I TRY.  It’s been a bit more often.  I can’t help myself.  I don’t know why-when jobs are posted there is a week or two to give people time to apply.  I also have done the networking site LinkedIN.  It’s where you “link up” with other people to try to get as many connections as possible.  A lot of the career websites highly recommend it.  I don’t quite get it, but I’m willing to give it a try if it will increase the likelihood that I might get a decent job.

Back to the forums I keep coming to, usually about 11:00 when I should be heading to bed, or doing something more productive like reading a book.  Much like the whole appliance debacle, there are many different stories out there.  There are the success stories, and then there are the people who I wish I had never read about (that would be the guy in the toaster.)  The fact is, I can try as hard as possible, but it may be awhile before I get a job.  And what if I DON’T find a job?  What’s the worst that can happen?  Not us homeless living in a cardboard box, or me exploding (somehow things exploding always work their way into my anxiety).  My husband has a good job-we won’t be doing great but we will get by.  I honestly don’t WANT to work full time right now.  My kids are still young-part-time so that I can contribute would be GRAVY right now.

I want to get past all of the anxiety about the whole situation.  I really want to just enjoy things and take it as it comes.  I don’t want to simply exist, I want to enjoy life again.  But at the moment I can’t.  Tomorrow I have a doctor’s appointment to address the sleep issue.  Finally-I lost my insurance when I lost my job, and now that my husband has insurance again I need to get things taken care of.  And as much as my husband does not want me to take meds to help me, this is something that as much as I would like to conquer on my own that I may not be able to.  If the doctor recommends it, I think I need to do it.  Does that make me a bad person?  No.

On an up note, this week has been one of the better ones for exercise for me.  Today the whole family participated in a walk for my husband’s work.  Between my morning walk and that one, I did over 5 miles in one day.  I am tired, but I feel really good.  This is the kind of thing that I want to get back to doing.  I used to be religious about it-before I had kids.  Now, not so much.  I want to do things like this again-also reading, writing, and GETTING AWAY FROM THE INTERNET (except for this blog, of course)  Maybe getting to the doctor will be the start of some good things.  And I can get back to being the semi-funny semi-fit fully conscious person I used to be.