June 30, 2010

Get in the mood for Independence Day

I've been thinking about how much airtime (eyetime?) holidays like Christmas and Halloween got here on this blog, and how it might make you think that I don't really care much about the holidays I haven't featured (Easter, Thanksgiving, etc.).  If you did think that, you are right.  Those holidays have nothing in it for me.  I just make it through them, counting down the months until we get another "good" holiday.


Independence Day is sort of like that.  I mean, I like gathering for a BBQ with people.  I don't mind watching fireworks, if I don't have to leave the comfort of my own back yard (or balcony, as the case may be).

I wonder though, if I'm going about this whole "holiday" thing wrong.  Maybe I should be trying harder to find joy in each holiday, even if it historically bored me.

Here's my try for Independence Day.  Maybe it'll get you psyched too?

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Troubletron liked this one because it featured Thomas Jefferson.  He's a Virginian who isn't buying into this whole John-Adams-Renaissance we've been seeing lately.

June 29, 2010

Ray of Sunlight

Troubletron and I are moving this coming weekend.  Don't ask me where.  Even if I knew, I wouldn't tell you (because some of you are crazy).

But, wherever we go, it will be a temporary situation--and all the "temporary situations" we have available to us at this point are not exactly "bird friendly" (translation: they contain cats).  So, we will be taking our birds down to stay with my grandpa (aka "Papatron") in North Carolina until we can find a new bird-friendly home or until he can't stand the constant squawking anymore . . . whichever comes first.

We've been stressing out about the timeline of the move, and about where to live, and when I will find a job, and, well, the list goes on.  We were beginning to think nothing would ever go our way.

And then, I saw this on facebook:
CHEERWINE KREME FILLED KRISPY KREME DOUGHNUTS hit grocery stores on July 1 in the Carolina's (we're really sorry folks outside of the Carolina's but Cheerwine and Krispy Kreme go way back in these parts). JULY ONLY... LIMITED EDITION Cheerwine Doughnut... Snacktacular!

If you know what Cheerwine is, you are so jealous right now.

Krispy Kreme, we have a date in Kannapolis, NC this weekend.   And, maybe in Chapel Hill too.

June 28, 2010

Afternoon Storm

At around 2:30 p.m. today, after a morning of 99 degree weather, I noticed it was looking a bit dark and dreary outside.  I walked out onto the balcony and saw storm clouds moving at a noticeably speedy pace.  I grabbed the camera.   Watch the clouds.

All photos were taken in a 3 minute span of time.

They moved so quickly out of the shot--and over me--it was amazing.
(other side of building)

I stood in awe, having never seen clouds move so fast before in my life, when the loudest crack of thunder I've ever heard stomped through the air and nearly knocked me down.

The wind began to blow, and all of a sudden chairs began sliding 20 feet across concrete and into the pool.
And, then the rain dropped.
And, I began getting wet, so I went back inside.  The lights flickered and the birds flapped in their traditional panic.  Ten minutes later, the sun was back out and the ominous clouds are nowhere to be seen.

Why I May Never Get A Job

Last week I got this email from a potential employer at the Department of Education:

Thank you for applying in response to Job Announcement No. (omitted) for the General Attorney position with the U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General.   We received over 2,000 applications for this position and the selection process was very competitive.  We selected two candidates who have significant education law experience, as that experience was the most important factor we sought in a candidate.  We considered experience in education law the most important factor because of the volume and complexity of education laws and regulations.  We wish you success in your future endeavors.

Why can't I get a job?

Because there are over 2,000 people applying for every good job.   I applied for that job three months ago, BEFORE the new class of law school graduates finished their coursework.  This situation is only getting worse.

June 26, 2010

Help For A Good Cause

I don't do this very often, so please consider this one request!

This cutie, to the left, is Brynn.

Brynn has Retts Syndrome, a disorder caused by a mutation on the X chromosome, that affects only girls.  Seemingly normal babies begin exhibiting symptoms around 6-18 months old. After a normal development, they begin to see regression in speech, motor coordination and many other areas. It is a very hard, taxing disease for both child and parents.

Pepsi is doing a something called the Pepsi Refresh Project and we can help Retts research get a boost of $250,000 from Pepsi if it receives enough votes. It actually has a good chance of getting the money if we all pitch in. Retts is actually a disease that is getting closer to being solved.

All you have to do is CLICK HERE! Every day, click on this link and vote. You have to sign in with an email address, but I don't think that's too much to ask.  You can also link to it on Facebook and vote straight from Facebook if you'd prefer.

Thanks for your help.

June 25, 2010

It's never too early . . .

. . . to start bringing your work to the bar.

Today on Family Blog:

June 24, 2010

Troubletron has a new love . . .

Troubletron may divorce me to marry my spinach burgers.  Either way, he still needs ME to get what he wants.

He would do well to remember that he didn't even know what spinach tasted like until he met me!
And, not just spinach . . . roasted red peppers, ciabatta bread, and feta too.

June 22, 2010

And so it begins . . .

Where will we be in three weeks?

Your guess is as good as mine.

June 14, 2010

That's What She Said

I am loving this clip of Alfred Hitchcock, essentially making a That's What She Said joke  . . . in 1929.

"As the girl said to the soldier . . ."

Troubletron LOVES to Remind Me of:

At some point, in the not too distant past, the new Alvin and the Chipmunks movie, aka "The Squeakquel," debuted in theaters and, of course, was showing at our local Regal.

Sidenote: we ALWAYS choose the Regal theater because their entertainment book price is only $7 per ticket, rather than the $7.50 per ticket that AMC theaters charge.  Did you think I wouldn't notice, AMC?

One day, we were heading to the movies with the kids, and Littletron was trying to get us to see The Squeakquel.  He tried to convince us by telling us they were introducing some "new" characters . . . girls!  I tried to tell Littletron that I already know EVERYTHING about the Chipettes because Alvin and the Chipmunks has been around since, well, BEFORE I was a kid, and that therefore the "girl" chipmunks aren't new, but are actually like 50 years old.  He wouldn't believe me.  But, I'm offtrack.

So, we were standing in front of the theater, looking at all the movies playing, and the Chipmunks movie was listed like this:

RWA: Alvin/Chipmunks 2

Troubletron asked, "what does 'RWA' stand for?"

Without even THINKING, and without a single doubt in my mind, I said, "Rodents With Attitude."  For a few weeks, that's what we REALLY thought the movie was called.

We both that that was a very clever name for a Chipmunks movie, playing of course, off the former rappers, NWA.  But, I won't tell you what that stands for because you should already know.  And, if you don't know, you're not down.  But, I'm offtrack again.
Anyway, that's not what RWA stands for.  And, really, I don't know exactly what it stands for.  But, it is always in front of one movie at our local Regal and it means that that movie has extra features for the hearing impaired.

June 10, 2010

Shake Weight

I have one.

I have never felt sillier while working out in my life--and that's saying something.  Exercises and I are not natural buddies.  My body just doesn't bend, and it doesn't apologize for that.  But, yeah, the Shake Weight is just plain silly.  Yet, Troubletron does not seem to mind me doing it.  He even brings it to me from the other room, unasked, from time to time.

June 8, 2010

Unqualified . . . for everything

A few weeks ago, while searching the federal government job site usajobs.gov for attorney positions, I came across a listing for a temporary and part time job as a government test administrator.  The advertisement indicated that the government often administers tests for potential employees or for military personnel.  Test administrators are needed to clearly read test instructions, ensure no one is cheating, and to collect the tests and transport them with confidentiality.

Well, I thought, I need part time work to tide me over.  I can read.  I am good at monitoring others' bad behavior, and shaming/judging them.  And, I know how to drive somewhere without showing anyone my cargo.  I'm totally qualified for this position.

So, I applied.

Today I got an email about the job.  It says this:

We have reviewed your application and found you qualified for the position listed above.  However, you were not among the most highly qualified candidates. Therefore, your name will not be referred to the employing agency at this time.  If we receive a request from the agency for additional candidates, or another agency requests a list of eligibles for a very similar position within the next 90 days, your application will again be reviewed for possible referral.

What the what?

Who are these "highly qualified individuals" of whom they speak?  Who reads better than a lawyer?  Who administers tests better than a former school teacher?

Why do I care!?

June 7, 2010

Twitter Question

For those of you who know more about Twitter than I, I pose this question:

Is there a reason I should care if pornbots "follow" me on Twitter?

I want your thoughts.

It's not like I have to look at them.

For invitees:

June 4, 2010

Craigslist IQ

It's no secret that I, Sparklebot, am an internet-sales pro-star.  I am no stranger to the ways of ebay, craigslist, and amazon sales.  I understand the subtleties of each beast, and I have, over the years, learned to successfully tame each for my own personal profit.

About a year ago, Troubletron and I bought a Gumball/Candy dispensing machine from an ebay seller.  We filled it with a variety of delicious candies and placed it in a retail location where we had the necessary "in."  We regained our investment in just a few short weeks.  Unfortunately, due to some circumstances that are not relevant here, and through no fault of our own, we lost our location, and consequently have had this commercial quality gumball machine, empty, in our kitchen, for months.  We've looked for new locations, but nothing promising has come up.

You know our financial situation.  So, obviously, we need to sell this machine to someone with a vending business who can use it.

Ok.  Background given.  Story begins.

I listed the machine on Craigslist yesterday.  Here is the text and pictures from the ad:

We have a commercial quality Gumball/candy dispensing machine that we are no longer using. Great for an existing vending business, or for those looking to make a little extra income a month with almost no extra work.

It is all dark brown, with silver accents. Three separate compartments for candy/gumballs. Each compartment has a 25 cent price.

We bought this on ebay a year ago for $150. It was worked great for us, but the store we had it in closed and we haven't done the work to find a replacement location.

We will throw in our extra gumballs and candies (pictured) with the purchase, if you want them.

We are seeking $100, but will accept reasonable offers. Email with any questions.

The ad, of course, also contained the following photos:
 Ok.  So, pretty clear.  Right?

Within a few minutes of posting the ad, I got an email from a gentleman interested in the machine.  Here is our email conversation (all colors/grammar mistakes, ridiculous punctuation are from the actual emails.  I have removed only names.)

Please send me contact info thanks Regards.

I don't give out contact info until I know I have a serious potential buyer.  Do you have questions?  I can answer them via email.

Dear ?
Sorry you did not mention your name
I do not want your personal or business information . what  I mean is that you write your phone #  for me to cantact you.  so anyway I give  my cell phone ---omitted------ for you to contact me. yes you can contact me. thanks
Best regards;
This is an internet transaction.  I don't give out my name and contact information to strangers on the internet.
The best way for me to talk to you is via email.  If you cannot ask me your questions via email, then this will not work.
please send me the pictures of your machine?
how old are they?
what area is the location of the machines?
how much are you grossing ?
what is the net profit?
please describe the situation?

I need to all information above. if you can not give the information above please do not email me back, thanks.
There were pictures on the ADVERTISEMENT.  So, look at them.
It's only one machine.
It is a few years old.  As the ADVERTISEMENT said, we bought IT about a year ago off of ebay.
It's in MY HOUSE.  It's not in a commercial location, AS THE ADVERTISEMENT SAID.
My net and gross profits are none of your business.  Your net and gross profits will depend on the kind of candy and the location of the machine.
Please describe WHAT situation?

I need you to READ ADVERTISEMENTS before you reply that you are interested in them.  If you cannot read, please don't email me back.  Thanks.

Now I know what ad it was,
As far as i can remember you mentioned you have 3 machines for $100 right?
What is the last price you can sell, I need them buy by tuesday or so.
if possible send me the pics . somehow I lost your ad. thanks.
It is ONE machine.  One.  ONE MACHINE.
THREE (3) (three) compartments in the ONE (1) (one) machine.
(insert pic here again).
Let me tell you how this works.  I want $100.  If you can't pay me $100, then I'm not going to suggest a LOWER price.  $100 is a good deal on this machine.  I'm not interested in giving it to you for the "last price."  I'm interested in selling it for the "first"? price . . .or the HIGHEST price, as we say.  You see, I'm selling something.  I'm trying to GAIN money.  I'm not trying to give YOU a good deal.
If you "need" this ONE (1), and only ONE (1) machine by Tuesday, I suggest you cough up $120 bucks so that we can speed this along.  Plus, I really think you owe me extra for my trouble.
He's coming to look at it tomorrow.
I share this story with you, not because I think it's particularly funny or because it annoyed me.  I mean, it DID annoy me, obviously, but that's not it.  I share this story with you because this SAME STORY happens EVERY BLEEPING TIME I sell something on Craigslist.  And, I want to know why.
Why can't people who buy things on Craigslist read?

Why do they not only WANT, but actually EXPECT me to send them my name, address, and phone number on the first email!?  You're buying my unwanted crap, not marrying my daughter.

June 3, 2010

It's ON

Many of you were outraged by my treatment at Einstein Bros Bagels last week.  And, rightfully so.  You will be happy to know that I submitted a complaint about my experience online, and am awaiting return contact.  If I don't hear back soon, I'll follow up.

You may also be interested to know that THIS came in the mail yesterday:
There are three Einstein's Bros Bagel locations within easy driving distance of my house.  And, I'm unemployed.

I think if you do that math, you will see that Einstein's WILL be giving me 18 free bagels in the coming weeks.