The App No One Wants

Okay. Here’s a news story about phone app that you can use to “tip off” local police about criminal activity.

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Seems to me, just HAVING this app on your phone is going to get you in trouble.

Anyone seeing this thing on your phone is going to think you are up to something.

Obviously you are either (A) a criminal, or (B) a friend if criminals. (And you’re a lousy friend at that; you’re going to turn in your pals?!)

I mean, try thinking of an innocent reason to explain why you have this app? “I thought I might happen to witness a crime sometime soon?”

Yeah, I’m not thinking that this app is going to take off anytime soon.

Quoth the Raven

There are a lot of ravens in Alaska, apparently. When I first saw them, I thought they were crows, but they are much bigger.

Seriously, these things are the size of housecats! Here’s a chart to tell the difference between ravens and crows:

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image from http://alyzenmoonshadow.com

Apparently they are very smart birds; they can solve simple puzzles and even learn to talk. 

The weird thing is: the ravens are still here, right now, in the dead of winter.

I feel like catching one and demanding, “Do you SEE all this snow? Aren’t you a bird?! Shouldn’t you have flown south months ago?”

But they don’t go anywhere. They don’t seem to mind the cold, and food is no problem, I guess. As carrion eaters, their main source of food is garbage.

While there aren’t as many dead things lying around to eat in the wintertime, there is plenty of trash, thanks to all the humans around here. It’s kind of unnerving, though, to see these beautiful black birds dumpster-diving all over the place.

Those ravens will eat anything.

Recently my husband was in Wal-Mart and heard an announcement over the loudspeaker. “If you are the owner of a black Ford truck with this license number, be aware that the ravens are eating your groceries right now.”

Ew. Smart birds, indeed.

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The Sweater from 1992

When we moved to Hawaii, over six years ago now, I got rid of all of my winter things. I just didn’t want to store all of that stuff. Sometimes I wish I still had a couple of those old things, but not very often.

But now that we are in Alaska I have to buy some new winter clothes.

I was shopping at the thrift store and I found a sweater I used to own. It was in perfect condition and looked as if it had stepped straight from 1992 into the year 2015, just waiting for me to find it again.

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I know, of course, that it’s not the same one, since I bought that sweater in Texas, wore it in Alabama, and gave it away in Maryland.

But it was cool to find it here in Alaska.

Maybe I’ll find the stirrup pants I used to wear with it, too.

Not that I’d wear them again.

Or would I?

GUESSWHAT

Winter: Beautiful and Dangerous!

I’ve been taking some nice scenery pictures recently. Winter in Alaska is really beautiful. I posted a picture taken from my window on Facebook recently:

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I got lots of comments. “Wow!” “So beautiful!” “I’m jealous!”

Now, I appreciate the love, people, but REALLY. You’re jealous?! Of ME?! Come on!

You KNOW I’m only showing the nice side of life on Facebook, right? That’s what we DO on Facebook! Right?! (Isn’t that what you’re all doing, too? Because if you guys are all REALLY as happy as you look on Facebook I might as well lie down and die.)

The snow is beautiful here, sure, but it’s also DEADLY.

I have seen a car stranded in a ditch EVERY DAY for the past three weeks. (A different car, in a different ditch, I mean. Obviously.)

The snow is even a problem if you’re not driving.

The twins love playing in this snow pile outside their school. Then one day I saw the school had it roped off.

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“Some kid broke his arm out there,” the twins informed me nonchalantly.

This snow wants to KILL us, I tell you! But it sure is pretty…

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Can you help me?

WHEREISIT

I went to Home Depot to find a part for our leaking fridge (see my last post, The Joys of Home Ownership). 

I had the broken part with me, so I figured I could match it.

I walked back to the “Plumbing” section and saw a man in an orange apron standing at the end of the aisle.

“Hi!” I said. “I’m looking for a valve like this.” I held up the plastic piece.

He squinted at it. “What’s it for?” he asked.

“It’s part of the waterline for a refrigerator. It connects two pieces of quarter-inch tubing,” I answered, reciting what my husband had told me.

He stared at it some more. “Well,” he said finally. “That would probably be in plumbing, I guess.” He looked around the area vaguely.

I followed his eyes, reading the huge PLUMBING sign above his head, then looking around at the various aisle markers. I looked back at him.

“I’m Lawn and Garden,” he explained. “But it would probably be…” He looked all around again, as if searching for inspiration from above.

Then his little walkie-talkie beeped and he answered it. He started talking to someone on the other end about generators (and the fact that they are completely out of them again) and I stood awkwardly, wondering what I should do. I began an internal dialogue.

Would it be rude for me to walk off in the middle of his sentence? I asked myself. I don’t want to interrupt him.

But he interrupted himself, I answered myself. And he obviously doesn’t have any idea where the part is.

But he did try to answer, I reminded myself. He can’t help it if he doesn’t know. He’s from Lawn and Garden.

He can help standing in the middle of Plumbing with his orange apron looking as if he could help people, when he evidently can NOT, I mentally retorted.

While this little play went on inside my brain I stood there, looking like a particularly stupid deer that hasn’t decided whether or not to flee. I shifted my weight.

Finally I began inching away, glancing over at the man still chatting away on the walkie-talkie, deciding that I would give him a pantomimed version of “I’ll go find it myself” (exaggerated pointing and mouthing) if he looked up. He didn’t.

I walked around a bit and found the part myself.

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When I came back out of the aisle, HE WAS STILL THERE. He was no longer on the phone; he was just standing in the middle of Plumbing, wearing his (obviously ironic) “May I help you?” orange apron.

“I found it!” I told him unnecessarily, waving the little plastic packet in my hand.

He looked unimpressed.

As I walked off, I saw someone else approaching him. I hope they had a question about Lawn and Garden….

hardware store comic
image from zazzle.com

Here’s What I Don’t Get:

People who hit “like” on garage sale page posts.

I belong to some groups on facebook that are devoted to buying and selling used things and I’ve seen this many times.

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What are they trying to say? “That’s a great shelf there you are trying to get rid of. I like it! I don’t wanna give you the fifteen bucks and take it off your hands, but hey! It’s nice shelf.”

What is wrong with you? Either buy it it go away!

stop it bob newhart

I thought this outfit looked good

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Last night I was wearing my new navy shirt with my brown skirt.

I thought I looked quite nice as I headed out to go shopping.

I forgot what my friend Megan had told me about those being “Wal-Mart-colors.”

(I had replied, No they’re not! They are neutrals.”)

But there I was in the craft section at Wal Mart, and a man said, “Do you work here?”  

No sir. No, I don’t.

I’m just a regular person who wears NEUTRAL COLORS.

mayihelpyou

Remember Blockbuster Video?

Remember when we used to rent movies at the video store? Ah, the eighties and nineties were a fun time.

I saw this meme on my facebook wall the other day:

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I laughed, but the really funny thing is that Blockbuster Video is alive and well here in Alaska. I’m not kidding.

I took the twins there last Friday. Really.

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They’ve never been to a video store, so they were very excited.

It’s almost like going back in time.

Then there’s the fact that about half of the radio stations here are playing “classic” 80’s rock. I can close my eyes and be back in the middle of 1990. 

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Probably not a good idea while I’m driving…