Meet my friend Craig’s List

Since it is summer time, we have a few chores around my house that we need to finish up.  One is clearing out the “treasures” (worthless crap) we have accumulated over the years but have no good use for anymore.  Granted, at one time I thought I did need a huge pink “Hello Kitty” desk for my office to be a successful blogger, but now I know I don’t (mainly because I’m not a successful blogger).  Besides, my imaginary stalker Cyndi said she would gladly take it off my hands anytime I needed her to.

Unlike my worthless advice I offer to you my dear readers, some of these items are good, usable items.  And you know I really hate making the trip to the local garbage dump when I know a lot of my treasures could have a second life with someone else.  That’s when I turn to my friend Craig’s List.

Sure, some people are scared of Craig’s List (because who isn’t scared of meeting a stranger in a back alley for new flat screen TV?) but when you want to avoid making a trip to the garbage dump, Craig’s List can be your best friend.  Now that I don’t have a truck, it is hard for me to take large items to the garbage dump, donation center, or the recycling center.  Instead of me asking my friend to borrow his truck, I throw everything up on Craig’s List for free.

Today, I got rid of some really cool solar water heater panels.  They aren’t as bad as having a broken down wash machine in your front hard, but solar panels were nice but a wind storm had knocked them over and the glass was destroyed.  I had a few problems setting up the solar water heater system last year, then replacing the glass seemed expensive (4 ft x 8 ft sheets), and they didn’t fit into my “White Trash Theme” I have going on in the backyard, so I decided to get rid of them.  Now, I’m sure I could have sold them on Craig’s List but sometimes that is more of a hassle that the money I’d make out of the project.

This morning I posted the ad and within 30 minutes, two guys came and picked them up. As a bonus, they also picked up all my other free junk out in the driveway.  It was awesome.  I just saved myself about $50 in dump fees and a trip to the Bow Lake Transfer Station.

If you are worried about people coming to your house, you can also put your treasures on the corner of your neighborhood with a “free” sign on it.  I have a neighbor who is gone 11 months of the year so we usually put all the items in front of his house.  Plus, I have an awesome view of watching people gathering up my “treasures”.

That’s your worthless advice tip of the day!  Keep on getting rid of those treasures!

Someone is having a bad day—U-Haul crashes into Historic Seattle Landmark

Sometimes you just want to move your belongings from one place to another.  These poor folks decided to take their U-Haul moving truck through the beautiful Seattle Arboretum.  Why not?  It’s a short cut, it’s a nice drive, and what could go wrong?  Click on the link to KOMO news (one of our local broadcast news channels).

I’m hoping they opted for the “extra insurance coverage”.  I know your regular auto insurance usually covers small accidents but most of us have deductibles ranging from $100 to $1000.  The one time I opted for the additional coverage when I rented a moving van (14 years ago), it was worth it.  It was a small additional charge that covered EVERYTHING.  I managed to scrap a long line in the wood deck of the Public Storage moving van and they wanted to charge me for it.  It was a moving van and it was normal wear and tear.  Then the guy saw I had opted for the additional coverage and said I didn’t have to worry about it.

If you think about it, unless you are a commercial truck driver and use to a large vehicle, it makes sense to get the extra coverage and talk with your insurance coverage before you rent the truck.  Sure, it is cool you are moving from your parents’ basement into an overpriced apartment near Green Lake, but you need to cover yourself.  Think how this poor guy’s weekend is now ruined.

Click on the link below to check out more photos.

http://komonews.com/news/local/u-haul-truck-crashes-into-historic-seattle-landmark

UHaul from KOMO
Photo from KOMO news

Curriculum Night: How my Child will learn to Become a Mid-Level Management Suck Up

This evening I went to my daughter‘s “curriculum” night at her school. This just happens to be my last one for elementary school. Have you forgotten about curriculum night? Or maybe you are a bad parent and have never attended one before? Basically, the teacher tells you what your child will be learning over the course of the year. In the great State of Washington, goals have changed and the names of the goals have changed. We’ve had WASL goals, we’ve had Iowa tests, we’ve had critical thinking goals, MAPSAT, BS Goals, etc. The acronyms keep rolling out and the goals keep changing but it all comes down to this: we want our kids grow up with a decent brain inside their heads.

I’m all for progress and helping my child become a world thinker who is compassionate and uses critical thinking in their ever changing world of shifting paradigms while at the same time becoming a global citizen that needs to manage her own future. How about that? Is that a “mission statement” or what?

One of the new math concepts is for our students to work on the computer solving problems. Really? The teacher had a sample problem involving pizza and two kids. One kid was named Lucas. All I was thinking while she was showing us the math word problem was that Lucas was a fat pig who shouldn’t be eating 3/8 of the cheese pizza, 4/8 of the pepperoni, and ¼ of another one. That Lucas kid is going to be one fat ass kid with weight and self-esteem issues if he keeps pigging out. Poor Lucas.  Did Lucas think he found the best Seattle pizza?

Welcome back to School!
Welcome back to School!

My other concern was that it was fairly stupid to being solving this math problem on a computer. A good old pencil and paper would be a lot quicker and easier to use. How are they going to do the math on the fly if the computer isn’t there? Hmm? Are the children of today (and tomorrow) going to be able to do math without the use of a pull down menu? Could they mix art and math together and sketch out the problem on paper with a pencil and still figure it out?

Really, all I saw was that our schools were teaching our kids to rely on a computer to create a whole bunch of extra work to solve a simple math word problem. They can make pie graphs, charts, etc. That’s great but it is a simple problem. They don’t need to make a ten page report on it that is a waste of everyone’s time. Are we creating a society of mid-level managers that make reports for the heck of it and to justify their jobs?

“I have that twenty page report on why we shouldn’t eating Twinkles!” Conclusion: Uh, because they are bad for us? Or maybe we should eat them because it helps the fitness industry keep fitness instructors employed?

Over the years, I’ve learned that you need to watch less TV, get off the worthless texting and Instagram, Facebook, social media sites, and read more nonfiction (that was a big one tonight) and classic novels. I would also add you need to get out and experience life. Take the kids to museums, road trips, ferry boat rides, hikes, walks, boat rides, and feel the wind in your face.

Don’t get me wrong; I love the internet as much as you do. All the information at your fingertips, merely a click away…it’s wonderful.

Yet, I’m just as guilty as other parents and their children in letting social media run our lives. I have a hard time disconnecting from my iPhone. I have slowed down my use of social media. I have tried to make a deliberate effort not to check my phone when I’m doing activities with the family. I try to ignore that email buzz on my phone. It is hard. Sometimes I’m good and other times I’m not.

What are your thoughts about using only computers for school work these days? Will it work?

 

Giving back to the community by being a drunk!

Today is one of those rainy wet days you’d expect living here in the Seattle region. Luckily, today I’m giving back to the community as an alcoholic drunk. As a volunteer, I’ll be hoisting multiple alcoholic beverages (whisky and scotch are my drinks of choice) and doing my civic duty in the “wet lab” at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC) in Burien. Basically, I get to drink all day, eat lunch, hang out with other volunteers, and allow the trainees to give me some field sobriety field tests, etc.

I have to drink until I’m drunk or to a mutually agreeable upon level of being trashed. I couldn’t drive myself here and I can’t leave until I am at .03. In Washington State, DUI/DWI is .08. Now, I’m no expert at drinking or DWI/DUI law and I can’t even tell you which crime is worse: a DUI or a DWI. I just know I don’t want to get one!

Anyway, this is my first time doing this type of volunteering. Most of my other volunteering work is on the tamer side where I need to be sober 24/7. This definitely will be a change of pace and an interesting way to start the weekend.

Have a great Friday!

How Not To Be That Idiot Driver

I’m not much of a commuter so when I do have to drive somewhere, I pride myself on not being an idiot. I know where I am going and what freeways and exits I need to take. I know where the problems will be and when I should merge or exit.

Today, some idiot decided she needed to merge in front of me without bothering to look. She must have known she had three choices: speed up on the on ramp and cut me off, crash into me, or stay at her present speed and gently merge in behind me. As we know from my present tone that she cut me off.

Now, I didn’t blare my horn, tailgate her, or even get that upset. I just shook my head in amazement. Seriously, it was that important to get ahead of me in your Blue Tahoe? Like it made the traffic go that much faster? And don’t bother to look at me as you merge, the rest of us will gladly watch out for your vehicle this morning.

I did catch up to her as I neared my final destination and she was texting on her phone. I honestly could have cut back in front of her, slammed on my brakes, caused an accident, and gotten a new work truck out of it.

But I didn’t.

And I live to write another day without back pain!

Thanks for allowing me to vent and release.