The Big DumpTruck

Throwing Little Thought Pebbles at Your Windshield Since 1996

Month: August, 2006

I’m a Horrible Slacker

I’d like to apologize for my incredible lack of attention to the BDT these past few weeks. I’m a bad person. Go ahead, you can say it. I can take it.

I have been working very hard on getting the design and templates set for bigbadwords. I’m at a point where I’m pretty happy, in general, but there are still a couple of things I want to do that I have to figure out. Because it’s a WordPress site (not a blog, but I’m using it to publish/manage the content) I need to do everything with all this PHP and CSS coding. I am not completely ignorant in that department, but I’m no expert. So it takes me 3x as long as I would like it to figure out how to change the page look and structure, and then only because I copy code from all over the place. That’s how I learn. “If this code does that, I should be able to do THIS and get the reverse.” Voila.

Of course, spending 2 weeks to code the thing is fine and dandy, but then I have to have content to put in it. Small details. I had a story a friend’s son wrote for my Kids section, but due to massive stupidity on my part a month or so ago, my mail folders got deleted because I maxed out the mail on my phone (duh…don’t SMTP your google mail if you’re only allowed 6meg of storage on the phone) so I don’t have a copy of the story he wrote. I don’t know if she kept a copy. I feel like a schmuck.

Let’s see, what else? Oh, my mom and Junior tried to call me at work today and for whatever reason they didn’t use the speed dial, so the first thing Junior said when I answered was “We just called France!” Actually, I looked up the call online (my mom’s cell is part of the “family” plan pool that we have for her phone, my phone and the 2 we gave my step-kids, so I have access to all the records.) and they called Quebec, which explains why the person who answered the phone spoke French. That’s what happens when you dial 8 and then 1-978…you call an 819 area code, which is in Canada.

I blocked international calling on all 4 phones (in case they are lost or stolen, they can’t be used to make international calls) but apparently Canada isn’t considered International. I would have thought Canada (and Mexico) were, but they let the call go through and charged me 20 cents extra per minute. I guess we’re in trouble if the phones are stolen by a gang of Canadian Street Thugs. “Jean-Georges, you got the stolen phones, eh? Call Memere and tell her to send poutines râpées.”

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Photos from Vacation

I have a few photos for you all to look at. Because anything is better than actually working, right?

Jody’s Trip to Loon

Aug 22, 2006 – 21 Photos
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The Long Weekend

We’re baaaaaack. Took a long weekend up in New Hamster with the kids and the sister and the niece and nephew. Much fun was had by all.

We now have the following inside joke terms that I will not explain.

“Pooks”
“Yahtzee!”
“My Blackberry stopped working”
“I’d like a cup of that”
“Mumbler!”

I think I lost this little blue notebook that I bought three weeks ago and was using to journal and track expenses etc. And I’m REALLY unhappy about it. But that would be the low point.

We did tell the kids that the next time we go to Storyland we’ll be with our grandchildren. Not that they didn’t enjoy themselves, but I think by the time we’d even go back up there they’ll be too old to really enjoy it (not at those prices!)

And Ruggles Mine (www.rugglesmine.com) was a huge rip off pricewise, but the kids LOVED it. What are you gonna do?

We rounded off the day dropping a c-note at Staples on school supplies. Two kids in high school and one going into 3rd grade…how many pencils and erasers do we need again?

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Food and More Food

Okay, while we wait for Sue the BBQ Judge to check in on the Ayer BBQ restaurant recommended by reader Jen, I will present you with a short radio play based on my breakfast and an email thread between Mr. Dump and I.

Feel free to find another person to play the parts of Cafeteria Cashier Carol and the Narrator. Or you can simple use two different voices if you can’t find someone else to play along.

Narrator: I believe there’s a limit to how much yogurt one should have for breakfast. *burp*

[Jody puts 1/2 a salad bar cup (16oz) of blueberry/yogurt combo on the salad bar scale in the cafeteria.]

Cafeteria Cashier Carol: That’s $2.50. You know, if you fill the cup we charge a flat $2.95

Jody: Really?

Cafeteria Cashier Carol: If it was just fruit, we’d weigh it, but there’s a flat price for a full container of yogurt with fruit/granola.

Jody: Oh, well charge me for a full cup. [Returns to the salad bar to double the amount of fruit and yogurt in the container]

Narrator: This is the equivalent of McDonalds charging you 89 cents for one pie, or 2 for a dollar. But it’s never for something really good. You know, if you get the Bacon Lover’s Bacon Bucket instead of the side order of three pieces, it’s only forty cents more…
[End Scene]

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Preparing for Fall

Like the grashopper and the ant, I finally realized I’d better start preparing for winter. Okay, so I didn’t gather seeds, but we did do a very New England-y thing…we hit 3 different LL Bean Outlet stores in 1 afternoon (Concord, Manchester and Nashua NH). Haul for my family = 1 pair of pants, 3 different fleece items (1 pullover, two windproof jackets) 2 sweaters, 3 t-shirts, a winter hat and a tote bag that, miraculously, had my actual initials on it*. Total spent? $200.

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of shopping LLBean, and buy a personalized item (backback, totebag, luggage, lunchbox, etc) you can return it. I have no idea why you would unless there was a flaw, but the outlet stores are full of these new and unused returned items. Some with first names, some with last names. I was joking that I was going to get something with someone else’s name to use for undercover work when Mr. Dump, helping me look for a good fake name, actually found one with my actual initials. I have NEVER had that happen.

It was as if the Virgin Mary had appeared in a grilled cheese sandwich, you see? Or Abraham Lincoln in a potato chip. Some things are just touched by the hand of God.

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I May Never Fly Again

Good Lord, would you terrorists just cut it the heck out? I mean seriously, just STOP IT. Were you raised by wolves? Leave our airplanes alone!

I saw today that they may ban carry-on luggage forever. How are we defining that, by the way? I saw one guy say he wasn’t allowed to bring a magazine on board? Are you serious? Are we going to have to fly naked? If I can bring a small bag (purse, whatever) on a long boring flight that I can put water, gum, and if appropriate, tampons in, I can’t fly. I just can’t.

I’m NOT going to check my camera, by the way. So what about that? And no business person is EVER going to check a laptop. So they either better work this out, or we may as well padlock the airports because the airlines will go out of business without, well, business travelers. They make up the bulk of the full-price ticket buyers anyway. I can fly my little family of 3 easily for what I sometimes paid for one business trip ticket.

No bags at all? That isn’t possible. Maybe the guy in the CNN article misunderstood. I hope so, because we’ve been talking about doing long range planning for our next vacation, and my first assumption was that it would involve a flight.

By the way, you’re talking to (or listening to, as the case may be) someone who got in a plane less than a week after 9/11. I have put up with the outrageous, horrific security situation, including the Orlando airport’s fantastic plan to physically go through people’s CHECKED suitcases IN FRONT OF OTHER PASSENGERS. This was on the way home, and they randomly chose me, the person whose bag had all the random souvenirs and junk in it. So there we are, at a folding table right next to the huge line of people trying to check in, and they are opening my suitcase with [some] dirty clothes and plastic bags of souvenirs, which were just sort of thrown in there, in front of God and everyone. Completely humiliating, but we were terrified to so much as sniffle around the security guys. Thank GOD they stopped doing that. But anyway, I’ll just stay local until they figure out how to let me take the National Enquirer and feminine hygiene products on a plane, thank you.

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La Poussiere

There should be an accent over the first e. I can’t put accents in post titles. Well, I don’t think I can. And I’m typing on my phone so everything is limited anyway.

I was looking at a cleaning product box and saw “la poussi`ere” and realized that would be a cool name for a comic book character. I suppose it would have to be a bad guy.

La Poussiere. Don’t mess with him. He’s on the loose with an appetite for innocent blood.

*”the dust”

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School Supplies R Us

I’m like, 41 or something like that. You know, approximately 41, at least according to the calendar. I have been out of school for a number of years. I’d do the math and tell you exactly how long, but that would involve “carrying the tens” or something and you know, it’s been a long time since I was in school and I don’t have a calculator handy. That’s what happens when you get old.

I still get giddy when I see all the school supply sales. Man, I could just spend hundreds of dollars in school supplies. If WW3 started tomorrow and all the retail stores were bombed and we were left with just the stuff we have in our homes, I’d be able to draw and color and write for probably years. I’m thinking I may have a problem, but at least I’m not drinking or doing drugs, right? What’s a few boxes of magic markers between friends? Even when nobody uses them regularly, I’ve got them. You never know when there might be a need.

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Where Art Mojo’s?

Okay locals, what the heck happened to Mojo’s BBQ on Mechanic Street? Not that their food fits my South Beach Diet, but the pulled pork was to die for!

Did they move? Just change the name of the place?

I thought I saw a story in the paper that they were looking to obtain a liquor license…

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Tips to Beat the Heat

The Department of the Division of the Unit of Heat and Humidity.gov has issued the following tips to “beat the heat” during the next two days. These important safety tips should be noted by all and put into immediate use.

  1. No matter how tempting, do not accept Mel Gibson’s offer of taking a ride in his convertible to cool off, especially if you are not a white Christian male.
  2. Even if they offer you an extra ten dollars, do not take any job that involves the words “roofing” “road crew” or “lava pit tour guide.”
  3. If you must spend any time outside, erect an air conditioned tent around yourself.
  4. Avoid wearing clothes in the following colors of any hue: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, black, white.
  5. Remove all heat-related songs from your iPod. On a related note, do not listen to the local radio stations as the DJs will be cute and play songs like “Hot, Hot, Hot”.
  6. Gas up early in the day in case there are heat-related power outages. Remember, plenty of people live in their cars all year round, so you can at least handle an afternoon in yours. That’s why you got that portable DVD player installed in the minivan, right?
  7. Grind up your meals into a liquid and pour into ice cube trays. Freeze for 2 or more hours. hamburgcicles and iced chicken crunchies are a cool treat.

This should be enough to get you started. Remember, if you are stupid and choose to mow your lawn today or tomorrow, we cannot be held responsible for what happens to you. It’s just a lawn, for goodness’ sake. Are you a mental case?

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