The Big DumpTruck

Throwing Little Thought Pebbles at Your Windshield Since 1996

Month: December, 2006

Time Stands Still

Apparently, there was a report of a pipe bomb on the side of the on ramp to route 2 from Route 12 in Leominster. We had made arrangements to meet my parents for lunch at UNOs at the Twin City Mall at noon, so we gave ourselves an extra 10 minutes to get there, assuming there would be some extra “NEXT TO THE LAST SATURDAY!” Christmas shoppers out there.

We did not anticipate route 12 being shut down while the police and the bomb squad dealt with the pipe bomb issue. We did NOT allow ourselves enough time to get through the horrific backups that the pipe bomb caused. For those of you familiar with the area, it took us an HOUR to get from the Brooks Pharmacy on Main Street (near Prospect St.) to Unos. We were just trying to go down Main, turn right on Hamilton Street, straight through the lights at North Main (Route 12) and up Lindell.

Problem is, everyone trying to drive toward Fitchburg on route 12 was being sent either up Lindell or down Hamilton. That is, when the cop directing traffic decided to actually let people from Hamilton Street move forward. Can someone explain to me what would possess the guy directing traffic to let us move 1/2 the number of cars as the other lanes? We were backing people up all the way to Main Street! Plus, with people trying to pull out of streets and parking lots (the Shaws back entrance, the cheerleading place), there was a level of gridlock forming that would not be relieved unless he actually allowed some of us to flow through the intersection. Dude, you see how they are all backed up? That’s because they can’t go anywhere. If you keep letting people take a left, and they get stuck, we will be blocked and nobody will be able to move for the rest of the day. Do you understand that you are CAUSING this problem?

Do they not teach “directing traffic effectively” anymore in policeman school? As we went into insulin shock in the car, I mentioned to Mr. Dump about the time I was stuck at “7 Corners” (or whatever it’s called) in Lancaster and the guy directing traffic literally let each street completely empty (like 4-5 minutes, no lie) before letting traffic on the next street move. I sat there TWENTY MINUTES without moving, and this bozo was actually directing traffic. And *I* was on the only street that actually had the legal right of way (no stop signs).

Do officers have to pass some kind of test on the best way to direct traffic at a major intersection before they are allowed to do so? I am not trying to be mean. I am trying to prevent them from being run over by hundreds of drivers experiencing police-induced road rage.

So I’m glad the police detonated the “bomb” (results pending) and nobody was hurt and my parents only had to sit in a restaurant for 45 minutes waiting for us to make the 5 minute drive over. But what a damper it puts on the day.

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Happy Holidays, Dammit!

We were having a little discussion on Universal Hub about how the past 2 years people (read: those who look for things to complain about everywhere and anywhere) there have people people who throw fits when anyone mentions Christmas, and there are people who throw fits when people say “Happy Holidays.” You know, the same people who don’t give money to the poor and destitute, cut lines to get what they want first, and think the world owes them something. Obviously, anyone who says “Happy Holidays” is trying to get Christmas removed from the calendar. (I looked up Christmas on Wikipedia. VERY fascinating stuff. Did you know celebrating Christmas was against the law in Boston from 1659 to 1681?)

This bothers me. I think too many people think they should be able to control what others do and say. If a shop owner wants to put an ad in the paper about a “Christmas Sale” why should they be attacked by picketers and the like? And if another chooses to say Happy Holidays, for whatever reason, the same holds true. The link above, to the Hub, is about a customer losing her mind when someone wishes her Happy Holidays. I would have hit her with a shovel. You know what? Just because you are Christian and celebrate Christmas, doesn’t mean everyone does, you selfish, egostistical shrew. Hanukkah starts today. Shouldn’t I wish everyone I see a Happy Hanukkah today? Why not? What would the Christmas Army have to say to that? But it would be appropriate, would it not? When I worked as a cashier in a grocery store a million years ago, I used to wish folks happy holidays, because I never assumed every customer of mine celebrated Christmas. Everyone was fine with that, nobody corrected me. Happy Holidays also covers New Years, people.

Should I go back in time and apologize for all the Christmas Cards I have sent that had the phrase “Happy Holidays” in them?

Should the Christmas Army work to ban the Irving Berlin song “Happy Holiday” from the radio and record departments of the world? Obviously he’s part of the war on Christmas, anticipating what would happen in December 2006 way back in 1941 when he wrote the song for the moving Holiday Inn.

So if you want to take up a cause, people, why not try to take one up that will actually help someone. Not something that will make you look nuttier than a jar of Jif.

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Snowflakery

Oh man, it’s time to cut out snowflakes again. I need to make sure my step-son reads this, as he was obsessed last year. This site, which looks very similar to the one we used to use, will make him happy because you can actually cut in the middle of the paper, not just from the edges (which, to be fair, is a limit you have when you are making them with real paper, for the most part.)

You can also search for flakes done by people with the same name as you, or people from your town. I’m not the first person from Leominster to play with this!

Need a Snow Day?

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Marley and Marley

Yesterday I watched A Muppet Christmas Carol. Just the best movie. You have watched it this year, right? No? Okay, go watch it. I’ll wait.

Okay, so then, what happened is, I watched it again. Except I watched it with the director commentary turned on. And I didn’t just watch it twice in one day…I watched it back to back. So I saw about 4 hours of the movie. I think I have it memorized, which is nice.

Junior had much more energy than I did yesterday (he had to stay home too) and wanted to do fun things. So I set up my Christmas train under the tree and let him play with it. Leave it to my kid…he pulled the musical ice cream truck ornament off the tree and had a whole scenario where the evil ice cream truck driver was after the people on the train. I don’t think I’ve seen that one on ABC Family’s 25 days of Christmas specials.

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More Housekeeping

Okay, I cleaned up some of the code in the right-hand column. I need to do more, but I’m tired. I just love being sick! Junior, who will be 9 in 3 weeks, is watching Toddler Television. So far he’s watched Elmo’s World, Bob the Builder and Thomas the Tank Engine. I’m not complaining, because other than Elmo, the voices and music are not jarring. I can completely tune it out, which I can’t do if he’s watching something more frantic like Pokemon.

I went onto Amazon to browse through some stuff – it’s just as much fun as going to the mall, and for some reason, I’m less likely to spend money. I put stuff in my cart and on my wishlist, and that makes me happy.

I have decided that I want to start collecting the North Pole Series of the Department 56 Christmas houses. I am really mad at myself for not starting that series a couple of years ago, when there were a couple of houses that I’m still obsessing about the Lego factory and the Play-doh factory are two of them. I just added a bunch of houses to my “If you loved me” wishlist, which I link to over on the right. You don’t have to buy me anything, but feel free to go look at how cute these houses are! The two I liked the most are out of stock anyway. One I couldn’t even add if I wanted to. The other was already on my list before it ran out, which is why it’s still there.

You guys need to promise me that if you have any of these houses and you decide to liquidate your collection, you will give me first shot at them, okay? Thank you, you are good people.

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Lunch

My phone rang. I half recognized the phone number – enough that I knew it was probably not going to be good. “Hi, this is the school nurse…”

Junior wasn’t feeling good, said his throat hurt, and she looked and said it was red, and that she might have spotted some white. Ugh Ugh Ugh…not strep!

So I have to leave to get him right away because you cannot leave a kid with strep in a school building. He’s like a time bomb. The doctor was able to see us, and checked him all out, and gave him a rapid strep test. While we waited I noticed his face was a little flushed, his eyes glassy. The doctor said he had swollen glands.

The results? Junior does not have strep. Yet. (It’s a given, with his other symptoms and the fact that his throat is already red and painful.)

However, I do.

So wait, that nagging sore throat wasn’t from post nasal drip?

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Thank You For Your Attention

I just want to thank everyone who at least attempted to stay off the roads while I shopped this weekend. Friday night we hit Eastern Boarder and there were enough people staffing the store that we did not have to wait to talk to anyone, a huge plus. Saturday we did less shopping than intended, but even though Target was busy, the lines were very very manageable. So thanks for that. We even only had a 15 minute wait for lunch at TGI Fridays. As an aside, have any of you ever tried their “Mac and Cheese for Grownups?” Holy crap is that stuff good. It’s got mushrooms and bacon (but not so much that it overpowers – just a few pieces sprinkled throughout) and some grilled chicken with peppers and onions on top. Even the chicken was delish. That is my Big DumpTruck Pick of the Week, for those of you who are hungry and near a TGI Fridays. I couldn’t finish mine, so I shared it with my step-son so I don’t know how it reheats. I think you could easily make two meals out of it, though.

We had tremendous luck with hitting the mall (Pheasant Lane in Nashua) early yesterday. I think because it was Sunday, people did not think it would be open as early as it was, but we got a primo parking spot, and in a couple of stores, we were literally the only customers. I believe I am 95% done my shopping now, so I will step back and let you all have free run of the roads and malls. Only two more weeks until people can stop obsessing about shopping. I do love when that happens.

I love shopping as much as the next 15 people. In fact, my Nano Novel was about a shopaholic this year. But I prefer to shop when I don’t have a deadline hanging over my head and a ton of people clogging the aisles. We ran into one couple yesterday who much have purchased about $400 worth of gift items at the Lindt Chocolate store. But I’ll bet they had not a single person left to buy for by the time they left. And now I’m hungry for chocolate, which apparently means I need some potassium, if something odd I read on the internet is to be believed.

Anyway, happy Monday everyone.

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Everybody Needs to Stay Home

I am going out Christmas shopping tomorrow, so I am going to need all of you to stay home so that I am not inconvenienced by traffic or lines at the registers. I think you all understand how important this is for me, and will be happy to comply. I suggest grabbing a box of Swiss Miss (with mini marshmallows, of course) and hunkering down with a few copies of A Christmas Carol. If you don’t have the Muppet version (HEATHEN!) there is time today to run out and have a copy ready for tomorrow.

So remember, stay off the roads and out of the malls. I appreciate it.

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Blogging From Piano Lessons

I am doing a mommy blogging post today because I saw an article about mommy bloggers and felt bad because I was not included. I started blogging about my pregnancy back in1997 and all about his birth and growing-uppiness. He’ll be nine in January, for those of you who have been here from the start.

But I am not specifically a “mommy blogger” because my posts, my whole site, my online identity are not completely based on my being a mother, at least not overtly. Anyone who knows me in real life knows that my son is my #1 priority in life. But as he gets older it’s harder for me to intrude on his personal space by writing about every little thing.

So again, I do not get press as a mommy blogger. Maybe that’s a good thing. But it’s one less category I will qualify for when the Webbies roll around. That’s me…a web pioneer (lookit me tooting my own horn again!) who nobody has heard of!

So okay, mommy stuff. I’m sitting on the big leather parent couch in the waiting room while Junior has a piano lesson (at Thayer in Leominster). He’s only been playing since October. The girl one room over – she isn’t always here, but she’s a tenager who has been playing for years. She plays jazz duets with her instructor and I want to tell my son to stop playing so I can listen to her. It’s very very toe tapping.

Does that make me a bad mom? Maybe that’s why I don’t have a mommy blog.

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