Dec 232014
 
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Français : Un Starbucks à Paris (France)

Français : Un Starbucks à Paris (France) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Quelle Horreur

What I like about traveling is seeing new places, learning how people live in other countries and finding out a few things about myself along the way. At least that’s the way I tell the story. In truth what I like most is when I can visit an exotic place without adjusting at all. I prefer the comfortable over the new.

It’s that way most of the time. I remark about the abundance of McDonald’s, carefully avoiding any patronage. I have smeared at Starbucks. I laughed at how we never heard anything but American music in Belgium. But even the most opinionated of culture snobs is forced to confess that things can get too strange. And so, as we start our second week in France, I find myself asking, “Where are the Starbucks?” Continue reading »

Nov 262014
 
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Originally posted 2014-03-09 10:29:47. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

I’ve written about daylight savings time before. In general I like it. Most of the time I’d rather have the extra sunshine at night than in the morning. But the transition is really a trial. Twice a year I have to set the clock and in these times when everything is electronic and programmable the number of clocks to set keeps growing. At least those electronic clocks are set and forget. It may take a half-hour to reset the oven, the microwave, the thermostat for the HVAC, the clock in the car, the sprinkler system, etc. but at least once you are done you can forget it. The bigger problem is resetting the clock in your head because that clock runs on automatic pilot. There is no convenient dial to change the settings or automatic adjustments that you can program. It’s got a mind of it’s own that resists.

daylightsavingstimeEach six months when the time changes it takes at least a week for my internal clock to reset. During that week my body is pissed at the disruption and it lets me know. I either wake up early (Spring) or oversleep (Fall) and both times I get jumpy and irritable for no reason. I have trouble going to sleep, trouble waking up and a tremendous need to nap.

I have found no easy way to deal with the impacts of that one hour time change. It’s like jet lag in the way it messes up your life but without any of the mitigation. I’m fine with a bit of inconvenience to make a 4 hour time shift and wake up in Buenos Aires or a 9 hour time shift to be in Venice. I’m not fine when a measly one hour shift causes just as many problems and I’m still at home. Continue reading »

Nov 262014
 
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Originally posted 2012-04-17 15:13:15. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Bij de vuurkorf in Bodegraven  (Parents in law)

Bij de vuurkorf in Bodegraven (Parents in law) (Photo credit: Johan Koolwaaij)

There is a universal joke about how bad ones mother in law is.  My Mother in law goes on a very stringent set  of bipolar behavior, where she is good for some things and a complete pain for others.  Isn’t that how it is for everyone?  Some slight background, this isn’t new.  I have been either dating or married to my wife for 19 years now, so this is not new!

This morning is the focus of this rant however.  A main statement, If you commit to something, BE THERE!  I don’t care if you didn’t get 53 reminders and my 11 year old didn’t tell you yesterday, you committed to be there so BE THERE.  I could only shake my head in, not disappointment but realization that this is normal.

Back from the appointment I was late for now and everything is back to normal.  Meaning, it will be hard to rely on her in the future.  There was quite a while when we didn’t even ask because she had cancelled at the last minute.

Then there was the time I had half of my kids in the hospital and she bailed on the other two because it was too hard.  That was a tense ride home from the hospital.  I made record time and it was a good thing she wasn’t there or I may have had to dig a hole in the backyard, if you get my meaning.  I am not even kidding about that one.

But we are supposed to forgive and all of that but that can be hard especially when it happens repeatedly.  Besides, how does forgiveness allow for cantankerosity?  Rants and touchy feely don’t go well together unless you are really doing it right.

Later.

-Justin

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Nov 262014
 
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Originally posted 2011-06-06 07:25:45. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Ochlerotatus notoscriptus, Tasmania, Australia

Image via Wikipedia

It is finally drying out here in Utah.  We have had record rain and snow all year, with the wettest May in 150 years.  What that has been good for is to keep the bugs down.  Except for the time I went fishing under one of the dams here and apparently stood in the middle of a mosquito convention where I got approximately one bite for every 3 mosquitoes I killed.  And I had a lot of bites.

Anyway, here in the Salt Lake valley it is warming up.  Today, Sunday it was almost 90 degrees, quite a turn around from what it has been.  And as such, there have been mosquitos aplenty flying around.  This is the first time that I have seenn bugs this year and I am not looking forward to them this year.

Not just the flying bugs either, my main bane is the earwig.  Those little stinking buggers get everywhere.  They are in the house, in the garden, in the fruit and in the ground.  I found the entrance to a nest last year (just a note, while I am sitting here writing, I just killed a mosquito on my monitor.  Bah!)  anyway, the earwig nest.  I found the hole in the ground where they were just pouring out.

I proceeded to fill the hole with the mixed gas I use for my boat motor, that way the oil keeps it burning longer.  It didn’t seem to help, many died and the fire burned underground, but too many of those buggers still were **everywhere**.

So, this year I am taking action against many of the bugs that I don’t want around.  Mosquito traps are baited and placed around.  Yellow Jacket Traps….I didn’t tell you about the yellow jackets.  Call them hornets or wasps or yellow jackets, those are everywhere as well.  Last year I wrote about the ones that came out of my mailbox every time I opened it.  Read that post HERE.  This year I killed two or three inside and didn’t think much about it until my 9 month old son started screaming in pain.

I was sitting next to him on the floor, my 7 year old was standing on his other side and here is the baby screaming for nothing that I could discern.  I picked him up and saw something in his mouth.  After the swipe to rid him of said debris, it was a freaking yellow jacket that had stung him in his mouth!  It couldn’t fly too well, being wet and all and took a while to die after I cut it in half.  But the Baby got stung in the back of his mouth by a yellow jacket.  Luckily we found out he is not allergic to the venom and had no problems.

But there are Yellow Jacket Traps up now.  Earwig traps are littering my backyard as well.  I have declared War on many of the insects in my world.  Don’t get me started on the mice in the shed.  They are next.

Do you have bug problems?  Let us know in the comments below….

-Justin

 

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Nov 262014
 
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Originally posted 2012-09-05 08:11:31. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The name of the weekly (hush, Ralph) video usually…er, sometimes…found here, The Tinfoil Hat Club, implies conspiracy theories and a nutjob creator…and rarely lives up to its name.  Well folks, this week is different.  What would you say if I suggested that the election that is supposed to happen on November 6…won’t happen? Continue reading »

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