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reading, schooling and arithmetic


I figured I'd take care of a few housekeeping issues today. As you may recall, I got a tad obsessive on Saturday and was in search of one of my neighbor V@nce's novels. I had placed a hold on one of his books at the library (while in mid-obsessive mode) so I was able to get, "! Went to V@ss@r For Th!s?" on Tuesday.

Since I am always multi-tasking, I also picked up a Strawberry Shortcake DVD and popped that into the player in the van so I could read for a minute while we waited for school to let out.

I'm roughly four pages into the book, so I don't really have an opinion yet. The funny thing is, now that I actually have one of his books in my possession, the sense of urgency has disappeared. This is classic marketing 101, as you may know. Create a sense of urgency/call to action (call in the next ten minutes, the next five callers will receive FREE shipping!) and your target market will respond accordingly. I haven't picked the book up since I set it on my nightstand Tuesday afternoon.

So I'll have to get back to you on that.

Tuesday morning was the first day of school and this year we have to leave the house by 7:42 am to get there on time before the final bell rings at 8:00 am. This is a change in last year's routine which had us leaving by 8:00 to meet the morning bell at 8:15 am. Now you might be thinking a number of different things, such as, 'That's not that early, so what if you're late and aren't you lucky that your main goal in the morning is just to get your kid sitting at her desk by 8:00 am."

To that, I respond:

First, that is quite early when you are used to the two older girls waking up between 8:30 and 9:00 am and the baby waking up at 10 am. Now everyone has to be up at 6:30 (well, the baby just rides along in her jammies, so she doesn't get up til 7:30).

Second, I personally know a child who was suspended for three days in Kindergarten for being late five times in one semester. The interesting quandary regarding that situation was his mother had committed earlier to hosting the Christmas party on the first day of his suspension. She brought him along anyway.

And lastly, I say, yes I am extremely fortunate to be able to stay home with the kids. I know I complain (it's mostly a literary device, honestly) but I really am grateful that I can stay home with them.

Okay, so back to the first day of school. All four of us hopped in the minvan and set out on our way. It was kind of chilly that morning so I attempted to turn the heat on in the van. You may recall we leased a new minivan and it is definitely an "upgraded" model that I am not used to. I was looking for the slider bar that shows blue for air conditioning and red for heat. You know how you slide it over to the side you want or how you can set it in the middle if you're not too hot? Well, that's what I was looking for. I found a button with a snowflake on it, that means air conditioning, I'm sure of that because that's what happens when I push that button -- cold air comes out.

So halfway to school I'm thinking 'Um a 2007 Town and Country minivan with leather seats and a DVD player in the ceiling but it has NO HEAT?! WTF?!'

It was immediately after that thought that I realized, 'You can take the girl out of the back-woods small town, but you cannot take the back-woods small town mentality out of the girl. This Town and Country minivan is, how shall I say, a luxury edition and the thermostat is digital.

So both the passenger and the driver in front choose their temperature setting digitally (the passengers in back get their choice of temperature as well). So if you're cold, you need to press the up button to get to the desired temperature. Turns out 73 degrees is just toasty enough on a late summer morning as opposed to the 68 degrees that is required during a sweltering day of 90+ degree heat.

And it appears I am not Chrysler's intended demographic when it comes to luxury minivans. I should just drive that crazy jalopy the Beverly Hillbillies used to drive, remember that thing? Yeah, that's about my speed. You want heat, you say? Throw a jacket and a scarf on. Air conditioning? Take off the jacket and scarf. You're looking for the little sliding bar to adjust the temperature? Just take off the jacket and keep the scarf on.

A random thought: I was doing some laundry yesterday so I pulled out the 3% hydrogen peroxide to remove the last of a stain. When I poured it on it started to bubble up and create a white foam on the stain. That is when I thought, 'If hydrogen peroxide bubbles up it means enzymes are present.' That is pretty much the only science-related fact I have retained from high school. I don't even know what that means.

Who cares if enzymes are present? Are enzymes bad? Do they need to be eradicated? I don't know. But I know they're present. Just like I know Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin. That's a piece of information that was ingrained in my head with no obvious benefit. And no, I don't see myself as a contestant on "Jeopardy" where that fact might be useful.

Okay last order of business. Has anyone heard anything about LinkWorth? If I understand correctly, this is a way to write about stuff you would normally write about but to link to an advertiser's site so as to make some cashola. I figure if I'm writing anyway, why not make some Benjamins. Although I would hope I would make more Jacksons and Grants than Benjamins, but you gotta start somewhere. So if you're in the know, could you pass on the 411?

I'm sorry, I just have to place a side note before I leave. I remember the days of land line telephones when they were attached to the wall, had extra long cords (25 feet) so you could move "freely about" and there were no push buttons. Don't you remember trying to "dial" quickly and having to do a nine, so you had to put your finger in the hole and wind the circle all the way over to the metal stopper? It felt like an eternity because you might be able to forcibly swing the dial but it would return to its resting place at a slow pace.

Anyway, back in the day (excuse me, let me move my cane out of your way) we dialed 4-1-1 for Information. And that is how you got phone numbers. I loved 411. Now it is simply a colloquialism to mean information.

But I remember when 411 was da bomb.


2007-09-06 at 6:46 a.m.

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