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Archive for the ‘stuff’ Category

Right now, if I could expand anything, right this moment, it would be the heat inside my house. Or rather I would increase (that’s a type of expansion, right?) the heat. My heater is on the fritz. It has been giving me trouble off and on since I had to first turn it on this year, which was much earlier than usual because we’ve had a cold year. It does this thing where it doesn’t do anything. I thought it was the thermostat and I reprogrammed it, which is a headache in itself, but that didn’t help. I took the batteries out and replaced them but that didn’t help. Then, when I least expected it, poof! It was on. It did that off and on since September. Then it would take longer between the time it went off and decided to go back on, like days. Last week it went off and was off from the 26th until the 30th then it came back on. Then off again for another twelve to fifteen hours. This time it has been off for about thirty hours, which might not be too bad except that we’re cold up here and very windy. We’ve been colder. It’s just mid 30’s right now so not horrible but it is very windy and although I have double pane window, there’s a lot of cold coming in. Tonight I pulled out the brand new space heater that I found at the back of the closet even though I hate using those things. I’m scare of fires. But it was either that or turn into a popsicle so I pulled it out but I couldn’t figure out how to attach the base to the bottom of the heater so it will stand up and I can use it. I think my brain was frozen. And my fingers didn’t work right, either. I put it in the car and drove to my daughter’s house where Chris was able to attach it for me and Tina gave me back another heater that I had loaned to her. So now my fingers are no longer in danger of snapping off. Whew! I was worried for awhile there!

I actually had something else to share with you but that was the intro. I know, long intro. In any case, some of you might remember my author friend Larry Brill, whom I featured on here a couple of years ago. He has started writing a monthly newsletter that I enjoy reading. On Monday I got the latest one and it was funny and snarky but more importantly, Larry wrote about something he intends to do this year and challenged readers to do the same. I would have done it even if I hadn’t been challenged because I see it as a really neat thing to do. So I am accepting his challenge and making it one of my “18 for 18” items that I wrote about here.

Here’s a bit of what he wrote:

“So I am going to commit to getting to know at least one person better—not necessarily a stranger, but someone on the fringe of my awareness. We all have them by the dozens, or hundreds. You know them. They are the friend of a friend who is the sister of a friend—or a high school classmate you barely remember—who friended you on Facebook. She’s #160 of your five hundred Facebook friends. You’ve “liked” a few of her posts, maybe even commented on one or two. I’m going to reach out to her/him in a private message, explain in my best non-threatening way the purity of my intentions and suggest a virtual cup of coffee to get to know each other better.”

Doesn’t that sound like a neat thing to do? This way we expand our circle from the inner circle to the fringes. We might make new friends or we might want to keep them on the fringes. In either case, we are stretchy our hand in friendship. I’m doing it. In fact, I am going to commit to reaching out to at least eighteen “fringe people” during the year but I think it might be more. YOU might be one of them. If you’ve commented on my blog, I might just send you an email and propose a virtual “let’s go for coffee and chat” so we might get to know a little about each other. It might be someone on Face Book or Instagram or any number of places. I would also be honored if you reached out to me and made me one of your outside circle outreaches (or is that outreachees?).

I’ve linked you to Larry’s newsletter up above, at least to the current issue. I think you’ll find info there on how to sign up for the newsletter should you choose to. And he’s got a deal where if you sign up for the newsletter he’ll send you a link to download his ebook, Ten Lessons I Learned From Gilligan, Mr. Ed, And Prime Time TV.

Okay, back to babysitting the space heaters so I don’t set anything on fire!

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Meet Up

A friend is writing a novel and from time to time will ask a Facebook group made up of alumni for their opinions or suggestions regarding a variety of information for his novel. Today, he asked about where someone in their 50’s would go to meet women in a particular town that we all grew up in. It seems that his protagonist is out “shopping” after a messy divorce. So several people mentioned meetups. He didn’t know what that was so we enlightened him.

I posted a link to Meetup and mentioned that there is a Meetup group for every age group and every interest. I belong to a couple of meetup groups for writing and one for crafting. Of course, I’ve never actually attended any of the meetings but I do belong!

Then I remembered a story regarding Meetup. It happened around 2008 when I moved from California to Oregon. After a summer with no TV service, I decided to respond to an ad from Comcast (who to this day remains ComCrap in my book) to provide internet and TV service. They sent out one of their salesmen to discuss what I needed and pricing. When the gentleman arrived, he was very cordial. He was probably five or so years older than I. He walked around the house to each room to see where we might need to put in cabling. When it was time to fill out the paperwork, we sat at my dining room table. He noticed my Tarot cards, some incense, and some crystals that I use when I do Tarot readings and asked about my interest in Tarot. We chatted about the Tarot for a bit and it turned out that he was also a Tarot enthusiast. He asked for my email address so that he could send me an invitation to a Tarot Meetup group that he ran. I figured it sounded interesting and I really did want to meet people as I knew not a soul in Oregon. He already had my email address and phone number on the Comcast paperwork so I went ahead and gave him my email address for the Meetup invitation. After he left, I forgot about the whole thing.

A few weeks later, I got the email invitation to the Tarot Meetup group. It turned out that the group was a Tantric Tarot group who met to explore and discuss the relationship of the Tarot to Tantric Sex and they met in a private home, in the nude! Well, I promptly put that out of my mind and out of the realm of possibilities for Meetup groups that I might attend! I was even embarrassed about it. I never told anyone about it until this afternoon when I related the incident to my alumni group on Facebook and then now, to my readers here.

I guess it just goes to show that there is something for everyone!

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I have spent the better part of the last three days looking for a place for my family to rent when we go see my son in Seattle for Christmas.  It’s so confusing.  You have to take account of the location and I don’t want to be more than five or ten minutes away.  Then you have to take into account the number of beds and the per person charge.  I’m finding that although a place says it sleeps 6, the price quoted is for only 2.  Anything over 2 has to pay extra, as little as $15 per person per night and up to $50 per person per night.  And children are not free.  I’m having to pay for a 1 year old and a 4 year old.  They don’t need any extra bed/bedding.  The older one sleeps with me and the little one has his own fold up bed that they travel with.  Then you have to take into consideration the cleaning fee (as little as $49 and as much as $119) and the mandatory damage insurance fee (from $69 to $99) and they do not refund at all if you cancel less than 30 days before your arrival date.

I know it’s a business for someone but the three day rental that I was looking at today is going to be over $1200 for 3 adults and 2 children.  So now I’ve realized that we should stay in one of those suite hotels.  Much cheaper and we can cancel up to 24 hours before scheduled arrival.  And they include free breakfast and kitchen and separate bedrooms and I’m saving over $500 and we’re staying a fourth night!  So I think we will be opting for the King suite with two bedrooms and a living room pull out and a full kitchen and completely refundable!  It’s about a 15 minute drive from my son but that is going to have to do.

So if anyone out there has a house/apartment/room to rent, take note.  You too can charge exhorbitant fees of unsuspecting tourists!

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