Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Pizza Alarms

The smoke detectors in our house are kind of getting to be the bane of our existence.

There is one right around the corner from the stove and any little thing makes it go off. Browning chops, a big spill on the stove top. Even cleaning the oven.

And they are hard to get off. Once the first one detects smoke, all of them start in. That's 10 detectors going.

We used to be able to get them to shut off by waving a towel under the kitchen one and maybe opening a couple of windows. But now that doesn't seem to have much effect most of the time. I've had them going for up to 40 minutes.

And I cook to relax.

Now this morning at 5:45 a.m. the one in the office here is chirping. We change the batteries (they are hard-wired but have battery backups) twice a year, but we still end up with detectors chirping for low battery power. The sound echoes in the house so a lot of times you really have to work hard to figure out which one it is. One night we chased around in the middle of the night for some time looking for the chirper, only to discover it was a CO detector.

I can see why people disconnect them. It's a dumb thing to do but you are tortured less that way.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

His Scary Sponsor

I mighta accidentally scared a typing student today.

Sort of on accident. I actually wanted to shake him up a bit.

Our middle school typing classes are doing a "Type for Life" service learning project. They set goals for increasing their words-per-minute scores by March 30. They gathered pledges for the American Cancer Society.

I wanted to sponsor my best friend's daughter, but she never asked me and today I found out she's already made her goal anyway.

So I was at the typing class this morning, listening to a breast cancer survivor tell the kids about her battle and about cancer in general and about the American Cancer Survivor. (I'm writing a story about their project)

At the end of the class, the speaker brought out purple rubber "4 the fight" bracelets. She asked who had made their goal. Gave them bracelets. Then she asked who had sponsors and were working toward their goals. Gave those kids bracelets.

A kid named Tyler was just sitting there. Tall, sharp-looking guy.

She asked him if he had even one sponsor. "No ma'am," he said.
"But you have a goal, right?" she asked.
"Yes ma'am," he answered.

She gave him a bracelet.

I passed a note over to him. "I'll sponsor you for $20 if you make your goal." And I signed my name and put my email address on there.

After class he thanked me. I told him he'd better reach his goal or I'd dog him til he was dead.

"Yes ma'am," he said.

I saw him a few minutes later and he said "Y' know, I made my goal, but the teacher raised it on me."

"Well, good! Because I don't want to sponsor some slacker who sets their goals too low," I replied.

"No ma'am."

I could be the scariest sponsor for a charity he's ever had.

Monday, March 19, 2007


Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic.
This is why I like to have Mensa Boy label boxes for me.

On Saturday my parents arrived and brought with them the two new placesettings I'd bought on my fiesta-buying junket to RedWing in February.

The addition of the new place settings necessitated the removal of two other settings.

It was not a hard choice to make. I'd moved the apricot and white dishes to the bottom of the stacks and told the kids that, when they set the table, I expect my place to NOT have the apricot. It just looked...vomitous.