Saturday, November 29, 2008

End of an Era

We went back to NC for Thanksgiving to share it with my husband's family. Upon our arrival we saw the remains of our old house which had been burned down as part of a fireman training program.

It was kinda sad to see the shell of the foundation as the only sign of a house that had stood for nearly 80 years. Bill and I had considered buying the old homestead instead of renting it from his family and completely renovating it, but we had known that the cost would not be worth it. The foundation was in poor shape and getting worse. We instead opted to move to Spartanburg and into a house that didn't need such exhaustive work to bring it up to the 20th century, much less the 21st.

There's a lot of history in that old house. It housed the first telephone in the town of Rosman, as Bill's Grandfather was a game warden and the phone was quite useful for his work. It helped raised three generations of kids, my father in law, my husband and my children, all of whom spent a large part of their childhood in that home.

My Sister and law and her husband who did take over the property will likely build on the old site as they are needing more space for their growing family. It was something we too had considered, before moving here. I look forward to how things turn out.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

you know you aren't quite awake when...

I have a morning ritual. Wake up, look at the clock, get up, go to the fridge, get out gushy food for the cats, divvy up food, let one cat out, grind coffee beans, make coffee, go take a shower, go get coffee, put in milk and honey, get fully awake at the computer.

I don't deviate much from that routine, and its pretty automatic now for me to stumble through my morning ritual without thinking.

This morning that ritual, was slightly altered, because I grabbed the gallon of orange juice instead of the gallon of milk. So now my coffee has a slightly citrus taste, but I do believe I'm getting awake

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Recycle please

The other day I went into the break room at work to sit down and eat my lunch. There is usually a copy of the local paper there, and I will browse through it. It's that or watch soap operas with the other employees. I prefer reading. When I picked up the paper I immediately noticed something different.

Either my hands are getting bigger or that paper just got smaller in size. Now I can appreciate the H-J trying to save a few dollars by using less paper, and maybe going a bit greener, but I'm also betting the the price just went up as well.

They aren't alone in this. Many companies are shrinking their product size, while either keeping the price the same or raising them. It's not a lot, just a little and it's easy to miss. It just bothers me, mainly because a better solution is so simple.

I've always been bothered by the sheer waste I see in commercial packaging, and the apparent lack in incentive to make packaging from recycled materials, more bio-degradable, or of a form that doesn't reduce landfill space at such a rapid rate. I am certain there are ways out there to package products or produce reading materials such as a newspaper in a way that encourages wise stewardship of our resources.

Of course I wish that recycling was more widely encouraged, both in the private and the business sector. So much of what we use has packaging that can be recycled, but isn't. In just plastics alone, we could save millions of barrels of oil a year by recycling bottles and containers, instead of throwing them out. Countless trees could be saved if more publications encouraged people to throw their products in the nearest recycling bin instead of the trashcan. Metallic resources could find themselves in larger supply if we re-used more of those as well.

There is so much talk about "going green", yet this form of greening is mentioned so little. I just don't know why, as it is one of the smartest and effective methods of using sound environmental practices.

I already recycle here at the Galloway house. It is amazing that when we haul the trash off, up to 50% of what we take to the drop off site goes straight to the recyclable containers. It's a bit of a hassle, but to me well worth it. I encourage everyone to do so.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Has it been a year already??

Yesterday I attended the birthday party of my granddaughter who has just turned one year old. She enjoyed the toys she got, but was totally unimpressed with the whole opening packages scenario. She was also quite bemused by all the camera flashing around her as we were trying to take the perfect shot of her eating her cake. She got her hands all dirty with pink frosting and bits of cake and a bit on her face, but I suspect most of what she pulled off the cake, ended up on the floor and into the bellies of two delighted dachshunds, who belong to the hosting grandma. If we were wanting a kid face planting into her cake with glee, we were disappointed. Helene seems to prefer to reserve her massive mess making for her diaper, or any room of the house she can strew toys through.

It just doesn't seem possible that she is that old already. Wasn't it just last week that we took Mommy to the hospital to have that child?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Honoring Product Relocation Specialist

I am not sure if there is a day honoring the people in the title of this blog, so I am making it a personal declaration to thank these men and women. Of course I have a husband who is one of these dedicated workers.

What is a Product Relocation Specialist? Well let's see if I can help you figure it out. They work horrible hours, spending days or weeks away from home and their families. For most their home away from home is the space of many of our bathrooms, and some PRS share that space with another. These spaces have no indoor plumbing either, so PRS folks must use public style venues for personal hygiene and toiletry needs. They have to be vigilant and careful while working as what they do can directly affect the safety of others.

The job is a necessary one for our economy as the lowly PRS or over the road trucker is responsible for a major percentage of goods, components and products being transported from one location to another. The turnover rate in this field tends to be quite high, as it is a demanding job, and the pay doesn't always reflect the work these guys do.

Safety regulations in the industry have been tightened to the delight of most truckers. They know quite well that there are people driving 75,000 pound boxes on wheels that have no business behind the wheel, and champion getting and keeping these people off the road. They know that they are under major scrutinty if a worse case scenario and are involved in an accident. They want high standards in their industry knowing that well trained people and people who strive for excellence make the roads and highways safer for everyone. What a lot of people do not know is that in over 75% of truck related accidents that also involve other vehicles, the truck driver is found to be not at fault. It is usually a careless auto driver that set up the chain of events causing the wreck.

Truckers often work with law enforcement to help keep the roads safer. They have helped people with disable automobiles, have helped control traffic so that police can catch a criminal on the run, have been on the scene helping with an accident, and have reported traffic situations, suspicious or illegal activities or motorist problems to police.

So the next time you go to the store, remember who helped put that product you are buying into your hands.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I blame all typos on the following reason

My granddaughter who will be a year old next week, has a favorite toy. My computer. She has been scolded more then once for turning it off. When she disappears for a minute we know just where to find her, in my room, at the desk, trying to bang the keyboard to pieces. She now also knows that the mouse is supposed to be moved around too.

She knows that she can see pictures of animals on the monitor screen, and will ask to see "diddy" (kitty) pictures. She also likes when I play music on the computer.

But try to get any work done, like write my column, do another writing project, check my email or just catch a few minutes of gaming time with her around and knowing I'm at my desk? Forget it. I can't even ignore the computer and try to pay a bill without her trying to come in and see what Nana is doing. And then of course she wants to "help" by holding down a key, hitting any key at random, or trying to commandeer the mouse.

At least she does the same thing to everyone else sitting in front of their computers as well.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Please! NOT YET!!

I went into one of those big box stores the other day, to get my tires rotated and pick up few thing while the work was being done. Sadly I ended up having to replace two tires, because they were completely shot. I wasn't happy, but we knew they were needing replacing before too long anyway.

What caught my attention was the Muzak playing in the background. It was only November 3, and I heard....Christmas Music!! Heck the Halloween candy has barely gone on clearance and they are already playing Odes to Jolly St. Nick!!

I know stores put on holiday music WAY too early in hopes of putting shoppers in a holiday shopping mood. But what about us poor saps who are stuck working in a retail oriented work place? By Christmas Eve, some of us, mainly me, want to hurt someone if I have to hear just one more rendition of Santa Baby, played for the 6 time in a 8 hour period.

Radio stations for some reason start Christmas music way too early too. I have yet to figure out the reasoning for that. I just hate it. To me it spoils the whole season. I like Christmas music, but hearing it constantly for 8 weeks? Wait till after Thanksgiving PLEASE!!

Looks like I will be digging out my old CD collection for my commutes to work very soon.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I had a feeling

Have you ever had a premonition that came true? Well on occasion that happens to me, like today. Sometime in the middle of the night, I woke up thinking that my 2 o'clock was going to be showing up at one. So instead of sleeping I am wondering if I had indeed told her to show up at 2 instead of one. Since I only work about 1 Sunday every six weeks or so, and I usually come in at one, I thought that maybe I had told her my usual time instead of this altered time in.

Of course I couldn't call the lady because I didn't have her phone number, it was at work, and the shop didn't open until noon. AND I couldn't call at noon, because I am at church still and the service is running way long. As soon as I got back to my car, I call work, busy. I call again, still busy. By this time I am driving in the general direction of the mall, and on the third try I get through. I ask for the lady's number to see if I can head her off realizing that I probably won't catch her at home. Sure enough as I was on the phone with a co-worker, in my client walks. So much for lunch, as I was hip deep in perms all afternoon, besides having to come in an hour early.

I hate those types of premonitions. Why don' I get the ones that don't turn out to be inconveniences but instead result in something fun? I cant complain too much though, I ended up having a positive day paycheck wise. Now if I can catch up on the sleep I missed worrying about what inevitably happened.