Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Saturday, April 17, 2021
Life continues to be rich and full in the Miser Family Household . . . or should I say, "pitch and full"? A bunch of us celebrated our city's annual "Live Pitch" (although this year it was a "Virtual Pitch"), during which 5 different entrepreneurs propose cool Social Enterprise (B-corps) businesses, and the audience gets to cheer their awesome visions.
The first three photos below show that; for the low, low price of $150 each [ulp], I'd bought two "watch boxes", with make-it-yourself food from local businesses, plus noise-makers and confetti blowers that totally delighted Prewash, so much that we tossed the confetti over and over (and over again) so she could chase it. It was a fabulous evening, even though our favorite business proposals didn't win the contest. We're going to go buy the vegan cheese anyway, darn it!
You can pitch in and help, pitch a ball, pitch a fit, or pitch camp. You can bring things to a fever pitch, give a sales pitch, walk around in the pitch dark, or fight a pitched battle. A-child and L2 went with the baseball connotations: "Pitch perfect: Alise hit the ball a few times at her first game!" and "A pitch in a pinch".
And that's the news from our family, which continues to be wealthy in our adventures. May you and yours be similarly prosperous!
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
MiserMom-themed comments, because I can't help myself. When my husband is out of town for extended periods, our household electrical use drops by almost half. The TV and the electric dryer use that much energy. I myself don't use the electric dryer for anything besides killing bed bugs.
At any rate, back to the main topic. This drying rack has outlasted several electrical dryers and is older than some of my kids, so it's no surprise that it's started to break down just a tad here and there, not unlike its owners, I guess. Fortunately, fixing a wooden drying rack is Heck-Way easier than fixing an electric dryer (although the latter is also frequently quite possible, thanks to the modern miracle of You-Tube videos).
Last week, when I was supposed to be taking care of paperwork related to a jazillion committees I seem to be on, somehow I couldn't get my head into those. So I headed into the basement, where I used my circular saw to trim down a pair of new dowel rods to the right length, and then use my cordless drill to attach them in place of the two broken rods, using the screws I'd rescued from disassembling a trash-picked dining room table (now a bookshelf).
And then, since my head seemed to be happier playing with the drying rack than writing committee reports, I decided to paint the drying rack. It used to be wood-colored, and then it was ugly-gray-wood-exposed-to-the-elements-colored, but now it's green.
| Here's a dog's-eye view of the drying rack, |
as seen from the balcony where Prewash and I like to hang out.
A drying rack has a lot of surface area to paint, let me tell you. That's about 8 hours of committee work that I didn't do, right there. But my husband likes the way the drying rack looks, and nobody reads my committee memos anyway, so I think I made a good choice.
Sunday, April 11, 2021
These aren't thoughts about whether or not to park; they're really just random thoughts about the design of the NO PARKING signs themselves.
I'm sure I learned this back-in-the-day when I was taking my driver's test, but for some reason I just noticed again the color scheme. Black lettering is information; red is prohibition. So a NO PARKING sign has a black P with a red circle and a red tilted slash through it, the same way the black-on-white ONE WAY sign sits above the white-on-red DO NOT ENTER sign.
I look at the aesthetic of traffic signs differently ever since I watched the documentary "Helvetica". As much as I know how weird it is to see my peers Geeking Out on nerdy math facts, it was a lot of fun to watch these graphic designers Geeking Out on fonts. In the documentary, there are some people who get teary-eyed about Helvetica helping to reunify Europe in the decade that followed the second world war; there were others who could barely contain their rage over the use of Helvetica as a tool of the corporate capitalist oppression of creativity and individuality. I seldom think of fonts as moral choices (oh, except that once I read that "Century Gothic" uses less ink than other kinds of fonts), . . . but I do now realize that the font of each NO PARKING sign comes with historic, sociological, economic, and political significance. Go figure.
Three, the symbol itself.
The NO PARKING symbol has an interesting relationship to the math symbol plus (+). It was in the 1500s that a mathematician and physician named Robert Recorde invented arithmetical symbols that you'd think would have been around for forever: he was the first to use the symbols =, +, —.
He invented the now-familiar equals sign to replace the phrase "is equal to"; he invoked geometry and used two parallel line segments of the same length, because after all what could be more equal than those?
For the other arithmetic symbols, he turned to shipping for inspiration. People used standard sizes of crates to box things up, with a number written on it to indicate how much it held. If the box wasn't all the way full, as was common, you'd write a long line and then write the missing amount. So "25 —— 3" would mean that the crate that could hold 25 pounds, but the crate was 3 pounds light.
Occasionally, however, the crate would be overfull, In which case you'd put a small slanted slash through the long line (it's hard to type it, but it would kind of look like this: "25 —/— 3"). So the plus symbol really comes from meaning "not subtracted from" in the same way that the NO PARKING symbol means "parking, NOT!": that little slash through them has a common symbolic ancestry. Neat, huh?!
Saturday, April 10, 2021
Life continues to be rich and full in the Miser Family Household. If you're wondering how we're doing, well, this week we're all doing egg-cellently, thank you.
(And she stole my idea for next week's photo theme, so get ready for more awesome photos of A-child in action, people!).
And that's the news from our family, which continues to be wealthy in our eggventures. May you and your be similarly prosperous.
Thursday, April 8, 2021
Three thoughts about light, light figures, and light switches.
1. It's a personality thing.
According to "Snoop: What your stuff says about you", people who value organization and conscientiousness have spaces with lots of light. I've seen that pairing in my own life --- I love doing my work sitting in a chair by the window with light streaming in. In contrast, one of my friends who had her finances in a mess asked me to come over and help her with them. The table where she had all of her records was in one of the darkest corners of the room, and I had to beg her to bring more light over so that we could work there. I know that these two examples don't prove a theory, but they do illuminate it, so to speak.
2. It's a habit quirk.
Turning off the lights when I'm not around. I'm kind of obsessive about that. I'm obsessive to the point that I sometimes imagine myself in the position of Lot's wife, making that fatal final mistake: that Jesus appears and says to me, "drop everything and follow me now," and I respond "yes, Lord; I'm ready. I just need to run back inside and turn off the lights first!" The Lord of the Universe, or the living room lights? I fear for my immortal soul.
3. It's an opportunity for fun projects.
For both of these reasons, I'm loving the increasing variety of LED lights, and I'm planning a bunch of household projects for the summer to switch out dim or misplaced light fixtures for cheerier, brighter versions that hang where we actually need illumination. I'm so glad my parents taught me how to do some basic wiring: changing over these fixtures ought to be a lot of fun.
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
Recipe for an awesome dog toy.
- tennis ball
Put the ball in the sock. (Optional: sew the end closed). Throw.
* I actually used a sweater sleeve, from a torn/snagged sweater.