05/28/08 10:50 - 51ºF - ID#44480
Piss and moan
It has been very difficult. Steve and I got in a fight in front of the landlord and it was kinda weird. It was definitely a good thing though because the landlord ended up taking my side. I definitely freaked out a bit. I'm like "IT smells like cat piss. I am not being sensitive! " This is not the greatest conversation to have but of course it worked out in our favor. This whole experience makes me never want a cat... ever. I loved cats, now I hate them. If this doesn't go away I think I am going to be miserable. Luckily, everything that can reasonably be done is happening.
I definitely want the air ducts cleaned out. They are really gross.
Some of you may wonder how I didn't notice all this when I looked at the apt. I really don't know. They must have used some spray to cover it up or something. I was prepared for there to be some minor dog pee, but not room after room covered in cat piss. This really is traumatizing me. Now I have to see if we can stay in our current place a week longer so that the floors can be done. All of our utility switches will have to be delayed IF we can get an extension.
All that being said, I still think the apartment will end up being a great place. We already painted over the Mint ting a ling.
05/24/08 10:27 - 51ºF - ID#44443
It is so weird to look at all this stuff I have had in boxes for years because I haven't had anywhere to put it in my house. I have tons of old vinyl albums that I haven't listened to in years because I had no space for my record player and speakers. I'm so happy I only have to work tomorrow and then I am off from Roswell for a week. This is my first vacation time I have used because I have been diligently saving it for this summer.
Previously, I have gone through about 15 years worth of papers. You wouldn't believe how much of this stuff was student loan documents. Most of them had my social security number on them and had to be shredded. What an enormous amount of waste those student loans generate before they get consolidated. I have switched to electronic billing on just about everything I can so that I could cut down on some of this waste.
Tuesday we get the keys to the new place. We will then paint and clean for two to three days and then move in on Saturday. I have a cotton shower curtain on order specifically for a claw foot tub. It isn't vinyl and won't have to be thrown away. I anticipate the curtain and the rings to last me a life time. Hopefully I will always have a clawfoot tub! I also got a new vacuum which I have been wanting for at least a year. It is a Sanitair and works really good. Biggest plus is it has a bag instead of the stupid cup that you have to empty and gets dust all in your face.
Still looking for patio furniture. Trying to find something that will last and doesn't look like trash, but it is tough unless you plan on dumping many hundreds of dollars. Was hoping I would have something by now, but I just can' t find anything. I am really picky about everything I buy. Sometimes it is so bad that I won't buy anything at all even though I need it. I'm really trying to avoid buying things that end up in the landfill now. It isn't as easy as you would think. Like this shower curtain. Nobody sells them, so I finally found one that was an AS IS floor model so I got it. Unfortunately, they didn't measure it and it was 72 inches short. So I wasn't entirely impressed with their customer service at Green Home because they refused to even offer to upgrade my shipping to two day to ensure I would get it by the time I moved. This is after agreeing to buy one for full price since they had no more AS IS curtains. So I canceled my order and found it somewhere else, but this other one seems semi-shady and I am really hoping not to get ripped off. Green Home apologized but I think it is very poor customer service not to rectify an error. Sure they had UPS pick it up free or charge, but I ordered the curtain way in advance so that I would have one when I moved!
Here is the curtain I ordered on the Green Home website.
When I do finally get the one from terralunasol it will look really great with the nickel shower curtain rings I got.
The other thing I have to get is a new coffee pot. Sure it seems like a simple task for most people, but for me it is a nightmare. Most of the models I have encountered now use heat plates that start to peel after a year. They also have made them very difficult to clean. I don't think I should have to keep buying new coffee pots every year. I'm thinking about getting the one on Gevalia that they offer for free. It looks nice.
05/23/08 08:05 - 45ºF - ID#44427
Standardized test boycott
New York 8th-Graders Boycott Practice Exam But Teacher May Get Ax
by Juan Gonzalez
Students at a South Bronx middle school have pulled off a stunning boycott against standardized testing.
More than 160 students in six different classes at Intermediate School 318 in the South Bronx - virtually the entire eighth grade - refused to take last Wednesday's three-hour practice exam for next month's statewide social studies test.
Instead, the students handed in blank exams.
Then they submitted signed petitions with a list of grievances to school Principal Maria Lopez and the Department of Education.
"We've had a whole bunch of these diagnostic tests all year," Tatiana Nelson, 13, one of the protest leaders, said Tuesday outside the school. "They don't even count toward our grades. The school system's just treating us like test dummies for the companies that make the exams."
According to the petition, they are sick and tired of the "constant, excessive and stressful testing" that causes them to "lose valuable instructional time with our teachers."
School administrators blamed the boycott on a 30-year-old probationary social studies teacher, Douglas Avella.
The afternoon of the protest, the principal ordered Avella out of the classroom, reassigned him to an empty room in the school and ordered him to have no further contact with students.
A few days later, in a reprimand letter, Lopez accused Avella of initiating the boycott and taking "actions [that] caused a riot at the school."
The students say their protest was entirely peaceful. In only one class, they say, was there some loud clapping after one exam proctor reacted angrily to their boycott.
This week, Lopez notified Avella in writing that he was to attend a meeting today for "your end of the year rating and my possible recommendation for the discontinuance of your probationary service."
"They're saying Mr. Avella made us do this," said Johnny Cruz, 15, another boycott leader. "They don't think we have brains of our own, like we're robots. We students wanted to make this statement. The school is oppressing us too much with all these tests."
Two days after the boycott, the students say, the principal held a meeting with all the students to find out how their protest was organized.
Avella on Tuesday denied that he urged the students to boycott tests.
Yes, he holds liberal views and is critical of the school system's increased emphasis on standardized tests, Avella said, but the students decided to organize the protest after weeks of complaining about all the diagnostic tests the school was making them take.
"My students know they are welcome in my class to have open discussions," Avella said. "I teach them critical thinking."
"Some teachers implied our graduation ceremony would be in danger, that we didn't have the right to protest against the test," said Tia Rivera, 14. "Well, we did it."
Lopez did not return calls for comment.
"This guy was far over the line in a lot of the ways he was running his classroom," said Department of Education spokesman David Cantor. "He was pulled because he was inappropriate with the kids. He was giving them messages that were inappropriate."
Several students defended Avella. They say he had made social studies an exciting subject for them.
"Now they've taken away the teacher we love only a few weeks before our real state exam for social studies," Tatiana Nelson said. "How does that help us?"
© 2008 The New York Daily News
05/21/08 09:03 - 45ºF - ID#44412
Does anyone know of any shortwave stations I can pick up?
Right now they are talking about the centenarios. Those that who have lived to be a 100 in Cuba. La mayoria las mujeres. The majority women. The station keeps on fading in and out. Now I know why people become addicted to this.
Now I am very sad that I can't return back to Cuba. I do think I will be there again before I die. I truly feel sad that I can't go again and live there for another 4 months. It has been three years this August. The program I went with is no longer running through the University at Buffalo and now it is even harder to go.
This shortwave radio is totally freaky.
05/17/08 04:04 - 56ºF - ID#44376
Paper or Plastic?
So anyways, I have cut down my plastic use quite a bit, but still have a lot of room for improvement. IF anyone has seen a plate and silverware set that comes in a neat little carrying case let me know where I can find one. I would love to bring it in to work to use in place of Styrofoam.
05/11/08 04:14 - 65ºF - ID#44309
These are electromagnetic dust rags. They are $2.50 each last I knew. They are the best I have seen elsewhere. They are great for smooth surfaces and can even be used with method window cleaner for mirrors. Leaves no lint behind. These are exceptionally durable and I use them all the time. They pick up so much dust, but are best when washed frequently.
Also, I if you wanted a scrub brush with wooden handle those are great too. It is in the second picture. Those are probably about $4.
05/09/08 10:44 - 59ºF - ID#44291
Look at how much algae there is. If these fish are here to say they are certainly going to die. When the algae bloom dies and all this extra bacteria are eating up all the oxygen everything will die.
I love all the different colors.
So this crane was trying to take advantage of the situation but didn't have much luck.
This frenzy occurred on both sides of the lake. I tried to find the goldfish I had seen previously, but was unable to find them. They were really kind of gross looking. I have never ever seen fish like them. They seemed like a disease or something.
05/02/08 10:45 - 61ºF - ID#44220