Bible Verse

Beg as loud as you can for good common sense. Proverbs 2:3

Friday, November 29, 2013

What's the Deal With TV Commercials?

I am not a fan of most commercials.  Some are really good, like the camel who is elated that it’s Wednesday, and the old Christmas standby of Santa Claus and the walking, talking M&M’s discovering each other exists.

However, you can keep the commercials for drugs that I will never need in my lifetime. 
For example, if a drug was on the market for gall bladder problems, I would not be interested because I do not have a gall bladder.  Under no circumstances would I need this medication.  You get my drift…

I understand that baby boomers are big business and therefore some of these drugs are targeted for us.  Those ads with the guys doing manly things like working on cars, sailing, playing guitar in a rock band, driving pickups, motorcycles and fast cars are some of the worst.  When they finally get around to describing the actual product, about all they say are the terrible things that can happen if their drug is taken.
Really.  Do I have to listen to all of that?  I grant you that out of all the drug commercials I’ve seen, I might be eligible to take one of them.  So if I end up taking that medication, shouldn’t my doctor be telling me what the side effects are?  Why do I have to listen to a roll call of what might occur? 

And besides that, what business does the average person have making decisions that require a medical degree?  Just listing a few symptoms doesn’t take the place of an education, experience, or knowing my medical history.
And the car ads!?!  I will never, ever buy a car from anyone who pumps up the volume and screams at me about their low prices.  I hate having to adjust the volume or just mute the thing. 

I am aware that some TV’s have a feature that will keep the volume down.  My TV has it, but it won’t do it. Don’t know why, just won’t.
Some ads are just plain boring. Take a local cable company, for instance.  Their commercials for businesses are snoozers every time.

Ads I love:  The Boston Guys who have various experiences with Dish Network’s Kangaroo services.
                Maxwell, the spokespig for Geico

                Liberty Mutual’s take on humans and their adventures.  My favorite is when a car with bicycles strapped to the top of it pulls into a garage.  I’m sure I’d do the same – maybe that’s why it cracks me up.

Ads I don’t love: Hardee’s – we used to call that soft porn, something you’d never see on TV at any hour of the day.
                        Victoria’s Secret – see above.

Well, now you know how I feel about TV commercials.  There are a lot more I could have listed because I have genuine complaints all over the place.
But let me leave you with these last questions:

If the man and the woman are supposed to be getting chummy, why are they in separate bathtubs?  Shouldn’t they be together someplace having a romantic evening?  Just sayin…


Friday, November 22, 2013

What’s the Deal With 431?

If you have traveled through northeast Alabama at any time in recorded history, you will instantly know what this post is about.

What I want to know is:  Where are all these people going and why are they continually in my way?
Alabama State Highway 431 (known locally as “the four lane”), is a treacherous, winding, hilly, thoroughfare that has 18 million traffic lights that you can’t hit all green no matter how fast or how slow you go.  And, yes, that’s personal experience speaking.

For reasons unknown to the scientific community, 431 is at its worst starting in Guntersville and going through Boaz all the way to the county line.  It’s about 30 miles, if you are lucky enough to drive it without being assaulted by another vehicle.
You name it, we’ve got it:  rear-ended, t-boned, head on, even sliding under.  And they keep putting more traffic lights up, so the odds of getting smacked just go up and up.

I happen to have very good reasons for being on 431.  What’s everybody else’s excuse?  Because if I’m out there, cars and trucks come at me like I’ve got a target painted on every side of the car.  They don’t appear to have any destination, other than scaring the willies out of me as they hurtle this way and that.
I’m so thankful I don’t have to teach someone to drive anymore.  I wouldn’t know where to start.

Years ago, somebody sold a t-shirt that read “I Survived 431.”  Well, it is something to brag about.


Friday, November 15, 2013

What's the Deal With Growing Purses?

Are you the victim of a growing purse?

It’s a subtle thing that will eventually grab you, shake you and then demand even more.  I speak from experience.
For years (like 30 of them), every purse I carried had three zippered compartments, each compartment having certain things in it. 

My billfold, checkbook, pens and paper were in the first one. 
The second was for Tylenol, Kleenex, anti-acids, and what looked to be a small pharmacy. 

That left the third one as miscellaneous, but I always knew I could find my stash of Splenda if I looked long enough.
I don’t know why I changed my life-long philosophy about purse organization.  Well, it could be that I was tired of looking like an 80-year-old former teacher who mutters to herself while shopping.  I’m not knocking former teachers who are 80 years old.  It’s just that I’m 61 and decidedly not a teacher.  The muttering to herself while shopping could be true in my case, but I’m not admitting to anything, especially here in front of God and everyone.

Actually, once the idea found a home in my head, purses began to call to me, like motzerella cheese sticks every time I pass a Sonic.  I started noticing women’s purses everywhere I went.  I watched with fascination as women carried their purses with apparent ease, were able to quickly fish their cell phones out, and could always get to their credit cards when needed.
And the purses themselves appeared to belong to younger, hip women, women who take charge and get things done.

Yeah, that’s what I wanted.  My 91-year-old mother went with me, and she’s the one who helped me pick the color once I figured out what type I wanted.
A big thanks to Mom because the color is about the only thing that’s good about it.

The new purse has 3 compartments, but two are not zippered.  Since I frequently sling my purse into the floor as I’m driving (I wish people would get out of my way!), I strategically placed my billfold, cell phone, checkbook, and other items so that I wouldn’t lose anything forever in the littered pit known as the floor of my car.
At first, during the honeymoon period, everything was great.  It was a great looking purse, and people complimented me as I strutted around with my new acquisition.  When I compared my purse with other hip women (or maybe that should be women who have had hip replacement), I found that I was right in there at the top.  I could set it down, and it would stand proudly by my side until the next adventure.  Woo-hoo!

Woo-hoo indeed.  Here comes the sneaky part.  As I used the purse and put completely-necessary-to-my-life articles into my purse, it didn’t stand quite as tall.  It slowly, slowly began to hunker down until it turned into a very aggravating, chaotic puddle of stuff.
The bottom of each compartment looks as if it’s disappeared.  After several rather embarrassing incidents in which it seemed that I didn’t know my own purse, I realized that the bottom of the first compartment had sagged to the point of disappearing underneath the bottom of the middle compartment.

No one tells you these things before you buy. 
And FYI:  Never put anything with a pin in it in any compartment of the purse.  It will immediately disappear and then, way later, when the memory has been lost as to why the pin is in there, and, for that matter, that there is a pin in there, it will strike you with lightning speed and make you scream like a little girl right there as you are ordering at McDonald’s drive-through.

Again, I’m not admitting to anything, but I hope that young lady gets her hearing back real soon.
So here’s one of those hard-learned lessons of life:  It’s never a good thing when your purse sags more than you do.  In my case, it’s downright criminal.

Friday, November 8, 2013

What’s the Deal With Public Restrooms?

I try not to use public restrooms.  But as I grow older, I find the need hits me more often.

When I do use one, there’s always a problem with something. 
Take, for example, the door, either the main door if it’s a one-holer, or the door to the stall.  It must close and lock.  Main doors are the biggest problem because there are times that I can’t tell if it’s really locked or not.  So I have to make the decision to assume it is locked and go ahead with my business or to start shoving the little table or potted plant or whatever else that’s movable in front of the door in case someone opens it (my biggest fear). 

And the toilet tissue!  They have hidden a humongous roll in a steel box with an opening on the bottom that is too far down to see.  So while I’m fumbling around in there trying to find the end of the roll, I find that there’s also a serrated edge (presumably to cut the paper if I can ever get it off the roll).  I find it because it has scratched the back of my hand while I’m desperately turning the big roll around and around.
So trying to wrestle with this is very time-consuming and oftentimes  absolutely futile.

I hate to drip dry, don’t you?
If on the off chance that I do find the end of the roll and I can pull some toilet tissue out of the bottom of the steel box, bending low while I hold my breath and promise God just about anything for success, as soon as I tear off what I would consider a reasonable amount, the tissue suddenly and completely on its own folds in half long-ways, giving me a small ribbon-like length to call my own.

I don’t know about you, but that’s not going to be enough.
So, of course, I try again, trying my best to dig around from the bottom of the steel box, thinking I may hit the jackpot with two successes on the same trip to the restroom. 

Sadly, I am most likely wrong.  I finally realize that the people I am with are probably wondering what I’m doing in there or I hear the announcement  that the store is closing.  Either way, I sigh, use what I’ve got to the best of my ability and then finish it off with a drip dry for a couple of minutes.
And here’s another thing:  I am opposed to self-flushing toilets.  Every time one of those things goes off, it sounds like I’m stepping on the cat, which puts me dancing around trying to avoid the rest of the cat.  I bounce around in there like a ping pong ball.

And those air hand dryers – whose idea was that?  One restroom I was in had one that I swear had the power and air flow of a jet plane.  I was sure that everyone within a square mile was aware that I was drying my hands.
So, as I said, I try not to use public restrooms.  Sometimes I’m surprised and everything is just right.  But those are few and far between, and with my memory, I really don’t remember one at all.


Friday, November 1, 2013

Welcome to Our Office

Don’t you just hate all the paperwork when you go to a new doctor?  Six pages of stuff they want to know.  And why do I have to write my name and date of birth at the top of every page?  Don’t they have a stapler in that office?

They want me to list my surgeries.  They leave me 3 lines.  Hahahahahaha!
They want me to list my medications.  They leave me 4 lines.  Hahahahaha!  I took 4 medications just while I was filling the papers out!

And if I don’t have high blood pressure because my medication is working, do I count that as something I’ve got?  I never know how to handle that.
I have to sign my name in 6 places.  I have to print my name in the blanks 6 times.  I have to initial 7 times!  I didn’t sign and initial this many times when buying our house.

They had way too many rules.  They seem to be afraid of everything and are trying to prevent the next catastrophe (which, of course, is not going to work). 
I had to agree to not use foul or abusive language toward the office staff, but that’s okay because I’m saving it for the doctor. (Just kidding…)

I am asked to remember that there are no narcotics on the premises.  (Obviously, they have not checked my purse.)

There is an encouraging note to please be on time.  They point out that they are trying their very best to minimize my wait time.  How sweet of them!
However, it goes on to read, if I’m over 15 minutes late, they are not going to let me see my doctor.  They make up for that by offering to schedule me for another day. 

I need to remember this one, especially since I have waited hours (plural) with my folks in this same waiting room in the past. 
I am also told that if I miss 3 appointments without cancelling beforehand, they won’t ever let me see my doctor again.  Of course, if I’ve missed 3 appointments, I probably don’t want to come back, anyway. 

I am warned to not drive or operate any heavy machinery while taking any narcotic prescriptions the doc might give me.  (What is heavy machinery, anyway?  Doesn’t all machinery weigh, like, a ton?)
I get a refresher course on how writing a check will impact my checking account.  If the check is returned, they’ll dock my account by $30.  (Well, good luck.  Chances are if I didn’t have enough to cover my co-pay, I probably don’t have $30 either.)

They have some questions with little boxes to mark.  They want to know if my pain is sharp, dull, stabbing, throbbing, aching or burning. I checked 5 out of the 6 choices.  I mean, it just depends on what I’m doing at the time.
They want to know if squatting or kneeling make my symptoms worse.  I nearly snorted tea out my nose when I read that.  I haven’t squatted since 1999 and I gave up kneeling about 5 years ago.

Under Sports/Hobbies, I put that my hobby is sitting and anything I can do while sitting.  Might as well be upfront about it.
It says I’m also going to court if I don’t pay, according to what I signed, and I agreed to pay collection costs of 33 1/3% of the balance as well as attorney’s fees and/or court costs.  Hahahahahahha! 

I was the small claims clerk for my county for 13 years.  I can tell you that that threat isn’t much of one.  It’s very hard to collect money from a lawsuit. 
It’s my belief that the initial paperwork at a doctor’s office is merely a test to see how tenacious you are and how much you really want to see the doctor.

I must have passed because I got in.  I always get in.  I have good insurance…