What the?


I came across this article one night in my surfing.  

Privacy is lacking in this Tokyo glass home

A three-story glass home in Tokyo – including split-level balconies without safety rails
– intentionally offers little privacy to its occupants.
Photo: Iwan Baan

In a connected world where privacy is a valued, but diminishing part of daily life, home remains a reliable refuge. But here’s one home that intentionally strips away even that illusion for its inhabitants. In this nearly transparent Tokyo home, known as House NA, outsiders can see everything and everyone inside.

Of course, all kinds of things went through my head.  Things like, “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones,” and silly stuff like that.  Naturally that flowed into, “I don’t do windows!”  And then, “Can’t you tell them I’m not home?” 

The whole saying of “people in glass houses,” was such a silly notion when I was a kid – of course no one would actually live in a glass house!  That’s just an expression, duh!  But here we are now, with glass houses, under 1,000 sq ft of cramped glass house, no less, and once-silly notions are now reality.

Plus, check it out – no safety rails on those balconies.  Drugs, right?  Seriously, who does balconies without rails?

Count me out!  LOL  I do love privacy, especially my own!  And I’m terribly fond of safety, especially my kid’s.  I have such a hard time believing that someone actually paid for this.  Clearly (ha! no pun intended!) someone did though.  I think they should have called it the “Invisi-house.” 

Click the link to read the whole thing: Privacy is lacking in this Tokyo glass home

How about you?  Would you ever live in a glass house?

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Categories: In The News, WTF? | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

What the heck?

Recently I saw this headline, “Chemical in many antibacterial soaps linked with impaired muscle function.”  Seriously?  Good grief, what the heck are we doing to our doggone selves?  We can’t even get soap right anymore!  What a mess, and how scary to think that the soap you may be using could actually be causing you harm in other areas of your body. 

Antibacterial soap.jpg

Introduced in the 1970s, the compound triclosan has become an increasingly popular ingredient in many antibacterial soaps and other personal-care items, such as deodorants and mouthwashes.  However, as the chemical’s popularity continues to grow, a recent report has raised concerns about some frightening risks that triclosan could pose to public health.

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has revealed that exposure to triclosan is linked with muscle function impairments in humans and mice, as well as slowing the swimming of fish.  By reducing contractions in both cardiac and skeletal muscles, the chemical has the potential to contribute to heart disease and heart failure.

Click here to read the whole thing: Chemical in many antibacterial soaps linked with impaired muscle function

Heart failure?  From soap?!  Wow.  Just wow.  Well, I swore off anti-bacterial soaps a long time ago when I found out they didn’t reduce germs any better than regular soap.  But apparently this chemical is in other things too, so it pays to read labels. 

As for soap, I’m all aboard the homemade soap express now.  I think I have been for a bit, but reading this article just confirms that I’ve made a good decision.  My friend Sherri makes a great soap that’s fragrance free and she’s going to be selling it, so check out her link if you’re interested.  I can personally vouch for it because I’ve actually used it.  I have a local friend who makes a soap designed for skin conditions, specifically my skin condition, and she’s going to be teaching me how to make it myself in the next few months since I go through her stock so fast.  I love the homemade soaps – it’s like skin candy.  But it really is so much healthier too, and you have control over what the ingredients are so you know what’s in it.  No fears of heart failure from my soap, that’s for sure! 

I’ll probably do a post on my first efforts, and I’m kind of looking forward to it.  The thought of making my own soap feels so … pioneer-ish, heh, but it’s something I want to get into.  I think it’ll be fun. 

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Chemical in many antibacterial soaps linked with impaired muscle function | Fox News

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Categories: FYI, In The News, Thinking out loud, WTF? | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments


Heh, so I do a post on browsers, and how FireFox is still my favorite despite Chrome having some cool new features, and my hits from Google Search Engine Terms drops by 95%.  That’s how you can tell when you’ve irritated the kiddies.  🙄


One of my most popular posts for over 2 years now isn’t even showing up in my Views stats since I did the browser post.  Interesting, no?  Each day, one of my top 5 posts drops off the map.  And the rest of my stats are rolling ‘round the basement floor. 


WordPress decided to play a stats joke on me.  Maybe they got you too?

This is what I saw on my dashboard on Friday.


Wow, right?  WOW!  Wait a minute!

A mouse-over showed this:


Stinkers!  Smile with tongue out


So  I did a little more research on my stats thing.  Could be WordPress, right?  I mean, my hits took a hit – no pun intended – after they put me on the front page a couple of years ago.

This is what I found:

I had some things in my referrer list from a strange URL.  I looked up the URL.  It looked like this:


The source URL?

It looked like this:


So instead of people coming to my page when they click a link, they get a re-direct message. 

Tell me again that Google doesn’t muck around with its search algorithms. 

Things that make you go, “Hmmm.”

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Categories: Thinking out loud, Weekend, WTF? | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Primal Desire

Fire Grilled Steak
imageHe suggested we go out to eat over the weekend.  He mentioned “steakhouse” and I grabbed onto it.  I can barely recall the last time we went to our local steakhouse.  2008?  07 maybe?  It’s been a while.

Oddly enough, we’d driven past it tons of times on our way back and forth to the grocery store.  Sometimes I could smell that beef being grilled and my mouth would water.  One time, a year or 2 ago, with a heart full of longing, I heard a little voice whisper in my ear, “The next time you go will be the last time.”  I scoffed.  I argued.  Nonsense!  I love going out to eat there!  I’m a steak girl and I love that place. 

So when my beloved said, “Hey, maybe we could go to the steakhouse, it’s been a while since we’ve eaten there,” I said, “Sure!  Let’s go!” before he could change his mind.  He’s used to me being a skin-flint and eating at the steakhouse isn’t cheap.

We saddled up the kids and went.

Nothing had changed since the last time we were there – nothing I could tell anyway.  The smell of cooking beef wafted from the kitchen.  The country music was still playing over the speakers.  The little loaf of appetizer bread still arrived on the table by our server.  Then Darc opened the menu.  I don’t think he cursed but he might have.  I was alarmed.  “What?  What’s wrong?” 

“Look at the menu.” 

I held it up, opened it, looked at the front and the back.  “Looks like it always did.”  No, I wasn’t trying to be a smartass.  He rolled his eyes.

“Read the descriptions.”

I did. 

Oh.  My.  Gosh!  No!  Please tell me it’s not true!  But there it was in black and sepia.

“USDA Choice.”

We sound like real food snobs, don’t we?  Maybe we are, I don’t know.  What I do know is this: I can get USDA Choice at Walmart.  And pay a lot less than what the steakhouse was charging.  Yeah, I get the overhead part, believe me, capitalist that I am, pro-business that I am, I get the overhead charges.  But to pay USDA Prime prices for the lower grade of Choice product, well, that didn’t make me happy and I said to Darc, “Well, we’ll just never eat here again, but I suppose we can only make the best of it while we’re here.” 

And that little voice whispered, “See?  Last time.”

Perhaps a quarter of my steak was inedible – gristle, fat, that tough white membrane stuff.  It was cooked okay and the flavor wasn’t terrible, but it was kind of tough.  As soon as I saw Choice on the menu, my expectations went from a 7 to maybe a 3, so I wasn’t really disappointed in that sense.  When the manager came by to ask how the meal was I said it was everything I expected it to be, with a smile.  When our server asked if everything was okay I said that it was.  She was a decent server.  And we tipped her well.  It was nice to go out to a sit-down place and have someone wait on us. 

What was so disappointing was to realize that after waiting so many years for a good steak, I wasn’t going to get anything better than the cheap stuff I can get at Walmart, for triple the money.  I walked in expecting better quality food from a restaurant, and didn’t get it.

There’s no such thing as a chicken knife, and Choice just don’t cut it. 

A USDA Prime beef crave should be satisfied with USDA Prime beef.  I’m just sayin’! 

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Categories: Family Life, Thinking out loud, Weekend, WTF? | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

What the?


Oh my gosh, did you see what happened to me yesterday?  This picture is exactly how I felt!

I finally got around to checking my email yesterday afternoon, and found email from some friends of mine asking what had happened to my blog and was everything okay.

*gulp*  My blog?  What?

So I tried to sign in … and it was gone!  All I had was a message on what should have been my dashboard stating that I had been shut down, due to TOS violations.

A TOS violation?  Me?!  Advertising?  Me?!  Does promoting my husband’s books count as advertising? 

I fired off a request thing to WP support, and within probably only  10-15 min max I heard back from them, apologizing for the mix up and inconvenience and telling me that everything had been restored just like it was.  Whew! 

I guess that’s doing pretty good if that’s the most traumatic thing in my day.  Seriously, I’ve had much worse, so a blog issue I can deal with.  Ahh, perspective. 

In other news, I did our taxes.  What a relief to have that done!

And how was your day?

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I was browsing the news last night – wow!  How fun!  This new computer Darc got is pretty awesome.  Even though we don’t yet have our own Internet connection, we’re getting decent speeds from the connection we’re able to get.  We’ve gone from “very low” on the old boat anchor, all the way up to “fair” on this one.  I’m dizzy from it!  Plus the screen … oh my gosh I can SEE!  Open-mouthed smile

Re-establishing our own Internet connection has been a big topic of conversation here in the Darc House, and we’re excited at the probability of that happening in the near future.  One bite at a time.  We’ve decided that when we do, we’re going to go with an Internet only package, no TV.  There were several reasons for it, but one of the major ones is family time.  We like spending time together as a family and sitting down to watch the latest episode of some show while the kids go off into their room to play because they’re not interested in “grown-up shows” is not how we want to be.  Plus, we’re really not excited at the prospect of them being glued to Nick Jr or Noggin or whatever the current kids TV station is. 

We do love watching movies however. 

Getting movies from the library has been a boon.  You can’t beat free!  But, it’s also kind of discouraging knowing you’re not going to find anything more recent than maybe 2-3 years old, IF you’re lucky.  So, when we found out that once we have an Internet connection we can stream movies through the Wii, we were all over that.  Netflix was on our list of future additions to the electronic family here.  Plus, we really love being able to watch DVD’s.  We LOVE our pause button while we dissect and talk about the movie we’re watching. 

Then I read this article: Netflix Is Abandoning DVDs, Customers Who Prefer DVDs. 

Can I just say I’m REALLY not happy about this?  I don’t want to stream all my movies, as much as I love the idea of being able to do so.  What if my connection goes down for some reason while we’re in the middle of a movie?  I want the hard copy!  I like the idea of options and I’m not pleased that Netflix wants to remove those options. 

I had Netflix several years ago when they first came out and I loved the service.  Bonus points too because I hated Blockbuster.  Do you know how hard it is to get decent customer service at Blockbuster? 

Now I find myself thinking I’ll go with Blockbuster for my movie rentals when I’m finally able to utilize a service like that.  They do DVD’s AND streaming – although I don’t yet know if they’ll stream through a Wii – but it kind of bites to have to go back to them.  The one I liked is letting me down, before I even had the chance to re-join them!  Back to the freaking drawing board, and here I thought my research was all done.  *sigh*


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Monday Misstep


So, uh, yeah, some of you read about my fall over on my husband’s blog last Friday.  I thought it was kind of appropriate that it happened on the 1st day of Fall, bringing to mind the ever-hilarious 1st-grade joke, “Didja have a nice trip?  See ya next fall!”  Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck *rimshot*.

Seriously, thank you all for your prayers and well wishes.  I can’t even begin to tell you how much it means to me.  🙂

Here’s what happened.  I was cleaning in the kitchen, getting those behind and under kinds of places – you know, under the toaster, behind the cookie jar.   I had put a pan in the sink to run under hot water while I wiped down the counters, and I guess it splashed out over the floor a little bit, because when I turned around, my leg went West, as I was turning North and my knee broke my fall.  You know how you get that little seam where the square linoleum floor tiles meet?  Yeah, I have the imprint on my knee cap now.  It’s a lovely red line, but it does kind of clash with the big purple-y spot on the side of my knee cap.  And actually, it doesn’t look as bad as it feels.  As long as I keep my knee straight, there’s almost no pain.  But if I try to bend my knee, or use it when trying to transition from a sit to a stand or vice-versa, oh boy. 

The thing that hurt the most though, was the blow to my pride.  I’m a grown woman, for Pete’s sake, and I shouldn’t be taking nose-dives in my kitchen like that.  And to make matters worse, I laid there crying like a big baby, until my husband could come help me, when I realized that with his back, he couldn’t help me.  And then I didn’t want his help because I realized that if he tried to help me, he’d only end up making his back worse, and then what would we do?  I’m the one who’s supposed to tend to everyone else, not get tended to.  That’s my job, to be the care-taker, not the care-receiver.  I am not comfortable with this state of affairs at all, and my knee can’t heal fast enough to suit me. 

In the meantime, I hobble around as best I can, trying to stay put in one place as long as I can so I don’t have to do that stand-sit routine very much.  Only problem is, I love coffee.  Coffee does not love me, refuses to stay with me any length of time, if you know what I mean.  Oh now there’s some good times.  GOOD TIMES!   :roll:   Let me tell you, it’s no longer running to the potty, it’s slow-limping to the potty.  This is not a good thing for a woman in her 40s who’s had children.  And let’s not even talk about the whole “do I try to sit down in a tub or stand up in a shower?” thing.  Nuh-uh. 

I feel like something out of a bad comedy routine.  “She’s slowly getting away!”  Step-limp, step-limp.  Hobble, hobble.

But I did realize something as I was falling asleep that night and kind of reliving the whole impromptu kitchen ice skating thing.  I know now why I hate orange.  I’ve always associated emotions with colors – yellow is happy, blue is serene, green is lively, red is anger – that sort of thing.  But I always drew a blank on orange, except for that I hate it.  When I fell, and as I laid there feeling that pain just bloom in my knee like some kind of tentacled amorphous monster, the color behind my eyelids was orange.  Bright, fiery, screaming, agonizing orange.  Orange is pain for me.  That’s why there have never been any orange flowers in any garden I’ve ever had.  So, I’m glad I got that figured out now.  Silver linings, you know. 

So yeah, I had a great trip.   Haven’t had one like it in 30 years, since I tripped over the hurdles in high-school gym class and left a bloody trail as I walked to the nurse’s office.  Before that, it was a rock that sent me flying off my suddenly-stopped skate board.  Hey, I was a California kid in the 70s, we all had skate boards back then, yep, even me.  I wasn’t too bad either, until that fall.  That’s the one that gave my knee it’s weather forecasting abilities.  Cool, huh?  I figure 3rd time’s the charm, as opposed to 3 strikes you’re out.  I’m thinking positively here.  Something popped in there this time, and it actually felt kind of good.  That has to be good, right?  RIGHT?

Other than that, I’m fine.  And how was your weekend?  🙂

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