Don't forget to visit my website! Jackie Coleman - Author

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Egg Yolks for Lunch

I bought a huge jar of spicy peaches and transferred some of them to a small jar to take for lunch. Several of my coworkers noticed the jar and asked what it was. I told them it was my lunch. They replied, "You're having a jar of egg yolks for lunch?"

Monday, November 28, 2016

That's a Mighty Short Age Range

I was on ebay looking for something and came across an item for children with a recommended age range of 36 months - 3 years. That certainly doesn't give the little ones much time to play with it!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Black Friday Road Trip

Little Tikes Country Kitchen
Out of curiosity, I casually looked online to see what toy kitchens are going for these days. They had some I really liked that were made of wood, but I'm hesitant to buy one of them. I picture the same quality as some of the wood shelves you can buy ... they are fine until you move them. Once you move them, the inferior "wood" destroys the integrity, and they never sit right again. The plastic ones they make will hold up to the test of preschoolers and time, but I didn't like any of them. What I really wanted was one like my girls had when they were little, and I was dismayed to find they don't make that style anymore.

I searched online for a used one. I found several, but they were selling for more than I paid back in the 90's. They were also pick up only, and they were all a thousand or more miles away. I almost purchased an old entertainment center that can be used to build a really sturdy kitchen, like below ...

My granddaughter is only four months old, so I won't need a play kitchen for years, and I don't want to store a bulky entertainment center in my garage all that time. I could put it in the basement until I'm ready to transform it, but it will need to be sanded before it can be painted, and I don't want to do that inside the house. And, I'm sure that when I get the hankering to start working on it, there will be no men around to bring it back upstairs, and it's far too heavy for me to move.

I put that idea temporarily on hold because I really wanted the same Little Tikes Country Kitchen my kids had. After obsessively checking eBay and Craigslist for weeks ... I found another one! It was priced right, but it was for pickup only ... two states away. I Googled the location and discovered it was "only" 175 miles away, bought the kitchen, and made arrangements to pick it up Black Friday.

Everyone I know either had to work or was planning to spend the day shopping, so I got up early and headed out. The first hour and a half was on Interstates and easy going; the last hour and a half was spent going eleven miles on this road, then turning and going six miles on this road, then turning and going 18 miles, then 4 miles, etc. Google maps led me right to their door with no problem, but with all the highway changes, I had to pay attention to the GPS and couldn't entertain myself with music.

It was a long, silent day ... but I got the exact Little Tikes Country Kitchen my kids had, and it was worth every boring mile. It's very sturdy, but lightweight enough for me to move around by myself. When my grandbabies are big enough to play with it, they'll be playing in the "same" kitchen their parents did. I don't remember my son being interested in the kitchen, but his daughter will love it. My girls spent most of their early childhood preparing delicious plastic food for me to eat ... and I spent most of their childhood "eating" wonderful meals like a fried egg, peas, and french fries ... or bacon, carrots, and watermelon ... which I washed down with gallons and gallons and gallons of coffee. I saved all the kid's dishes and play food, so I expect to spend my granddaughter's childhood eating the same exquisite cuisine.

I know I jumped the gun by a few years buying this kitchen now, but seeing my children's children cooking in a Little Tikes Country Kitchen will give me immense pleasure. I'll enjoy it as much as they do!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thanksgiving Ham

Mid-way through baking.
Ready to slice.
Every year, my kids beg me to make a ham rather than a turkey for Thanksgiving, and every year I make a turkey. Most of those years Thing 2 worked for a company that gave her a turkey. If I didn't make it at Thanksgiving, when would I make it? Besides, I have a side by side refrigerator (that my brother told me not to buy because the freezer is too small, but I bought it anyway). Turns out, the freezer is small, and I can't spare the real estate to store a turkey.

This year, there was no free turkey ... so I bought a ham. It looked picture perfect and was the most delicious ham I have ever eaten. I do believe I've cooked my last turkey!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Banned Bean Ad

Governmental TV censors in Britain have banned an ad for Heinz Baked Beans after nine viewers complained that it could encourage kids to cut themselves (video below). I'm guessing the nine complaints came from someone with a highly flatulent friend or family member ... and they don't want them eating beans (if you catch my drift)! I don't see how this ad could possibly encourage cutting. Watch it and decide for yourself.

There are a lot of shows out there that are in very poor taste ... hour-long shows that are overly sexual or nauseatingly gory. Those shows are still on the air, but a 90-second bean ad is banned as promoting something dangerous. Decisions like this defy logic.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Another Turkey

Thing 2 spent the majority of her childhood at the dining room table ... drawing. She drew non-stop! If you were sick, you got a get-well card. Actually, you got a get-well card every few minutes until you actually got-well!

One year, around Thanksgiving, she started drawing Thanksgiving cards. Lots of Thanksgiving cards. She'd draw me a Thanksgiving card, with a turkey on the front and a sweet sentiment inside, and present them to me. One after the other ... all evening long.

It's my fault. When the kids would draw me pictures, I'd make over them and tell them how good they were. And, that wasn't a lie. I did think they were good! Spurred on by my praise, Thing 2 drew and drew and drew ... and drew!

After being presented with, I don't know, 769 Thanksgiving cards with turkeys one evening, she brought me yet another Thanksgiving card. It had a turkey on the front (surprise, surprise!). She looked at me and excitedly said "Open it up! Look what's inside!"

I opened it up. Unlike the other cards with "Happy Thanksgiving" written inside, this one had a turkey. I guess I was expecting something she hadn't been drawing me ... like pilgrims and indians, Indian corn, a table piled high with food, or even a cooked turkey ... but staring back at me was a turkey ... identical to the other 769 turkeys she had drawn me that evening!

When I saw the turkey, I said, "Another turkey." I didn't mean to, but I said it with about as much enthusiasm as I would if I discovered a cavity in my tooth. The poor little thing was crushed. She said "I thought you liked my turkeys." I told her I did like her turkeys, that I was just tired. She believed me and continued drawing me turkeys ... until the holiday passed ... at which time she began drawing me Christmas trees, candy canes, and Santa's!

"Another turkey" has become a euphemism around here for anything repetitive, such as when I buy corn on the cob to cook and freeze. We all sit around the table shucking it. As time goes on, and the pile seems to grow rather than shrink, one of us will reach out and grab an ear and say, "Another turkey."

A couple of years ago, with my kids blessing, I went out of town for Thanksgiving. I made a giant pot of green beans for them to take to my sister's, because they all LOVE my green beans. When I was sure all of the kids were up, I started texting pictures of turkeys every 15 minutes or so. It took about three turkeys before they caught on and replied ... "Another turkey."

Regardless of what you are doing today ... from getting together with a huge family to an intimate gathering of a few friends to a day of solitude ... I hope you enjoy your day and find something to be grateful for.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Is it Just Me ...

or does one of my trees look like a bully?

And is it sticking out its tongue? 

Not cool, Mr. Tree. Not cool at all.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

That's the Way( I Like It)

The 1970's produced some of the greatest music of all time. It also gave way to the disco revolution, a particularly unfortunate and embarrassing phase in music history. On this day in 1975, KC and the Sunshine band had the #1 hit, That's the Way( I Like It). This song was about as pleasant to hear as their clothing is to look at. That's the Way( I Like It) was an annoying little ditty that gets stuck in your head until you feel like screaming ... and now it's stuck in yours!

Monday, November 21, 2016

"has found a being bought"

It would appear that whoever wrote the caption for the photo above changed their mind on the wording several times ... and then apparently gave up! 

This photo was part of an article about the sale of the house featured in the movie The Amityville Horror. After languishing on the market for a while, it has finally been sold ... or, as the reporter above noted ... "has found a being bought".

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Excalibur's Sword

My first thought was, "Are Sheldon and Leonard selling their sword collection on Craigslist?"

Then I realized it's far more likely that Penny and Amy are selling Sheldon and Leonard's sword collection!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Note to Self ...

Before shoplifting, have a speedy getaway plan!

I'm no criminal mastermind, and I certainly have no expertise in evading the police, but I'm thinking I would have at least waited for the bus someplace other than right in front of the store.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Yea!! An "Inn" Table ... I've Been Wanting One!

I love Craigslist! It's cute when a child calls a "chest of drawers" a "chester drawers" ... it's not nearly as adorable coming from an adult!

I think I'll mosey on over to their computer equipment section and see if I can snag me a "labtop"!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

New Minimum Salary for Exempt Overtime Pay

The Department of Labor's new rule for the minimum salary of an employee to be exempt from overtime pay will go into law on December 1st. Because this was a "rule change", Obama could just sign it into law, much like an executive order, without the approval of Congress. And, because he knows what's best for us, he did just that.

I'm sure there are people out there that are happy about this, but I don't know any of them.

Salaried workers will no longer be allowed to say they worked 40 hours, they have to prove they did not work more than 40 hours. Their word that they only worked 40 hours isn't good enough ... they'll have to clock in and clock out ... just like at their fast food job in high school.

One of the perks of being a salaried employee is not having to punch a time clock. If your employer trusts you enough to pay you for 40 hours, they expect you to work 40 hours and, generally, your word that you did is good enough. They'll find out sooner or later if you're not doing your job. Salaried employees understand there will be times they will have to come in early, work late, work on the weekends, or miss lunch in order to meet a deadline. In turn, they know their paycheck won't be docked if they get caught in traffic one morning and can't clock in on time.

The flexibility once enjoyed by salaried workers who fall below the new threshold is now gone. They can't come in early or work through their lunch hour in order to leave early. They can't work outside of their work hours, including checking and responding to emails after hours and on the weekends. They cannot clock in or out more than seven minutes outside of their normal start/stop time. I can easily see someone coming in early and forgetting to clock in when the appointed time approaches because someone needed something and they weren't able to clock in during the appropriate time frame.

They no longer have the choice to "volunteer" their hours ... meaning, they can't stay a few minutes over, knowing they won't be paid for it, to finish a task before leaving for the day. It doesn't matter if you expect or want to be paid for those few minutes or not. It's against the law to finish your work if it can't be accomplished in the time the government allows you to work.

This law is particularly troubling for those in the IT industry that fall below the salary threshold for salaried workers. They can no longer check their email at home unless they will be compensated for it. If a worker doesn't have approval for checking email after hours or on the weekend, they will never know when someone notifies them that a critical system is down. And they won't be able to remote in or go into the office to fix the problem without a supervisor's written approval.

If an IT person is walking through the office in the morning, on the way to their desk, and it isn't time to clock in, they can't stop to help someone who can't login to their computer or is having any other technology issues. It might be something as simple as telling them, "Wifi is turned off. Slide the wifi bar to the right to turn it on, and you'll be able to login." But ... that's against the law now. Mouths will fall open when, instead of fixing their problem, they are told, "I could fix it, but I'm not on the clock for another 23 minutes. I'm going to go surf the web until it's time to clock in, then I'll come back and fix it."

If a colleague is going out of town tomorrow and is having a computer issue, they won't be able to get help if their IT staff can't take care of the problem during their normal working hours. I can see the outrage on their face when their IT person tells them, "Sorry. I have to clock out in five minutes, and your problem will take a minimum of six minutes. I know you need this issue fixed before you leave town, and I know you can't do your job unless I fix it, but there's no one around to authorize my overtime, and the company could be slapped with heavy fines if the government finds out I worked a minute over and wasn't compensated for it."

The "approval rating" for departments with salaried workers who can't take care of an urgent problem outside of normal working hours will plummet. IT staff who can't reboot a server or take care of a login issue after hours will soon find their heads on a chopping block. Users won't care if the government says you can't help them, all they care about is being able to do their jobs ... and they can't do their job if you're not allowed to do yours.

I know there are employers who take advantage of salaried individuals, but I have never worked for any of them. I know Obama thought he was doing everyone a favor by raising the minimum salary of employees exempt from overtime, but after him "helping" me with affordable health insurance, I can't afford much more of his "help".

Far from helping, this policy is creating a lot of work for a lot of people. It will cost businesses a lot of time and money. New systems will have to be put in place to track hours, and those systems aren't free. Countless dollars in man-hours will be wasted in preparatory meetings, implementation, and monitoring. The worst "perk" is that the flexibility those workers used to enjoy has been taken away.

My previous job was outsourced. I was lucky, and found my current job right away. It was a sizeable cut in pay, but the insurance and benefits were infinitely better, making the lower salary much comparable to my old salary.

Fast forward to 2016 ... I have the option of a really good health insurance plan, but it will cost me twice as much. As a result, I chose a high deductible plan to cut down on my monthly premium. I now have the same kind of crappy insurance I had before I started here because I can't afford the kind of insurance I had before Obama made health insurance "affordable".

I can no longer help co-workers with computer issues if I haven't clocked in. I can no longer check my email outside of normal business hours. I can no longer research the answer to problems in the evening because I want to. I can no longer lay in bed and mull over an issue in my mind. I can't come in to work early to get a jump-start on my day, and I can no longer work a little bit over to finish up a project. I can't work through lunch because I'm eyeball-deep in a complicated problem, and don't want to stop while I'm on a roll.

What our wise and all-knowing President fails to understand is that the cost of this new law will be passed on to consumers through higher costs for their goods and services, and fewer or lower wage increases to employees. I'll be dancing when Obama leaves office ... I can't afford much more of his "help".

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Common Sense

An NFL wide receiver, who is now choosing to kneel during the national anthem to protest the election of Donald Trump as President said, "I said this a long time ago. When [Trump] ran, I thought it was a joke, and the joke continues. I’m not a political person that much, but I got common sense. And I know when something’s not right."

I don't know if he has common sense or not, but I'm certain he could benefit from grammar lessons.

Monday, November 14, 2016

The New York Times Vows to Start Reporting Honestly

To most of America, it looked like Hillary as a shoo-in to become the 45th President. The publisher of the New York Times was shocked when Hillary Clinton lost the election, despite his paper's demonetization of Donald Trump. Humbled, he promised his paper will report on the Trump administration without bias. He stated that his paper would "reflect on its coverage of this year’s election while rededicating itself to reporting on America and the world honestly".

Republicans and Independents have long been saying that the media have been skewing the news in favor of Democratic candidates. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but "news" is not an "opinion". Distorting or hiding facts to advance your own agenda is unethical. You can print your opinion all day long, just as long as it's presented as an opinion and not fact. Most media organizations have been passing off opinion as fact, and it's refreshing that one of the biggest abusers humbled themselves and admitted to doing this ... and promised to no longer allow this type of reporting to continue.

It took a lot of guts for the New York Times to admit what they had done, and to pledge it will not happen any longer. I tip my hat to them for publicly acknowledging their favoritism and vowing that from here on out, they will report the news without bias. I hope they are true to their word.

You can read the full story here.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Fancy Rat and Mouse Day

Did your skin just crawl thinking about mice and rats? Mine did!

The founders of Fancy Rat and Mouse Day want everyone to know that today doesn't celebrate the common mouse/rat that sneaks into your home and raids your pantries. No ... today only celebrates the "fancy" ones kept as pets.

Sorry, but I just can't bring myself to honor and praise those disgusting varmints. No matter how hard I try, I simply cannot distinguish fancy rats and mice from their country cousins ... regardless of their pedigree.

If you have a fancy rat or mouse, go ahead and celebrate. Pull out all the stops! Dress it up in Mickey/Minnie Mouse ears. Include it in movie night and watch The Mouse Trap or Ratatouille and nibble on cheese. As for me, I'll finish my coffee then paint the garage door. After that, I'll take a shower and go to a cookout/bonfire at a friends house. But before I go, I'll set out a sticky trap, just in case one of those common field mice ... that are okay to hate ... make it into my house.

Friday, November 11, 2016

A Heartfelt Thank You

My father, my brother, two of my brother-in-laws, and my nephew are veterans. My father fought in World War II. One of my brother-in-laws fought in Vietnam, and my nephew went to Afghanistan. As a family, we were lucky, because they all came home, alive and unharmed. Not all families are so fortunate.

Of all the veterans, it's the Vietnam veterans that break my heart. They were just doing what was asked of them. Their country called them to action and they answered, only to be met with scorn, disgust, and rage when they returned. There were no parades or places of honor for these men and women. They were made to feel ashamed of their service to our country. They could have broken the law and refused to go, but that's not what a patriotic American does. The men and women who served in Vietnam deserved better.

On this eleventh day of the eleventh month, it is my hope that all veterans and their families know how much we appreciate all they have done to keep us safe and free.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

What a Name!

While perusing through the channel guide, I came across the movie 2012. I saw it years ago. What was supposed to be a spine-tingling thriller was so silly it was comical. Anyway, it wasn't the movie that caught my eye as much as one of the stars names. I would think a name like Chiwetel Ejiofor would be a hindrance when trying to get work in Hollywood. It's hard to become a household name if no one can pronounce it!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

I Can Breathe Again!

With this contentious election behind us, I feel lighter and more hopeful than I have in eight years. I'm looking forward to being able to afford the kind of insurance I had before the current President made it "affordable". I'm looking forward to the White House waiting for all the facts to come in before condemning the police when a criminal is killed. I'm looking forward to our military being restored and our veterans honored by providing them timely, quality healthcare. I'm looking forward to our borders being secured and jobs being brought back.

When it became apparent that Donald Trump would win the Presidency, Democrats took the the streets, protesting on both coasts. Flags, tires, and trash were set on fire and Trump was burned in effigy. Windows were smashed and roads were blocked. Contrast that to the vote in 2008 and 2012. Republicans went to bed wondering what was going to become of our country. They got up the next morning and went to work ... those with jobs, that is. No fires were set, no buildings were vandalized, and no one shut down busy roads or delayed trains. Republicans did the grown-up thing ... they sadly accepted that their choice of leader didn't get enough votes. End of story.

It's important to be a gracious winner and a gracious loser.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Today is the Day

By the end of the day, we should know who will be our next President, and my stomach is in knots.

In the Bible, the symbol of the eagle is thought to be the United States, and it is mysteriously missing from Revelation. The only explanation for that is that the United States is no longer in existence or no longer a country of power when the end of times play out. I'm a Christian and I believe the prophecies of Revelation. That both thrills and frightens me.

The last words of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address keep running through my mind, and I pray those words come to fruition with the outcome of this vote ... that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

That might sound rather dire, but the future of the United States of America will likely be decided by the results of today's vote. Revelations says that one day America will no longer be a power player in the world. That's not an "if", it's an absolute certainty, and today may decide whether or not I see that in my lifetime. I truly fear for my children and grandchildren.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Screen Doors

I love creaky wooden screen doors ... they're very Mayberryesque. I know they're loud when they slam close, but I like that sound, and it makes me beyond happy to finally be able to leave my front door open.

When I moved here last fall, I bought wooden screen doors with an iron grid on the bottom to prevent pets ... or in my case, grandbabies ... from busting the screen out. This weekend, I finally got the last screen door hung. I have a feeling my little grandson will be the first of many babies and toddlers to spend time in front of that door, talking to the leaves and birds and bugs as they fly by.

I honestly feel sorry for the ultra-wealthy. Nothing is beyond their reach, so little is appreciated. I doubt someone whose engagement ring cost more than the average American house would find any pleasure in something as mundane as a screen door. Luckily, I'm not ultra-wealthy ... so simple things still give me a great amount of satisfaction and pleasure.

Saturday, November 5, 2016


A little known fact about Steve Jobs is that he suffered from koumpounophobia ... a fear of buttons. That's why he always wore black turtlenecks, and it's also the driving force behind the onscreen touch keypad on Apple devices. When the onscreen keyboard was unveiled, it was revolutionary and other devices raced copied it.

That did not thrill me. At all.

Personally, I prefer a real keyboard. I like the separation of keys. Being able to feel the buttons allows me to know where my hands are without looking at them, allowing me to type faster and more accurately. So, while the world praised the innovation of keyboardless Apple products, I mourned the loss of keyboards on devices across the board.

Texting on an onscreen keyboard is more cumbersome, and when I receive an email, I might read it on my phone or iPad, but if I want to reply more than a word or two, I reach for a real devices ... with a real keyboard. I doubt phones with real keyboards will ever make a comeback, but if they do, I'll be the first in line!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Humanitarian Aid

It seems a scandal-plagued, flamed-haired, former child-star-gone-bad recently visited Syrian refugees in Turkey. Moved by their plight, she wanted to do something. She didn't send food, medicine, clothing, blankets, school supplies, or even toys for the children. Instead, she is working with Papageorgiu, whoever that is, to provide refugee camps with energy drinks. Yes, energy drinks! I guess, after seeing the refugees lazing around doing nothing, she felt those desperate people ... uprooted from their homes, with only the clothes on their backs, no job, and no place to go ... need more energy.
Thank goodness for helpful starlets who see a need and work to fill it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Invisible Rain

The building I work in has a metal roof, so when it rains, we always hear it. When I hear rain falling, I usually look out the window. The other day it started raining while I was at my desk. I looked towards the window, but I couldn't see any rain. I went over to the window and looked out, and I could not see any rain falling. I could hear it, but I could not see it ... and I really tried! The rain-dotted parking lot (and the roof) told me it was raining, but it was not visible to the naked eye.