Tag Archives: Associated Press

When did I join the Empire?

I am watching you. Stop using the airwaves to promote panic.

I was reading a Stephen King book this evening and a strange thing happened. In his introduction to Everything’s Eventual, he recounts a story about a radio station stunt he wanted to do to bring in my advertising dollars (he and his wife, Tabitha, own two radio stations in Bangor, Maine). It was going to be along the lines of the War of the Worlds. He says he never did it, to which I thought:

Thats a good thing because that would be a terrible misuse of government authorized air waves, it could incite panic, as it did with the War of the Worlds, and is shortsighted, selfish and myopic thing to do.

Of course, King’s reasoning had nothing to do with a concern for the public welfare, nor was it because he didn’t want to incur the wrath of the FCC. He failed in his PR mission because he just didn’t think what he wrote for the stunt was good enough.

Now, I stand by my thoughts about his stunt (seriously, in a country so paranoid that people try to shoot up pizza places because they read crap on Four Chan and Alex Jones exists, this would cause way too much havoc) but this is not a new response for me.

Not too long ago, I was out and people were watching a movie. It matters not what movie it was nor where it was being shown but it was a bootleg version of the movie and I had to leave because I felt badly about the copyright issues around watching stolen art.

I am not sure what the two really have to do with each other but while intellectually, I stand by both positions, I see that I am no longer the rebel I thought I once was. Then again, maybe I never was. Who knew I would one day join the Empire?

Life hack from Alyson: What to do with cat litter in your toilet

I still miss Hobbes and Cheddar.

I still miss Hobbes and Cheddar.

If you have a cat (or more than one cat), the chances are that you have litter at least one litter box (one good ‘rule of thumb‘ for these is to have 1.5 boxes for each of your feline friends). Most people I know use clumping litter. If you know how it works, it may make little sense to dump your litter down the toilet. The reason for this is simple; litter turns into concrete when it comes in contact with water.

This actually happened to me so this is a good way to deal with litter in the toilet.

I went away for a business trip and when I got home I learned that the person taking care of my cats, Hobbes and Cheddar, thought a time saving thing would be to pour their litter down the toilet. When I walked in, several days later, this had turned into concrete and my toilet was completely blocked. Or so it seemed. I called several plumbers and got estimates. The bottom line was that it looked like this was going to cost several thousand dollars. OUCH!!!’

Well, that sucked so I went online and looked for DIY solutions. I found one. It suggested using liquid Joy (lemon). I spent the next six hours pouring the dish soap into the toilet with warm (not hot) water, plunging, waiting about 30 minutes and then repeated it about every 30-60 minutes until the toilet was completely clear.

Steps:

  1. Buy lemon dish soap
  2. Add soap and warm water to toilet
  3. Let sit for a few minutes
  4. Plunge for a few minutes
  5. Add more lemon soap and water, let sit
  6. Repeat until drain is clear

I cannot promise this will work for you but it worked for me.

 

The value of saying “I don’t know”

Gratuitous photo of Squirrel.

Gratuitous photo of Squirrel.

Not exactly the same as telling the truth.  Sometimes honesty is NOT the best policy.  For instance, when I see someone on the street and they are obviously having a bad day, I will compliment something — their shirt, hat, whatever — and their day and outlook and outlook brighten a little. I may not mean it but I don’t think being that makes this a bad practice.

Saying “I don’t know” is a totally different thing.  It’s liberating for me and does person who asks more good than making something up.  I once asked someone if they knew if there was a metro near by and they responded by telling me “The official state bird of Maryland is the Oriole.”  Yes, that is true but didn’t really answer my question.

In Washington, DC people frequently are intimidated by “I don’t know.”  Everyone thinks they need to know everything, all the time.  No one can live to that standard.  I like admitting it.  You are more credible when you admit this — then when you actually know what you are talking about, people will take you more seriously.  And there’s all that pressure to know everything about everything, all the time!

Embrace “I don’t know.”  Embrace it!

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