Thursday, November 22, 2012

Still more stories that make you wonder like Queen Victoria's bloomers

Have to admit that during my daily search for literary inspiration, it's always the - how shall we say (or write) - weird-ish - stories that attract my attention. Found a few interesting pieces that are definitely in my eyes, anyway, worth sharing.


Why anyone would want a pair of used underwear with a 38" waist, worn by Queen Victoria is questionable, but obviously there is a demand for used panties worn by important people, especially royalty. In this case, a pair of linen bloomers worn the Queen was auctioned off as royal memorabilia in Essex, England. The item, among 150 lots, was sold to a collector for £360. Maybe I'm cheap but that's a lot of money for a pair of underpants.

According to the auctioneer, people liked to collect clothing and "you can't get more personal than royal pants". True. One can understand the attraction to a jacket, say, worn by Elvis and similar items but a pair of bloomers? One - me - assumes they were washed... Thinking further, where would one keep a pair of (royal) bloomers? In a glass display case?

The most expensive item in this auction was a 6" gilded presentation carriage clock engraved with the inscription "Presented by HRH The Princess of Wales"  and a piece of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's wedding cake went for £420. Thinking once again ("two thoughts in one day, Eleanor! This is a record!"), one (me) assumes that the wedding cake is stored in a sealed container, lest it attract undesirable creepy-crawlies, no?

Obviously anything connected to royalty is in demand, however, a pair of underwear wouldn't do it for me. You?


The holiday period is almost upon us and the usual plethora of Santa Claus-es are popping up in local malls. Anyone wearing a Santa suit most likely would have a happy disposition but not necessarily.

A 21-year old Kingston, Ontario, Canada, resident was arrested during a Santa Claus parade, after complaints that he was disturbing the peace espousing anti-Santa sentiments. The man who was walking along the parade route, was heard telling children that Santa didn't exist. One can imagine the impact his words had upon the kiddies.

"Is it true, mom/dad?" a child could have tearfully asked his parents. I mean - what does one tell their offspring?

Anyway... After parents provided a description of the anti-Santa, who was described as "having hair formed to look like horns protruding from his head," police nabbed him and he was charged with causing a disturbance by being drunk and breach of probation.


As a counter-point to the anti-Santa story, here's a pre-holiday piece that gives one faith in humanity.

Once their usefulness is finished, many people donate still usable items to Good Will to be recycled for use by others. Sometimes, though, this act of generosity could be costly..

A man living in Texas, wanted to be a good citizen and donated a package of clothing to Goodwill. However, unbeknowst (I like this word) to him, in a pair of shoes was his and his wife's life savings. A worker for Goodwill while sifting through the items, checked out a pair of black loafers and came accross a bunch of 33-$100 bills. The employee and the group, put the money aside for seven days hoping that the owner would show up.

Sure enough, a woman from Galveston, Texas walked in to claim the cash stating the exact denomination of the bills, proving that she was the owner. She offered the explanation that her husband wasn't aware that the shoe had served a double purpose in the closet, with the shoe playing the role of a piggy bank. Talk about good will!


Obviously, the warning about the dangers of smoking doesn't apply to non-humans. Two men in Texas were attacked by a deer no less, in their front yard before it stole their cigarettes. So I'm thinking here, why would a deer steal cigarettes unless it had a nicotine habit. But I digress.

While exiting their homes, the men noticed a deer in the yard, who seemed friendly initially but changed its mind and charged one of the men. The duo fled to a nearby pickup truck for safety but one of the men was forced to jump into the truck bed to escape the now very angry deer. Maybe he didn't get his nicotine fix or something. Go know deer habits! The driver side door was open and the deer climbed in, grabbed a pack of cigarettes from the center console and started to eat them. I mean, totally understandable if there was no lighter or matches nearby, one presumes. When one of the duo tried to get the cigarettes back, the deer protected his smokes agressively. In the end, police had to hit the deer with a stun gun. Seems there's nothing worse than a deer with a nicotine craving.

How was your week?


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Writing for the numbers

I'm perplexed, which isn't an unusual state for me.

"There you go again, Eleanor. Now what's the problem?"

Did my daily blog check-in and discovered, to my surprise and horror that according to my page view count, nobody has read my blogs today. Not one person. Nada. Rien. Bupkis.

As one could expect, this has somewhat unnerved me since I've always strived to write and share interesting, somewhat controversial on occasion, weird-ish and witty in my opinion, copy. For whatever reason, nobody has felt the need to read today.

"So what's your theory as to the reason, Eleanor?"

Of course it's pure speculation on my part since there's no way to ascertain the cause unless blog readers actually post their reasons.

- Today being Sunday, people are busy doing...Sunday-ish things like watching football games or the gutters...walking the dog or cat

- People are hitting the malls early and getting a head start on fighting for a parking place, in order to buy holiday gifts

- People are taking care of personal hygeine Sunday tasks like cutting toe nails, picking up doggie-do in their back yard and related responsibilities

- People are absorbed in baking their Christmas fruitcake, which must be aged for the holiday with an ample amount of liquor. Just wondering why this is a sustained holiday favorite when many people that I know and having watched them eat it, pick out a large percentage of the fruit with their fork. Some leave it on the edge of their plate while others hide it in a napkin. But I digress.

- Sunday is the day for a gum massage and floss the teeth

- Sunday is the day set aside to make-some-green bean casserole. Related to fruit cake issue, why is this a sustained favorite? Anyone reading this want to share? Having only tasted this delicacy once in my life - that says something in itself - went on line to find out what exactly went into the making of this popular dish.

According to the Campbells Classic Soup site (say that fast after a few drinks) , which has honored the dish with its own link, here are the ingredients for Classic Green Bean Casserole:

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular, 98% Fat Free or Healthy Request®)
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Dash ground black pepper
4 cups cooked cut green beans
1 1/3 cups French's® French Fried Onions

Speaking strictly for myself ("well who else would you be speaking for, Eleanor!"), somehow green beans, soy sauce and fried onions just don't do it for me. However, it is one popular holiday dish so who am I.

Moving on...

- Sunday is egg nog tasting day in order to obtain the perfect balance of nog and brandy or bourbon or rum, or all three

Although my consumption of egg nog is limited to a few tastings as a guest over the years, it definitely has earned a place on my tasty treat list. The ever-dependable and definitely too perfect, Martha Stewart, offers these ingredients on her site, to make her perfect nog.

  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 12 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup bourbon, (optional)
  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream
  • Grated nutmeg, (optional)

Really, getting back to the possible reasons, it's all speculation in the end but it does make one wonder. Have I lost it and more to the point, did I ever have it? I mean, go know! Then again, tomorrow is Monday, followed by Tuesday...

To quote Kingsley Amis: "If you can’t annoy somebody, there is little point in writing" Do I hear an amen?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Some random thoughts

Some of my best thoughts occur while taking a walk. Perhaps it's all the visual stimulation while strolling through the neighborhood. It's time to share. Check back often since most likely more thoughts just may trickle in and feel free to share your thoughts about...anything.


Keep this to yourself but there's nothing more personally inviting than a trip to one of those big food distributors i.e. Costco et al that serve up food samples. The best time to get the primo samples is on Thursday to Saturday and maybe Sunday. Now that the holiday period is almost upon us, the various food companies really make their push with wine samples, delectable and yummy deserts, cooked meal samplings - it just never stops! In fact, one could (and does) go up and down the food aisles and make a whole meal of the samplings. Sometimes, there's a line-up of shoppers waiting for an opportunity to get freebies but line up they do. It's sort-of a game in that shopper/diners - - feign interest in the product to assuage feelings of guilt.

ME: "Oh this fattening but very delicious cake is on sale this week?" as I pick up the product with one hand, while holding the cake sample in the other, shovelling it into my mouth. "Let me think about it. Perhaps I'll be back."
ME: "My this is a delicious wine. Perfect for the holidays! And white, my favorite! Could I perhaps taste the red? And how about the rose? I have some other things to buy but I just may be back."

Instead, one (me) moves on to the next culinary delight waiting to be tried.

In a way, it's only right given the amount of money people put down at these super buy-in-bulk food warehouse type establishments.


Continually amazed at what attracts people to certain blogs. Over the years I've written and shared many topics with blog readers/aficionados but as I've shared previously, some continually surface.

One of the most popular pieces is the tale of Wookie the cat that went missing in Bedford, England. The piece was written almost two years ago and relates the story of Wookie's owner, Mike, who ran afoul of the law by posting missing cat notices on local Bedford trees, utility poles and anywhere presumably, that would hold a poster.
Another older story that has re-surfaced is a piece focusing on an idea as to how to deal with the usual post holiday return gift rush. Although written tongue-in-cheek, readers seem to enjoy or at least consider the idea. Instead of standing in long line-ups and waiting a long period of time to return gifts, people in line can trade gifts with each other. Think of the time saved!
The most popular one by far is the piece written about a recipient of the quirky Ig Nobel Prize whose invention of a bra that can double as a gas mask. Next thing we'll hear about is a bra that can shoot bullets...the mind boggles (at least mine does).


Maybe it's just me but it really irks me that the retail industry is promoting the holiday periods earlier and earlier. Is there any logical explanation, other than greed, for the appearance of holiday decorations on store shelves and decorated malls in August or September?

And now for some PICKS AND PANS


- the first sip of tea and coffee to start the day
- the sight of Canada geese flying in 'V" formation
- the lick of a dog...the pur of a cat...
- popcorn at a movie
- finishing a painting canvas that draws me in
- finishing a great piece of writing after being blocked
- Debrett's: the site for everything pertaining to social etiquette

Add to this list with YOUR personal bests and favorites.


- bra straps that stretch and the uplift goes downward
- water sprays that go amock in produce depts.
- forgetting to re-charge the cell phone
- forgetting to add sound after muting cell phone in movie theatre
- coffee served in paper cups - blech
- tea served in paper cups - double-blech
- people who carry on cell phone conversation in bathroom stalls
- the new and "improved" Blogger that freezes at every fifth word. New and improved in this case is definitely not better. In fact - it's unacceptable. Give bloggers the option of the old but reliable classic blogger. Blech and more blech.

November 16: Some new additions to the list:


- drivers of cars who follow people returning to their cars uncomfortably close, in order to get the parking spot
- drivers who drive round and round mall parking lots in order to get a spot close to the door. At the price of gasoline - so silly
- drivers who park in spots designated specifically for handicapped persons and pregnant women. For shame, people!
- singers on TV talent competitions - female for the most part - that believe screaming lyrics to songs make them a diva
- people who keep a running commentary while watching a film in a theatre. Really - we're not interested in your opinion!
- stale popcorn served in a movie theatre
- luke warm french fries at fast food restaurants. I return them.
- related to above, hamburger buns that fall apart due to soggy sauce

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Baby mop, in the true sense of the word

Can't remember how I came accross this "offer" but given the number of sites explored over time, this definitely caught my attention. It is for this very reason that blog readers will, maybe, would be interested or could be interested in pursuing this - well - unusual offer and service one might say.

Like many/most households accross and around the globe, chances are that the floor accumulates a lot of dirt on the surface and spills in which a pail and mop are necessary. You know - dip in the mop, squeeze out the mop and the clean the floor. A repetative, tedious and tiring chore for most of us, however, this problem could soon be a thing of the past.

"Oh do tell Eleanor! Are you promoting some type of robotic solution?"

Nay. Nothing so mundane and run-of-the-mill. We're talking here about baby mop and it's not a mini mop for mini spills either, although it could be one surmises. Picture this: 100% cotton baby one-sies with mop-type pads sewn in the elbows and knee areas. Hence, the baby mop.

"So tell us how this works, Eleanor!"

All that's necessary is to place your baby on the floor on her/his stomach and let the baby crawl around, which in turn cleans the floor. Really. I kid you not.

According to the site, (photos included of baby + mop) here are the top five reasons why parents need a baby mop.

1.  Teaches your baby a strong work ethic early on in their life.
2.  Your baby will learn not to drop and waste food.
3.  Baby will get a nice workout, burn off energy, and do muscle toning. And sleep better too!
4.  Not having to clean your floors saves you time so you can spend it doing things you enjoy.
5.  Save lots of money on house cleaning costs.
Sizes range from 3-6 months right up to 12 months. Wax not included.  Thinking further, one would require an infant in order to take advantage of the offer. Could adult sizes be far behind? The mind boggles - at least mine does.