Sunday, August 31, 2014

Some of life's ponderings that really have no answers and evoke the word, "why?"

There are inconsequential encounters during our everyday lives that are 'head-shakers'.

"So what are you complaining about now, Eleanor?"

You know - the type of insignificant experiences that one must accept but are a source of annoyance.

- why is it that when choosing a cash to pay for supermarket items, it's always seems to be the one where there's a cash count?

- why is it that customers choose the 8 (or 12) item limit line to pay for a full shopping cart of groceries? More to the point, why do the check-out cashiers allow it?

- why do supermarkets set their produce water sprays on "high" especially when I'm bending over to choose an item?

- why can't manufacturers come up with a means in which shoppers can separate plastic bags without having to lick their fingers? Try as I may and I do, there is no way to separate plastic bags from a roll by blowing on the serrated opening. Actually, thinking again, perhaps a solution could be to wet one's fingers using the excess water from the produce spray ("good innovative thinking, Eleanor!"). At least the spray could be used for something useful.

Moving on...

- why do packages of cheese products with 'good until' dates listed way in the future, inevitably turn moldy without a few weeks after opening?

There is nothing more irritating (at least for me) than buying a large wedge of cheese and two weeks later seeing white/grey forming on the edge, indicating mold. Numerous attempts at using various wrappings including wax paper haven't worked. Any manufacturers reading this want to supply an answer?

- why is it that the purchase of the perfect lipstick shade is different when brought home, only to be added to the ever-growing collection of abandoned tubes that looked good but ended up in the blechy bag? Related and shared in other blogs but still a source of irritation, why do lipstick manufacturers discontinue lipstick shades after a short period of placing them on the market place? It would be great to be able to purchase the same lipstick shade within a six month period.

Feel free to add to the list and share. We all need a vent or two to start the day, right? What's yours?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Some thoughts

Shock! Gasp! Confession time!

Okay. I admit it. I didn't watch the Emmy Awards last night. Right now you're probably gasping in shock thinking, "Eleanor - how could you, being a freelance writer/playwright, skip the Emmys?" To be candid, I passed because I've watched the nominated series on occasion and only once-in-a-while occasions. One should at least relate to the series actors and watch frequently enough to be able to form an opinion, right?

As a rule and when I do watch the awards show, I tune in to see what everyone is wearing. It's always fun to see the latest designer outfits and what the "in" color is this season. Not that it makes a difference in my world but still, one should keep up with fashion trends, just in case. This morning the Web was filled with reports on the nominees and the eventual winners, what they wore and their acceptance speeches. Loved Billy Crystal's tribute to Robin Williams. Simple, to the point and well put. Being a big fan of Ricky Gervais, also adored his acceptance speech at not winning. What can one say: I like people who kvetch.

In as far as fashion looks are concerned, I liked Halle Berry's mauve dress, Kate Walsh's yellow dress although how she walked is a mystery with that draping of material, also loved Taryn Manning's gown...on and on.

For the record, my favorite programs are related to sci-fi and related topics. I'll tune in to TV series featured on networks and shows that have an alien presence(s) (thinking further, this could apply to many celebrities but I digress). As usual, none of my favorites were nominated. Oh well - there's always next year.

Brangelina are now one

Added this item on Thurs. August 28, because this is news we've all been waiting for. After living together for nine years and following an engagement of one year, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt made it legal. Without any fan-fare or press releases to announce the up-coming nuptials, the couple were married at a French as in France, chateau. Their children were present and took part in the walk down the aisle. How very romantic getting married in France. Wonder what they ate in the way of celebrating their joining together. Pure speculation but more than likely, wine was involved or maybe champagne...French baguette with pate de compagne perhaps...une patisserie for dessert. In any case, you might want to wish them bonne chance if passing them on the rue.

Arf...bow-wow. A day for the dogs

Today is National Dog Day. This is the first time I became aware that a day has been set aside to honor the special pooches in our lives and their contribution to our well being. As the former slave...that is to say, friend to a Heinz 57 mutt that shared our lives for 15 years, it's only right that we honor our furry canine buddies and bud-ettes. Although we were assured at the time of adoption that Daisy would reach a medium-sized dog status, she ended up being a cross between a beagle, cocker spaniel and physical characteristics of a Labrador retriever. In other words, pure mutt adopted at a shelter. In retrospect, she really wasn't the friendliest dog and showed her teeth frequently, snarling menacingly at all who approached when food was poured in her bowl. She also wasn't above taking a nibble at toes while seated under the table at meal times, when spare food didn't fall in her direction. Protecting the house, however, was relegated to snoring on the job. It took me a long time to get over her passing but the memories she gave us will remain forever. Happy National Dog Day to pooches everywhere - it's your day!

Addendum: a tragedy waiting to happen

Parents (or caregivers to children) make a concerted effort to go out of their way as a means to protect their offspring from imminent danger. It is puzzling therefore, at least to me, when children are knowingly exposed to questionable situations by presumably, functioning adults. Then again, perhaps in their opinion and mind, they believe that the danger is minimal.

For whatever reason, parents of a 9-year old girl decided to take their daughter to a shooting range. In my mind, anyway, this act in itself is questionable but to each her/his own. Again, one ponders as to why a young person in this age range would be given a Uzi-sub-machine gun no less as was the case to learn how to shoot, is another good question. In any case, the shooting range instructor standing next to the girl was demonstrating how to fire the weapon and when she pulled the trigger, the recoil caused her to aim over her head killing the shooting instructor.

It just boggles my mind that parents would even think taking their offspring to a shooting range, period, would be a fun activity. Duh...

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A toothy dilemma

There's not much required to brushing one's teeth. Take one toothbrush, add some dental cleaning agent on the surface and brush away. Right? It appears, though, the jury is out on the best means to remove stains and that nasty tartar, which accumulates between, under and around the gum line.

It seems, according to some researchers at the University College London, there is no agreement on the best brushing method, or the frequency required and the amount of time that should be spent on the brushing process due to - wait for it - the lack of good research.

Thinking further, given the number of ads on television promoting the various brands of toothpaste and the results obtained, one would assume that the toothpaste manufacturers have conducted extensive research to be able to substantiate their claims of effectiveness and which method of brushing works best. But I digress.

For their part, researchers examined advice offered by dental associations, toothbrush companies and dental text books and their conclusion was that no one method was better than another. The results of the study published in the British Dental Journal, analyzed sixty-six different sources to obtain this conclusion.

The recommended method is using a horizontal brush movement with some circular motions, however, after dentists and dental associations studied six various brushing techniques, no particular method was favorite. Some brushes were held at a 45 degree angle using vertical brush movements and/or scrubbing the teeth. Have to admit that when it comes to holding a toothbrush, I never considered the angle in which to hold it. I mean, one - me - takes the brush out of the toothbrush holder, holds in one's hand, adds toothpaste and brushes away. Thinking about this angle thing, perhaps - pure speculation on my part - and on occasion, the toothbrush could be held at a 45 degree angle and then moves to a 30 degree angle and then back again, depending on the desired area in which one is focusing one's efforts. Am I right? As an aside, at the end of a dental cleaning session, our dentist gives us a free toothbrush and throws in a few small tubes of toothpaste, in the way of saying thanks for our patronage. Free is free is... Back to the toothy situation.

In as far as the length of time that should be spent on the brushing process, twenty-six sources advised brushing for two minutes, twelve sources for two to three minutes and two sources for three minutes. Again and speaking strictly on my own experience, timing rarely plays a part in the length of time spent on this task, unless I'm late for a social or business appointment, in which case it's a fast brush-and-go situation. It would also depend on the amount of toothpaste that ends up on the mirror while examining my teeth being brushed and the amount of time required to clean said mirror.

Another aspect not mentioned is whether an electric toothbrush is more efficient as many dentists recommend, than a basic hand-held brush. For the record, my choice is the none-electric model. There is something that un-nerves me about inserting a wet brush that operates on electricity in my mouth.

After all that we've been told on the best way to brush our teeth, in the end there's no consensus among professional bodies. Now what about the best method and value of brushing one's tongue? Anybody know?