Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Go Fish



I have been anti-cord since I can remember. And I'm not sorry about it either. I don't go running around with my business hanging out for the world to see (usually), and I have the same expectation of modesty from my major appliances. It really IS that simple. 

I am also a big fan of having an electrical outlet where you need it, and not letting it dictate how you decorate. I think modern homebuilders are a more keen on this, but I also think it's unfair to expect someone at a generic level to really "know your life." That leaves us with a need to conceal wires and, in doing so, we'll probably have to add outlets and/or fish wire through a wall.

[Note: I have never actually done this wall fishing but I'm comfortable with walls, and have been fishing many times, how hard can it be right? I mean, if stoners with ear gauges are how-to'ing you on YouTube anyone can do it, right? Right?]

It's recently come to my attention that I enjoy having my flat panel television downstairs. Since I rarely watch it, yet pay lotsa coin for my HD DirecTV, I feel like an hour of HGTV and/or local news each day is a good way to maximize value. And because I watch it so infrequently, it only makes sense that I want a larger panel upstairs in the loft. Don't question this thinking. Just endorse it. 

But with this wall o'tellie comes a perplexing dilemma with wire and if you think I'll have it exposed, think again. I won't have it. I will go fish.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

iBook

A few years back, when the Kindle became all the rage, I did what I normally do when things become all the rage. I judged. Why? I'm not sure, but it was a harsh enough reaction (not quite at the caustic level I reach when I hear "granite countertops and stainless steel appliances" but pretty close) that I had to stop and consider what was it about the electronic format that made me cringe. I think my initial reaction was based on two things: the profile of the early adopters and inefficiency of the medium itself.


EARLY ADOPTERS

If I saw one early twenty something girl in an airport with a Chihuahua in a small mesh crate, oversized Dior sunglasses, a bottle of water and an Rx of Prozac with a Kindle I saw 30. And each time I wanted to figure out a way to either shorts them in public, or spill their water on their electronic device, rendering it useless.

And please don't even get me started on the hipster boys wearing their girlfriend's jeans. Are you kidding me? I'm bloody gay and nothing has ever made me want to say "Man up!" more than this unfortunate, dreadful occurrence.

THE MEDIUM

Sometimes you just don't need to eff with something that works. Books are practical. They're easily accessible. To read a book you do one thing. Pick it up, open it, read. You can also do nifty things like obtain a public library card, which allows you access to an amazing world of literature and guess what ... it's free. And it also is fun because you're bound by time, and this encourages you to read more. I think that's a pretty swell thing.

With the electronic rendition you have a few significant barriers to entry. There's cost, and there's technology. You pay for every book you download (usually), and you have to ensure your device is sync'ed and, more important, charged. What could suck more than wanting to read and having it say "Oh girl not now, I'm too drained."

THE CONCLUSION

Not gonna lie, when I got my iPad2 earlier this year, I decided I would at least give myself an objective opportunity to validate my judgment. I actually bought a book and have been reading it since. That's what, 4 months? 5 months? I'm nearly finished, and the book is quite good. It's "The Paris Wife," by Paula McLain, by the by, but I do think I'd have finished it much sooner had I begun it in traditional printed format. I probably consumed the lion's share on a recent flight to and from Los Angeles. I do love the little bookmark feature, and swiping to turn pages does feel a bit like reading. And because I have my iPad with me at almost all times, it's usually pretty easy to access.

I have some other books I want to read, and think I'll revert to my traditional, "old school" library card option. I like the library. It's a relaxing place with an amazing purpose.

Monday, August 01, 2011

INCOMING!

A few weeks back I was on a trip to Wallace (code for WalMart and please don't judge me) - I think I went specifically for one item and of course spent $100 in the gardening section. I considered this a success because I actually did acquire the item I sought. Normally when I am barraged by my ADD I get home and think, "Shit, I forgot the [designated item]!" One of my "finds" that day was a really lovely potted hibiscus and it was on clearance for $7.50. I put it in a large container on my patio, mostly so it would provide some sort of color/natural interest when I looked out my french doors. Nothing says "Me so sad" like looking directly into your neighbor's vinyl wall, but such is life when your Empire is a garden home.

The plant has thanked me for saving it from an unknown fate by prospering, and its flowers are exquisite - especially on a sunny day. Concurrent to my recent house move and all of the recalibrating that has entailed, I've also moved my office within my company's headquarters building and that has been a mammoth task as well. (I'm pretty sure in a former life I was a pack mule. "See if he can take just one more sack of flour before he breaks," I often hear in my head.) For the past 3 years I've hung hummingbirds feeders outside the picture windows of our ground level office suite but now that I am upstairs, this isn't possible. I was sad too because I'd established quite the colony of hummers who relied on Robby's Sugar Crack, so on Saturday I hung them in the corner of my yard, beneath the mutant Bradford Pear, hoping they might be used by some other wayward birds who'd stumbled into suburbia.

Before I could begin my obsessive-compulsive stare-down at the feeders, I was rewarded unexpectedly as I was at the kitchen sink. I glanced outside at the exact moment a hummingbird was hovering over one of the large hibiscus blooms. Sappy as this sounds, it was heart-lifting. I thought, "If they're in the hood, they'll find the feeders." I wasn't wrong. After a rather intense thunderstorm Sunday afternoon I had taken the dogs out for a piddle and discovered two arguing over who could use which feeder. They're pissy little things like that, but that's OK.

I had decided to seek a specific perennial plant (crocosima, it's called) after seeing it in a design blog. The added benefit is that hummingbirds LOVE it, so this has set a new tone to my burgeoning gardening efforts. I'm not at the point of wearing Hawaiian print shirts and drinking mai tais on the lanai, but I could see some sort of hummingbird tattoo in my future.