My Poor Ironing Board

Yes, I said Ironing Board. Such a mundane thing really. No one really thinks about these things much anymore. We buy our clothes anti-wrinkle for the most part these days, or throw them in the dryer for a hopefully quick straighten, but we all still have a couple of things that will need the iron.

I used to have this heavy ironing board I inherited from my grandmother. It was probably at least 60 years old when it finally died. In my grandma’s time, it was used A LOT. First, they wore more nicer clothes more of the time back then which all needed pressing. No sweats and hoodies for them to go out in. Suits, ties, dresses, you know, back when everyone tried to look nice pretty much all of the time. That era now long gone, the ironing board has become one of those items that for most people sees the light of day once a month if lucky. In this house, not even that often.

Still, it was sad to see it go if only because I know my grandmother’s hands had worked it. So, about 3 years ago, I had to buy another. I bought it online like I do most items these days, especially mundane items like this. Lord knows I shouldn’t have to step out of the house for anything. It was definitely not what I was expecting. This was CHEAP. It was very light, not real sturdy, wobbly and every time I needed to take it out I felt like I needed to put the iron down carefully for it may not even take that weight.

Fast forward to yesterday. My husband, trying to put it away, pulled the little lever that makes it fold up. The lever just broke right off. Really? The lever came off? The lever itself was an easy pull normally, so it wasn’t as if it was strong armed off… no, it just went “click” off. Alright he thought, I guess he better figure out another way to fold this thing. He pulled whatever little things that used to be attached to the lever to make the thing fold and began to apply a little pressure to get the thing down, and I mean very little pressure. That’s when the legs buckled under it’s own weight. No, the legs didn’t fold like they were supposed to, they bent. They bent as easily as a T-shirt folds just about. Just…. bent. This certainly wasn’t grandma’s ironing board!

Next thing I see is this ironing board flying across a room like a frisbee. Hey, it was as light as one so why not? Course, it didn’t seem to have the aerodynamics of one. It was big, clumsy and still open. I knew I shouldn’t laugh at that moment, but seeing this thing fly across the room… and husband so frustrated at this horribly made inanimate object, well… was funny. I couldn’t help it. Sorry husband. (Not sure my laughter was too welcomed at that exact moment.) The ironing board did retaliate against me for my laughter though when the lever found my foot a couple of hours later.

I kept thinking… Grandma’s lasted at least 60 years, and this 3? So I set out to try and find myself a new ironing board. This time, I was going to try and do this right. Something of decent weight and strength.

Let’s start with ironing boards aren’t cheap, price wise. The one I had that lasted 3 whole years (at say, a once every 3 month use) wasn’t cheap either. It was at least $40 for that piece of… well… you know. So I knew this wasn’t going to be an inexpensive journey to try and find one that has some staying power. On top of that, I decided I would try to find one ‘Made in America’. Yes, I always try and find things made here if I can. I started my search on Amazon, but it’s not easy to search for ‘Made in America’ as a search term there, so Google it was. A simple search for “Ironing Board Made in America” led to a lot of articles, mainly about how there is only one company left manufacturing ironing boards in the U.S.A. One. Located in Indiana, “Homz”. (Really America? We can’t make our own ironing boards anymore? That’s disappointing.) Article after article was about the imported from China ironing boards, the .03 cents a day workers building these things over there, etc. At .03 a day, I’m really not sure how these things will be quality items, but what do I know I guess.

So one company it is, that’s where my search will begin. Hopefully this one company is making a decent sturdy ironing board that should, with the amount of use it gets around here, last me at least a decade, or shall I say decades, rather than say, 20 ironing sessions. Really, even with the price and ‘Made in America’ mantra, I’m skeptical. Everything made these days seems ready to break on purchase so you need another soon. Like Televisions. My grandma had her “tube” TV for a really long time. You know, the big sets that sit in a cabinet on the floor? Heck, she even had “TV Insurance.” She must have really loved her Television! The new sets, most need replacing in 5 years at most. I guess the all mighty dollar is worth more than quality nowadays, but I digress…

As far as the ironing board is concerned, hopefully this next one will have some aerodynamics built in, just in case.

CVS and Tobacco, Do they Really Care?

So, CVS is going to stop selling Tobacco Products! CVS Cares, the “Health Care Company”, or so they tout.

I’m not going to defend tobacco products in general since of course there is health risk. I would think everyone on this planet, and maybe a few other planets know this by now.

I’m also not going to dictate what a store can, or can’t… should, or shouldn’t sell in their store.

However, I just love when big companies make health choices for people, especially ones that are just so… marketable. They claim they are trying to market themselves as a health care company… However they aren’t doing away with their Liquor section, the junk food section, the soda. We won’t even delve into all the crap that comes out of the pharmacy in the name of health. Have you watched those pill commercials? Everyone in them are the pictures of health after they take that golden little pill while the small print voice over guy, in as fast a speak he can do, talks about coma, death, heart attack, cancer and and all the other just mere side effects one may experience. But hey… talk to your Dr. about taking it cause a zit on your chin may just be worth the cancery side effect yes? Then of course there is the couple that sits in separate bathtubs, in the woods, after her man has supposedly had the erection of his life. (I still don’t get the bathtub reference. Is it because he was hard as porcelain? Is it because after all that sex they needed a bath, outside, in the woods? Get it, the woods?)

Smokers, eventually, have health problems. We all know that. Emphysema, Heart trouble, Lung Cancer… They are all out there for you to enjoy later in life if you choose to partake in the smoke. Health Insurance companies make you pay more if you are a smoker. I have even heard the argument that the reason health care costs are so high for everyone is because of smokers. However, what about the other non-related smoking health risks that seem to get ignored by the majority of the population? Let’s talk obesity for a second. Obesity, the number one cause of Diabetes Type II related illness. Aside from all the health problems diabetes brings, there are knee problems, back problems, breathing problems, injuries. These are problems that can start in mere childhood, prompting an influx of Doctor visits, Hospital visits etc. Yet, if you are a smoker, check this box. YOU are the problem with health care costs, because we know, at the end of your life 30, 40, 50 years down the road, you will need more care than you do now. Plus, smoking smells and a lot of people just don’t like it. Course I don’t appreciate the smell of day old alcohol pouring out of people’s pores, but I guess that’s just me.

I could go on the theory that what CVS is doing is a step in the right direction, and really, it is a good thing I guess, but it is the only step they will take. They will never do away with the liquor, the junk food. It makes them way too much money. It’s real easy to get rid of one product and call yourself a “Health Care Company”, it’s a whole other thing to actually be one.

Love Photography? Take Instagram to a New Level. #JJ

Once upon a time, I used to spend hours and hours inside of a dark room. If I think about it long enough, I begin to smell the chemicals on my hands, in my clothes. Photography was a passion in what seemed like a long lost life of mine.

Enter Instagram.

At first, I began using it more as a social platform, not really for photography. I didn’t think it was for real photography. It seemed as if Instagram was more about the pre-teen selfie, or the monthly themes that included, well, different color selfies. “Here is me in pink!” “Here is me in red!” Course, I never participated in those. You see, I’m not a pre-teen or anywhere close to that quite frankly. In fact, my daughter was a little embarrassed when I first joined Instagram thinking that’s what I was about to do. I never did like myself on camera though, so her fear was definitely unfounded.

It just seemed Instagram wasn’t for me. I checked the “popular page” day after day, and other than a few very nice photos, it was mostly made up of, well, selfies. I just didn’t get it… that is of course, until I did.

This takes me to the day I first found an account run by some guy I never met across the country, Josh Johnson (@joshjohnson). It was about a year ago in fact. There was something different going on here. He had a HUGE amount of followers, which a lot of accounts (including many “selfie” ones) had, but it wasn’t all his own photos, and for the most part, not duck lips, unless they were actual ducks. It was indeed beautiful photography… but many different wonderful photographers. Some amateur, some not. Some beginners, some not. Some with thousands of followers, some with a couple hundred. Wow I thought… so this Instagram thing may just be for me! This was a community of people. People who admired one another’s work, admired one another’s spirit, became friends across countries and oceans through this passion I once had.

This community re-ignited it all for me. The smells of those chemicals on my hands came back. The thrill of the Enlarger was back once again in the front of my brain. Course, it’s different now. I don’t have a fancy camera. I don’t live in a dark room (or have access to one for that matter.) I have a phone. I have, now, editing apps on my phone that I find myself playing with hours on end. I’m seeing this world again like I used to, in different angels, in different light, in all it’s simplicity and intricacy, the moods, the beauty. I woke up. I remembered the thrill again. The passion had returned. I made a lot of new friends that share this same passion. All online. All on Instagram. Who knew? All this because of one single creative community of people, run by what turned out to be one pretty cool guy with some pretty cool team members including the wonderful Kevin Kuster, former Playboy Senior Photo Editor! (@kevinkuster) #jj was about to become a household word, at least in this house.

I tell you this story because I know there are so many of us out there that just haven’t found the outlet yet, and I want you to come join me! I want you to come check out @JoshJohnson on Instagram and join in the community. I tell you this now because at this moment, the @JoshJohnson has a contest going on that could win you, with your photo taken with that brand new state of art camera, or your little phone, a trip to Costa Rica to hang in a gorgeous place taking photos with people like you. I tell you this because if you have ever had this passion, you will not regret reigniting that flame.

To learn more about Josh Johnson, this community and the current contest, there is a wonderful interview with Josh Johnson and his comrade Kevin Kuster on The Trip Tribe Blog worth reading. Not only do you get a glimpse behind the man and his team that run this wonderful community, but it also explains how to participate and become a part of it all. (Including the trip contest of course.) Click the link above to read all about it!

Once you’re done, I expect to see you Instagram! Be sure to follow me and say hi! @TheKdd

Young Love…or is it?

(Read More about my Internet Dating here)

Since then I have met the most wonderful guy. We have been talking for about a year and officially dating for about 6 months. My worst fear though has happened…I have fallen in love….now mind you, I have never ever ever been in a relationship nor have I been in love. But I think about this man all the time! I don’t know what to do! Should I go for it…should I tell him that I love him and risk a good thing by jumping the gun or what….

What do you think? Leave a comment below!

Where Is The Generation That Cares?

As a individual that has been in the education system for 3 years now, two years as an assistant and this being my first year with my own classroom, I have come to a very sad conclusion. Where is the generation that cares? Mind you, I am talking about my own generation 20s. As a first year Kindergarten teacher, I have found very little parental support or help in the home. My poor babies come to school in 6 degree weather with short sleeves and maybe a light jacket. I have children tell me that their parents don’t pay them any attention at home.

Where is the Generation that cares?

The one who would check backpacks first thing for any notes/homework from the teacher.

The one who helped their children with their sight words/homework.

The one who would send a snack for their babies’ class.

The one who would adequately clothe their child.

The one who would stand by the teacher in a disciplined matter.


Where is that Generation? Where have they gone?

Open Letter to Aaron Sorkin

Yeah I know, kind of silly… and HIGHLY doubtful he will ever read this, or care for that matter.

Let me start by saying I love The Newsroom. One of my favorite shows on TV. There aren’t many Aaron Sorkin films/TV Shows I don’t like. The West Wing is still a staple in my house. The American President… my husband kills me when I put it on, again, for the millionth time. So my beef has nothing to do with his shows, his politics etc.

One of the things I most loved about The West Wing, and this is the geek in me, is the lighting. The lighting in that show was just so… dramatic and well, art. In fact, I wish I could somehow employ that lighting in my own home. Yeah, geek. This brings me to the reason for my letter.

I tried to figure out a way to contact Sorkin, hoping there would be some kind of place to leave feedback. I could probably find his agent and send the letter there, but would it get to him? Doubtful. I thought hey, maybe HBO would pass it on? Yeah right. So here I am writing it out on a blog in the depths of the internet where it will probably never be seen, but alas, I write it anyway.

Please, Mr. Sorkin, for the next season of The Newsroom (and hopefully there is a next season) could we please tell your DP (Director of Photography for those that don’t know) to stop with this fancy, trying to make a scene more dramatic by zooming in and out on a person, camera work? It’s distracting and quite frankly, annoying. For me, it detracts more from the scene than adds anything and every week I dread it. Like last night for instance, a guest via satellite on Will’s show, the DP decided that zooming in and out on the TV would make the scene more dramatic on the guest. Yeah, it didn’t. It just made me notice the camera work rather than pay attention to what the “guest” or Will had to say at that moment. It’s distracting and just not necessary. The actors and the writing carry themselves without need to this extra fancy footwork. If you were, say, Honey Boo Boo or some such show, then sure I get it, but you aren’t.

Now I realize all the shows for this season are already in the can, but PLEASE PLEASE ask your DP to tone it down next season. This show is about the writing, the actors, the drama, not about what the DP has learned to do with the camera.

Thank you for never seeing this and much love from your fan if you do.

Flashback Friday? Time Warner Cable vs. CBS

Update (Aug 4, 2013): CBS has released a new official statement regarding negotiations with TWC

There are no negotiations taking place at this time between CBS and Time Warner Cable. Before the
deadline on Friday we asked TWC to continue the negotiation while our programming was still on the air
in consideration for our viewers. They rejected this request and told us that they’d have more leverage
against us if they took us off their service. This is hardly a sign that they care about their customers as
they claim. We remain ready to negotiate in good faith when they are.

As many Time Warner Cable customers already know, especially those who watch Big Brother and for the past few episodes, have seen the scroll at the bottom that you might lose your CBS channel, TWC and CBS are currently in the struggle of re-negotiation of their fees. Specifically, CBS is asking for a new contract with higher re-transmission fees for Time Warner Cable to broadcast their content.

Why a “Flashback Friday”? Because how many times have we seen this happen? Eventually it does resolve itself, the loser ALWAYS the TV Subscriber no matter which side gets their way really. Higher fees always means higher fees for YOU, not for the cable company. No negotiation means we lose our channels and somehow, still get a higher cable bill? (That one I haven’t quite figured out yet.)

Now, I’m not going to take sides between CBS/Time Warner Cable. Really, you can insert anyone in that equation. FOX/Comcast. Viacom/Dish. You get the picture. It’s constant and the only losers are us. We lose in price or we lose our favorite channel. It sucks quite frankly.

Now I used to, in another life, work for the cable company. Yes, I took your calls that the broadcaster told you to make to “tell us to keep” their channel, or of course the calls the Cable Company told you to make to “Not give in to their demands!” I remember specifically the fight between Fox and Time Warner Cable. We had to be staffed on New Years Eve of all things to take those calls. Why? Because the contract was going to run out at midnight. You have NO IDEA how much fun it is to answer the phone right before Midnight on New Years Eve to someone yelling at you (as if you are in on the negotiations) to keep their Fox on the air. Really, it’s kind of a joke. Do these callers really think we have any say? Do they not understand that whatever the cable company bends to on price just gets passed on to the consumer? Sigh.

It’s okay to make the call and let them know you prefer to keep/discard the network, but PLEASE realize the person you are talking to has no control over it and be human… And please, please, please find something else to do on New Years Eve.

But I digress… back to the reason I am writing this.

Another thing those callers don’t realize… In all the uproar over CBS maybe pulling their channel, or Fox, or NBC, or ABC etc. etc. Those channels are FREE OVER THE AIR CHANNELS. Yes, you do NOT need Cable, Dish, DirecTv, FIOS, etc. to see these. You just need a trusty antenna that you can purchase, or better yet, make your own for REALLY cheap! You may also need a converter box ONLY if your TV is older. And by older, I mean grandma’s TV… Ok, maybe mom’s TV or that weird retro Uncle you have that lives in a friends basement. Basically, if you have a digital ready Television, you can get those channels free. If you purchased your Television after 2004, more than likely it’s digital ready. If you purchased your TV after 2007, then it HAS to be digital ready by law, so no box needed.

ku-xlargeAnyway, I thought I would pass this info on about the ALMOST FREE antenna that you can make yourself. You know, DIY. Even if you have cable, satellite, fios or what not, it’s actually kind of a nice thing to have anyway. There are SO MANY over the air digital channels that you aren’t getting with these companies, and why shouldn’t you? They’re FREE. If you have a Tivo, you can even record from them. Many are in a really crisp HD too. So whether you are a cord cutter or a full fledged subscriber, why not give this a shot? Did I say free? (Well, almost free anyway. At least it’s without the monthly cost.)

Now some say that this DIY antenna is actually better than some of the more costly purchased ones. I will leave that up to you. Also note, I can’t take credit for this… this is someone else’s love child, I’m just sharing the wealth. This one was adopted from someone else (who she credits) by Holly Mann (and made pretty with paint to make it wall hang-able, if that’s such a word) and is reported to work really well. To view the instructions on how to make this, go HERE.

While you’re at it, you can also check out what channels should come in for you OTA (Over the Air) by your Zip Code HERE. (Keep in mind that many of these channels have more than one channel included. Meaning you may see one channel as “4-1” but there may also be a “4-2” and “4-3”. The last time I checked in my area there were at least 8 different PBS channels each broadcasting something different.

So good luck! If you decide to make one of these nifty things (which I will do soon too and will update with how it goes) let us know below in the comments how it turned out! Did it work? Did it fizzle out? Did you do something different that made it better? Keep us updated!

Oh and, of course, join us in the FORUM one of these days. You will be glad you did!



Marriage Equality

I typically try and keep these posts light-hearted or about life in general, but today…I’m going to tackle an issue that in some way affects us all personally:  Marriage Equality.  I am not labeling it ‘gay marriage’ because there is no such thing about making ‘marriage’ gay.  It is about bringing equality to all that deserve it.  This nation was founded upon the premises of equality for all, but rather than go into the legal aspects of it.  I want to ask certain questions:

Why should this even go before the Supreme Court, determining the fate of whether or not I have the ability to get married?  9 people, whose opinions shape my very ability to get married?  Why should these people decide such a matter, when after all, it’s mine whether or not to pursue such a monogamous relationship?  And what disgusts more is cretin like Antonin Scalia making comments that it’s okay for Coloradans to be openly hostile to homosexuals (re:  Romer v. Evans).  I have no words that this man represents the justice of the Constitution.

Second, on what grounds can one legitimately oppose gay marriage?  Morality is determined by the Bible, which is strictly outlawed by the Constitution under the Establishment Clause.  Second, if you oppose it because of ‘tradition’, whose tradition is that?  Society changes as does culture.  The LGBT community is out of hiding and is prominent in many ways affecting lives more than simply ‘getting married.’  We are your best friends, your family members, the adoptive parents of your sons/daughters child born out of wedlock.  At the end of the day, isn’t a relationship about love?  So, thereby, by opposing gay marriage one doesn’t support more love in this world.  That’s reprehensible.

Third, why wish for the states to have the single say?  This is not simply an issue of ‘state’s rights’ and that’s a way for the traditionally conservative states to hide behind tradition.  If I got married in Maryland or Massachusetts, they will recognize the marriage.  Yet, if I were to move to Ohio…it wouldn’t be recognized.  How can we have numerous states with their own laws, when it is governed at both a federal and a state level?  It is a matter that needs to be handled by the federal government, as it affects everyone.

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While those are the common issues, I want to point out certain things yet still that are not questions.

Taxes – joint filing.  Marriage is encouraged through the federal government for taxation purposes.  So, because we’re gay we can be openly discriminated against?  What about kids killing themselves over the bullying that is occurring due to intolerance?  We should embrace a culture of tolerance and acceptance.

So, sitting there, stating that marriage equality will ruin the institution of marriage; I ask, how?  That is a question that has no legitimate answer.  Hiding behind tradition for fear of change is revolting.  This world has never moved forward by obliging itself to the status quo.  As the Supreme Court hears the cases this week and subsequently hands down a ruling this June, it boils down to one thing:  love.

The Hot Mess of Internet Dating

So on January 1st 2013 I decided to try internet dating. After years of no suitors… I have come to the age where I want my happily ever after. Well that is turning out to be harder than I thought. After two months, countless matches, few sparks and  rejections. I have come to the conclusion that maybe just maybe I am supposed to be alone for the rest of my life. I have reached out to several matches that have really intrigued me only to be shot down right away. I feel like crying sometimes because my sister found her happily ever after Why can’t I? I dread my sister’s wedding in May because my family and friends will look at me standing up in the maid of honor spot and say “God Bless her! Will she ever find her friend?”

That is my rant for the day. On to your regularly scheduled programs!


I just thought I’d say this:

Females get to pick from 90% of the male population for a mate…I get 10%.  And that’s not even including the closeted ones.  So we might toss another 5% on, just because I don’t just metrosexuals anymore than I do Sarah McLachlan before ruining my day with those ASPCA commercials.

And now:  Hibernation.

So the Sphinx Speaks.