Friday, March 22, 2019

Obsessed with getting rid of stuff

I had never heard of Marie Kondo.  But I had read about Swedish Death Cleaning.  Both are similar in that you get rid of stuff that you aren't using, don't need, and are taking up space.  Or in the case of SDC, that you don't want your heirs to have to deal with.

My first foray in November was to realize that 13 plastic containers of Beanie Babies were doing no one any good.  (But they're so CUTE!.)  My final impetus was finding a group that sends the beanies to the troops in care packages. 

I gave away 450 beanie babies.  I got a lovely thank you from the charity group.  And regained an entire shelf in my closet.  Which is now where I store the paintings I've painted until I find somewhere to hang them.

Yes, those paintings bring me joy.

The act of giving away my beanies seemed to break down a dam.  I boxed up 11 banker boxes of books for a book charity.  And still have 15 shelves of books.  If it wasn't likely I would ever reread it, it went in a box. 

I cleaned out drawers and non-book shelves and filled 5 more boxes for charity.  From what I understand, charity donations are booming.  I hope someone else can put my stuff to good use.

All that gave me room to move knickknacks and books from my office.  And gave me the incentive to completely dismantle a built-in filing cabinet bookshelf combo.  I've gained 2 feet of space and opened up the room.  And I realized that because I had the storage space, I saved WAY too much paperwork.

I was also inspired to finally make arrangements to have my 20-year-old carpet replaced upstairs.  Haven't done it yet.  But I've chosen a contractor and the tile for the office part.  And will choose carpet once the tile is laid. 

Haven't even finished the office yet and I am eyeing my craft room.  New shelving?  New cabinets?  Only time will tell.

I am thrilled with the results so far. 

And all it took was finally deciding to get rid of my beanie babies.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Me and Alexa

I bought an Amazon Echo with no real expectation that she would be useful.  Honestly, I felt like I was behind the curve because everyone else I know has some sort of AI.  Yes, I succumbed to peer pressure. 

But she has become part of my daily life. 

My routine has become to ask Alexa “Good Morning”, then she tells me something about the day and sometimes makes a joke. One day was National Free thought day.  (Why that would have been established is beyond me.)  Alexa's free thought? “if life gives you lemons, you should be grateful.  Most people have to pay for them. “

Yesterday was the birthday of Dr. Seuss, followed by Alexa reciting an appropriately Seussian rhyme.

After that I play Question of the Day. If I get the first question right, I get a second question.  I accumulate points, but have not investigated what, if any, use they are. 

I've found I know more geography than I realized.  I attribute that to Parts Unknown and to the Mrs. Pollifax books.  

Sometimes I play Jeopardy.  There were 12 questions.  I know next to nothing about sports, but am thrilled if I get 9 of 12 of the questions right.  A couple times she's ruled me incorrect when I felt I was right.  

She is good with reminders, but most often I ask her about the temperature and humidity, or to turn the lights on or off.  I haven't gone whole hog on the automation. I only have lamps plugged into two smart plugs. But they are the lamps I often forget to shut off.  

I like her "human" touches.  She has a handful of responses for Thank you and for Good night.  She tells pretty good "dad" jokes.  

And she has multiple responses if you ask How are you this morning?  For example, this morning her response was, You caught me in the middle of doing the Hokey Pokey, so I'm all turned around!

Overall, I like having her around.  And yes I do think of Alexa as her.  

Saturday, March 2, 2019

I hate when advertisers misuse words.

Life Alert commercial - "The following is based on reality.  You MAY be offended."

Cut to an elderly woman laying at the foot of the stairs, crying pitifully for help. 

Per Google search, Offended means "resentful or annoyed, typically as a result of a perceived insult".

How particularly can anyone be offended by this.  There is no insult.  There is nothing to resent.  

It's sad, yes.  It can be scary to think of.  But it is NOT offensive.  

This reminds me of the Click Bait articles that abound on the internet using inflammatory words to trick you into clicking their links.  

On the off-chance that this wording wasn't intentional, how about the copy-writers do a little research into word meanings? 

How about Appalled - "greatly dismayed or horrified"?

Or Distraught - "deeply upset and agitated"?

Or even Outraged - "an extremely strong reaction of anger, shock, or indignation."