Toad in the Hole

August 23, 2006

Days of Fast and Abstinence

Due to some really weird goings-on in my computer, I'm on a Web-browser fast till after the 28th or whenever I get all the passwords and such transferred to Joe's computer. Add the factor of mudwrestling for time on that compurter, and you get reduced time for blogging on Toad. Sorry, no film files of the mudwrestling.

Patience, please.

I can read and comment here all the while, though. Could be worse. Shep the Snake is eating again, and Matt the Cat may have forgiven us for the anti-flea application. And he stood up to the loose German-shepherd mix who came charging and barking up onto the porch last night; Joe let Matt in fast and gave the dog what-for, but I think he was repeating what Matt had said. I didn't know his tail could get quite so big. Stop that. Matt's tail.

Meanwhile, I'm putting the following on the Shit List:

People who wear too much perfume in the produce store.

More later, and suggestions for the Shit List welcome.

Posted at August 23, 2006 06:55 AM


a) people who wear too much perfume, period
b) people who talk on cellphones in public, anywhere
c) people who talk on cellphones while driving an automotive vehicle
d) people who can't keep their children under control and then get mad at you for raising an eyebrow when little Johnny has just collided with you brandishing a drippy ice-cream cone
e) people who can't keep their dogs under control, ditto without the ice-cream cone part

Great idea, Ron, I'll think of more.

Posted by: Pica at August 23, 2006 03:07 PM

People who insist on trying to make a left hand turn over a double yellow within 50 feet of a four way traffic light. If I had eggs in the car for every time that happened...

Restaurants that only serve sweetened iced tea.

People who mudwrestle but don't provide video on their blogs.

Posted by: PSoTD at August 23, 2006 04:13 PM

Oh, yeah, and while we're on people who put on perfume in the produce store, how 'bout people who deride other people for complaining about perfume in the first place?

Gah! I don't know if there is a way of measuring scent, like decibels for sound or the heat scale for peppers, but there should be, and there should be legal limits to what can be worn/applied in public. I think some stores with too many scented cleaning products, both for sale and in use, might go out of business because the legal scent limit alarm that would be required under my cunning plan to be installed like a smoke alarm in every public establishment would go off constantly until they changed their product lines and their ways.

Ah. Good, satisfying rant. Thank you for sparking it.

Posted by: Sara at August 23, 2006 04:23 PM

Come to think of it, yeah, too many people wearing too much perfume all over the place, and it's always some nasty thing you'd rather not smell at all. Lately there'e been a fad for something vetiver-based, which is actually a bit of an improvement. It seems not to "travel" too far from its wearer, or maybe it's more bearable because it's the real thing?

Vetiver's an interesting ploant. Used for erosion control, too -- a big bunchgrass with those big netted bunchgrass roots.

Yeah, Sara, and the stores that swamp you with those smells. I'd like to see your alarm idea dropped in the laps of some underemployed Silicon valley genius-tinkerers NOW.

Pfui. I particularly loathe scented dryer sheets, and walking down the street you quickly learn a/when's laundry day and b/where all the dryer vents on the street are. And where there are apartment blocks, every day is laundry day. And that stuff smells _nasty_. Why would anybody want their clothes to smell like that?

The soap aisle vies with the cute little "herb" or tchotchke shops that overscent everydamnthing. If I can smell it from the street (unless it's just a tinge of good old lavender) I lose my curiosity about the curios and walk on by.

The "nachural" types are no better. I remember, some years back, walking into a ~crystal~ shoppe in the Haight, called Bones of Our Ancestors. They had some great stuff there, big amethyst geodes and smoky quartz and actual bones; the display that pulled me in was a sun bear skull. Enormous jaw-muscle attachments like flying buttresses. I couldn't spend much time there because the incense smoke was shutting my lungs down. What made me giggle madly was that the first thing I saw when I waslke in was a big eye-level sign: Thank You for NOT SMOKING.

Huh. This seems to be a rantable subject.

Me, I make my own cologne, so far just a matter of adding oils I buy to alcohol base and to unscented lotions. Over the years I've found I like the real stuff more than synthetic scent oils. (I'd like to hear from Rurality on the subject; she must spent a lot of time in close company with scents, but she gets to pick which ones.) Right now I'm trying to capture some of the good stuff I smell when I'm out in the Real World, and I'm finding it challenging. But you wouldn't believe how complex and nifty some pine resins are -- and NOT "piny" at all.

If I could capture the scents that rise off a field of tarweed in the sun I'd be a happy woman. If you pinch a tarweed leaf, you get sopmething completely different, more turpentiny, rank, even unpleasant.

I'll have to carry on about this more later. Today's our Day Out, and we're going up to Sonoma County to see what's coming in on the coast, maybe drop in on Petaluma and look for the Werechicken.

Posted by: Ron at August 23, 2006 05:07 PM

Oh, and PSotD: paintball gun.

Posted by: Ron at August 23, 2006 05:08 PM

I see Chris has a rant contra cellphone users over by the Creek. I'll go his phone-y drivers one better: This being Berkeley, I'm seeing an increasing and annoying number of cellphone-distracted, slow, weaving, oblivious bicycle riders.

Posted by: Ron at August 24, 2006 05:38 AM

Oh! Oh! Oh! I have one that'll put me on the "You're all child-haters!" bingo list along with Pica: people who use their strollers (with kids in 'em) as battering rams and/or traffic signals. Really. I've forgotten to count the number of people I've seen shoving strollers into traffic -- as often as not, mid-block -- apparently to stop it so thay can cross. I'd've squished a few of them without meaning to (honest) if I weren't a paranoid driver.

Posted by: Ron at August 24, 2006 05:44 AM

Heh. Babies in restaurants... one of my pet peeves. I've been known to ask for the "non-screaming baby section" at Applebee's. Hubby pretends not to know me.

Scents - really subjective. Everyone's sense of smell is so different. One person can't stand within a few feet of our soap booth (at a craft show) because they're so sensitive, and the next person has to cram the peppermint soap up their nose to be able to smell it at all.

I do tend to scent most of the soaps strongly because that's what sells. But it's mostly an in-the-shower experience... soap scents don't linger on the skin like perfume does. (Although there are a few people with super-sniffers, most people will not sniff scented soap on your skin further than a few inches away.)

There was an interesting discussion on Wayne's blog Niches recently about this. . Be sure to read the comments!

Posted by: Rurality at August 24, 2006 01:24 PM

Ru', that's one thing I like about scented soaps: you can immerse yourself in the scent and then have only a trace of it hanging on afterwards. But I like to wear scent too, just enough that I catch a whiff of it myself only now and then, which I'm calculating isn't enough to stink up the place. And I use mostly nonstandard stuff like sassafrass and tulsi basil. Grapefruit or lemon vebena when the weather's hot. Whatever.

What I was wondering about vis-a-vis you, though, was the process of making the soaps. Do you get good and tired of whatever you're mixing that day, the way one gets tired of the chili or soup or stew after a few hours over it?

And what originally ticked me off was that I was looking for peaches that actually tasted like peaches, and that means sniffing my way down the peaches-and-plums aisle at the produce store. And then this tootsie comes along -- not even a granny with aged olfactories; she was younger than I am -- and just leaves me blasted and nose-blind for 20 minutes. Sheesh.

Posted by: Ron at August 24, 2006 10:46 PM

rants? have a few...

i could go on for miles about cell-phones and driving. the people who stop driving in the middle of the road while they talk. the people who pay no attention as they speed on. the people who are involved in some urgent and ugly conversation, and therefore ignore every traffic-related data bit around them until it comes time to flip someone off for not being sensitive to the delicacy of their phone negotiations.

also hate cell-pedestrians: the ones who shout into the phone in enclosed spaces; the ones who don't look where they are going because they are *on the phone,* and the ones who walk along muttering to themselves on an invisible wireless device, so they look demented and other people need to consider crossing the street.

it goes without saying that i have no fondness for any religion that encourages people to knock on my door [or stop me on the street] and try to convert me.

but those poor souls earn none of the angst that i reserve for: help-line hell. i do business with companies -- let's just call them "the bank," "the insurance company," and "the internet provider," although sometimes a phone company, appliance outlet, or some other entity gets into the running. something goes wrong; i call; and i get sent to hell-on-hold. then transferred. then cut off. then the next person has no idea what to do, and wants to transfer me again. etc. sometimes it goes on for days. they count on people dropping out and giving up, which i am inclined to do except for being so worked up. they all call this "customer service." huh.

Posted by: kathy a at August 25, 2006 01:24 AM

in the scent arena, my son wins, hands down. i am just hoping he is serious about finding his own place, because i resigned my position as his housekeeper, and his room smells like eau de molding towels, hormones, sweaty socks, and rotting food. we keep the door closed.

Posted by: kathy a at August 25, 2006 01:43 AM

Maybe make it mandatory (or make it happen diplomatically in person) that his next date visit his bedroom?

How's that for perverse reasoning -- gee, I remember when that was a big no-no. Or "door open and three feet on the floor!" was the rule.

Posted by: Ron at August 25, 2006 07:20 PM

"help-line hell"

Word. And I'm pretty sure Blue Cross/Blue Shield uses that same dragged-out incompetence as money-saving principle.

Posted by: Ron at August 26, 2006 05:45 AM

even my son's girlfriend can't make him clean his room. perversely, he stole my carpet cleaner last december to help said girlfriend clean her room, which is where he actually spends most of his nights. he mostly swings by here to offload nasty laundry, eat the refrigerator, practice his bass, and leave dirty dishes about. although last weekend he also borrowed camping equipment, which was kind of a delightful development.

he's 19 and there isn't much i say about what happens elsewhere, but i'm glad i was the immoveable mom on the subject of whether girlfriend could sleep over *just this once, she'll sleep on the couch.* what his girlfriend's parents were thinking, i don't know. that's their problem, not mine. he is probably neater over there.

how funny you should mention BC/BS. we had an enormous fight with them 2-3 years back. my son had far worse problems at the time than a propensity to put off laundry day, and we were told at the start of a 30 day inpatient jaunt that a certain amount was covered. 6 months later, those idiots arbitrarily decided the inpatient treatment was "not medically necessary."

we were supposed to be OK with that because they only meant to screw the provider, not make us pay any more than we had. huh. we happened to be grateful to the provider; they were instrumental in saving my kid's life, so that now i can complain about his smelly room.

well, BC/BS backed down after we lettered them to death. it was a ploy just so obviously designed to wear people down, so they wouldn't have to pay what they were obligated to pay. slimebuckets, in my opinion.

Posted by: kathy a at August 27, 2006 11:21 PM

We're entertaining a mouseguest this week, a snake dinner who got a reprieve; we told his new owners we'd keep him while they were out of town. Based on this guy, I'm thinking you should blame hormones for a big part of your son's room's atmosphere. Clean the cage to Martha Stewart astandards, and male mice are still stinky.

I've been saying for years that BC/BS uses ineptitude as a stalling tactic. They wear some claimants down, and the others still have to wait for payment -- either the clients ot their providers do, depending on billing systems -- and BC/BS gets the interest on the money they're sitting on.

Slimebuckets, yes.

Posted by: Ron at August 28, 2006 05:39 PM