Any Big Sales This Weekend?

Sorry to admit this, but the Columbus Day holiday has always seemed the oddest and least celebrated holiday of all the official holidays throughout the year. We all learned a little bit about Christopher Columbus and several other notable world explorers while in school. And there is some controversy about whether Columbus really discovered America or did he land on a Caribbean Island or even Mexico or Central America instead?

But for me and anyone else who works in retail, Columbus Day means one more holiday to have an excuse for a sale and it is the last holiday before the big Christmas rush. I think the Columbus Day holiday has lost some of its shine in modern years and people are no so much interested in any sales during October unless it means they can get an early start on their Christmas shopping.

Do you know of any sales going on this weekend that will be worth going to the mall to save money on something you really need? I can’t think of anything, and I’m not willing to start my Christmas shopping yet, either!

Technology Changing So Quickly

Thinking back to when I was a young child, my parents had analog telephones scattered throughout the house. They started with one incoming telephone line, then when my sisters and I were teenagers and hogging the phone talking to all our friends, they got a second incoming line for us girls. Then we started getting online which tied up the phone line and no one could call us without getting a busy signal. So they got a third phone line – primarily for internet but also a backup line for us girls. After all, three teenage girls can do a whole lot of talking on the phone, between their girlfriends AND their boyfriends!

But now, we’ve grown and moved out, we all have cell phones and we get online using cable instead of the telephone line. So my parents decided to give up the home phone line and save $50 a month. I don’t blame them!

Another big technology change has been instant messaging and texting. What a great convenience that is! Especially when you just need to push a message to someone and not really talk to them or engage in a 2-way communication. I use texting all the time with my sisters and my parents, and I love the way they can get in touch with me any time, even if I am on the phone and on the internet, all through my cell phone.

I just love how technology is changing so quickly. Now if they will just start reducing the monthly charges. I don’t see how they can justify these high prices for phone service any longer – they are not spending money on expensive phone lines and cables – it’s all digital.

New Store at the Mall

The new H&M retail store is having their grand opening today. The first 300 shoppers to come in the door were given a gift card with a mystery amount on the gift card. Some of the gift cards were for as little as $25 off an item. But there were several gift cards that were worth $200 and even $300 for about a dozen lucky shoppers!

I could not get there this morning to take advantage of the grand opening gift cards. I hope to check out the store next week, though, when I go to the mall to find a Father’s day gift. The H&M stores have a reputation of great fashion buys for men and women at bargain prices. So maybe I can get a few new shirts and even a couple of dresses if they are as great as I’ve been told!

Many Uses for Binder Clips

One of the most useful office supply items is the binder clip. I’m sure you know what item I’m referring to – it is a black metal clamp that has two silver colored wire clips that you squeeze to make the clamp open. Some poeple call them “alligator clips” because when you squeeze the clips the metal clamp is a little bit like alligator jaws that slap shut with a lot of force. If you have an extra large binder clip that clamps down on your finger – it does hurt!

The binder clips were used in offices as an alternative to 3-ring binders to hold a stack of papers together. There are different sizes of binder clips that hold any number of sheets from extra small binders holding 2-10 sheets to the extra large binders holding up to 300 sheets.

But I use these binder clips at home for other purposes, too. My open bags of snack chips and pretzels are rolled and clipped to keep the air out and the chips fresh. When I have a big bag of fresh vegetables, like carrots or broccoli, I roll the tops of those packages and put a binder clip on them, too.

To hold batches of grocery store coupons together, I use a small binder clip on the bottom so that I can easily flip through all the coupons and easily read the expiration dates.

Do you keep any binder clips at home for a different use? I’d love to hear what you use them for, too.

Apron in a Rainbow Tie Dye Pattern

Look at my new apron! It was made by friends of mine in Virginia who do tie dye designs and sell them at a little store in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Photo of apron tie dye
Milky Wave Tie Dye Makes Aprons, Shirts and all kinds of wonderful tie dye items

Laz and Jessica are a wonderful young hippie couple who do amazing tie dye work. I had them make this apron for me since we have the holidays coming up. I always spend the entire day on thanksgiving in the kitchen and then I bake cookies all throughout December, so this new apron will be getting a real workout starting next week!

Fake Apologies Don’t Count

When someone is truly remorseful and sincerely want to make things right, they offer an apology and make every effort to find a way to set things right. I think that the things said last week by Rush Limbaugh were reprehensible and his weak and transparent attempt to pacify his advertisers was fake. What he said over the weekend and this morning were not sincere apologies – they were public relations attempts to make light of the issue and carry one. It was not good enough for me and I am glad to see that at least 8 advertisers have pulled their support. I wonder who will be stupid enough to step up and replace those advertisers? I will not give any of them my business, you can count on that.

Seven Organizations for Emergency Preparedness

The terror attacks of 9/11 were responsible for a major shift in how Americans looked at emergencies. Though the terror attacks were a manmade emergency, the shift in focus also applied to other emergencies, such as natural disasters. The result has been increased emergency preparedness and response agencies and employees, as well as increased planning in how to handle emergencies when they arise. Following are eight organizations in the US designed to handle emergency preparedness and response.

  1. FEMA- The Federal Emergency Management Agency is the federal government’s primary agency designed to respond to emergencies. FEMA takes the lead in responding with personnel and with funds whenever disaster strikes. FEMA will respond to both natural disasters, like hurricanes, manmade disasters like oil spills, and to terrorist acts. FEMA sends rescue personnel as well as emergency managers to help during disasters. FEMA also provides resources to help Americans be more prepared in the event of a disaster.
  2. American Red Cross – The Red Cross has been in place since 1881. It is a non-profit agency that has grown into the country’s premier provider of volunteer emergency and disaster preparedness and relief. They are most widely known for providing blood, but actually provide a wide variety of disaster relief services.
  3. The Salvation Army – The Salvation Army has provided many types of relief to the poor over the years. Their services during times of disaster include mobile feeding stations, temporary shelter, medical assistance and missing persons services.
  4. Samaritan’s Purse – Samaritan’s Purse is an international relief organization that provides help in areas of war, poverty, disaster and disease. While they have many ongoing programs, they are always on call for disaster aid.
  5. State Emergency Management Agencies – In addition to FEMA, each state in the US operates their own emergency management agency. Most states are able to manage smaller emergencies without the intervention of FEMA.
  6. National Emergency Response Team – the NERT is designed to meet the basic needs of food, shelter and clothing during disasters. They operate through mobile units that can be rapidly deployed to disaster areas.
  7. Christian and Jewish Relief Agencies – Rather than a single organization, these are a group of organizations sponsored by churches throughout the US to respond during times of disaster. They include the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Organization, the International Orthodox Christian Charities, Lutheran Disaster Response, Catholic Charities, USA, Baptist World Aid, International Association of Jewish Vocational Services, Nazarene Disaster Response and Mennonite Disaster Service. These organizations work independently of each other as well as together to help meet the needs of disaster victims throughout the world.

Though there are many disaster relief organizations in the US and throughout the world, it can still often be difficult to meet all the needs of disaster victims in the aftermath of a tragedy. Sometimes the physical restrictions on getting supplies to affected areas can cause delays as can the difficulties in reaching affected areas because of damage. But, the organizations on this list, as well as others, make tremendous efforts to help disaster victims as quickly and comprehensively as possible under extraordinary circumstances.

Phyllis T. Zerkle enjoys blogging in order to help students find the information they need about online homeland security degrees.

Spam and Hackers – The Villains of Today

It seems every generation has their particular villains. I know that hackers and people who send all this awful spam are the villains of today. The hackers can strike any time and all you can do is install virus protection software and change your passwords. The spammers get filtered out and blocked now – thank goodness. So I have to wonder if the spamming actually produces anything for those awful people?

Useless Cops

So this girl and her boyfriend stole a bunch of DVDs and CDs from my house. I know it was them and I know they took them to the pawn shop. I called all the pawn shops in this area and found the one who has my stuff. So I drove over there to get them and the pawn shop owner says that it’s too bad, unless the police tell him to give them to me, I can’t have them and they are out on the shelves of the pawn shop selling for $5 a piece. Now, most of them cost me anywhere between $16 and $29 when I bought them. If the pawn shop is selling them for $5, that means he gave this girl about $2 a piece for them.

So I go to the police station and tell them what happened and they say, too bad. Nothing they can do. WTF?

Two Mondays

Yesterday was the Monday, but since we did not have to work on the Memorial Day holiday, today is the first day of the work week. But I did have to work, because we have a big problem that I had to deal with.

So today feels like a Monday, even though it is a Tuesday. This week I feel like I’ve had to deal with two Mondays. That should be illegal. No one should have to live through two Mondays in the same week.