Thursday, October 29, 2009

Serious Questions

I'm feeling worried, confused and sometimes a little unsure who to trust.

My husband and I have been discussing the H1N1 vaccine and other plans of action to protect our family. We feel that erring on the side of caution is the better course. How would we feel if we could have prevented one of our children from being seriously ill, or worse dying, and we hadn't taken precautions?

But. How far do we go? Yes we're going to get the vaccine. According to certain articles, I'm in an at risk age group. Several children of varying ages have now died in Canada. And while we hear that the numbers are still fairly low, would you risk your child's life?

But what about attending school? As far as we're concerned, our teenager goes unless there is some indication it's not safe. But what about the twins in pre-school? We still have to pay the tuition whether they go or not, but going is not an absolute necessity. So do we pull them now, till we can get the vaccine? And if we do, does that mean we all hole up in the house till then?

WHO and Canadian health officials are saying, 'don't travel if you're sick', 'make sure to get the vaccine', but 'go ahead with Halloween plans, no need for a healthy child to skip'. So, which is it? I mean I can't think of a better way for tons of people to meet other tons of people and just one person with the bug could spread it far. Then again, we've had no cases anywhere near here. I don't think we'll be staying home. Our neighborhood barely does Halloween anyways, so we usually visit just three streets. Not so bad.

You know, I never thought I'd have to make these kinds of decisions in my lifetime. Protecting the kids from violence, sex offenders that kind of stuff of course. But an unseen virus that is killing people? No, never considered a pandemic.

There is a community of people (mainly online) here in Canada who are speaking out against getting the vaccine and are saying that H1N1 is a made up thing to scare people into...here's where they get weird - into doing what? Getting a free shot? Not so sure these people are sane.

Then again, my husband and I do not believe in getting the annual flu shot. Normal flues are part of life and the thing is, if we let our bodies fight them, our immune systems handle them. But super shooting everyone contributes a great deal to these superbugs developing.

How are you guys handling this? Or have you even thought about it? What do you think about the conspiracy theories? Or do you think it's not a conspiracy but maybe just blown out of proportion? Are you getting the shot?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Insurance to do your job?

phone call:


Sales Lady: we have domain name safety feature for only $10 which ensures that when your domain name is coming up for expiration, we won't ever lose your domain for you. You know, in case your credit card information isn't up to date or we can't put the transaction through.

Me: so, does this mean that if something were to happen and the transaction couldn't be completed you wouldn't try to contact me?

Sales Lady: Oh noo, of course we would try to contact you but what if you're not home? what if you're busy with the kids say...this just makes sure that for a whole year we won't lose your domain name

Me: I'd like to think that your customer service is of the quality that you would actually contact me to resolve any problems.

Sales Lady: Oh we're number one on the internet but you just never know what kind of things can happen, or if we try for an extended amount of time and can't find you

Me: well how long do you try to contact someone before you give up?

Sales Lady: Oh we try for at least 30, sometimes 60 days. But you know how phone tag is

Me: Don't you contact people through email?

Sales Lady: Yes, we do that too.

Me: I think I'll take my chances then.


Ummm, hello? If you're a company that wants my business, and wants to keep it, then you shouldn't need this kind of insurance. And what's with this 30 sometimes 60? Don't you have a set policy or are you guessing? You're seriously making me doubt whether I should be using you.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Not Bill's Ted

My husband has become an addict of Ted talks. Ted is a yearly gathering of heavy thinkers and world shakers who give lectures on great advancement in technology and science, or social trends, and they try to find ways to make a difference. I have been fascinated by a great number of the talks we've listened to.

The one below I really love because my husband and I have been discussing this as a possible new business model in the corporate world and we hope it might become 'norm'. Now the cynics out there will point out that business is about money and that will always trump which inevitably leads to business as usual practices. Believe me, I've argued this point myself. But I can see trends out there that indicate this vision of ours is absolutely possible.

My husband thinks the business measure of success in the near future will be 'how much difference do you make in the world' as opposed to 'how much money do you make'. I'm not naive enough to see that attitude taking without the money incentive being there. Not that there aren't responsible businesses that aren't all about money, but the bottom line is business depends on their bottom line.

However, like the man below delineates, as consumers we can put carrot sticks in front of businesses to be world responsible and that means voting with our money. The more we make choices to support businesses we believe in, other businesses will emulate their models. I think there may be hope for grand change in the human race if we can effect an overhaul like that. A new view of capitalism and consumerism.

(this video takes 16 minutes to watch, but if you have the time it is well worth it)


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hatboxes and Mini Bars

When my parents visited a little over a year ago, my mother bought the twins each a little suitcase. We were about to embark on a vacation to the ocean and she wanted them to have their own little cases. They adored them. They often used them for overnight visits to Mami and Papi's house here (paternal grandparents). But they were big box store cheap plasticy things. Which means they barely lasted that year and now have tears in them. A shame really. Of late I'm a little more adverse to plastic and big box mainly because it feeds the landfills. Then I saw this:

Going to Grandma's wherein a crafty woman took a really ugly old suitcase and made it all cute.

(Picture from www.craftzine.com)

That's when the hair crawled up my butt. Sooo, for my daughter, I started with this little case I bought at a flea market for $5:




and ended with this:




Total cost ran me about $8 - the suitcase plus the strap, a pillowcase for the interior and pieces of a sheet for the exterior all bought at the second hand store.

For my son, I recently found this at the second hand store.




I paid $3 for it. It was a traveling mini bar. I'm going to be giving it a bit of a boyish makeover. This time I'm using fabrics all ready in my stash so the cost is basically the cost of the suitcase itself woo hoo!



Man I love this stuff. It's so fun to make a transformation like that. And of course the romantic side of me pictures my little minions toting their adorable suitcases up to Grandma's house with a big beaming grin. Awwwww.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Now I Lay Me Down to Ponder All the Miniscule Data Running Through My Head Constantly

I am suffering insomnia. At least that's what I'd call it. I have a horrible time falling asleep at night. Then around 3 am, I wake up with no hint of falling back to sleep for at least two hours. Some nights (mornings to be exact) I do end up sleeping again, others I just get up and putter till the house comes alive. After a couple days of this I end up crashing around 8 pm one night. Of course, the 3 am wake up call still happens. Arrrrgh.

In a way I can't figure out if this is hindering or helping creativity. I certainly do a lot more writing and pondering during the wee hours of quiet mornings. But my brain gets muddled from the fatigue and I start speaking in that weird, menstrual, backwards way. Which leads to a lot of laughing from my family, obviously laughing at me not with me. Heh.

I have had days when my husband comes home from work and says, "Are you all right? You're white as a ghost." So I look in the mirror, and indeed, he is telling the truth. I look like death's door. Ugh.

On an up note, I rescued a neighborhood cat today. Though a very small deed, I felt heartened by it. This little cat wanders our neighborhood far and wide. She likes to hunt in our backyard as we border a woodsy area with no other houses in back - resulting in lots of cat delicious prey (mice). I like that she gets the mice and she's friendly. So today when I returned home from errands and found her crouching under the table on our deck looking frightened, I called her to me. Maybe the dog across the street had just scared her. She came to me right away (once I remembered that here they don't call 'kitty kitty kitty' they call 'minou minou minou'). She was limping and trying desperately not to put weight on her right paw. I picked her up and checked her paw, it was bleeding. I took her to her house and knocked not finding anyone home. So I put her on their deck and watched for their car. When they returned they took poor kitty in and later to the vet. I was happy to know she'd been cared for. Ahhh kitties.

Now since I'm not tired in the least and everyone else is asleep, I guess I'll go watch some ridiculously romantic movie.