November 24, 2006

Mr. Bling

Mr. Bling is more than a sock monkey. He's good company, and mixes a fine beverage in Mr. Bling's Ukulele bar.

Before Mr. Bling racks up more miles, I'd like to share his 2005 - 2006 travel diary.

In December, he took an NBC studio tour:

In February he visited with Frida and Diego:

In June he sat on the Queen:

And in October he met Totoro:

Hopefully tomorrow he will see Mt. Fuji, as he and I go back to the land of Namazu to look after the forklifts.


Recently I had a birthday. Hearing it was my birthday, one of the guys from the factory asked me my age (in so many words). The real answer is "ageless," but I was somewhat flabbergasted and unable to retort.

Brother Guy, who is ageless himself (and in fact age-ier than I by a factor of whatever), said he was trying to figure out my age, but his abacus went up in flames.

Ah the Guy Family wit in action.

November 14, 2006

My Breakfast

I finally have my photos from Japan. Prepare for the onslaught of information. This is the first picture I took: my breakfast.

AV-san wanted an American breakfast, and that's what we thought we were having, only when we got to the buffet it wasn't too American.

On the left we have the Western breakfast elements (marmalade, potatoes, runny eggs, weiners), and on the right, we have the Eastern breakfast (preserved plums, simmered squash, teensy baby eels, burdock. The crickets are to the left of the pumpkin at about 8 o'clock). Not pictured: croissants and succulent leaves. No really.

Eating for 8 days in Japan was like being in pig heaven.

November 11, 2006

I'll Get You, Tannrath

When I was home last week I asked the Grand Mamoo if I could have something from the house that I've wanted since I first laid eyes on it. When I told her I coveted something from the house, I think she anticipated that it was something fancy. In fact it's a 1948 edition of A. M. Tannrath's "How to Locate Skips and Collect."

Not sure if my pop ever used it. The binding doesn't indicate that it was opened much, but my sister and I open this thing a lot when we're home. It's a book for the gumshoe in simpler times.

Basically it's a book that describes how to collect on debts, how to track down information that will help you do it, and it's full of form letters used by collection agents. Here is one sample letter that will help you find the address of a debtor, from a section of the book titled "Tracing Through City Clerk":


City Clerk

Dear Sir:

Will you please send me the address of
John Johnson, as I have something to send
him. Thanks.

Very truly yours,

C. C. Cutler


It's as easy as that!

November 9, 2006


Something Fearless said this week reminded me of a story from...The Old Place.

One of my favorite things about the old place was the old supermarket. It had been a bowling alley but by the time we moved to town it was a tidy but grimy little mom and pop market.

Without this place I could not have survived our lean years. Greens were 69c a bunch, and I never spent more than $10 at a time there except on a rare occasion. They'd get odd lots of food for cheap, some of it in the category of "expired, but tasty." We lived on expired Tasty Bites Indian food in a pouch, carrots and rice for at least a year while I was on graduate school.

Occasionally I'd treat myself. You could buy fancy Swiss chocolate bars, three for a dollar or chips or something fun for next to nothing. How the nice owner made his dollar, I don't know.

One day I saw some Pringles and had a complete craving. We never had those as kids. The absurd flavor, Pizza, made me need it even more. I came home, popped open the can, grabbed a stack of Pringles and the National Enquirer and started relaxing. About ten minutes later, my stomach started feeling like it was bubbling. Then the absurd and horrible gas storm began.

Mr Guy came in and raised his eyebrows in alarm. The stench was eye watering. The discomfort was...long and awful. In the morning I woke up and in typical Mrs Guy fashion immediately grabbed for the Pringles. Mr Guy had put them away, which I thought was very impolite. But I found them and ate them, trying to settle my stomach by means of starch and fat. What a bad idea.

I went off to my computer to start a day of sleuthing. Mr Guy came in the office and saw the Pringles. His eyes opened wide. "I hid those." "I found them." "They're 'Wow' chips. They contain Olestra." "Oh no!!!!" For those who never tried a "Wow" chip, please refer to the previous paragraphs. For fully 1/4 of people who ingest Olestra you're going to have a similar experience. Or so I learned from the complaint line at Procter and Gamble. They call it a food. I am among the 1/4 of the people who ingest Olestra and produce lava. I spent some quality time with the complaint guy. He sent me coupons for makeup and samples of foundation that burnt my face. I think it was both covering up and removing my wrinkles.
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