Thursday, December 11, 2008

Here, there, and everywhere ...

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, will this post ever be scattered! As with such posts before, I will highlight each little (or big) section in bold to try and make it easier for you to read - or not - as you are interested.

Baby, it's cold outside!

I went out to the store several hours ago. Had the car radio on the whole time. They said that the actual temperature was 42 degrees (Fahrenheit), but I would have sworn that it was at least twenty or thirty degrees colder! The wind is coming directly out of the north. I'm not even going to take the time to check and see what the actual velocity is. I don't need to. I know what it feels like! Brrr!!

I reported in my "Snow!!" post that there were 'no accumulations to speak of' of the white stuff, and yet I keep hearing all these stories of 3" of the wet stuff on the east side of town and 4" in SugarLand, just 'down the road' and southwest of where I live. I must have been watching the wrong newscasts, whadya think?!?

Where I live, we only got a 'dusting' ... really and truly.

[693 motor vehicle accidents this morning between the hours of 4 and 11 on Harris County roadways]

Buyer beware!

In my post "Testing digital" , I spoke briefly about the efforts our local television stations were making to ensure that everyone was informed about the upcoming government-mandated changes from analog to digital.

I received a comment from Tammy on that post that I found most distressing. Seems that her family had purchased a supposedly digital TV last summer from WalMart, but - when their local TV stations had provided such a test in their area just a couple of weeks ago, their television set was not compatible! That comment incensed me!!

In my ignorance, I suggested to Tammy that she not let go of this, that she take the TV back to the store where it was originally purchased and insist that they exchange it, that she raise a real 'stink' about it. She responded that they had already tried all that (except for the stink-raising). The store would do nothing for them. Said that the warranty, a 60-dayer, had long since expired.

Today, I called a lawyer friend of mine whom I've known over thirty years to hear what he had to say about all this. "Unfortunately," he said, "stores have no legal obligation to take anything back! And in this economy," he added, "their policies are becoming more and more stringent. The fact that they've often done so in the past was due more to their willingness to promote customer goodwill than any legal requirement."

I asked what would happen if Tammy wrote a letter of official complaint to the Better Business Bureau or the local newspaper. "Probably nothing," was his answer, "but it might make her feel a little better! And, you never know, WalMart may even accede to her wishes."

Wish I had better news for you, Tammy. Meanwhile, you can visit or call 1-877-DTV-5353 for more info on how to get those free $40 coupons (two per household) towards the purchase of a converter box.

Christmas Specials

We've got another one coming up Saturday night on NBC ... "It's a Wonderful Life" ... I'll be watching. (Unfortunately, I think I'm going to be in for about a half hour's worth of commercials. They've got it slotted in for three hours. It's not that long a movie, is it?)

Cornbread Sausage Casserole

I finally put it all together and tried it yesterday. I've never been much for cornbread, so used a combination of that with mashed potatoes as the very top layer. Figured that'd be good.

Well, folks, I'm sorry to report a "10 thumbs down," as Kayla would say. It was the sausage!! Who'da thunk it? I love sausage! One recipe down. A billion good ones out there, I'm sure, but I'll stay away from any with sausage for a while.

[I must confess, tho, that I used a ground "country" sausage instead of "breakfast" sausage. Don't know if that would have made a difference or not.]

Meanwhile, I've been ingesting peanut butter and jelly sandwiches today to try and get the awful taste out of my mouth. Brushing my teeth and tongue, along with liberal swishings of mouthwash, simply did not do the trick!

I'll be putting together another batch of chili later tonite. That'll be good, and perfect for this weather.


A bit of interesting news to report. It was announced yesterday that first prize, in the amount of $10,000, had been awarded to a duo from Rice University for their suggestions on how to recycle 5 million cubic yards of trees that had been destroyed when Ike struck nearly three months ago.

Charcoal, which would be used in fertilization (seemed logical to me!), was one of their suggestions. Another, which I don't understand but sounds plausible, talked about producing methane gas as an energy source. Prototypes are in the works.

Maintenance fees

For the first time in several years, monthly maintenance fees for my townhouse are increasing - from $172 to $177. That's becuz they're doing such a 'wonderful' job maintaining, doncha know?

It'll be three months tomorrow since Ike blew through. My neighbors just across and down the back alley finally took matters into their own hands and replaced their fence themselves. It's a really good-looking fence - much classier than the ones the Association puts up. I hope they're allowed to keep it!

Odetta and Elvis

An update from yesterday's post. I received a long comment today from Dan Bessie, who knew Odetta personally and had a few interesting stories to tell and little tidbits to share about her. Check the comments section from that post to learn more.

Paul Harvey

As I said earlier, I had the radio on while I was out and about and happened to catch Paul Harvey's show. A fellow named Ron Chapman was guest-hosting ... hope Paul's OK. As usual, there was a cute story. Here it is ...

Seems that this woman went out to her car one day, started it up, and was about to start running her errands when she noticed that some things just weren't working right. Windshield wipers, horn, turn signals, funny engine sounds and the like, so she took it to the shop. When the mechanic opened the hood to try to begin diagnosing the problem, he found everything inside literally covered with black walnuts! Seems a chipmunk had been using that area to store his goodies.

A question here: How long had it been since she had last driven the car?


Tammy said...

We have a big snowstorm "fixin' to" (lol!) hit us tonight. It was interesting, though, to watch how much news coverage you guys had even here on our local stations with your big storm.

Yeah, the whole thing sucks. Plain and simple.

It's a Wonderful Life is one of the movies we hope to see within the next week or so. I guess it depends if we can ever catch it at the right time at the library before it gets checked out by someone else. You'll be interested to know that I did check out The Christmas Box (with Maureen O'Hara) the other day. We're going to watch it Sunday evening.

"10 thumbs down"...what a disappointment! ;)

Goldenrod said...

Ha! Tammy, you'd better be careful how often you use the phrase "fixin' to" ... People will start asking, "Where y'all from, anyway?" :)

It must be just our local NBC affiliate that's showing "It's a Wonderful Life" tomorrow night, then. Too bad. I'm tickled that you were able to check out "The Christmas Box." Be sure and have some tissues handy. Not as much of a tear-jerker as "Wonderful Life," tho. Just a beautiful story. Maybe you'll have a chance to watch it twice. That'd be nice! I'll be interested in hearing about your reactions.

steven said...

now that's the kind of news report i enjoy reading - not all good news but all interesting news!!! sorry it's so cold down there. i figure we sent some of our snow and cold and wind your way - 'cause we've got plenty of all three thankyou very much!!! i still have the cornbread casserole recipe on my backburner. i've sourced out the sausage but the cornbread part is a toughy. i could make it myself but seriously - somebody out there's bound to be making it up themselves or maybe even a mix!!! i'll let you know if and when i try it.

Goldenrod said...

I'll tell you one thing for sure, Steven ... I certainly enjoyed my chili last night!

Have saved AllRecipes' "Casserole" edition. Don't know if I'm going to try any of them in the near future, or not.