Help Wanted

Meridian, Idaho

I drove halfway across the valley yesterday to do some errands, and I decided not to drive along the freeway.

So I went down streets that I normally don’t travel on much.

I was shocked to see so many human sandwich boards advertising employment.

No, not this kind…

stalkedbystore

But businesses actually looking FOR workers.

Even the Meridian School District had four men out on one of the busiest streets in the Treasure Valley carrying placards encouraging people to apply for school bus driver positions!

On my five mile drive, I saw an average of two HELP WANTED signs every mile.

Help-Wanted

I have barely seen any help wanted signs since we visited the oil boom in North Dakota last summer when almost every business had help wanted signs.

Is the economy on the mend?

I doubt it; it sure doesn’t feel like it to me.

849958345_economic20recovery_xlarge

If I do decide to go back to work, I know not to waste my time looking at Help Wanted listings in the local paper.

I just need to drive down the street! 🙂

Waiting Room Observations

Meridian, Idaho

I was sitting in a doctor’s office yesterday.

Waiting… Waiting… And…

Waiting

It wasn’t really that long, and I actually don’t mind waiting, especially in hospitals or airports. The people watching is simply amazing!

Before I talk about what I observed, here’s a quote I love from Rich’s stepfather that’s appropriate for this situation:

We spend a third of our lives sleeping,

We spend a third of our lives working.

And a third of our lives are spent waiting.

350px-PieChartFractionThirdsSplit.svg

Too true. 🙂

Here are my random observations from about 30 minutes of waiting room observations…

  1. President Obama is mentioned a lot, and most of the comments are not favorable either about him or Obamacare.
  2. The older the commentator, the fouler the language used to describe the president. (One 80+ year old man called POTUS “a lying b*st*rd”, not just once but multiple times to whoever would listen and/or not listen.
  3. And, most important to me, I’m not ready to go back to work at a place where I’d have to make chit chat with coworkers.

The two receptionists in front of me and two more behind me solved all the world’s problems while they were working.

Topics ranged from how to care for rose bushes to “Should I move for a new job even though I’d be hundreds of miles from my son because he lives with his mother–aka my ex-wife.”

Quotation-Geoff-Lawton-problems-Meetville-Quotes-229647

Maybe, according to the above, everything would be okay for the child if the dad has a garden for his son to play in. 🙂

It’s not that I don’t want to hear others’ opinions and stories. It’s that I’m scared to death that I’ll be expected to remember them from one day to the next.

And because I have a bad case of CRS (can’t rmember sh*t), I’d live in fear everyday that I’d have to try to remember things like a coworker’s special Christmas gift for her granddaughter. And I’d be the office misfit because I couldn’t…

crs

Shopping Local First (and Second and Maybe Third)

Meridian, Idaho

I’m looking for some spandex fabric to make something to hold pickleballs while I play.

I’m not sure my idea is going to work, but I’m intrigued enough to try it.

So off I go to the closest craft store: Hobby Lobby.

They have some lightweight polyester-knit fabric that will work for the first try and it’s cheap. Great!

polyester

My first try was rough, but I gave it a test run while playing pickleball yesterday morning. It worked ‘okay’, but it needed some modifications.

One of those modifications includes a heavier knit–more like an athletic grade spandex.

spandex

Off I go to the closest craft store again: Hobby Lobby. Oops, I forgot. They are closed on Sundays — “the day most widely recognized as a day of rest, in order to allow our employees and customers more time for worship and family.” And good for them…

hl

But I’m impatient and want to try my next iteration of the ball holder.

So I go to Walmart where I need to pick up a few other things anyway like Sophie’s food. (No small feat to go shopping at Walmart on a Sunday afternoon. 🙂 )

Nope, they don’t have any knit fabric. None! Surprised the heck out of me.

Then I drove down the street to Craft Warehouse. They have fabric, but they only have quilting fabric. No knits, no fleece, no tule. Just 100% cotton fabric. (And some of it is drop-dead gorgeous! I’ll be going back there for tablecloth material soon.)

Now I’m back to square one. Where do I find spandex fabric?

So, of course, I Google it.

google

And what comes up first on my search? AMAZON.COM of course!

In the old days, we were advised to “Let your fingers do the walking through the yellow pages!”

Now I’m too phone phobic and lazy to do even that. Nine times out of ten, I just Google something and buy it from amazon.com. My prime membership makes it even more attractive because I have ‘free’ shipping and it comes within two days…

amazon-prime-dec13_tcg

I need to STOP that and support local businesses more.

shop-local

So I’m going to be patient and go fabric shopping today and find exactly what I need.  🙂

Will Tape for Play

Meridian, Idaho

This morning was spent taping six courts for outdoor pickleball play.

0607150814a

Over 40 of us showed up in the early morning hours to tape pickleball lines on tennis courts at a local middle school.

0607150816

I was surprised that so many came because it was Sunday and I assumed that many would go to church. Just shows that people are good and will help others…

Perhaps, like me, pickleball is their church. 🙂

After sweeping, blowing, measuring, taping, and stomping the tape, it was finally time to play.

0607150816a

And a good time was had by all…

Idaho City Fire

Meridian, Idaho

We used to live in a remote area of Boise County. Oddly we had a Boise address because that’s where our mail came fro, but we were actually half way in between Boise City and Idaho City.

Idaho City is the county seat for Boise County, so we did much of our legal transactions there including paying property taxes, registering and licensing cars, etc… The Department of Motor Vehicles is housed in an old bar with beautiful wood work.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Idaho City is a quaint little town that’s kept much of it’s old time history. Gold was discovered there in August of 1862.

ID-4

At its peak during the mid-1860s, there were more than 200 businesses in town, including three dozen saloons and two dozen law offices. Its 1864 population of 7,000 made it the largest city in the Northwest, bigger than Portland. (Wikipedia)

The ride up to Idaho City is along a pine tree-lined beautiful creek, and the road is a favorite for motorcyclists.

bike

A couple of days ago, Idaho City was struck again by a terrible fire. (Idaho City suffered disastrous fires four times: 1865, 1867, 1868, and 1871.)

This most recent fire burned five business on Main Street.

IC-Fire

Here is a link to the local news coverage:  KTVB Idaho City Fire

Because the tiny community (about 500 people) relies so heavily on summer tourism, the fire couldn’t have come at a worse time.

I plan to visit there several times this summer to help the local businesses.

It’s a fun place to visit, full of eclectic buildings, eccentric people, and beautiful scenery.

ID-1 ID-Church

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Meridians and Qi

Meridian, Idaho

So yesterday was my first full day after my first acupuncture session.

I was amazed at how well my shoulder felt until late last night. Pain was significantly reduced.

A side benefit was that the whooshing noise my tinnitus makes was reduced by about 25% for one night, and a bit less the second night.

images

The actual acupuncture went well. It was relaxing and I only felt a couple of the two dozen or so needless go in.

As Rachel put them in, she pops the top of the needle holder a bit. I think that makes them slide right in.

I laid on the table with the needles in place for twenty minutes. I was extremely relaxed and almost fell asleep because of the relaxing music playing and the warmth from a heat lamp.

images

Acupuncture is based on using needles to stimulate qi (or chi) through your body along pathways called meridians.

The belief is that illness or pain occurs when those pathways are blocked. Acupuncture is a way to unblock or influence chi and help it flow back into balance.

download

Most who practice and receive acupuncture say it takes a series of visits to reap benefits. And I get that. My situation didn’t arise overnight, and I don’t expect it to heal overnight.

I have a few more scheduled, but I’m sitting on the fence trying to decide if I want to go back.

download

I just feel like finding the right Amma massage therapist might be better for me.

Amma provides both the qi stimulations with the muscle manipulations that my body seems to prefer.

It’s Kind of Great

Meridian, Idaho

I went to an acupuncturist yesterday (more about that in tomorrow’s post), and one of the first things she said to me after “Hello!” was, “You’re consuming too much sugar.”

And I was like, “Well, duh!” 🙂

download

She’s right. I do eat too much sugar. So I’m going to cut back, but I won’t go cold turkey.

As I wean myself off of the hard stuff, I’ll have one of these now and then…

Kind-Bars_large

They are quite yummy. I first found them at least 18 months ago at an Albertson’s here in Boise. But since then they are EVERYWHERE!

There are lots of different flavors, and some of them have only five grams of sugar! Woohoo!

5-grams-of-sugarIn comparison, two Oreo cookies have nearly three times that amount.

And the Kind bars are full of nuts with fiber and protein so they are actually even more filling than Oreos.

Oh, and you can even buy Kind bars on amazon.com with free shipping if you have a prime account.

There are a variety of flavors and sizes to suit most everyone’s taste buds.

Happy Snacking!

Apricot-Almond-Bars-Grain-Free

Pins and Needles

Meridian, Idaho

As you read this Gentle Blog Reader, I will be getting my first acupuncture treatment.

I’m hoping to get relief from pain in my left shoulder blade.

images

It’s a recurring problem that I’ve finally had enough of so I’m desperate to try something new.

Acupuncture has been around for centuries.

From the Mayo Clinic

Acupuncture involves the insertion of extremely thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body. A key component of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is most commonly used to treat pain.

images

Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force — known as qi or chi (CHEE) — believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance.

In contrast, many Western practitioners view the acupuncture points as places to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue. Some believe that this stimulation boosts your body’s natural painkillers and increases blood flow.

images (1)

If it helps, I don’t really care how it works. I’ll just be glad it did.

I’ve talked with a few who have had it done. They report positive results. Not miracles, but improvements.

I’ve done a bit of research. Some people feel relaxed after treatment; some feel jazzed.

I will let you know how it goes…

You Play Well — for a Guy

Meridian, Idaho

I had a fabulous time playing pickleball yesterday morning.

Even Henry couldn’t spoil my fun.

Henry, not his real name, is a great player and an interesting man. He used to be an accountant for a Fortune 500 company. He retired, grew bored, and started several businesses. Sold them and retired again.

Henry and his wife celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary yesterday.

ketchup

They spend their summers in Boise in their house on a golf course, and they spend their winters in their 50′ motor home on a golf course in Palm Springs.

I like Henry. He’s fun to play with. We’ve had some interesting discussions.

But Henry is a misogynist, and he doesn’t even know it. Nearly everything that comes out of his mouth is derogatory towards women.

For example, he asked Mary, his playing partner for one game,  the score. She told him. He then asked Bill, his opponent, across the court, “Is that REALLY the score, Bill?”

Today I was his playing partner for one game, and we played against Jim and Judy. Jim and Judy beat us by a couple of points. As we all walked off the court, Henry told Judy and me, “You know, you both play very well, for girls.”

In his mid-seventies, Henry grew up in another time.

But unlike most people his age, part of Henry didn’t change with time.

Part of the reason I like Henry is because I’m not around him for long periods of time. If I had to work with or for Henry, there would be problems…

282-Misogynistic

Part of me is really thinking about telling Henry, “You know, you play really well for a man.”

Henry won’t get it, but Judy and I will. 🙂

It’s the Boz!

Meridian, Idaho

My favorite musical artist ever is Boz Scaggs.

bozI think I’ve been to less than a dozen concerts in my life, and over half of those were his. Amazing concerts. No chit chat, just song after song after song…

Carol and I even went to see him at The Mountain Winery (formerly Paul Masson) in Saratoga, California–the most scenic backdrop I’ve ever been to for a concert.

mountain-winery-headerRecently, Boz came out with a new CD: A Fool to Care. I was surprised because his most recent CD, Memphis, came out only two years ago.  (He once went nearly ten years between CDs. Painful for his fans…)

A Fool to Care is similar to Memphis in that the music is very different from his previous work. Very smooth jazz with a twang that’s hard to describe–part country, part Cajun, part ???

My favorite song of his from all time is Harbor Lights, but there’s a cover of a Rick Danko and Bobby Charles song, Small Town Talk, written in the early 1970’s on this new album that moving up close to number one.

Here’s an unplugged version for you to enjoy…

Small Town Talk

It’s all small town talk, you know how people are
They can’t stand to see, someone else doing what they like to
It’s all small town talk, you mustn’t pay no mind
Don’t believe a word, they try to do it everytime

You can’t believe everything you hear
And only half of what you see
And if you’re gonna believe in anyone
You gotta believe in me

It’s all small town talk, it’s well known fact
You don’t ever know, how one might react to what you’re thinking
And it’s small town talk, they tell alot of lies
Make some people crazy never realize that they’re sinking

We’re only two people, trying to live together
Trying to make something work
Who are we to judge one another?
That could cause alot of hurt

It’s all small town talk, you know how people are
They can’t stand to see, someone else doing what they want to
It’s all small town talk, you mustn’t pay no mind
Don’t believe a word, they try to do it everytime