Thursday, April 30, 2009

Restoring Science to Its Rightful Place - Except When We Don't

Barack Obama, whom I still very much like btw, said in his acceptance speech, that science would be restored to its rightful place in our society. I agree with this. I like science. Science is all about learning the truth about our world - nature's laws or God's laws if you will.

So it irritates me when the liberal left uses science as a club to pulverize the religious right and scoff at their beliefs and then suddenly forget about science when it would force them to draw a politically incorrect conclusion. (Just the fact that religious beliefs are scoffed at in the first place is also irritating, since this country was started by people trying to escape religious persecution in the first place - and no amount of smugness on the part of lefties can do away with the glaring truth that they don't really know, either)

For example, as I posted the latest swine flu update in my ongoing diary of a disaster about a 25 year old Japanese woman who tested positive for swine flu upon returning home from a trip to Los Angeles, I wondered how a Japanese woman would get swine flu in LA. Then it occurred to me that she was most likely a tourist and as such, would be staying in hotels and eating in restaurants. Places that are heavily staffed by illegal aliens from Mexico.

So, it would seem to me that there may be a piggy little time bomb ticking in Los Angeles. Yesterday there were no confirmed cases of swine flu in LA, but the fact that this woman got infected there, would cause most people to conclude that it is, in fact, there. Most people being defined as everybody besides the government officials who could actually do something about our very own Southern Californian swine flu factory.

Viruses don't care about being politically correct. They are opportunist little buggers and are not concerned with offending anyone's sensibilities. Therefore, to combat them in a meaningful way, one must potentially offend. Uncontrolled people movement over the border from Mexico means uncontrolled virus movement over the border from Mexico. It is not that complicated.

So I make this plea to our government officials: Since you politicians don't seem to care about the American public, consider the fact that you have an illness which will very likely turn up in places frequented by foreign tourists. Now imagine your next official visit to a country that imported some of our swine flu and perhaps lost a citizen or two. They may not be so happy with you over this - you may find this hard to believe, but some countries actually put their own citizens first.


PS: We now have a confirmed case at a local high school. My son tells me they closed the school.

Cheer Up And Stay Healthy Coupons
  1. Here is a rarity! Hammacher Schlemmer coupon code for free shipping: FSMAY09 The coupon code is good for all sales over $99 and is valid 5/1/09 until 6/1/09. Who knows? You may want to have stuff delivered rather than risk a case of piggy pox.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Retro Housewife Survival Guide - Coupons

Just an FYI - In light of the wave of companies that have gone belly-up recently, I am making it my personal mission to make sure certain companies make it through. Not because I own stock in them, I don't - at least not the kind you can buy at Schwab or e-Trade. I am invested in them emotionally.

Sounds silly to some, I know.

Which companies am I talking about?

Sears, Macys, Kodak, Nordstrom, McDonalds, Coca Cola and Saks.

Sears, because they have been around since the 1800s, because who hasn't sat on a Sears Catalog as a child when a regular booster seat wasn't available, because ToughSkins were my favorite pants in the fourth grade and the knees really did hold up.

Macy's - because without Macy's, the Macy's Day Parade would be just the Day Parade, because my Grandfather always took me shopping at Macy's to buy new school clothes when we visited them.

Kodak, because my first camera was a Kodak.

Nordstrom, because they have the best return policy on the planet and always have.

McDonalds & Coca Cola - because nothing says USA like McDonalds and Coca Cola.

Saks, because how can I shop there when I am rich and famous if they aren't there?


Some Sunday Coupons:

  1. Sears coupon code: Save EXTRA 15% Off Apparel, Shoes & Accessories MAYFFAP3 From 9am-5pm Sun 5/3 w/ coupon code: MAYFFAP3 From 9am-5pm Sun 5/3

  2. Sears coupon code: Online Only - Save An Extra $20 Off Orders $250 Or More w/ coupon code w/ coupon code: SAVE20 End date: none

  3. Esprit coupon code: 20% off already reduced exclusively online at the ESPRIT - Online Store! Coupon code SUQ3B9US valid 6/21 - 6/28/09!

  4. Maryland Square coupon code (shoes) $20 off a $100 or more order at Maryland Square Promo Code: SPRING20 exp. 5/3.

  5. Old Navy coupon code for free shipping on coupon code FREE50 ends 4/30.

  6. Kohls coupon code: 15% Off at with coupon code: SAVE15LPS thru 4/28/2009.

  7. Macy's Friends & Family coupon code:
    Take 25% off or 10% off Small Electrics, Personal Care Electrics, Technology, Furniture, Mattresses, and Area Rugs during the Friends & Family Sale at! Receive Free Shipping on $99 Purchase. Enter coupon code: MACYSFRIEND at checkout. Offer Valid 29-Apr-09 through 4-May-09. (Many more macys coupons here)

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Friday, April 24, 2009


What the Heck is Swine Flu? A chronicle of a pandemic? false alarm? As it unfolds. Learn more about the Flu and Preventatives. From Sears: Protect yourself, family and employees from Swine Flu with Hand Sanitizers! Shop over 40 varieties!

  1. From Air France Website: Information to passengers traveling to and from Mexico / Information to passengers travelling from Mexico to Singapore as final destination

    Situation in Mexico Due to the current situation in Mexico, Air France has set up specific commercial instructions for customers holding an Air France ticket who wish to postpone or to modify their journey. If you are due to travel to Mexico before May 31st, you may rebook to travel either on another date in the future until October 31st, or to an alternative Air France or KLM destination. For further information, you are invited to contact your local Air France office or your travel agent.

    Passengers travelling from Mexico to Singapore as final destination.

    Due to A H1N1 influenza, Singapore authorities require a seven day quarantine for all passengers who stayed in Mexico within the seven days preceding their journey to Singapore as final destination. This decision does not apply to passengers connecting in Singapore. Air France has set up commercial instructions allowing to postpone your journey or to modify your destination until October 31st, 2009. For further information, you are invited to contact your local Air France ticket office or to your travel agent. Wednesday 05/06/2009 21:50:29 TU

  2. Breaking News AP: State health officials have confirmed the first death of a Texas resident with swine flu.

  3. Breaking News Nueces County, Texas officials are reporting 574 suspected swine flu cases; Illinois state confirms a total of 82 swine flu cases. 5/5

  4. Breaking News Officials believe the pigs were infected by a Canadian farm worker who got sick after visiting Mexico, AP reports. The pigs are recovering. 5/2

  5. Breaking News WHO official says there is no evidence of sustained community spread of swine flu outside North America; pandemic alert remains at level 5. 5/2

  6. Breaking News A Japanese 25-year-old woman has tested positive for swine flu; she arrived back in Japan on a Northwest Airlines flight from L.A - Kyoto. 4/30 9:00 PST

  7. Breaking News Reuters: European Union Commission says it can expect deaths from the Swine flu in Europe soon.


  9. Breaking News Reuters: Ecuador to restrict charter flights to and from Mexico on swine flu fears.

  10. Breaking News: With now 16 confirmed swine flu cases and others suspected, Texas Governor Rick Perry has declared a disaster proclamation.

  11. Breaking News AP: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms 1 swine flu case in Arizona. News Article

  12. Breaking News Reuters: Spanish Health Ministry confirms case of swine flu in person who did not travel to Mexico.

  13. Breaking News AFP: Ten confirmed cases of swine flu in Spain, officials say. Also follow @mpoppel for live updates from the WHO news conference.

  14. Breaking News The World Health Organization says it is moving closer to a phase 5 alert, which would mean a pandemic, but not there yet.

  15. Breaking News The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) tells BNO News they condemn Egypt's decision to slaughter all pigs in the country.

  16. Breaking News AP: Source say 2 siblings in Lowell, Mass., positive for swine flu after Mexico trip. AP Item

  17. Breaking News A Marine at a San Bernardino County base in California may have the swine flu, according to the commandant of the Marine Corps.

  18. Breaking News AFP: Ten confirmed cases of swine flu in Spain, officials say. Also follow @mpoppel for live updates from the WHO news conference.

  19. From the School District: "If your child is absent from school with a sudden onset of a fever of 101.5 degrees (or feels hot) AND also has one of the following symptoms: cough, sore throat, muscle ache, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, please notify the school. You may receive a follow up call for more information."

  20. Breaking News Reuters: Swine flu in Mexico: 159 deaths. 7 swine flu cases confirmed by lab. 2,498 possible cases with around 1,300 still in hospitals.

  21. Breaking News Reuters: The Los Angeles County coroner says the deaths they are investigating are not related to the swine flu epidemic.

  22. Breaking News Reuters: The Los Angeles Coroner will hold a news conference at 1.30 p.m. local time to discuss two possible swine flu deaths.

  23. Breaking News Reuters: Officials confirm 2 more swine flu cases at St. Mel school in Fair Oaks, California, bringing the total cases in the state to 13. 4/27 8:47

  24. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has activated the Joint Emergency Operations Center of the Department of Public Health.

  25. The San Diego County Health And Human Services asks people who feel sick to stay home, urges sick people not to go to school or travel.

  26. Breaking News Reuters U.S. State Department urges Americans to avoid 'non-essential' travel to Mexico after swine flu caused 149 deaths there. Unfortunately for us dumb schmucks here in California, Mexico is busy visiting us. This is where political correctness can turn deadly. 4/27
  27. Breaking News Reuters: British Foreign Office advises against all but essential travel to Mexico.
  28. Breaking News Reuters: The French foreign ministry said it was strongly advising against going to Mexico without an "imperative reason".

Winnie the Pooh And Piglet Comic About Swine Flu
Poor Piglet!


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Retro Housewife Survival Guide - Don't Have A Cow

This morning I woke up thinking about bills and how they are starting to turn pink again. And I mentioned to hubby that maybe he could not eat out so much at lunch time. This started to turn into somewhat of a fiasco and I sensed that we were in for a romping argument. So I said:

"Don't have a cow! I wasn't criticizing or blaming you"

and he said:

"I am not having a cow"

and I said:

"You're having a little cow"

and then he started laughing and hugged me and we spent the next few minutes giggling. Then, I softened my tone, explained how I knew it sucks not to be able to trot of to lunch at will, but just please a few more weeks and then we'll be golden.

He agreed!

Don't Have A Cow!.... Who Knew?


Daily Coupons:
  1. Land's End is having a walloping sale! 2 Days Only! 30% - 50% off all Lands' End swimwear ends 4/29
  2. Plus, I found this here Land's End Free shipping coupon code and PIN number! Whoopee! Free Shipping! Promotion Code APR28 and the PIN 00005725 exp. 4/29
  3. Another Sears Coupon Code Online Only: Save 10% off May's Birthstone Emerald Jewelry w/ coupon code MAYBDAYS10 at cart 4/26-5/23 - I think I saw some more - but they'll have to wait - I am late as usual and I need to bake cookies! Here they are:

  4. Sears Coupon Code: FREE SHIPPING On Jewelry Orders Over $99 w/ coupon code 99FREESHIPA 4/26-5/2

  5. Sears Coupon Code: Online Only: Save $10 Off Jewelry Orders Of $100 Or More w/ coupon code MOMSDAY10 at cart 4/26-5/10

  6. Sears Coupon Code: Save 50-60% Off Mothers Pendants & 10% Off Family Jewelry + EXTRA $10 Off $100 w/ coupon code MOMSDAY10 4/26-5/2

  7. Sears Coupon Code: Save 60% Off Select Pearl Earrings & Men's Rings w/ coupon code MOMSDAY60 at cart 4/26-5/10

  8. Roots USA 25% OFF - 25% OFF* ENTIRE STORE Includes Already Reduced Merchandise. Not To Be Combined With Any Other Offer.

  9. Things Remembered coupon codes: 20% Off $100+! Use Coupon Code: 20MOMTR. 10% Off Any Order Use Coupon Code: 10MOMTR. 15% Off $80+! Use Coupon Code: 15MOMTR. Valid ONLINE ONLY!
Does anyone know whether I can use Trader Joe's pancake mix instead of flour for oatmeal cookies? I forgot to buy white flour so I have whole wheat or pancake mix - you know the all purpose stuff... Update: I went ahead and used the mix, but left out the baking powder and extra salt - and my cookies turned out fine!

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Girl's Got Spunk

I like this girl's attitude.


Retro Housewife Survival Guide - Mother's Day Coupons

There are some big sales and savings happening this week-end because of upcoming Mother's Day - Don't forget your mother! Here are some Pretzel Dogs which I just learned about on Twitter from The Crazy SuburbanMompretzel dogsHere is where green dooney bourke handbag the pretzel dogs can be found on QVC!

While I am at it, I will pick out some things that I would like for Mother's day! Shop, Shop, Shop!

I like <<== this green Dooney and Bourke bag - It is kind of similar to the big Orange S. Oliver Bag I bought last year in Munich. Having a green bag to go with it would better allow me to color coordinate my mood. Green would be for subdued and pensive. Orange for extroverted and feeling orange. However - I fear this bag's official name is somewhat boring..... "Dooney & Bourke All Weather Leather Crescent Tote w/Acc." - I shall rename my bag "Grover". I think that Grover the Green Bag has a nice ring to it. Don't You?

Another thing I would like for mother's day is a big jar of Dead Sea Salt Body scrub. (Although if there is a problem with the Dead Sea running out of salt or something, Pacific ocean salt should be fine.) I will find some wonderful DSS Body Salt Scrubs later and put them up for all to enjoy. Must go make cabbage soup and bake bread for dinner.

Daily Coupons:
  1. Kohl's coupon for free shipping: Free Shipping on orders over $75 - I like Kohl's - they carry downright respectable stuff.

  2. Szul coupon code -$20 Off Purchases of $100 + Free Shipping [use Coupon Code: MOM20] expires 5-10-09 bizarre name, nice jewelry - in case you have a mother who'll be wanting a gift on May 10th

  3. Szul coupon code (again): $50 Off Purchases of $275 + Free Shipping [use Coupon Code: MOM50] expires 5-10-09

  4. Szul coupon code: (yet again!) $75 Off Purchases of $475 + Free Shipping [use Coupon Code: MOM75] expires 5-10-09

  5. Sears coupon: FREE SHIPPING on Bed & Bath orders over $99 4/19-4/25

  6. Sears coupon code: Thousands of Tools on sale + FREE SHIPPING on Tools over $99 w/ Sears coupon code 99FRESHIP 4/25 Only

  7. Another Sears coupon code: Up to 50% off Apparel for the Family + FREE SHIPPING over $79 w/ code 79FREESHIP 4/25 Only

  8. Sears's Super Saturday SaleSears's Super Saturday Sale: Thousands of Spring Essentials on Sale + Doorbusters from 9am-12pm Sat 4/25 I just love doorbusters!

  9. Sears coupon to Save 10-20% off all Appliances, Vacuums & Floorcare 4/25 Only
  10. Nike coupon code: 20% Off Clearance Items Coupon code: TRAINHARD ends 5/6

  11. Don't forget the Home Depot coupon code! Maybe Mom would like a nice sledge hammer for Mother's day? Get 10% OFF OUR ENTIRE SITE THRU 5/4* or more! Enter coupon code SAVE10 at checkout! Valid 4/30/09 – 5/04/09

  12. More Home Depot savings: 10% Off Energy Star Appliances $398 or more Plus Free Appliance Delivery & Haul Away only at!

    Hey, notice that Sears also has a 10% off appliances offer - if somebody compares prices at Sears with Home Depot, please let me know! We will be needing a new dishwasher soon. =(

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CNN and Southern Poverty Law Center Discover That Breaking The Law Puts You In Danger Of Getting Caught

CNN reports that some geniuses calling themselves The Southern Poverty Law Center have conducted a study that shows that if you break the law, you are in danger of getting caught. Furthermore, as per the study, those wishing to evade law enforcement can find themselves in an awkward position, if not even a real pickle as they may be blackmailed by others who would turn them in.

And if that is not shocking enough, it seems that there may be some resentment on the part of law-abiding citizens towards those who break the law with impunity. `This despicable practice of expecting people to respect the law is called "discrimination" and The Southern Poverty Law Center wants it to stop. And everybody in the South is a racist.

They know that the South is full of racists because they asked a bunch of illegal aliens to report all of the mean things that people have done to them as they try not to get caught for breaking the law.

As everybody knows, a great way to conduct a study is to ask people to tell you things they know you want to hear. Even better is to ask people about rumours they have heard about misdeeds of those responsible for enforcing the law, by no means require any evidence of such misdeeds, and then present the results as fact.

Reading about this study on CNN did cause me to draw one important conclusion: CNN has absolutely no journalistic standards and should not be permitted to call themselves a news agency.

Oh and by the way, there have been reports of CNN reporters dressing up as policemen and harassing people of Mexican origin. I have also heard that CNN reporters never change their underwear.


Daily Coupons:
  1. Cheer up - buy some shoes - get a free bag at Shoemall. To receive the FREE BAG, select any Earth footwear or accessory item and place in your shopping bag. Then, enter ShoeMall coupon code SMKR085 in the Key: box in your shopping bag, and click on "update bag". This will alert our processors to place a FREE BAG in your order shipment. While supplies last.
  2. Just added 200+ coupons, special offers and deals

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Let's Beat Him Senseless! We'll Show Those Pirates Who's Boss!

Wow! We caught one! Let's pummel this kid - that'll teach him to hold up our ships. I bet he thought he was going to spend his millions in Paris, London - or maybe even buy himself a fancy pad in New York.

Yup, We'll show him not to try and steal our money! Lock him up and throw away the key, I say. We can't allow 16 3/4 year old Somali kids to muscle in on the business of ripping off innocent Americans - those jobs should go to Americans!

Think of all those Ivy League educated financial whizzes on Wall Street! If we allow just anybody to rip us off, what will be left for our own, red-blooded, American thieves? Might I add that our own American thieves didn't have the benefit of growing up in the middle of starvation and war, with AK47s handed to them as soon as they could walk?

NO! Our thieves had to make do without rocket launchers. They had to use their brains and rely on their years of education to come up with a scheme whereby they could rob the country blind! - That they destroyed our financial system, wiped out life savings and are putting countless people and families out on the street was just an unfortunate byproduct of these folks doing what they had to do to survive in their world. A world in which getting a smaller bonus than a coworker can mean at least 7 minutes of real discomfort and embarrassment and possibly even an unfortunate seating assignment at the boss's next dinner gala.

Yup - Come On World! Let's beat up on this 18 year old kid. Just who in the hell does he think he is, sitting on the beach with his gun, watching the heavily laden ships pass by, and having the gall to want.

And don't try and tell me he was concerned about the seating arrangements at his boss's next dinner gala, either! I know for a fact that people who are starving don't have dinner galas!


Some Coupons: (As A Reward For Reading My Blatherings...)
  1. Veracity Credit Optimization $15 Off Veracity Credit Coupon! Coupon Code: VERACITYMAY will give you a $15 discount. "The current state of the economy has more and more people looking to save money, and a better credit score means saving big with lower interest rates when applying for credit cards, car loans and mortgages." I can vouch for this - because my husband forgot to pay his credit cards on time, he got bumped into the charge them till they bleed category and was paying 30% interest on $20,000 in credit card debt. Folks that's $6,000 per year, $500 per month in interest alone! If you have bad credit - get it fixed! It is the best thing you can do for yourself.

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Retro Housewife Survival Guide - Taxes - Know The Facts

I was snooping around the OECD statistical site the other day - what can I say - the geek in me is alive and well - and I happened upon a lovely little chart which compares taxes as a percentage of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) for a selection of different countries. I found this chart very interesting - and somewhat surprising. The biggest of the surprises is that the US pays a larger percentage of its GDP than France or Germany - two countries that are often tossed into the "Socialist Ring" by the wing nut commentators who see Socialists behind every bush. Both France and Germany have a national health care system (national - not nationalized although I am not very knowledgeable about France's system so I could be wrong there.)

What a big joke on us! - No surprise that Scandinavia pays the biggest share in taxes - they never met a social program they didn't like - but there aren't that many of them1 anyway and they are too busy working on their tans in Southern Europe to be a relevant comparison to the USA. The France and Germany thing was a huge surprise though. I would love to have Germany's health care system here in the US - and the numbers above seem to indicate that it is possible without taxing oneself to death. Still, one has to wonder just what we are spending all of our tax money on - we sure do not have anything close to the level of social services that Germany has - when I lived there the government was throwing money at us at every turn.

And the nursery schools! You would not believe the nursery school and Kindergarten my kids went to in Munich. My daughter went mornings from 8 - 12 (she was 4 and turned 5) and my son went twice a week for a few hours (he was 2 and turned 3). This was enough to give me some "Me time" because other than teaching a few English classes, I wasn't employed outside the home. (My son was actually enrolled full time, it cost us about $100/month for what could have been full time childcare, which pretty darn cheap.)

My son's Kinderkrippe (Nursery school) had one caretaker for each 8 children enrolled. These ladies were all licensed and trained to be doing what they were doing. Here is a copy of all that goes into their training.

The also manage to keep their roads in good repair in Germany - granted we have longer roads to build - but they have to keep theirs up to German standards - so my guess is that it evens out.

War is expensive. We fight a lot of wars. Maybe that's where we are tossing our cash out the window.

Finally, one surprising and extremely annoying statistic was that of our neighbor Mexico. They pay less than 5% of their GDP in taxes - compared to our 15%. In other words, we here in the USA pay 3 times the taxes as a percentage of GDP than Mexico does.

3 Times!

Mexico pays the smallest percentage on the whole list. So, when, for example, I hear Arnold our governor telling me to vote for propositions 1A - 1F - which are going to raise my taxes - I really must object. I know that we here in Kalifornia are paying to educate a fair number of illegal aliens from Mexico and children of illegal aliens who are born here - which we also pay for - how many exactly is a number we are not allowed to know.

I will be voting against propositions 1A - 1F because what those politicians in Sacramento are trying to pull on the Californian people is nothing short of criminal. I also really have to wonder just who is funding all of the Latino lobbies pushing amnesty and "fighting" for all of the social benefits to be extended to illegal aliens.

It seems to me that if they really cared about the Mexican poor, they would fight to have the rich in Mexico pay their fair share in taxes so that these people could have a decent life in their own country. But they don't. I would not be at all surprised to find a money trail from Mexico to political activists in this country. After all, why should the rich in Mexico pay for social programs for the Mexican poor when we are stupid enough to do it? Keeps their taxes nice and low.

BTW, Mexico has 9 official billionaires (not counting drug lords) - as does Switzerland and Sweden.


1(It is my belief that a socialist or even communist system only works well in small populations - like a family: Mom and Dad are the Politburo and the KGB and everything they earn belongs to the children, who they spend a good portion of their time spying on and trying to control. The children are required to tow the party line or else they'll get sent to Siberia (their rooms) limits are placed on the children's freedom of speech, and they are only allowed to view party approved television programs. Mom and Dad love all the children the same, regardless of talent and ability bestowed on each child.)

Daily Coupons:
  1. Save on Rubbermaid - up to 40% off sale here at now through April 30
  2. Restockit coupon code: Take 5% off Orders Over $75 at Excludes Sheds and Technology. Use Coupon Code: AF9521.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Miss USA - Tow The Party Line

I wonder how far this will go. Think like I do or else. I am referring to the general consensus that Miss California lost the title of Miss USA because she said she believes "marriage is between a man and a woman."

Regardless of how one feels about the particular topic, people should be up in arms about the fact that this young lady answered a question honestly and is now being raked over the coals for it.

What happened to tolerance? Or does tolerance just apply when the politically correct crowd gets to stick it to others?

Since when are we not allowed to have an opinion on a topic without fearing some sort of persecution? How would this Perez Hilton character like it if he were denied a title because he supports gay marriage?

How stupid is this Moakler chick?
"This is why we have judges at Miss USA, so we find the girl to rep us ALL," Twittered by Moakler, director of the California Pageant after the Miss USA pageant.
Is she unaware that a majority of Californians hold the same views as those espoused by Miss California? How would that be "repping us all" to snub half the state?

What happened at that pageant is nothing short of tyranny: -

The tyrants are a self-appointed body of radical, self righteous individuals who are accountable to no one, and who have taken it upon themselves to decide what is right and what is wrong, regardless of what We The People think, say and vote for.

If we do not stand up against this sort of censorship by terror and retribution, we will lose everything that makes this country great.

I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every from of tyranny over the mind of man-- Thomas Jefferson

How can a democracy function if those holding opposing viewpoints are bullied into submission by an unchecked subset of society? Today it is only a beauty pageant, tomorrow it might be much, much more. Today you may agree with the tyrant, but it could easily come to pass that tomorrow you will be the tyrannized.


Daily Coupons:
  1. coupon: Free Shipping at! Effective April 22nd through May 5th, Boscovs is offering FREE SHIPPING with a $50 or more purchase. No exclusions!

  2. Sears coupon code: 14kt Yellow Gold Hoop Earrings only $104.99 MOTHERSDAY70 at cart. 4/19-5/10

  3. Sears coupon code: 14kt White Gold 9.5" Mirror Design Anklet only $82.49 Use coupon code: MOTHERSDAY70 at cart. Save 70%! 4/19-5/10

  4. Sears coupon code: 14kt White Gold 18"-24" Tornado Chain only $106.49 Use coupon code: MOTHERSDAY70 at cart 4/19-5/10.

  5. Sears coupon code: 14kt White Gold 16"-18" Wheat Chain only $68.99 Use coupon code: MOTHERSDAY70 at cart 4/19-5/10.

  6. Sears coupon code: 10kt Gold 7.5"-8" Interlocking Link Bracelet only $83.99 Use coupon code: MOTHERSDAY70 at cart 4/19-5/10.

  7. Sears coupon code: Stainless Steel 8.5" Spiral/Oval Link Bracelet only $62.99! Use coupon code: MOTHERSDAY70 at cart 4/19-5/10.

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

New York, New York

We made it - finally!
New York City Times Square
Have been running around all day - now stuck in hotel room by myself - daughter ditched me for college age kids. The Nerve. =)


Daily Coupons:
  1. Lands End coupon code: Free Shipping On Everything! - Enter the Promotion Code SWIM and the PIN 00005084 in the space provided. good thru 4/23

  2. Lands End coupon: 3 Days Only -30% off Lands' End Women, Men, Kids' Swim + Beach Towels Expires 4-23-09

  3. Lands End coupon: 3 Days Only -25% off all Lands' End Shoes & Sandals Expires 4-23-09

  4. coupon: (this is does shoes) Save $15 on $80 orders of select eco friendly brands on expires 4/29

  5. coupon: Save $25 on select women's sandal orders at expires 6/29

  6. coupon: Save $15 on Kids' Sandals at expires 6/23

  7. Joann coupon code: 40% Off the Regular Price of One Item at (Coupon Code: APRA940)

  8. Joann coupon code: Free Shipping at on orders of $35 or more (Coupon Code: APRFSA935) both expire 5/15/09

  9. Limoges Jewelry coupon code: Save 20% on all orders! Shop for Mother's Day Today. Engraving is Always Free. Use coupon code: MOMMY. Valid: 4-17 to 4-30.

  10. Pfaltzgraff coupon: 15% Off total order at 4/17 - 4/30.

  11. Home Depot coupon code: Get $5 off orders $50 or more! Enter coupon code SAVINGS91 only at ENDS 4/26

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Denver, Could This Be Purgatory?

I am sitting here at gate B24 crying. We were on a plane last night, got on I forget when, 5:00 PM? Anyway, I know we spent 5 hours on the plane because the lady behind me looked at her watch as we were standing up to exit the plane, and said so. Somebody else agreed with her.

We were de-iced 3 times, then just got stuck on the tarmac after the pilot decided that we couldn't take off. They said they closed the airport, too - although this was never reflected on the DIA website. So after 5 hours of sitting on the plane we got off the plane again, and they told us to go wait at gate B 26 to talk to a customer service person who would reschedule us.

United Airlines Customer Service Hell - Denver International Airport - April 17th, 2009
Line Of Passengers Trying To Get Help From United Airlines

So basically, they were pulling the same thing they had the day before. The had absolutley no intention of rescheduling anybody in this line. They simply let people wait, and then annouced that there were no more flights that evening and then told us to call United Airline's customer service number to try and get a new flight.

They never actually told us the status of the flight that we had just de-borded from. We didn't know whether the plane would try to make it to La Guardia if the weather improved, or if it was just canceled. I knew enough to grab one of those pink discount vouchers - but when we called the magic number, they told us that all of the hotels nearby were already full and that the closest hotel with room was 30 minutes away. There was no shuttle service to these hotels, so we were responsible for our own transportaion.

We figured a Taxi would be too expensive, so we went to Dollar Rent-A-Car - but all they had was a minivan for $89 and a Suburban for $150. We took the minivan because it was midnight and we were cold and exhausted and needed sleep.

Then began a rather nerveracking drive to the Ramada on 120th Street. It was snowing and the fog was quite thick as well. I drove slowly. By the time we found the Ramada it was after 1:30 in the morning and I think I finally fell asleep around 2:00 or so.

I woke up at 5:00 or so and tried to check the flight status on the DIA airport - which is were we were told to look. While standing in line at the airport, my daughter had called and found that there was an 8:00 flight - After several trys - two of which resulted in us reaching a customer service center in India - who told us there were no flights. I think they told us that UAL doesn't fly to New York on the week-end. But I am not sure anymore.

Many of the passangers on our flight were on the phone to Jet Blue - (Jet Blue airplanes apparantly had no trouble with the weather) and decided to buy new tickets rather than deal with UAL. We tried to call Jet Blue as well, but by that time the ticket prices had gone from $250 a piece to $500 so we couldn't afford it.

So we went to the hotel. This morning we arrived at the airport 20 minutes too late to make the 8:00 flight - we got lost trying to find Dollar Rental and I am wandering around like a zombie after only 3 hours of sleep, and very little to eat.

The lady at the counter was everything but helpful and was telling us that it was our fault that we were still here. I asked her how long we would have to be at the airport for somebody at UAL to finally take an interest in us and make sure we get on our way - at this point I would be just as happy to go home.

She told me she didn't like where this conversation was going and threatened to call security. I thought about it awhile and then figured maybe that wouldn't be such a bad idea - at least there would be a small possibility that they would help us. When I asked her to please call security, she then told me I could talk to a supervisor, which I agreed to and she produced in 30 seconds flat.

The UAL supervisor then told us it was our fault because we had missed the flight at 8:00 and we were sent off with a ticket to try our luck with Frontier Airlines. At this point I wandered into the smoking lounge, ordered a Red Bull and pulled out my copy of the latest issue of Vogue. I read up on shoes, and took note of the fact that big shoulders are back in a big, even daring way. I didn't know what else to do - and that seemed like the course of action that was least likely to get me arrested.

In the meantime, my daughter found what appears to be a sympathetic UAL employee who upgraded our priority or something. We are now again on standby - hoping to get on a flight to New York. If we are lucky, we will have one day out of our 4 day trip before we have to turn around and go home Monday morning.


Some Coupons

  1. Botanic Choice coupon code: Take $20 off your order of $40 or more at Botanic Choice - 99th Anniversary Sale Use Promo Code BC99Y

  2. Botanic Choice coupon code: Botanic Choice Sale! $10 OFF $30 – Use Coupon Code TENBC

  3. Shoemall coupon code: 25% OFF To receive the 25% discount, enter promo code VIPSALE in your shopping bag, then click on "update bag" to apply discount. Excluded brands include Camper, Geox, Globe, Harley-Davidson, Merrell and Minntonka. Discount does not apply to purchase of Gift Certificates. Promotion expires Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 11:59 p.m. CST.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Stood By, Now Sitting In Denver International Airport

Well, here I am again. Stupid Expedia. I didn't realize what sort of an outfit they are. Stupid Expedia. FYI - Travelocity will fix stuff like this for you. Travelocity won't abandon you and leave you sitting at Gate B41 in the Denver International Airport taking pictures of your shoes.

My Shoes In Denver International Airport - Columbia University Or Bust

A Daily Coupon
Yoox Coupon:
3 days only! Extra 15% off a Spring Summer Selection on YOOX.COM

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NYC Or Bust

So here we are again - at the airport in Denver - we are on standby for a flight around noon - fat chance - and are confirmed for the flight at 7:20 - exactly 24 hours later than our scheduled flight out of Denver - in fact it is the same flight, but one day later.

Of course, I ended up paying for a hotel last night - thankfully, a United Express ticket lady took pity on us and gave us a pink voucher with a mysterious phone number on it (1800-500-5556). We called the number, gave our location, and they listed two hotels - the Radisson for $78 per night and Red Lion for $54. We chose the Red Lion for $54. The lady on the phone told us we should exit through door 517 and wait for further instructions. Kidding. We were to exit through 517 and then wait for the Shuttle Red Lion/Double Tree. We did just that.

While we were waiting for the shuttle to leave, the driver announced that the Double Tree had no more room - so a handful of poor travelers had to get off and brave the United Airlines counter again - they were "Amenities" though, which is UAL speak for UAL foots the bill for their hotel. We were not "Amenities", and to UAL we didn't exist. United Express is somehow NOT United Airlines, even though they have the same logo and rather the same name, except for the fact that the name of the former implies you get there faster.

The more important distinction is that while UAL employees seem to be unionized, United Express employees are not and will actually help you. For some reason, United keeps canceling one flight after another due to mysterious weather conditions, missing windshield wipers, and strict hour limits placed on the duration a pilot or crew member can work. Not that I want tired pilots flying around, but I overheard one passenger saying that he was on a plane that was canceled after the plane had left the gate - it turned around because the pilot had reached the hour limit. Didn't they know this before they loaded the passengers onto the plane? Odd.

I should also mention that it seems all other airlines with scheduled flights out of Denver have no such problems. Jet Blue, Southwest, both airlines able to fly in the rain, even the snow! There must be something special about the rain and snow here in Denver that it only falls on United Airlines Planes.

When we got there, we stood in a line 30 deep to get our rooms. It was about midnight at this point. In the morning we found that all of the early shuttles to the airport were full. Rats.

We finally got on a shuttle - 9:55 and were on our way back to the airport. En route I struck up a conversation with a young man trying to get to Los Angeles. His had been a two day journey as well, thus far. I made up a new slogan for United Airlines in his honor:

United Airlines -Fly from Chicago to LA - in 48 hours or less! (Covered wagon not included)

I will make up a slogan for our trip as well, once I have a good idea of how long it will actually take.

One more thing: I promised the young man I would report this: The Quality Inn in Pasadena claims that they cannot cancel his reservation for the evening despite the fact he called as soon as he knew that he would be stuck in Denver. As of the time of this writing, he will be charged regardless of the fact that he would not be able to stay there the first evening, but would arrive one day later. The 800 number of the Quality Inn told him that the manager of that particular Quality Inn just didn't want to give him a refund - but that he could.

The manager at the Pasadena Quality Inn claimed he didn't have the authority. Furthermore, only the accounting department could provide him with a refund. The young man requested that the manager ask the accounting department to do just that - and was told that the accounting department could only be communicated with by email or fax. Or smoke signals?

Shame on you, Quality Inn of Pasadena.

Gotta run to standby now

Good luck to all my fellow travelers who are also stuck in UAL Heck here in Denver, Colorado.


Travel Coupons
  1. Great Intro Offer From the Sandals Resorts Folks "Sandals Resorts Introduces Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts" - The Easy Slice of Paradise: For a limited time, guests staying for three nights or longer at Grand Pineapple Beach Antigua can get up to 70% off! I can highly recommend anything related to the Sandals brand - this is family owned company and it shows - they take quality personally - they convinced me, and I used to dislike anything "resort" and "all inclusive" until I landed at a Sandals resort. It is heaven.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

United Airlines' Idea Of Customer Service

Wow! Are we up a creek. We missed our connecting flight because of weather in Denver and if we get to talk to a United Airline Rep today, I will be surprised. They are doing almost nothing to help the stranded passengers. ALL counters have been closed with the exception of ONE counter.

Above you see a portion of the line people are waiting in. I have been flying around the United States for over 20 years and never have I seen something like this before. I have been stranded, but not abandoned.

We have been absolutely abandoned here. First, I called Expedia - since I booked a package trip with them. Of course, they want nothing to do with me now that they have my money. My daughter will miss all of the sessions at Columbia tomorrow - the sole reason for our trip.

Oh, Expedia were very clear about the fact that there are no refunds, - so I will pay for the hotel in Manhatten for 4 nights whether we make it or not. As well as the shuttle service to and from the airport. As well as the entire trip.

This is the first and the last time I will ever use Expedia. NEVER EVER AGAIN!


Some Travel Coupons:
Here are some travel deals I found while trying to get out of Denver!
  1. CheapOair coupon code: Save up to 65% on airfare plus $10 on flight tickets for Summer. Air fare sale. Click TO Redeem
    + use coupon code SUMMER10! Expires 12/31/2009

  2. CheapOair coupon code: Save up to 65% on airfare plus $10 on flight tickets for Spring. Air fare sale. Click TO Redeem + use coupon code SPRING10 - this one expires at the end of the month =>> 4/30.

  3. Southwest Airlines coupon code: Book a flight + hotel package of 3 nts or more to any MGM MIRAGE property and SAVE up to $100! Use Promo Code MGMAPRIL! Book 4/17-4/30.

  4. Southwest Airlines coupon code: Book flight + hotel and get 2 more nts FREE at the Disneyland® Resort! Plus, use Promo Code: DLRSUMMER and save $100. Book 4/17–5/7.
  5. Southwest Airlines coupon code: Save up to $150 when you book a flight + hotel of 2 nts or more to any Florida beach hotel. Use promo code: BEACHES150. Book 4/3–4/30.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Amherst vs. Columbia - Anybody Have An Opinion?

This week-end we are headed to the East Coast to check out Columbia University and Amherst College. I am also planning on banging on MIT's door to see how their "Wait List" is progressing - which will pretty much ensure that my daughter doesn't get accepted - so maybe I won't.

In the meantime, I thought I would ask to see whether anybody out in the blogosphere had an opinion on either Columbia or Amherst. I have never been to either, although early on in her college application process I singled out Amherst as a good place for her to go. Why? I liked the name. I also like the fact that it was out in the Massachusetts Pampas in a cocoon-like town, overrun by college students. That spells "safe" in my head.

Thinking about her going to Columbia, which is in Manhattan -on the "Upper West Side" - as I discovered during my ticket booking process- keeps me awake at night. I picture scenes from Law & Order and resolve to absolutely forbid her from setting foot in New York City. At least at 3:00 in the morning. During the day, after the sun has banished all of the Boogie Men, I think about how if it were me in her position, I would be at Columbia in a New York Minute. Hypocrite I am, but I can take care of myself, I think. What is my little girl going to do in NYC? Then I realize what they mean when they talk about cutting the apron strings and letting go. They just don't tell you the apron strings aren't made of cloth, but flesh and blood.

I still instinctively try to hold her hand when we cross the street together. Who is going to hold her hand when she crosses the street in New York City?

On second thought, never mind. Forget I asked that.

Berkeley is starting to look pretty good to me now - Although they have been the least doting of the schools she has been accepted to. Berkeley sent an email and a follow-up letter, but nothing in the way of warm fuzzies for the parents. Not that it matters - I know Berkeley pretty well; both my sisters and my father went there. We spent two summers in Berkeley when I was a kid - which is funny now that I think of it - because I was completely oblivious to the turmoil that must have been raging there at the time (c. 1970). But I digress.

What to do. What to do.

Stupid Stanford.

Any alums out there with some insight?

Sign me, Worried Mother and


The Daily Coupons:
  1. Kodak coupon code for Free Shipping Coupon code: AFFSHIP8 - $100 min. order, expires 4/30

  2. Nordstrom coupon:
    Free Estée Lauder gift with your $39.50 purchase. Shop NORDSTROM
  3. Land's End coupon code: 20% Off until April 20th Enter the Promotion Code APR16 and the PIN 00001107 in the space provided.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

This Should Give Your Day A Lift!

I love it when this happens! Like getting a rock for Christmas and discovering it's a diamond.


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Retro Housewife Survival Guide - Expedia Travel Tip

Just spent almost 3 hours online and on phone trying to book trip back east to visit Amherst and Columbia. Here's my travel tip. Book early. I waited too long and ended up paying $1,500 for a trip that would have cost $800 a week ago on Expedia. At least I think so.

Here is another Expedia travel tip. Watch out when you call the Expedia "Same Great Rates - Expert Advice" (1800-551-2534) hotline. My $1,463.23 trip to New York suddenly became $200 more expensive on the phone, and I was trying to remove 1 night of Manhatten hotel. Does it make sense to anyone that removing a night of hotel makes the price go up? I don't know where the difference was exactly, but I hurried up and clicked the "book now" button while I was on the phone, because I figured if I had to pay more for less, then I might as well pay less for more.

Now I am locked into this trip. No refunds. I hate flying, and isn't it really cold back east right now? I have no hotel in Amherst either - my reservation is for NYC - but she (Expedia lady) wanted to stick me at a Howard Johnsons and for $140/night. I saw a cute list of B&Bs that started at $75 so I figure I will just wing it. Or maybe I'll dress like a punk-kid and try to pass myself off as a freshman college newcomer and bunk with my daughter.

My daughter isn't the easiest person to travel with, though, - she is kind of bossy. I have a feeling she thinks she is smarter than I am because she got accepted to better colleges. I seem to remember thinking I was smarter than my mother at some point - but she does crossword puzzles and has a really insane amount of fact trivia stored in her head, so I gave up comparisons because I have almost no fact trivia stored in my head.

I remember one time we stopped to eat at a Howard Johnson's on the way home from visiting my grandparents. I think I was 6 years old at the time because my mother wasn't there and the only time she wasn't there was when she flew home early to have my sister. Anyway, I ordered a hamburger like I always did and it must have taken a long time because my father told the waitress he could have built a house in the time it took them to make the hamburger. I was very embarrassed by this - which is probably why I still remember it.

My brain is fried from 3 hours of trip booking.


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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Retro Housewife Survival Guide - Coupons

Hello All!

How about some coupons! Note the dates on these coupons/sales because most are for a very short time, and some begin in the future.
  1. Here is a Coupon Code: Exclusive Offer: Save an Extra $25 off $300 with coupon code AAPRIL25 at cart 4/14-4/16

  2. Sears sale: Grills & Patio Furniture Sets on sale + shop our huge selection and new items 4/12-4/18

  3. Free shipping offer at Sears: New on over 20,000 Office Products + get FREE SHIPPING on orders over $50 4/5-5/2

  4. Sears Appliances: All Appliances on sale + EXTRA 10% off sale + EXTRA 10% off Kenmore Elite Energy Star 6pm 4/12- 4/13 I buy most of my appliances at Sears - I am not even sure why! My parents did, so I do too. That and tires - for tires we have always gone to Sears. Although sometimes we do go to Costco for tires.

  5. This is a good one! Storage! Yahoo! Whoopeee! All Garage Storage & Shelving on sale + Free Shipping on Tool orders over $199 oops - also at 4/12-4/13

  6. I didn't know Panasonic made Vacuums - I have a Dyson. 2 actually. Save 15% off all Panasonic Vacuums at 4/14-4/18

  7. I don't usually buy clothes at Sears, but Levi's are the exception. My son insists on Levi's - which I think is rather cute - I loved Levi's too when I was his age. Let's hope they don't kill off that brand! Here buy some Levi's just in case: Lowest Prices of the Season Mens Levis as low as $31.99 + 75-80% off Fall/Winter Apparel (4/12-4/16)

  8. Here's a nice baby sale at Sears: Online Only: Baby on sale + get an EXTRA $15-$75 on Baby purchases of $200 or more 4/12-4/18

  9. coupon code: Save on Shipping! $1.99 shipping at! Use promo code: 611517 at checkout. Offer Valid 4.14.09 through 4.17.09. - good place to stock up on hose and undies.

  10. Maryland Square coupon code: Save 20% on online exclusives at Maryland Square. Coupon Code: EXCLUSIVE - ends the 19th (end of day) - Maryland square sells shoes... in case you didn't know!

  11. eHarmony coupon code: Save 17% on a 12-month subscription at eHarmony (coupon code: CJPROMOQQQQ, Exp. 6/30/09) - for those who aren't married but would like to be!
  12. Another eHarmony coupon code: Save 20% on a 6-month eHarmony subscription! (coupon code: CJPROMOPPPP, Exp. 6/30/09) I think eharmony is probably the best dating service if you are looking for a serious - marriage- relationship. Not for serial daters!
I saw some other cool coupons but I have to find them first. Be back later - I hope!


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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Speaks for Itself

In Praise Of Husbands and Men In General

Dr. Laura has been promoting her book, "In Praise Of Stay-At-Home-Moms" all week and she made a comment today that got me thinking. Her comment was that Dads should read her book, too, especially if they have mixed feelings about their wives quitting their money-earning jobs to stay home with the kids.

I am wondering whether men are feeling a little bit perplexed at the growing number of women who are ditching the office job in favor of an apron and baby spew. I can imagine some are rolling their eyes (just remember - woman's prerogative to change her mind...), some are happy that their wives have come to their senses, and I can also imagine some men are just a little bit peeved.

It has not been easy for the stronger sex over the past few decades. Women have accused them of being positively beastly humans, and men are always the scapegoat for every little thing that goes wrong in society. I can imagine that after working at some job one's entire life, whether one wants to or not, providing for a family, it must seem pretty ungrateful and down right unfair to have women claim oppression and start hurling insults like some used to hurl dishes. For the life of me, I will never understand why or how you men put up with this. Women are lucky men still even talk to them.

Not that there wasn't real injustice, or that all men were perfect, but it was unfair to blame an entire gender for society's ills -after all - men didn't have much of a choice either as to their role in society. Just because some disgruntled females looked across the fence and saw only greener grass, thereby deciding that everything male was better, doesn't really justify the venom with which women set about trying to become men. But then the so-called womens' movement was started by the same people who turned policemen into "pigs" because they didn't want to get sent to Vietnam.

Anyway, for those who stuck around and still put up with us, thank you. Perhaps next time we find things not to our liking, we can approach the matter with a little more tact.


Daily Coupons

  1. Reebok Coupon Code: Take an additional 20% off all Reebok Sale Items with promo code 20OFF
  2. Perfume Emporium coupon code: Save $10 off any purchase of $40 or more at Perfume Emporium. Use coupon code CD1972.
  3. Macys Coupons
  4. Nordstrom coupon code ending soon! Free shipping when you purchase any pair of shoes online at NORDSTROM. Enter coupon code SHOES at checkout.
  5. Bargain Catalog Outlet coupon code: 10% off entire order BCO coupon code: BC16877
  6. Chadwick's coupon code: Free shipping with purchase of $100 with coupon code: CHA932
  7. Another Chadwick's coupon code: $10 off $75 or $25 off $150 with coupon code: CHA762 -exp. 5/2 Chadwick's has some cute clothes at reasonable prices - some of their swimsuits are nicer than the designer labels (IMHO)

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Ahoy Berkeley! Don't Miss This!

Dedicated to the Perpetually Shocked and Disgusted of Berkeley, California.


PS: Love the Accent!

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Retro Housewife Survival Guide - Saving Money

I think a lot about saving these days. Having just gotten back from a 20 hour round-trip drive to Lake Tahoe, my mind was on conserving gas. Unable to turn my spacious gas guzzler into a Hybrid, or a Fiat Bambini (got those in Europe - they're about the size of a shoebox), I resorted to more mundane measures, such as:
  1. Driving at or slightly below the speed limit instead of my usual 80 mph. (This also allows you to save on speeding tickets, insurance costs and blood pressure medicine.)

  2. Checking the air in my tires, and putting some lovely new air into them upon discovering that they were at "3" instead of "4" where they should be. Now that the election is over, I feel safe discussing the benefits of properly inflated tires without raising too much ire. Anyway - it does save gas - if you don't believe me, let half of the air out of your bicycle tires and then ride around the block a few times. Then pump up your tires and do it again. If riding around on flat tires made it harder for you to pedal, then you will need to use more energy to go the same distance. SEE?

  3. This one didn't apply to my trip because I have a gas cap - but I just happened to read that: "147 million gallons of gas are lost due to damaged or loose gas cap every year" - I guess it must evaporate? Make sure your gas cap is on and fits snugly.

Daily Coupons

  1. Auto Parts Warehouse coupon code: $20 Discount On Orders $200 And Above, $40 Discount On Orders $400 And Above, Or $60 Discount On Orders $600 And Above CARCARE09

  2. Get a $10 OFF on Orders of $199 or more at Auto Parts Warehouse. Now Shipping International Orders. Coupon code: (TENAPW)

  3. Home Bistro coupon code: Save 15% on orders of $150 and more!
    Coupon Code: NoJoke150
  4. Kmart coupon code:

  5. Home Bistro coupon code: Save 10% on orders of $100 and more!
    Coupon Code: NoJoke100 - Both of the home bistro coupon codes expire 4/30/09

  6. Kmart coupon code: Save $5 off $50 with coupon code KWELCOME628 expires 4/18. Kmart is also offering free shipping on a ton of things: Bed and Bath orders over $75 free shipping on For The Home orders over $75 Toy Orders of $99 or More and not quite free shipping but still potentially a good deal: 1.99 Shipping per clothing item on Clearance - for some of us who got used to the kmart in a pinch savings - online Kmart is the only possibility since many stores have closed.

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Saturday, April 04, 2009

Retro Housewife Survival Guide - Read Your Bills

Eat Your Vegetables. Read Your Bills. It's good for you. The monthly paper avalanche or online spam-fest that are you monthly bills need your attention. This causes me endless aggravation and will probably give me an ulcer, but I force myself to do it these days because it saves me money. How? I see things. Bad things, wrong things, I can't believe that is still showing up on my bill things.

Example: My arch enemy AT&T - MA Bell, back with a vengeance telephone company up to their usual tricks. We ordered a local service ONLY phone line from them and specifically stated that it was for a residence that sometimes serves as a rental, so we do not want any toll-call capability. No 411, no 900 numbers, nothing.

Last month, I open our bill expecting to see the usual flat rate amount and low and behold, it is about $20 more than it should be! Upon inspection I find two new line items, one for information use, and the other for a new voice mail service. How can this be? I think, as I phone up my friends at AT&T customer service. I explain why I am calling and and become drawn into the sort of dialog that I imagine inspired Franz Kafka to write his novel Der Prozess (The Trial).

Bizarre, illogical and reeking of sinister intent.

So I ask for a manager. The manager patiently explains to me that when we placed our order for the phone line, we did not specify that we did not want it to be hijacked by third party service providers. Really. I swear.

At this point my mind is whirling trying desperately to think of other possible omissions which could come back to haunt me... let me see, I don't want to be upgraded to any more expensive plans, I don't want anybody to climb the telephone pole, tap into our line and use it to call Tokyo, and I really don't want anybody to come to our house and rearrange the furniture (for all I know there could be some free trial offer for AT&T feng shui services that is about to become billable at the rate of $49.95/month)!

45 minutes later I convinced the AT&T manager to remove the charges, but I could hear the reluctance to do so in his voice. I haven't yet worked up the nerve to open this month's AT&T bill, but I will. And when I see new items on my bill that don't belong there, I will call AT&T and argue with them until they are removed. They haven't broken me yet!


Next Time: Fun with AT&T customer service relating to our primary phone line and how we get charged for installation fees when we make a change to our phone service, and how our phone gets disconnected because we refuse to pay installation fees on a line we have had for the past 7 years, and how they remove the installation fees and then include a $25 "reconnection fee" which we are not going to pay which will cause our phone to be disconnected which will.... Tin Can and String anyone?

Update: July 11, 2009: We dumped AT&T and now use SAGE Telecom which is a real alternative to AT&T. So far I am very happy with them. AT&T managed to squeeze another $50 out of us by sending our account to collections. My husband paid the bill which consisted entirely of charges invented by AT&T for our "new" 7-year old telephone service. At least we have them off our back and are rid of them for good. I will now dump them at our cabin and get Sage Telecom as well. I hate AT&T so much! I know I must be careful because if a democratic politician reads this, they will probably try to pass a law which gives AT&T protected status and classify not paying one's AT&T bill as a hate crime. But boy do I hate AT&T. We have them for our cell phone service and I am going to dump them there too. Enjoy that $50.00 you sleazy bunch of crooks, you have rekindled the fighting spirit in me and the intense desire to live 100% AT&T FREE!

I will also compose some more Haiku to express my feelings about AT&T!

Bad AT&T
unlimited evil, you
bad AT&T

I highly encourage others to compose Haiku about their feelings toward AT&T!

Others Who Hate AT&T

  1. Why I hate AT&T
  2. Why I hate AT&T
  3. I HATE AT&T
  4. Do you hate AT&T? If so why/why not?
  5. Things I Hate v.ATT
  6. Why I Hate AT&T
  7. I hate AT&T

Alternatives to AT&T

Local/Long Distance Phone Service/Residential Land Lines

  1. Sage Telecom

Business Phone Service

  1. Small Business Virtual Phone Service //
  2. Try RingCentral Online FREE for 30 days //Ring Central

Wireless Phone Service

  1. Popular Packages at Verizon Wireless //Verizon Wireless

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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Retro Housewife Survival Guide - Coupons

Was just poking around Amazon, checking out this month's grocery coupons. Here are some of the better ones:

  1. Save $25 when you spend $69 or more on any combination of eligible grocery products, including Stacy's, Quaker, and more sold by Use the following promotional code when you check out: ALLPEPSI. This coupon includes all of the Quaker Chewy granola bars. Nice snacks for the kids.
    Quaker Oatmeal Coupon at Amazon
  2. 20% Off Bonne Maman Preserves Save 20% When You Buy Any Eligible Bonne Maman Products Sold by Use the following promotional code when you check out: BONMAM99. ***One of my favorite jams + nice jar to keep and reuse***

    amazon 20% off coupon code
  3. Here's a coupon for SPAM! (and other Hormel products) $15 Off Hormel Products Save $15 when you spend $39 or more on eligible Hormel products sold by Use the following promotional code when you check out: HORMELO9.

    Hormel coupon code Coupon for SPAM

    If SPAM isn't retro, then I don't know what is!
  4. Here's a coupon for Celestial Seasonings tea drinkers: Save 15% On Any Eligible Celestial Seasonings Tea Enter coupon code CELEST33 at checkout.

  5. Honest Foods: Get One Free When You Buy Two or More Buy two or more eligible Honest Foods products sold by and get a third free. coupon code: HONEST33

  6. Madhouse Munchies coupon code: 20% Off Madhouse Munchies coupon code: MADHSE22 This is a great coupon if you like the British style "crisps" aka chips.
    Coupon code for Madhouse Munchies at

  7. Here's a coupon code for the Home Depot! Get $10 Off orders $100 or more Enter coupon code: APRILSAVE98 at 4/2 - 4/8

  8. Home Depot Coupon #2 Get $20 Off orders $200 or more Enter coupon code: APRILSAVE98 at checkout at This coupon code is also valid until April 8th
  9. coupon code: Save $12.95 on First Delivery at This coupon is for Vons's online + delivery service. Click the link for the current coupon code.
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Morning Musings - Life's Little Ironies

This morning I woke up to the sound of the wind howling outside as it tends to do up here in the mountains. Given that my only companions at the moment are our two dogs, I enjoyed the luxury of being able to snuggle up under the covers instead of hopping out of bed to get everybody off to their various destinations.

For some reason, my thoughts wandered back to 1994 when I was teaching English to a group of German engineers working for a Swedish seat belt manufacturer on the outskirts of Munich. There were 15-20 engineers in my class of which only one was a woman. For some reason, we were talking about housewives in that lesson - I had not approached the subject - in 1994 I would still be in my smirky stage regarding all things housewife. In fact, I was somewhat uncomfortable with the topic given the lone female engineer in the group.

She wasn't.

When it came to be her turn to talk she announced matter-of-factly that German women are the best housewives in the world. The men all nodded their heads in agreement. I didn't dare argue.

I am fairly certain that I will never hear similar words uttered by an American woman engineer. This woman was no damsel seeking to score girly points with her male counterparts, nor was she meekly paying lip-service to accepted social convention. She meant it, and would back it up if pressed. (Also, as anyone knows who has experience dealing with Germans, meek is not a word which would typically be used to describe them - I dare say it would not even make the top 1000 list, were somebody to compile a list of top 1000 words used to describe Germans.)

Then I thought about the comments on the blogs I wrote about Hillary Clinton running for the democratic nomination for president. I got more guff from readers when I praised her child rearing and homemaking skills than when I said nasty things about her qualifications to be president. It is as if raising a poised, intelligent, respectable young lady was something to be ashamed of and that the lady Chelsea Clinton turned into happened by accident. Or maybe we want to pretend the secret service raised her? (I would, perhaps, believe that the decision to send her to Stanford was the result of a coin toss, or was made by a disgruntled gardener - bad luck, Chelsea). How is it that I feel safer saying "Hillary Clinton is a whiny, incompetent, floozie who hates puppies and babies and apple pie and is also a bit of a lush" than "Hillary Clinton is an excellent wife and mother".

Finally, I thought about a friend of mine and mother of one of my daughter's schoolmates. On the surface, she is one of those liberal elites we keep hearing about. Wealthy, connected, democrat till the cows come home, solidly Boomer and probably one of the best examples I have known of how to care for home and family.

Her home could easily appear in an issue of Better Homes and Garden without moving a stick of furniture and yet I have never seen anything resembling a maid or housekeeper set foot on the property. Her garden screams "elegant garden party" yet is still invitingly casual.

When it comes to her kids, nothing is left to chance. Despite growing up in Santa Barbara, they have avoided all of the usual teenage pitfalls of excessive partying, promiscuity and extreme bubbleheadedness that often trap the golden children of the area. (I grew up there, I know very well what kids are really up to while their parents are not paying attention.) Her daughter is polite, responsible and off to Yale in the fall. There is nothing accidental about that. It is the direct result of her mother's day-to-day efforts as well as the means and positive influence provided by her father.

Some who think of themselves as feminists may sneer at that. Me, I'd take that any day over a fabulous career as Senior Vice President of Book Cooking, or Regional Director of Red Tape and Bingo for some company that in all likelihood won't be around in 10 years.

Although if I had a chance at the position of heading up the Ministry of Funny Walks, I have to admit - that would be a toughie.


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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Retro Housewife Survival Guide - The Scarlett O'Hara

My daughter called me early this morning - she had been up since five worrying about anything she might have forgotten to worry about before and had added two new topics - one of which also keeps me up at night: How in the world to pay for all this.

I did what I always do when I am in a predicament that seems overwhelming. I pull a Scarlett O'Hara. I will think about this tomorrow. She has gotten me through more of life's trials than I can count.

I think of her at Tara at the end of the war, with nothing to eat and a whole lot of people depending on her. The damn Yankees want $300 in taxes and that might as well have been a million. I know she's fictional - but at the same time I know she exists and that there are thousands of Scarletts in the world - maybe even millions - and can be found in every corner of the world. They just don't all have southern accents.

Scarlett is not a procrastinator - she just knows her limits and respects them. She deals with what she can now, and doesn't let the things she can't control overwhelm her. This gives her the strength to wait for an opportunity to come along and when it does, she pounces.

New opportunities come along all the time - so make sure you keep your wits about you so that you a) recognize them and b) can pounce.

Practice pouncing.

Pounce like Tigger from Winnie the Pooh. Think of that insane grin Tigger wears on his face while pouncing.

Tigger Standup

Boing Boing Boing.

Feel better? If not, pounce and grin until you do.

Then, and only then should you even consider thinking about your future. It just got a little brighter, though.


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