Category Archives: Toys

Eeeee! Bees!

It is too cold to play with my bees, and it is going to stay too cold for a long time, so I decided to get my Apis mellifera fix via retail therapy. (Marilyn, you do NOT want to click the preceding link.)

These ridiculously cute galoshes, which I just ordered from Amazon, should inspire me to walk to work once in a while.

I saw this adorable cake pan at Williams-Sonoma the other day. I was very excited to find it, but Ron talked me out of buying it. I have since decided that my judgment is better than his, so I am going to Utica Square tomorrow after my Reading Room shift to buy one. I’m thinking I might use it to make a cake for the first homework night of 2009, which will probably happen in mid-January.

I also bought a bee-and-flower cookie cutter set the other day at Hobby Lobby, but I haven’t had a chance to use it yet.

I wish I could find an umbrella with bees on it, but apparently they don’t exist. Maybe I can get a black umbrella and paint some bees on it. That would be way cute.

I’m told it’s weird that I keep buying bee stuff, but I think that’s wrong. It’s not weird when cat owners buy sweatshirts and coffee mugs with kittens on them. Bees are cute and fuzzy, too. They’re just more ambitious than cats.

Emily

Fortress of Solitude

I’m not wild about the color, but it was the only one available at Mod50s … and it cost $700 less than the ones I’ve been looking at online … and I like supporting local businesses … and the guy who runs the place is cool … and his supplier won’t let him special-order just one chair … and I feel much better about buying a piece of furniture I’ve actually touched and seen and confirmed to be of good quality … and the main appeal of these chairs for me is their comfort and sound-reducing capability … and Ron didn’t think the color was too horrible to tolerate in his living room … and the upholstery color is actually sort of soothing when you’re curled up in it … and there’s something to be said for instant gratification, especially when you sit in a chair in a showroom and realize that you never, ever want to leave it … so with all that in mind, I am now the proud owner of this fabulous Eero Aarnio knockoff:

 

ballfront

 

Here’s the best thing about it:

ballback

It’s on a stand with little ball bearings that let it turn around completely backwards, so if I don’t like something that’s going on in the room, I can just shut it out. Sweet. It doesn’t have speakers in it, like some models do, but that’s what iPod earbuds are for.

Somehow that stack of papers I have to grade tonight seems much more appealing now. 🙂

Emily

My new toy

I’m getting ready to lead a bus tour down Route 66 from St. Louis to OKC next week, and I needed a good camera to bring along on the trip.

I realize that I already have a Rebel, which is the best camera a girl could want (short of a Mark III, of course), but the Rebel isn’t insured against loss or theft and would be quite expensive to replace, so I’m really not keen on bringing it along in situations where I can’t keep track of it constantly.

I’m also thinking of doing some wedding photography to supplement our income this summer, and I wanted a decent mid-range camera to keep in my bag as a backup in case some unspeakable horror befell the Rebel in the middle of a ceremony.

For less than the price of a decent flash unit, I was able to buy a Fuji Finepix S1000 — a very serviceable little 10 megapixel point-and-shoot with plenty of bells and whistles, including a video feature that allowed me to document Scout’s infamous “talking” trick for posterity.

I’ll be playing with my new toy quite a bit over the next few days and will post a full review once I’ve seen how it stands up to my incessant and generally unreasonable demands. Stay tuned….

Emily

P.S.: If you don’t get the feed, be sure to scroll down, because I’ve put up four entries in the last 24 hours. That ought to make up for all those days when I was too busy to blog….

Wi-fi hotspots

Someone made a comment a couple of months ago about how there aren’t very many wi-fi hotspots on Route 66. Evidently this person wasn’t looking very hard for a connection, as we took the iPod out tonight and got online in 25 different spots between Catoosa and Sapulpa:

Reasor’s parking lot in Catoosa
East end of Catoosa on Pine Street
Catoosa McDonald’s parking lot (pay connection)
Cherokee Casino parking lot
Mazzio’s parking lot in Catoosa
Tiner’s Tractors parking lot in Catoosa
Car Craft 66 parking lot in east Tulsa
Parking lot of an east Tulsa strip mall at 123rd East Avenue and 11th Street
Parking lot near the Executive Inn in east Tulsa
Brookshire Motel parking lot
Oasis Motel parking lot
Doctors Family Clinic parking lot (8523 E. 11th)
Dealer Funding Inc. parking lot (6733 E. 11th)
Western Inn parking lot
Desert Hills Motel parking lot
Best Choice Motors parking lot (wi-fi connection was called “Common Grounds”)
Taco Bell parking lot
Mazzio’s parking lot on 11th Street
McDonald’s parking lot at 11th and 23rd (pay connection)
Western Capri Motel parking lot
Interstate Inn parking lot
Gateway Motor Hotel parking lot
Random spot in a rural area between Oakhurst and Bowden
Sapulpa Library

Downtown Sapulpa is supposed to be a hotspot, but we couldn’t actually get online tonight. It was one of several places where we got a strong signal, but no data was coming through. Not sure what that was about, but there were probably 50 spots like that along the way. Still, 25 spots in that short distance should be plenty sufficient to keep even a hard-core Internet junkie happy.

On a completely unrelated note, most of my tomato seedlings are up. Hooray!

Emily

New glasses

So I finally got sick of looking through scratched-up, out-of-date lenses and went to the optometrist this afternoon to get my glasses updated.

I wound up buying two pairs of glasses because I couldn’t decide which frame I liked better. (Hey — cut me some slack. I used to be an optician. I love shopping for glasses the way some women love shopping for shoes.)

Ron hasn’t seen them yet, so I’m posting them here:

glasses1.jpg

These are my bifocals. Ridiculously hip, non? I normally go for tortoiseshell, but I wanted something heavier this time, and I sort of dug those crazy pink and purplish stripes on the sides. Goofy, yes, but kind of fun, and they should hold up well.

glasses2.jpg

If this frame didn’t exist already, I would design it. I don’t know who came up with the idea to cross-breed cateyes with rimless frames, but I think it’s brilliant. And check out this great little detail:

glasses3.jpg

I was actually wandering through the dispensary, asking myself, “WWREW?” (What Would Ray Eames Wear?) when I spotted these. That crazy geometric pattern printed on the top half of the eyewire was too Mid-Century Modern to pass up. The lenses are too shallow to accommodate a bifocal, but I don’t care; if all else fails, I can have them tinted pink and make killer sunglasses out of them.

On a totally unrelated note, it is exactly three weeks until the Cubs’ pitchers and catchers report to spring training. 🙂

Emily

Busy weekend

I can’t say I’ve accomplished a whole lot this weekend, but I’ve certainly done a good job of spinning my wheels and looking busy.

My seatcover needed more work, but my sewing machine wasn’t cooperating, so I gave up and went to Jo-Ann Fabrics this afternoon and bought a new Singer Inspiration. It’s a low-end model that seems rather flimsy, but considering the fact that most of my sewing projects involve either socks or bandannas, I think it will serve my purposes just fine.

I still haven’t fixed the seatcover, but while I was at Jo-Ann, I picked up a kit to make a “Cars” tied fleece throw blanket, which I turned into a cover for the back seat, and then I test-drove my new sewing machine by making a little pillow with a “Cars” cover. I wanted stuff with the Sheriff or maybe Fillmore on it, but they didn’t have anything, so I settled for Lightning McQueen instead. Jamie will approve, anyhow — the blanket and pillowcase are both red, which is his favorite color — and it looks fine with the Route 66 floormats.

Meanwhile, my friend Vicki will be proud of me for making at least some semblance of an attempt to keep the upholstery clean. I think I traumatized the poor girl when I drove her to lunch in my old car at a moment when it was especially filthy. She was gracious about it, but she also went out of her way to offer to drive the next time we went out, and the first thing out of her mouth when she saw my car today at church was, “You’re going to keep this one clean, aren’t you?”

Bless her heart … she’s such an optimist. 😉

Emily

Hypermiling

My gas light came on this evening with two gallons left in the tank. I drove 341.8 miles on 8.957 gallons of gas, for an average of 38.160098 mpg.

Not bad, considering at least half of those miles were in town, through some of the worst stop-and-go traffic in Tulsa.

My EPA rating is 31 in town and 34 highway. I can’t wait to see how many miles I can coax out of that tank on my next road trip.

Meanwhile, my real goal is to keep the odometer number a little lower than I have with my last two cars. Fuel economy is all well and good, but when you’re driving 30,000 miles a year (at least half of them unnecessarily), there’s just no denying that you’re burning way more than your fair share of dinosaurs….

Emily

Orion (and a good Fit)

Whoa.

I was just posting something to Craftster about the cute little seatcover I’d made for my new car when I heard my inbox go “ping!” to let me know I’d received a comment on my blog.

A couple of years ago, I made reference to a pretty little eco-conscious folk song I’d learned in sixth grade. That passing reference to that song has gotten more attention than anything else I’ve ever posted. Evidently an entire generation is Googling its fingers to the bone in search of a fond music-class memory … and rightly so. It’s a great song, which is why I was so thrilled to receive this comment tonight from one Jim Zimmerman:

I’m the writer of the song “Orion”, and I’m so excited that all of your remember it so fondly from so long ago. If you’re interested in “the real thing” as to how the song goes, email me at jkzim@verizon.net.

That would be cool all by itself. But it gets better:

“Orion” was one of several bits and pieces of pop culture that helped get me excited about protecting the environment … and my concern for the environment is the main reason I traded the Starlight Express for a 2008 Honda Fit instead of a 1965 Karmann Ghia … so while I was Photoshopping pictures of my fuel-efficient new toy, one of the people who inspired me to think about things like fuel economy was using my blog to connect with the fans who grew up humming his song and becoming maybe just a little more socially conscious in the process. How weird is that?

Now … since I got a Fit instead of a Ghia, I had to do something to make it worthy of my favorite highway … so yesterday, I pimped my new ride with a set of Route 66 floormats I bought at a souvenir shop:

floormat.jpg

And this evening, I worked up the nerve to create a pattern and design my own Route 66 seatcover to match:

seatcover3.jpg

And here’s a picture of the car itself, in case anybody is curious:

fit.jpg

I haven’t chosen a name for it yet. But “Orion” is definitely on the short list….

Emily

UPDATE: The song “Orion” is now available online for your listening enjoyment. Click here for info.

If the cargo space Fits …

I bought a new car today.

I didn’t exactly need it, but I was in the mood to go car shopping, and I wanted a little more cargo space and a few more mpgs, so I swapped the Starlight Express for a 2008 Honda Fit with a manual transmission and a lot of fancy bells and whistles.

I don’t usually buy cars with a lot of extras, but I wanted a stick shift, and the only one on the lot was this pimped-out model that cost about the same as a base model automatic. I wasn’t in the mood to wait to special-order something, so I went ahead and bought the one on the lot.

I haven’t figured out what all the buttons on the dashboard do, but I’m sure I’ll have fun playing with them, anyway.

At the moment, I’m just having a good time getting used to the feel of the transmission, which is a tad more responsive than the one in Ron’s car.

I’ll try to post a picture later. It was too dark to shoot anything by the time I got home from the dealership this evening.

Emily