Thursday, February 18, 2016

That's...inventive!

I am not a morning person. Anyone who knows me well knows I am at my best when I am allowed to sleep until noon and stay up until 2 AM or so. Between 10 PM and 1 AM I am often at my most creative...and loony. There is some weird sh*t that crosses my mind, let me tell you!

A few months back a friend was relating her pet woes. She has a dog who keeps knocking over the kitchen trash-can and making a huge mess. That got my gears working. I thought about potential solutions. I thought about common trash-can design. I thought about ways of defeating a persistent pup. Sure, some smart person designed a kitchen trash-can that slides in and out of a kitchen cabinet. But that would require a bit of remodeling and losing a whole cabinet.  Then I came up with the idea of an inverted cone design that would not tip and opening like a flower to change the bag. I pictured sleek stainless steel with enamel coatings in various modern hues. It was an engineering masterpiece and a work of art. In my mind. Then, just to be sure I wasn't reinventing the wheel, I did a Google search for untippable trash-cans. Ha. I thought up a new thing! There is no sign of anything close to my idea out on the interwebs.

Of course a patent search might reveal otherwise, but my CAD skills are too rusty to draw up proper blueprints and go through all that red tape. So I'll just record my ideas here and if an ambitious pet product company or trash-can manufacturer wants to talk to me, just comment below.

But back to my late night musings.

I have very poor vision. It's especially bad in low light and, of course, I can't see a thing in the dark. Heh. I have a tendency to work away here at my desk and not notice that the sun has long since set, the husband has turned off nearly every other light in the house, and I am basically trapped. Once I leave the ambient glow of my monitor, I can't see a blasted thing and am likely to trip and fall over things in the gloom. Kids leave a lot of things around to trip over. So I starting thinking about solutions. Some kind of comfortable, wearable flashlight would be nice. But I don't want a "hat" or something hanging around my neck. That would get annoying after a while. Maybe a bracelet... I popped on to Google and, of course, TONS of people have come up with a buttload of wearable flashlight ideas. That's not original. But none of those designs felt just right for my particular needs.

The lovely folks at LootCrate had provided me with a little X-Files themed mini-flashlight that I've been carrying around with me lately (or trying to remember to carry around with me, except I tend to be a bit scatter brained and forget my light on my desk, or on my night table, or in the bathroom.) So that set my mind to ticking again. What do I always have with me that I can just attach a light to? My hair? Perhaps. A light up hair clip would be pretty nifty. My CANE! Yes, I need a cane and it is my constant companion wherever I go. A light that clips on to my cane would be awesome!

So I Googled "cane light".

Crap. Someone else already invented it. It clips on to the body of the cane and acts like a little headlight! So cool! Me? I took my X-Files pocket light and attached it to my own cane. I may not have invented something new, this time, but it's been 4 days and I have not been without a light to see by. I'd say that was pretty inventive.

I'll keep thinking. I've come up with all kinds of cool ideas over the years, but I never wrote them down. Do I still remember them all? Nope. Let's hope this is the start of a new/good habit. Write down those brilliant late-night inventive thoughts, people! You never know.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Demented Teenagers

The boys had a half-day of school today. My cantankerous teen exited the school building first and jumped into my mini-van. While we waiting for my little 3rd grader, teen boy began a typical rant about the ills of society and how, one day, he would amass sufficient wealth to purchase his own country where he would rule as supreme dictator.

His Lordship: "I'd go into International waters, Mom. I'd build my country. A big island nation with only people I choose to live there. I'd bring back public executions. I would be the one making ALL the rules!"

Me: Interesting. So your goal is to become Magneto? [a reference to a comic book villain who bought his own country just for Mutant kind, for those who are not familiar with the X-Men.]

His Lordship: *derisive snort* "Mine would be a REAL place, Mom. You know World War III is going to start soon, right?"

Me: Well...I'd still be proud of you. I mean...your own country. I'd point at you and tell everyone I saw "THAT'S MY BOY!"  By the way, how do your friends feel about these semi-insane rants of yours?

His Lordship:  "Oh, I don't talk about stuff like this with my friends. Just you. I like pissing you off. It's fun."

I nod knowingly. See, I'd always suspected this was the case.

Me: "I see. What would you like for lunch?"

As I watched him mentally shift gears to think about food, I thought about our daily/nightly debates. He gleefully picks the role of devil's advocate and spouts random and highly controversial ideas just to see what I'll say. And yes, our discussions do get heated at times. He is very very good at pissing me off, but it takes a lot.

Then it hit me. He IS learning. THIS is how I impart wisdom and morality to my boy. THIS is where he tests the waters of belief, right & wrong, life goals, and how the world works. I am unwavering in my own personal moral compass. He tests me, but my answers are consistent and clear, With a side of lecture. Sometimes moral outrage and yelling. But he IS listening. He hears me and is taking it all in.

It was a moment of clarity that astounded me and gave me some more hope. It's going to be a lot harder to piss me off in the future. ;)

Monday, February 15, 2016

Valentine's Day 2016

From Facebook: *giggle snort* When my hunny can't decide on which box of chocolates the boys and I will like best so he just buys 1 or 2 of each kind. Max has already negotiated that we will be sharing EVENLY the box of Lindor truffles and the box of Lindor GORMET truffles. He was ok with each of us having a box of Ferrero Rocher hazelnut chocolates. John's valentine's card made me cry (he's so sweet!) AND he got an edible arrangement full of pineapple stars, grape skewers and more chocolate covered strawberries. PLUS he made chili for dinner. I am floating on a cloud of heavenly smells and love. Now I'm not trying to make anyone jealous. Really, I think I need help eating all this chocolate! 

It was really nice waking from my nap to the whole house smelling like John's homemade chili. He got the recipe from his Dad and we've been enjoying it for many years. Max actually helped make it today and ATE some for dinner! We had to keep the onions out until we'd grabbed his helping. He is very anti-onion, for some reason. He also determined that dark red kidney beans are yucky. But the meat and "sauce" were good on his rice. We can live with that! (Note to self: Next time we make chili, Max gets strained broth and meat only. Ha!) Have I mentioned that he likes those Doritos tacos from Taco Bell, but with meat only on them? Oh! And he did try (and like) my chili cheese dip on SuperBowl Sunday. He's getting more adventurous. Thank goodness.

The other thing I loved was the big roll of bubble wrap the packers at M&M used to protect John's present. I ordered him a Valentine's themed box of their custom M&Ms. Which reminds me...I should probably get a photo of some of them before they all get eaten. That bubble wrap tho. I haven't seen the kind with the BIG bubbles in a long time. Like the original stuff, just larger bubbles. Max was enchanted. He rolled the sheet out onto the floor and proceeded to shuffle rapidly up and down his bubbly trail and sounded like he stirred up a nest of machine gunners. Very loud! Very satisfying. *grin*

As for me... I feel totally spoiled. 3 boxes of chocolate, an Edible Arrangement, a sweet and romantic card, and dinner all made. Amazing. Oh! And poor John attempted to install the Kohler faucet I got for Christmas. Long story short, the old faucet has sprung a leak and John has tried everything from super glue to nail polish to plug up the weird pinhole that opened up in the side of the spout. Caused by rust under the white enamel coating. Sadly, he could not locate his vice-grips. He tried to make due with a regular wrench, but I could tell by the cursing it wasn't going well. He finally gave up when a hunk of plastic from...something, who knows what, snapped off and hit him in the eye. Max ran for safety goggles (he's such a good boy) but that was like closing the barn door AFTER the horse escapes. John threw up his hands in surrender for now.

Now it's 2am. I conked out at 10pm but woke to pee and can't get back to sleep. The whole house still smells heavenly. And I'm hungry. Heh. I think there is some salad I can nibble on...
wink emoticon