Saturday, May 28, 2011

The "Cleaner"

Today I was looking for good places in our apartment to store the vacuum cleaner. I finally picked a place to the right of the refrigerator but I was worrying that it was an eyesore. Guy asked me if I wanted to get a "vacuum cleaner cozy." Old ladies sometimes put twee coverings over their vacuums to whimsically disguise them as butlers or grannies. See also: toilet paper cozy. These products usually involve crochet and/or yarn (to represent granny hair).

Then Guy came up with the concept you see here: The Ax Murderer Vacuum Cleaner Cozy! He's lurking in the shadows to the right of your fridge, waiting to kill you.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hulk's Bumper Stickers




Bumper sticker ideas by Guy Foulard

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My New Hobby

I'm teaching myself shorthand! It's really fun. I'm using the second edition of Gregg's Shorthand Manual Simplified which is the original 1955 version, including helpful photographs of secretaries and their bosses with captions such as: "The businessman insists that his letters be correctly punctuated and that they contain no spelling errors. This secretary has taken her employer's dictation and checked the spelling of any words about which she was in doubt when she transcribed. Her employer is obviously pleased with the letter!"

From Wikipedia:

Gregg shorthand is a form of stenography that was invented by John Robert Gregg in 1888. Like cursive longhand, it is completely based on elliptical figures and lines that bisect them.[1] Gregg shorthand is the most popular form of pen stenography in the United States and its Spanish adaptation is fairly popular in Latin America. With the invention of dictation machines, shorthand machines, and the practice of executives writing their own letters on their personal computers, however, the use of shorthand gradually declined in the business and reporting world. Gregg shorthand is still in use today.

Several versions of this system were published. Pre-Anniversary, which includes the first five editions, the first one published in two small paper-covered pamphlets in 1888, the second published in 1893,[2] the third in book form in 1897, the fourth in 1905,[3] and the fifth in 1916.[4] Anniversary, a revised and simplified form published in 1929, called Anniversary because it was to be published on the fortieth anniversary of the system (1928), but there was some delay in publication.[5] In 1949, Simplified was created, in which many of the principles and memorized forms were removed or simplified due to findings of studies by the publishers and suggestions of many shorthand teachers.[6] Diamond Jubilee was published in 1963, which simplified the Simplified version.[7] Series 90 was published in 1978, which simplified it further.[8] The last version was Centennial, published in 1988, with several similarities to the Diamond Jubilee system earlier.[9] Besides these main editions, which were designed for the dictation speeds expected of any shorthand system of the time, a number of simpler, personal-use editions were published from 1924 to 1968. These included "Greghand" in 1935, and "Notehand" in 1960 and 1968.[10]

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dog Day Afternoon

Guy was happy that a recent book I read (Stalling for Time, a non-fiction book about hostage negotiation) made me curious to watch the classic film Dog Day Afternoon. I loved it! I would never have expected to love a movie about a botched bank robbery starring Al Pacino, but after seeing it, I really get what's great about him. He was so funny and interesting in the role. The movie was so New York-y and I loved the deadpan humor of it.

When we watched a "making of" documentary, I was surprised to learn that they actually filmed it in autumn, when it was cold out. The story is supposed to take place on the hottest day of a NYC summer, and I would never have guessed that that wasn't at all the case. The director Sydney Lumet said that they discovered a big problem in that the actors' breath was noticeable in the outdoor scenes. He said the solution for it was simple--you give the actors ice cubes to put in their mouths, which chills their breath and makes it match the temperature outside. Clever!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Weird Flyer

Some friends dropped by yesterday and found this on the sidewalk outside our apartment building! I like the bullet point specifying "not sex or heavy duty cleaning." The idea of hiring this person and then expecting serious heavy cleaning makes me laugh.

The part about "group rates" is thought-provoking as well. And why is the service cheaper for females? I have some theories. But even though "all questions are welcome," I would prefer to leave it as a mystery.