Category Archives: beach glass

Raising the Bar

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Happy 40th Anniversary to you, Dear Bar Code! Can you believe there is even

a day of celebration for this invention? I am laughing at this!  I just saw this on

a poster at Advance Auto, where I was clocking out from work.

I used my picture badge, with my bar code, to ‘wave’ in front of the time clock.

I was trying to fathom how bar codes have made our everyday  lives ‘easier.’

I can think of how it has made my shopping experiences ‘easier.’

Besides, bar codes do help me at work, due to making accuracy much easier to

check.

Grocery bar codes, first known as GSI linear coding, were initiated in 1973

in Troy, Ohio. A year later, the UPC codes became literally a universal way

of coding products.

On June 26, 1974, the first bar codes were ‘stuck’ on Wrigley’s gum packages!

If you are the type who wishes to toast an anniversary, you may wish to try

something with Crème de menthe, since their first brand of gum was mint!

I am one who would rather have mint chocolate chip ice cream or if it were

available 12 months a year: Peppermint Stick ice cream! It has a creamy,

more vanilla-mint flavor than the strong peppermint flavor of those iconic

light green Wrigley’s packages of gum.

Or you may indulge in a cupcake with green food dye and mint flavored

frosting. A chocolate one would be my good friend, Jenny’s flavor to choose.

Mine would be to make a vanilla cake with cream cheese frosting with just a

smidge of peppermint flavoring added. Yummy!

Last, but not least, while in Cleveland this weekend, my grandchildren asked

to have McDonald’s milk shakes. Micah loves chocolate, my daughter got one

of those also. My oldest grandson, Skyler, asked for a strawberry one. While

we were ordering, we weren’t sure why they are again offering their green

minty “Shamrock” milkshakes?

We wondered what got this back on the menu, long past St. Patrick’s Day?

Do you know why McDonald’s around Cleveland, (I have not checked out

locally, so don’t want to generalize this phenomenon!) are offering these at

this time of year?

Are there some Irish festivals in the summertime inspiring the company?

Do people complain loudly, after St. Patrick’s Day, about their short term

offering of this delightful shake?

Have I gone far enough ‘left field’ that I may venture back on the path to

finding reasons to celebrate UPC bar codes?

I came up with a short list, no references need. No website that I went off

and looked this up on…

Robin’s Short List of “Why Bar Codes Have Improved Our Lives:”

1.  Self service lines in “box stores” and grocery markets alleviate long lines.

Thanks for those UPC bar code digits, we are able to scan our own products

and “go on our merry way!”

2.  Scanning codes sometimes may ‘catch’ sale items much better than using

‘human-applied sales labels.’ This is a pet peeve of mine, when I find something

that is ‘supposedly on sale’ and the clerk ringing it in, sometimes doesn’t seem

to catch the sale. But, with the ability of scanning bar codes, there have been

less ‘errors’ at some of the places that used to just stick a colored dot on products.

3. When products that are on sale ‘run out,’ I like to ask for “Rain Checks.” This

UPC bar code helps make the rain check ‘more valid’ and ‘usable’ due to its

accuracy. Also, handwritten out, most people can copy numbers from a label.

4.  A problem with our bar codes at work is, that sometimes we are needing to

check the last 2 digits and sometimes even the last 3 digits, since Receiving and

Away departments have ‘dyslexic’ workers, or so it seems to the Bin Order

Fillers who find lots of errors where we are supposed to have ‘Pick Ready’ bins.

5.  When I am up in the Mezzanine area, I am able to wear an armband held

small computer. It is called an “RF” which has a Blue Tooth scanner attached to

my pointer finger. I use my thumb to press the side button to shoot a laser at

the product’s bar code label. (Most people like it on their middle finger and

simply press their pointer finger on the scanner button.)

This is a much better device, than the one I used to have to use in Heavy Bulk.

That contraption involved listening to a operated ‘order’ where it would

give you a five numbered area to go to.

The five numbers were usually double digits, this took a lot of my brain power

Often, I had a headache at the end of the day! It did ‘like’ my voice, usually more

than my fellow coworkers who had made their template in an unnatural voice,

then using their ordinary, regular toned voice they would try to ‘confirm’ their

orders… The voice in their earpiece would say, “The number you are trying to

confirm doesn’t exist” or “Please say the number again.” I cannot even remember

the irritating repetitive words, sometimes my coworkers would give me their

headpiece, which definitely ‘would not recognize my voice commands.’

So bar codes were originally a ‘pain in the patooty’ at  my work! I did not like

the way they would tell me to go to “49-13-22-6-2” which meant row 49, look

on the 13th rack, go over 22 bins and go up to the top shelf (6th shelf) and

pick two products.

Now, when I use the Blue Tooth ‘finger scanner’ or the ‘gun scanner’ on the

tablet sized “RF” I can simply point, press and if the product is wrong, I

will ‘back order’ it. This is much to the chagrin of the Cycle Count people

who have to come and find out why someone stocked the wrong product

or put the right product in Timbuctoo! I checked the spelling on that one,

folks!

How does the bar code effect your area of work?

Do you feel it improves your shopping experience?

Is there some other area of your life this happens to help you out?

As I leave the library, I will be signing off my computer, taking my bar coded

library card to check out some movies for the week…

Happy Monday to you all!

P.S. The wedding event of my year was one of my top 3 favorite weddings I have

ever been to! I loved seeing all the grandchildren in their new and nicely colorful

‘dress up’ clothes.

I enjoyed how much fun my Mom had, with many special moments where little

ones gave her hugs, along with her being allowed to reminisce to her content.

The weather was absolutely lovely and there was a time, after bubbles were

blown, food and delicious cake from Fragapan Bakery, were eaten, faces painted

and the smallest ones allowed to dip in a baby pool, while the older ones were

escorted by my brother, designated “Life Guard” to Showse Park Beach, only

two houses down from the wedding.

Time spent with the lovely bride, my niece, and her sweet and terrific husband

was wonderful. So many memories of times where we were mentioning our

fireworks off the beach below my parents’ cottage, sparklers lit off the deck

and just so many more memories.

I am blessed that my youngest brother chose a woman with children with

ages close to those of my own. Holidays and gatherings, they could pair up

in play.

Innumerable activities since they became part of our family.

Thus, my niece was only 6 and my youngest only 4, when my little brother

married my only ‘sister’ in law.

Everyone reveled in the casual atmosphere, showing such playfulness at the

lake cottage. The ‘Tent wedding,’ otherwise labeled on our invitations as

“Come to a BBQ Wedding and Reception!”

 

 

Collectibles and Memories

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Coins, stamps, trains, toys, dolls, books, antique or

Matchbox cars, comic books, glass menageries, art, music,

or salt and pepper shakers… all have a common denominator

of being sought after, collected and sometimes, even being

part of a traveling Americana museum collection. What do

you seek out, cherish and collect?

When I was young, there were dolls with the name of Betsy

and Cathy. Did you ever have a “Betsy Wetsy” or a doll

named, “Chatty Cathy?” I always enjoyed the magazine

called, “McCall’s.” Inside this women’s magazine, my Mom

after reading it cover to cover, would allow me to cut

out and paste onto cardboard, a paper doll named Betsy

McCall.

The popular paper doll named “Betsy” soon had her mother,

father, cousin, friends and pets added to cut out. The

fashions on these dolls was always of interest to me,

too.

Can you believe I had an album of over 60 magazine

issues’ worth of Betsy McCall, carefully cut out and

pasted onto cardboard and put between sheets of plastic

film?

I tried to sell it, hoping to make some money on the

album. Alas, no one wanted to purchase this. I gave it

to an antique shop, where the man had been so helpful,

showing me current values of items using the internet,

Craigs’ List and e-Bay.

This shopkeeper, Henry, is the husband of one of the

‘cafeteria ladies’ where my kids attended school. Due

to heart and health problems, Henry lost his career of

being a race car mechanic.

Henry was always honest and sympathetic to my concerns

of giving up things. He sometimes purchased items, close

to “auction” or “market values.”

He was such a sweetie, not getting upset, as I carted

boxes into his shop. I ended up giving him quite a few

items, including NASA ash trays and a book of matchbook

covers. He had found a ‘lucrative’ buyer, splitting

costs with me, as he would send them off via UPS, then

receiving payments through the mail.

I kept only one album of matchbook covers of Ohio places

that I had actually been to. Apparently, it is quite rare

to find matches sold in their little folded-cardboard

state or the staple taken carefully out of the cardboard

packet and kept in albums. I did not keep any matchboxes.

These used to be, in my basement, in a large fish bowl on

the bar. We had a “Max and Erma” or “TGI Friday’s”

theme.

Henry had paid for a lot for the few dolls I had, a

couple of my Mom’s gifts of dolls to my daughters.

He also had given me good advice on what to save in

my tight “new” space in my one bedroom apartment.

I think about stopping in to re-buy the different

items that may still remain on his shelves, since I

have more money these days, after 8 long years of

pulling myself out of debt.

Long and boring story, you may have heard this before.

My ex-husband had stopped paying bills and debt incurred.

(Three years of his unemployment just didn’t keep the

bills paid, while I worked as a teacher and server at

Cracker Barrel.)

But, what would I do with my reclaimed items? Do I

really need more clutter to collect dust with? I am

happy with my choices, overall.

I still have the Little Women, Madame Alexander dolls,

two Ginny dolls, a Tammy doll, an Alan and Skipper doll,

plus her adorable little sister doll, Tutti.

I have no regrets!

Collectibles in my birds’ collection were few and far

between. I ended up saving less than ten of them. The

ones who were given to me over all the years, robins,

cardinals, blue jays and roosters were sold for $1-$3

at my huge “Moving Out of the House Sale.”

I am surprised and proud that I have a Lenox robin and

a Hummel/Goebel robin, too. Instead of big cabinets

with much too many odds and ends tucked inside, I have a

little black, wooden-edged box, about 2′ by 2′ in size,

with four glass walls, a mirror on the bottom set on top

of a dresser.

This holds the littlest and sweetest items from my ‘olden’

days of antiquing with my parents and brothers.

When I saw an old article tucked into a book about Betsy

McCall, it made me nostalgic for that album. I wanted to

at least give it “tribute” in a post. It is interesting

to find out that the first Betsy McCall paper doll was

illustrated on a page of the magazine in May, 1951. The

first doll was designed by Ideal Toy Co. in 1952. She

was a 14″ doll with a vinyl head and what is called, a

“saran” wig. The doll was marked, “McCall Corp.” on her

head and on the back, labeled “Ideal Doll P 90.”

In an auction, the Ideal Betsy McCall doll with her

little tag still attached to her wrist, sold for $210.

Later, in 1958 (I would have been 3 years old by then),

an 8″ Betsy McCall doll was made by a company called,

American Character. Several other Betsy McCall dolls

have been made since the 50’s and even into the 90’s.

My friend, Bill, collects rare finds of guitars and

other musical instruments. He is no longer a band

member, but still plays a variety of musical styles,

which includes flamenco Spanish songs, old style

country music, and rock and roll.

My brother, Rich, collected miniatures of porcelain

dogs and a horse. He still has them in the same Ethan

Allen shelving cabinet, from childhood. This also has

a fold down desk, in his bedroom with his wife. He

never became a veterinarian. (He’s a professor of

education, addressing special needs, with Master’s

degree students.)

My other brother, who aspired to be a pharmacist,

collected mortar and pestles. His are probably long

gone. (He has accomplished a lot with his career of

murals, sculptures and other art pieces.)

What dreams did you have when you were young that

caused you to save or collect particular items?

Did you put together and paint model airplanes and

suspend them on threads from the ceiling of your

bedroom?

Nostalgia comes in many forms,

all such wonderful memories…

Memorial Day memories

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The drive up took me past my old school that I taught for nine years (little

preschoolers in an integrated setting with 8 children who had been determined

to have developmental delays with 4 children considered “peers” who were

typically developing.) I gazed back in the rear view mirrow at the long glass

enclosed atrium, with a longing that still can bring a tear to my eyes.

I headed north up 42 till I saw Mt. Gilead and then, turned to go up back and

take 61 to Lake Erie. I made good time and was pleased to spend almost 5 hours

with Mom and both brothers. We watched a gruesome movie, since my mother

usually vetoes comedies and romances. (“Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer.”

Yup! You read that right!)

The next day, I usually go ‘fetch’ Mom’s breakfast from the buffet in her senior

living apartments’ dining room. I have some friends to say hi to, Bonnie who

went to Ohio Wesleyan University and likes to hear how Delaware, Ohio is. Her

husband, Ralph, who is a rare male among the garden of female flowers who

live in the Westlake Village. I also said “hi” to Pearl, Elinore, and Jeannie (who

likes to be called “Jeannie Beannie” and her daughter who was visiting, “Judy

Bootie”). I waved at Joe who is a very nice quiet man who once shared he was

an engineer in his working days, we talked before about my father and his common

interests. I used to say to him, “My Dad would have loved to have met you.” But

we mostly wave across the dining room.

I chose to bring a tray with my oatmeal with brown sugar, butter, raisins and cream

on it, two coffees, two bananas, tomato juice and two cream rolls. Mom is a big sweet

tooth lover so she will have a banana, sweet roll, and coffee. I will hope the fiber in the

oatmeal with all its ‘fixings’ will take away the calories of the cream roll. I will eat the

banana about an hour later. I just love an almost green banana! Mom loves hers closer

to brown.

We went to Bay Village to the bank on Saturday, tooled around the side streets, and did

venture over to Huntington Playhouse and the woodsy hills leading to the Huntington

Beach. I pulled over to Vento’s Trattoria and got out, Mom had chosen to ask me to run

in and get us some strong espresso coffee, mine with a shot of vanilla flavoring plus two

cupcakes. We did not choose to get a fancier dessert that would require a fork since we

were planning to just sit in the car, watch the traffic go by, see the travellers mixed in

with the locals at the beach. The heron at the end of one of the piers got my Mom’s

attention, as did the shelter that has a lighthouse look to it.  We chose to be lazy and

hoped the caffeine would kick in for our last stop, Giant Eagle at the Crocker Park Town

Center.

Shopping with Mom is the usual, I may have mentioned that the list is very limited. Mom

can order meals off a menu in her dining room, she can ask for extra Coke or milk to take

back for her snack along with her Otis Spunkmeier cookies she likes to eat at bedtime. She

gets a pack of two cookies and puts one away for guests every day. While watching the movie,

Rich had two oatmeal raisin cookies and I had two macademia nut with white chocolate

cookies. We also had our little juice size cups of Sangria. Rich and Randy had their beer, this

time Fatheads’ summer brews. Randy does a lot of their artwork in the North Olmsted Fatheads

along with the one in Pennsylvania. He paints their logos on the brick walls and yet, does not

make it look like a mess. I would not be able to make a flat logo on such a rough wall! But that

is his skill.

The second evening, we four went to Friendly’s to have senior discount menu meals, where 3 of

the 4 chose to have a Happy Endings sundae also. Mom and I had their delicious clams with

vegetables and fries. She had cole slaw and traded once she saw my broccoli looked “easy to

chew” and so I had cole slaw for my veggie. Yes, loaded with mayo and vinegar! Yummy combo!

I was “righteous” by trying to order the broccoli and eat it, but glad to be eating what I really

wanted, thanks to Mom’s trade. We talked about art and movies, we talked about the Indians

and also the fishing. I had heard that there was cyanide dumped in Rocky River. One of my

brothers told me that happened a year ago! I cannot believe it, but we watched another violent

movie, very good but not as great as the Swedish version, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”

My brother had gotten it at the Westlake Library (Porter Library) and both he and I had read

the book, Mom and Randy had not. We all felt it was well acted and could have been confusing

but we all stayed awake to find out the ending. Both Friday and Saturday nights we were up

past midnight and my Mom insisted on taking Nicki, her little dog out afterwards.

A beautiful full moon was shining in the sky. My Mom hummed a few bars of “Shine on Harvest

Moon up in the sky.” (Although the May moon is not a harvest moon, it rose up  orange on the

horizon and was an awesome sight!)

On the third day, I travelled alone out to the cottage in Vermilion. I chose to stop at Jean J.’s

house and say “hello” and was so pleased to get a short little romantic tale to add to this

otherwise “Just the facts, mam” post.

Jean was one of my mother’s favorite neighbors, over most of the time that Mom and Dad lived

there. Jean is about my age, had met her last husband in Burger King by his reaching his hand

out to shake it, she had always told me, “I felt electricity vibrate across our fingers!” It broke

my heart (and Mom’s, too) that her Dennis had died helping with trimming trees, got a heart

attack on a ladder and fell. He died instantly about three years ago.

I like to think that I helped Jean to decide to get online to try a dating site. She introduced me

to a man she had met online who still lives in Texas! He is a cattle ranch owner and has been

visiting once a month since she started to talk to him in October. He was average in appearance

but Roger has a very nice voice, a southern drawl that seems more like Georgia, but I did not

inquire if he had always been a native Texan. I just can tell you this, Jeannie’s eyes sparkled

and once inside her home across the street from Mom’s I saw the wedding portrait and little

photos of Dennis were gone. That is a good sign, yes, Jean had found a hopeful new beginning!

I weeded a little, I walked the beach but it had been stormy out in the Lake Erie, so there were

very few nice rocks, only a few pieces of beach glass and a piece of driftwood I placed in the

front rock garden.

I gazed out at the lake and thought about my Dad on Sunday. On Memorial Day, my son had

a big trampoline, guests that he and his wife know along with my oldest daughter and her 2

boys. I enjoyed hot dog, hamburger, pasta salad, mac and cheese and a cherry coke. My baking

daughter had brought yummy cherry cupcakes with buttercream frosting (no offense, better

than the ones at Vento’s but made with love, helps improve the taste!)

Hope you had a safe and happy Memorial Day and thanks for visiting with me on my trip to

Lake Erie!