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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Impact of CPSIA - You Can Help

As concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They're banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we've seen in decades. I'd like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.

Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.

The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too.

How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:

To the Parents of Young Students:
Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren't originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.

To the Avid Reader:
Due to the new law, all children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there's always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all.
Article from the American Library Association

To the Lover of All Things Handmade:
Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it's passed testing. It won't even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.

To the Environmentalist:
Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can't sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can't even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.

To the Second-Hand Shopper:
Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children's items all together to avoid future lawsuits.

To the Entrepreneur:
Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you'll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.

To the Antique Toy Collector:
Due to the new law, you'd better start buying now because it's all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren't certified as safe.”

To the American Economy:
Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.

To the Worldwide Economy:
Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses.

If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbes

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law

Did you know? If this upsets or alarms you, please react.
Contact your US Senator or House Representative and demand action.

Pictures of Ally-cat, the newest member of the family.

Somehow, someway, Max and Cleo got their paws on the remote today. I came home to my television on the Spanish speaking news channel.

I never knew that they were taking Spanish lessons! No wonder they ignore me, I'm talking to them in English :-)

For those waiting to see what Ally-cat looks like, here she is. First, in her cat carrier (one of her happy places), looking quite P.O.'d. Second, when she decided maybe I wasn't SO bad, and she let me pet her. Yup, that's my hand!

Yup, she's still in the bedroom, but she comes out from under the bed. When Max and Cleo hear her, they run in to see what she is up to. Poor Ally.

She is holding her own though, she chased Max out of the room this morning. Boy was he mad...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Kitty Saga Day7

Once upon a time there was a cat named Cassie. She was the most stubborn cat ever to walk the earth. She once stayed under the bed for a week. Sadly she died two years ago, and was apparently reincarnated in a kitty named Ally.

Day 7, Ally will not leave the bedroom. Rarely comes out from under the bed. When she does, she goes into the cat carrier next to the bed.

She now permits Cleo to come and go, they even sniff each others faces. Cleo wants to be friends soooo bad, but Ally is making her wait.

Max, dear Max. He has taken to stalking her. No other word for it. He sits and stares from afar, that cold stare that cats usually save for birds or mice. Sometimes he stares her back under the bed.

I've asked Cleo to talk to them both and set them straight.

Cleo has become much more chatty and touchy. She's taken to tapping me on the shoulder when she wants somehing, using her paw or nose. Ally's influence?

Max prefers to sleep as close by me as possible, and to ignore what I'm sure he refers to as "the situation"

I spend much time on the floor in the bedroom talking to the bed. I freshen food, water, and litter daily for her. The litterbox however is the community box, to encourage interaction.

Seven days, ahe is a stubborn one!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Miracle on a Friday

I don't know what happened here today when I was at work, but I witnessed a near miracle when I got home...

Ally and Cleo sniffed each others faces! Ally still won't leave the bedroom, but she is much more tolerant tonight. I can't wait to see what happens tomorrow after work!

I have to share a work story. A gal today was trying to install her old software on a new PC. Most required Vista patches.

She called a number of times over the course of the day with a variety of questions.

At one point, she called to say that she was downloading a patch and it was stuck at 3 percent. I didn't know what to say, so I said "I don't have the ability to reach through the phone and make it go faster."

Bad, bad me. I felt bad for the gal, she was experiencing so many issues, but I shouldn't really have said that.

I don't miss the days of doing phone support for IT!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Blog Carnival/Kitty Update Day 4

Let's start with the new kitty update. She is out from under the bed, but she will not leave the bedroom. She spends a lot of time in her cat carrier, I guess that is her "happy place". She lets me pick her up and give her luvins, but she hisses and growls at Max and Cleo. They in turn are curious, but she won't let them anywhere near her. It's quite amusing!

OK, time for the monthly Etsy Bloggers Street Team Blog Carnival Task! The question involves talking about a past Valentines Day. Very funny story...

Once upon a time, I may have been 21 or 22, a friend and I had no dates for V-Day, in fact we had just broken up with guys, so we decided to go out ourselves and, well, bash those boys who had done us wrong.

We dressed in black and went to a nice place for dinner. My friend went to the restroom at one point, and the lady at the table next to us went too. The man at that table leaned over and asked me if I could get him my friends number!

When they returned to the table, my friends proceeds to tell me how the lady is expecting a marriage proposal!!! I told her what had happened, and a few glasses of wine later, we were really mad.

As we were leaving, my friend went over, bent over low to show cleavage to the nice man, and told him she would not be giving him her number because he was a pig, then told his girlfriend that she shouldn't hold her breath waiting for a ring.

It was hilarious! I'm sure the night didn't turn out the way the guy thought it would, hee hee hee!

Now, please take a moment to check out the featured Etsy Bloggers Street Team member this month, RoseWorksJewelry. You'll find the link to her shop and blog up in the right hand corner of my blog. I love her hand displays, so cool! She has two shops, RoseWorksJewelry and KSTreasures, so check them out! Beautiful jewelry, cell phone charms, bookmarks, and more!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Kitty, Day 2

I'm sure that Ally has been in the bedroom now for a full 25 hours. I've seen her out from under the bed once, about an hour ago. She made it to the hallway before Cleo saw her and chased her back under the bed.

Cleo goes in periodically to see if she is still there. She must be exhausted!

Max is mostly ignoring her. Once in a while he checks things out, but mostly he's hangin' on the couch pretending she' not here.

I put some food and water under the bed this morning, and a little is gone. Sadly, it's a queen size bed and I have short arms, so I can't reach her.

I hope she comes out again tonight, I'd love to be able to pick her up and give her chin scratches and luvins.

Of course, my dear sweet kitty Cassie once lived under the bed for a year, sooooooo...

The Cleo/Max dynamic has changed. Cleo is not acting all Alpha right now. Max can actually stare her down right now, which never happens.

Uh oh, they are both in the bedroom again. Poor Ally!

Monday, January 19, 2009

New Kitty Monday - Part Deux

Aaaaahhhh the joys of introducing new kitties to a household.

I carried in the cat-carrier with Ally inside, and let Max and Cleo sniff at it, her sniff at them.

Instant growling, by Ally! Max and Cleo sat side by side, giving me a perplexed look, sniffed again (in unison), then turned to each other with looks on their faces that clearly said, "What the f@#* was that?"

Cleo followed a safe distance while I carried Ally into the bedroom, the safe zone. Ally poked her head out, Cleo bolted from the room.

Cleo periodically goes into the bedroom to see if Ally is still there. She won't come near me, it's all my fault there has been an invasion.

Ally continues to hide under the bed, ignoring all of us. She won't even face me, just looks over her shoulder at me then turns away.

Max sat in the kitchen nearly 15 minutes when I got home, as if him ignoring it would make her go away. Later he jumped up with me, and is now sound asleep. Total denial.

Ah yes, the games have begun.

New Kitty Monday

As Max and Cleo lay sleeping in thier respective places, I am sitting here awaiting the arrival of the newest addition to the household. Ally, whose name reflects her being an alley cat, is at the vet being groomed, primped, and made all shiney and new, so that she can come live with us.

Ally is the kitty of some little girls I know who had to find her a new home, and asked me to take her. How can one say no to little girls and thier little girl faces?

Life as we know it will change. Max will NOT be happy. He made it quite clear when Cleo came to live with us that he had low tollerance for change. Much like his mama :-)

I have no idea how Cleo will take it. She's quite jealous of Max, even though he has lived with me 6 years and her about 8 months.

Ally arrives the day after a sad anniversary. I lost my first two kitties, Beau and Cassie, two years ago this past weekend. They were so devoted to each other that they died a day apart. They were old, 17 and 14 respectively. Max was freaked out for a few days, then took to being the only kitty with gusto.

So today our worlds change again. The world continues to spin, and there are always kitties who need luvins. Ally will have a wonderful home, and we all will adapt.

Welcome Ally!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Manic Monday

Happy Monday! I am posting this via my trusty Blackberry. Yes, my name is Penny and I am a Blackerry-a-holic.

I have found that I can do most internet related things via Blackberry. I've become quite the Twitter person, I read blogs, check my favorite news sites, Google everything, email, research, update my blog...but I can't seem to log into Etsy. THAT makes me nuts!

The only thing I'm not comfortable to try is online billpay and banking. Aahhh the wondeful world of Blackberry! Now, if 0i could figure our how to post pics to my blog and twitpics...

Kitties are doing good this week. They have no idea that.their world will turn upside down soon. Ally the new kitty (born in an alley of course) will be coming in a week or two! Let the games begin.

Saturday I took what I can only call a "spectacular" fall at work. My ankle turned while walking around a cabinet, and I went down in a spectacular way!

Things that go through my head when falling (I've done this before):
1) Oh crap!
2) Is anyone watching?
3) Please don't let anything snap or pop
4) Protect my face!
5) Don't land on my knee!

Well, there were abou six customers and two co-workers that saw me do this. A few were nurses, and they rushed to check on me, bringing ice packs and a pillow so I could stay on the floor a while. I was so embarrassed, but everyone was really nice.

I'm still sore, as I really jarred my body when I landed on my knee. The good news is, no popping, cracking,snapping, or breaking. Just bruises, I can live with that!

I'm such a clutz...

Friday, January 9, 2009

Adventures in Traffic Court

Way back in September I got this speeding ticket. I question it because I was cited for 10 over the speed limit, which is the next fine bracket, and I really don't think I was going that fast where they said I was. I don't believe I could have slowed for traffic at the intersection safely if I was going that fast. Also, it was a speed trap for a school zone. The sign for the zone only faces traffic during school zone hours. The rest of the time it is turned to face the sidewalk. I have issues with that, as I rarely travel that route during school time, so I had never seen the sign.

On a side not, that sign turning thing is done all over this part of town, and it's making me crazy. I need to understand...

So I decided to go have my day in court. In November the clerk gave me a court date of Jan 9, she even hilited it for me on the paperwork. Nice gal!

When I went to court today I first found I was not on the docket. They sent me to the clerk, who sent me to the court room. Now I have to mention, there were a LOT of attorneys there, and families, and it was a rougher looking crowd. I wondered...

The very nice judge had her group try to figure out why I was there. Turns out, I was in FELONY court. They couldn't figure it out, so they sent me back to the clerk.

A few phonecalls later, they figured out that I had been scheduled for Jan 9 2008! A YEAR AGO!

Did you know that if you don't show for court, they issue a bench warrant? AAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!

I have a new court date, and an apology from the clerk.

Just had to share.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wordless Wednesday, almost

Greetings! A quick note to say that I have not had access to the internet in a while, so I'm slow on the postings. I am at a friend's place enjoying a glass of wine and using her laptop.

Kitties are doing great, gearing up for the new kitty who should be arriving in the next few weeks. Heaven help us all! Max may never recover from another kitty invading his domain.

I am working full time and trying to do side work in the spare time, I have a couple commissions that I'm trying to get done. Then I need to sit down and do some planning for my Etsy and Artfire shops so that I can get them off the ground in '09.

I hope the holidays treated everyone well, and that y'all are having a great '09 so far. I feel so lucky to live where our overnight tonight will be in the 50's because a cold front came in and knocked our 80 degree temps down. Rather enjoying that!

Until I can make time to get to an internet cafe...

~penny, max, and cleo