Not mechanically inclined

Pentel Sharplet-2 mechanical pencil with 0.5mm leadI found a Pentel® Sharplet-2® mechanical pencil with 0.5 mm lead in my desk drawer at work today.

I am sure it is a fine mechanical pencil, but mechanical pencils and I do not get along. I press too hard and the lead breaks. I drop them enough times to break the lead. When a lead is nearly used up, it spins to the flat side when I want to use the sharp side.

Although I do not remember putting the pencil in my desk drawer, I probably did. It is the only one in the collection of pens and highlighters, and putting a single pencil into someone’s drawer isn’t much of a joke.

On the other hand, grabbing a handful of mechanical pencils from the supply cabinet and putting them into a coworker’s drawer could be fun.

Done. Seven should be enough, don’t you think?

Now in 3D

Last weekend I headed to the grocery store for a cereal I couldn’t remember the name of, and apparently had been pulled from the store shelves. I knew it had flax seeds and smallish flakes, and I knew I’d recognize the box when I saw it. But, none of the boxes in the cereal aisle sparked any sense of recognition.

One the way home I spotted Target. Maybe I bought it there? Again, no spark of recognition. Strolling back toward the entrance, something in the toothpaste aisle caught my eye. The promise of whiter teeth.

Lyle Waggoner as Steve Trevor with sparkling smile in the opening titles for The New Adventures of Wonder Woman (season 2)

Image © 1977, 1978 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

While I like tea and coffee, let’s just say neither contributes to having a Lyle Waggoner as Steve Trevor in The New Adventures of Wonder Woman sparkling smile. In fact, a glance in the mirror that very morning revealed just how non-sparkly my smile had become.

Oh, I’ve tried the whitening strips a couple times. Success was, shall we say, next to non-existent. Maybe if I had a set of perfectly aligned teeth. Maybe if they had adhered to my teeth the way the instructions said they would. Maybe if they weren’t so annoying while in my mouth, so I could stand to endure more than three days of treatment.

3D Crest® White® Brilliance toothpaste & Brilliance Boost polishing treatmentA sparkling whitish box captured my attention. Crest® 3D White® Brilliance Fluoride Anticavity Toothpaste with Illuminating Complex, Mesmerizing Mint flavor. It promised unlocked surface stains. It promised luster and shine. It promised world peace. It promised noticeable results after the first use. Well, OK, maybe not world peace.

Next to it, Crest® 3D White (no ®?) Brilliance Boost Polishing Treatment, and its promise of amplified whiteness. (Also, no world peace.)

I looked at the prices. Whiter teeth for about $12 vs. $35-60 for the strips. Basic tooth brushing vs. sitting around for who knows how long with strange-tasting strips uncomfortably covering my teeth with leaking saliva soaking my shirt.

Tooth brushing option: sold.

Green checkmarkLong story short, Crest 3D White Brilliance toothpaste and polishing treatment really does work, with the first treatment revealing the most dramatic results. I used both paste and polish every day, twice a day for about a week. About the only negative was that my gums felt a little irritated during brushing by the fourth day. I am back to regular toothpaste again.

Now that my teeth sparkle like Steve Trevor’s, I am sure Diana Prince will spin explosively into action, bringing world peace as Wonder Woman any time now.

Dirty cleanliness

I was just reading An Unexpected Delivery on Awkward Laughter, where Kim extolls the anti-virtues of flyers tossed onto your food.

I haven’t really thought much about those flyers. Really, kind of odd now that I think about it. Finding my receipt comingling with my fries always briefly eews me out. This would be same receipt handled by the same cashier who just received a wad of skanky dollar bills from the customer ahead of me. Those would be the same skanky dollar bills given to me as change.

As bad as flyers and receipts are, there is something I find considerably more disturbing: fast food trays. You know the ones. “Cleaned” with the wipe of a once-white wet rag, covered with a paper tray liner, and added to the stack. Ba-da-ba-ba-ba, I’m lovin’ it.

To this day, I cannot understand why wipe-and-line is considered sanitary. And yet, on the rare occasion I do dine-in at such a fine food establishment, I manage to put the thought out of my mind long enough to choke down my 1360-calorie pinnacle of nutrition.

Actually, it is more like text on the flyer does a good job of making me forget about top-notch food tray sanitation. It’s the thinly veiled attempt at nutrition education. “Your meal is more healthy if you opt for a bag of apple slices.” The same apple slices that somehow don’t turn brown. Ever. Or, the liner features a tantalizing ad featuring the collectible toy I could be enjoying now if I would have purchased a kid’s meal instead. “Collect all 5!”

By the time I have finished pondering the entire ridiculousness of what the tray liner says, I am done with my meal have forgotten about high-quality tray sanitation. Until I see the very same once-white wet rag being used on booth tables and seats. At least “quality is their recipe.”

Crosswords (take 2)

Good grief, I managed to publish an empty post from the WordPress mobile app. How about we try this again. And remember, friends don’t let sleepy friends write blog posts…

Think back to last night, when you were doing whatever it was you were doing. While you were doing that, I was occupied with what I was doing at the time…

As is often the case at this time of the evening, I find myself in need of a little down time. OK, more like in need of a full night’s shuteye. The evening news has lost my attention, so I head to the head.

Hmm, it seems I should take a seat upon the throne. Not that you asked, or even really care, but as part of this glorious backstory you might as well know that I don’t normally require throne time before. But tonight I do.

Why is it called the head? Why is it called the throne? Seriously, if I actually owned a castle, complete with an actual throne, I would make sure my royal chair would be comfy enough for my royal seat and not put my leg to sleep.

Working a puzzle helps pass the time while passing whatever needs passing. I grab the crossword puzzle book that lives in the rack attached to the vanity. “In the rack” isn’t the right phrase. More like “on the rack.” As in “on” whatever collection of printed matter has been jammed into the rack. We really should clean that thing out. But not tonight. I hear my bed calling. And a puzzle.

My latest chicken scratching is on puzzle 4. Only a few words filled in. Just like puzzle 3. Just like puzzle 2. And just like the one before that. Pitiful.

I had finished the previous crossword puzzle book a couple weeks ago. I could complete almost every puzzle in that book about ten minutes. Fifteen if I was tired. And I could complete an entire puzzle in that book without resorting to checking the answers in the back. At least up until the final ten or so puzzles. Whoever created those got a little too creative with some of the clues. Like on the order of 37 down: roadside gamble, two words in eight letters. Fast food. Most clues, though, were just easy enough to be relaxing. 13 across: four-letter word for sign, starting with “o”: omen.

Annoying crossword puzzle book in the recycling bin

Good riddance, and good thing garbage and recycling pickup is tomorrow!

Omen indeed. The new book is nothing but obscure clues and confounding references. I ignore puzzle 4 and start on 5. Half a dozen questionable words later I have a few cross words of my own for this puzzle book.

Just as well; my bed calls. I finish getting ready for bed, and take a detour by the kitchen recycling bin. I toss the pulpy rag in.

Now I don’t have a puzzle book for the next time I have royal business. I will have to remember to pick up a new book sometime. Meanwhile, I can play a few rounds of Words By Post and AlphaJax on my phone, but please don’t tell my opponents where I made my last move.

Incidentally, in addition to Windows Phone, Words by Post is available for Windows 8, Android and iOS. If you own a device running one of the latter two, I will leave it to you to find the game. AlphaJax is also available for Windows 8.

Zero to hero: thirty

Today’s assignment: that’s a wrap!

What more need be said, except…

I'm a Zero to Hero Blogger!You have just read my thirtieth post for the Zero to Hero blogging challenge. That’s the end of the challenge, folks. Over so soon. [Sniff!] The challenge has been, well, challenging. But I learned a lot and livened up my little corner of the web, blogosphere, or whatever the kids are calling it these days. It has also led me to some really awesome blogs. Perhaps one of them was yours. If not, perhaps I have not seen yours yet. I hope someday mine will be as awesome. OK, really I hope mine will be even more awesome. But I am fine with just as awesome.

Thank you so much for tagging along this last month. I hope to see you again soon.