Archive for October, 2013

Life Lesson: Sugar.

Just recently, and by recently, I mean yesterday, I had an all day and all night band competition, our last one of the year with this show. Tradition in my section of the band is that everyone must consume a rather large quantity of sugar before the final performance simply because it is the biggest one we have and the last scored one for the seniors. Which is a pretty big deal for the whole band.

The amount of sugar you’re supposed to consume varies from person to person and what they’re used to consuming in one sitting, I honestly didn’t have all that much compared to last year’s trip. But my seat partner and a member of my section, Kendra, had never had an energy drink before, and that means she was supposed to have at least one on the bus ride, which she did. While it was funny for us to see her response to all of the sugar, it probably wasn’t too much fun for her once she started to crash halfway through the bus ride home

Rules to consider when you decide you want a ton of sugar:

One, energy drinks are pretty bad for you because there is a ton of sugar and caffeine in them and even if you don’t drink them often and it’s just once, they can lead to increased blood pressure and dehydrate your body really quickly.  (Link to this information specifically)

Second, sugar makes some people jittery, which is definitely not what you want to do before a major performance. Now, not to go against what my section does, but I didn’t really have all that much sugar and I was pretty jittery, and Kendra was way worse than I was. Granted, she isn’t one to have a lot of refined sugar. That leads me to number three.

Third, if you’re not used to a lot of sugar in your system, don’t over do it, because that’s even worse. Not used to sugar? Have some, but not the whole bag of Pixie Sticks, really, it’s a bad idea.

Fourth, sometimes once you’ve eaten all that candy and finished your soda or energy drink, you’re still hungry or thirsty, so being the teenager you are you decided to eat something less sweet and more savory (like fast food) and drink something to go along with that (more soda). It becomes a vicious cycle until you realize that you really just want something else, or until you throw up, that’s always an outcome possibility.

Candy and sugar are wonderful, until you’ve had too much or wake up the next morning and realize that you’ve gained 10 pounds in a day because of all the junk you ate the day before or until you get sick.

The worst thing about sugar is that you end up wanting even more sugar once you get done as well as being a little out of everything once you finally get some sleep after the whole ordeal. Trust me on that one, it’s taken me way to long to even get this much homework done today and it’s not the last I have left to do.

So, instead of all the sugar, drink some water and eat an apple. You’ll be better off in the end anyway, and feel a whole lot better the next day.

Do what I say, and don’t even think about doing what I do because it’s not even healthy to think about, let alone do.

For your time, and mine, here’s a picture of a baby seal. Hopefully, that makes today’s blog better and more bearable for you.

Robo Stir.

Now, this is a new one for me, I had never even heard of it until earlier today. Robo Stir, it stirs things for you. The commercial below.

It shows that pretty much everyone loves this product, there are very few ratings below four stars, and if there were issues with the product it was because of personal error (like washing the battery pack).

So, all this product does is stir food for you. I honestly didn’t realize a lot of people needed that done for them, but hey, it works.

I really don’t know where I’m going with this post because people liked it a lot. And it actually works.

That being said, pros are that it’s useful, works and is like having a third hand in the kitchen. All of which is in the commercial, so the commercial didn’t lie or over-exaggerate this time, which is normally not the case. Unlike a lot of other products, this one is very inexpensive with a price range of $5-$12 online, depending on where you look.

Now, normally, I look around on different websites to reach a conclusion about the negatives, but for this one I didn’t, just because there weren’t all that many on the website selling them. That being said, the negatives are as follows; the Robo Stir really only stirs onside of the pan rather than both sides equally, doesn’t always stir thicker things the greatest, and as mentioned above, you can’t wash the battery pack.

Just by what people are saying, it would totally be a product I would buy (for my mom). Purely because it’s not super expensive, so if it didn’t work, then you’re not out a bunch of money and my mom needs all the help she can get in the kitchen (that isn’t me) which is what this product is made for.

For your time, as always, here’s a picture of a baby owl. It’s just so cute, I couldn’t resist.

Life Lesson: Tests.

At some point, every teacher decides to test over material they’ve taught or thought they taught. It is at this point where every student feels like they totally understand the concept or that the teacher taught them nothing, because teenagers only function in extremes.

When it comes down to it, trying to figure the material out last minute is not the way to learn anything, especially if  you’re a procrastinator when it comes to studying.

First, if you don’t know the material at all, go in and talk to the teacher and see if they can explain the subject to you in a different way, because sometimes that’s all it takes to clarify an issue.

If that doesn’t work, try another teacher or look online to see if there is a way to find out what you need to know before the test, quiz or whatever.

Once you finally understand but still need to work on the topic, ask for more worksheets in that specific topic and sit down and do them. Seriously, do them, don’t just get them and then not do them.

Now, the test is tomorrow, and you haven’t studied at all. (Not smart.) So now you’re stressed because you have a test tomorrow and you haven’t studied, so the smart thing at that moment to you is to cram.

While that works for some people, in most cases, that doesn’t work. So, you do what you can and totally screw up the test.

So, for next time, you decide to study more and chances are you won’t unless you decide that this subject is just too hard to not study for.

But, for me, I have to at least look over my notes every time before I take a test, sometimes it helps pick up that extra idea that helps you on a test.

Forcing yourself to study is no fun, but it’s definitely something you should do if you actually want to retain the information for the next test or final in that class.

So, moral of the story, studying sucks a lot, but you really should do it, even if you don’t want to.

For your time, here is a picture of a manatee. And remember, study.

Stair Drawers.

These are probably one of the newest fads online when people are talking about home renovations and do it yourself projects. Stair drawers, as it sounds, there are drawers built into your stairs so that you have more storage and less is stored on the steps, which is safer (apparently safety is important).

There are really two main types of stair drawers. Drawers along the side of the stairs, as seen on the left, and drawers built in the stairs, which is on the right.

 

The one on the left is usually just drawers or shelves, which both look really cool if there is an empty side on the stair case. The stairs on the right is what seems to be the most common online that few people actually have, the individual stair slides out revealing a drawer.

I really like the first idea, and apparently a lot of other people do too. There are becoming other variations of the whole idea when people build their houses or just run out of space, and it makes sense. Space saving and it’s not in bulky containers that just get left downstairs that you can never find anything in.

The amount of webpages devoted to this is amazing. I mean, I expected there to be several decent ones, but I was surprised to find pretty much every do-it-yourself website had something like this, and most websites with house designs had similar things too.

This website has what actual people have done in their houses or houses they’ve bought with these two types of stair storage, and it shows a lot more variation with the two relatively simple ideas above.

However, this idea is actually against code regulations in some places when they’re built like the image on the right above because it’s a safety hazard (even though this is said to be safer than leaving things on the stairs) because the sheet rock that’s supposed to be under the stairs is to stop fires so if there are drawers that are movable then it’s not fire proof and because small children would be able to get stuck where the drawers slid into and out of.  ( link )

As cool as it is, it doesn’t seem like a necessarily good idea if you’re clumsy or have children, that and it’s against code. There are many different variations that aren’t against code but are different than the actual stair drawers and are more shelf-like than anything else.

Personally, being against code for drawers is not something I’d want, especially when I’d rather have the shelves for books and other trinkets.

For your time, here’s a picture of a baby red panda. 

Life Lesson: Marching Band.

If there are any band kids out there, you’ll know what I’m talking about. There are some very simple rules to marching band that any good band kid should know. These are just a few of them.

First, if the director or drum major says, “Set.” You set and stay at attention until you’re told to relax. You don’t want to be the person that makes everyone else stand at attention for even longer. Seriously, don’t be that person, you make everyone else frustrated.

Second, count! This is one of the most important thing when it comes to putting drill on the field and cleaning it before a competition or show. It makes your and everyone else’s life ten million times easier if you just count when you don’t play. Really, you’re not doing anything else with your mouth, use it.

The last big one is sunscreen, every day. This one is no joke, especially when homecoming and your senior pictures are just around the corner. I forgot it the other day at our all day Saturday rehearsal and now I have a horrible tan line right below my knees, which means I’ll definitely be wearing tights with my dress when I go to get my homecoming pictures done.

Along with the sunscreen, don’t wear any type of glasses unless you absolutely need to, because sun-glass tan lines are probably the worst looking ones ever, just because you can’t hide them very easily. It is on your face, after all.

More of a general lesson is don’t be a jerk to your fellow band mates. In most cases, you see them around for more than a single year, especially if they might be your section leader in the next marching season.

I’m sure some of you don’t realize how much work goes into the shows that last less then ten minutes, so next time you’re at a football, actually watch the band instead of going and getting food or whatever people do at games.

For your time, here is a picture of a wombat.

Life Lesson: Book Shopping

Sometimes, you need books. There are other times when you need a lot of books. For me, I always need a lot of books whenever I feel the need to buy or get more (which is always).

There are some simple things to keep in mind when you feel the need to splurge on massive quantities of books though. First and foremost, can you honestly afford that $60 in books, if not, what ones won’t you die without? Or, can you find it at the library or on your e-reader for cheaper?

When narrowing down from $60 to, say, $45, pick the items you want the most, or the ones you don’t want as much (for me, it’s easier to think about it that way).

Once you’ve weeded out the books that weren’t necessities, look at what you’re holding. Read a few pages in each book and think about whether you like the writing style, topic, and overall feel of the book. Sometimes, it seem like it could be a really great book, and then you start to read it, and its not what you thought it was going to be like at all.

You’ve decided on your limit and the books you have to have. Does it match up? No? Either break your budget or your heart. (I’m partial to breaking the bank so I can last a little longer before returning to the book store.)

Now, that being said, I’m a used book kind of person. There’s a little more substance or history to the book itself if it’s been used by someone else before me. That means the library or the second hand bookstore are my favorite place for books.

I believe in always checking the library first before the book store (because I’m cheap), and if they don’t have it, then go get it or see if the library has a book request form. If it comes to the point where you just can’t find it anywhere, look online, chances are it’s, at least, a little bit cheaper if you don’t mind the fact that you can’t really feel that book.

All in all, book shopping is about making compromises about what you can’t live without and better ways to find what you’re looking for without (hopefully) going broke in the process. This a skill that comes in handy in most aspects of life, or other types of shopping.

A picture of a hamster dressed up as Austin Powers for your time.