Archive for April, 2014

April Tornadoes Bring May Flowers?

Normally by this point in the year there have already been plenty of tornado warnings and days of severe weather, but this year seems to be different. Today is one of the first major issued tornado warning.

I suppose that this is bot ha good and a bad thing. It’s good because there’s been no tornadoes, but it’s bad because it signals the start of tornado season, which seems to get longer and longer every year.

Pros of storm season:

1. Lots of rain makes the grass super green.

2. It’s a perfect reason to stay inside and read all day.

3. Tea. All day. Just sit inside and drink tea.

4. Storms are just gorgeous to look at. The clouds get all dark and everything just feels wild.

 

Cons of storm season:

1. Storm damage. Which isn’t a good thing in the least. It’s not good for anyone.

2. Going outside is cruddy, especially when you’ve done your hair (that’s the worst).

3. Sometimes, your windshield wipers don’t go fast enough to let you see anything on the road in front of you.

4. Large rain splatters hurt. Really, they do. No matter where they hit you, they always seem to sting, in varying degrees.

 

But, in most cases, storm season isn’t really all the bad as a whole. It certainly is a nice change from snow and sleet, even if it rains all the time. Storm season means that spring is getting closer. Any teenager should know what spring means; AP exams, finals and summer.

I think that right there is the best about storm season, impending summer break. Maybe that’s because this is my last no worries summer because really, there’s nothing better than having no real responsibilities in the summer.

Iowa during storm season is probably the most beautiful part of the year; even when the storms are just over empty farm land. Iowa may be pretty boring, but it’s prettier than people give it credit for.

Thank you for reading! For your time, here’s a picture of the Amsterdam river front.

 

Urban Dictionary.

As a teenager, slang runs rampant through the halls ways of high school and is very noticeably on social media, which is something almost everyone has access to anymore.

It is because of this that more and more new slang has become prevalent and it constantly changing forms. Never a day goes by when I don’t have to look up some sort of slang. To do so, I use a website or app called Urban Dictionary, or UD.

What is Urban Dictionary? It’s a website where teenagers can look up, create or redefine slang. The purpose of the website is just that. Occasionally, it’s also used to bash people by redefining what names mean and then directing the person to the site.

Why do people use it? Many people use it to make sure the slang they’re using is correct (rare), or to look up unknown slang use on some form of social media (most common).

Why do I use it? I use it because I rarely use slang like that and I am mostly unaware of the average teenage slang since I’m not quite with the times.

Overall, Urban Dictionary is a great place to go when you’re not sure what something means or why it’s being used in such a manner. It really is just like a real dictionary but full of teenage slang and abbreviations instead of real words. I personally think that it is a great resource when you need to look something up that you wouldn’t be able to find in a normal dictionary.

Note: If you don’t want your parents to know what you’re talking about, then make sure to use slang and abbreviations as much as possible and don’t let them find out about Urban Dictionary. I’m pretty sure anything they would find on there would mentally scar them for life. (Probably not though, they were teenagers at one time.)

Or instead of sounding like a buffoon, you could just use real words so people know what you’re talking about instead of being lazy and making up abbreviations.

So, to sum up, all Urban Dictionary does is help the unaware know things that people are saying, typing, or posting online. It is the best thing to use when you’re trying to figure out what someone means.

Thanks for reading! For your time, here’s a picture of some bread slippers. Really, slippers made of bread. I would eat them, not wear them, but to each there own.

 

Baby Shower Caps.

This is something that I’m sure would have saved my mom many moments of aggravation with my little sister. What this is a  shower cap for babies or toddlers and it keeps the water and soap out of the baby’s face; a common problem with many babies.

These caps look like a visor. (Picture below)

But there are several different styles, some curve like the picture above and others curve upwards to drain the water down the back. The second type is normally for older toddlers with longer hair because it rinses the water towards the back making the long hair easier to wash, while a baby really has very little hair.

Honestly, I’m surprised that this is something relatively new, at least new in the fact that it’s more easily available now than it was in the past. It has always been a problem because some children hate having water on their faces. Even my little sister, who’s 9, still does.

As always, there are people who are not satisfied with the product, and others who are entirely satisfied. I’ll start with the dissatisfied people first.

To start, most of these caps are one size fits all. As most people should know, one size fits all actually means that it will fit most people. The problem with that is sometimes the caps are too large for a baby’s head and too small for a toddler’s head, so there’s a range that the hat fits the child but not a huge range.

Also, the foam that helps mold the cap to the head can be bent during shipping, which essentially wrecks the product because the foam isn’t able to be bent back to the original shape.

On the opposite side of those people are the ones who think that this is a great product. A lot of the people who reviewed products like this highly said that the product worked exactly like it was supposed to, that their kids had no issues wearing the cap and that it looks adorable on their kid.

So there’s that. There were a few people in the middle who thought it was an okay product, but could have been better, but it was for reasons other than just the product.

Overall, I would rate this as a 3 out of 5. There seemed to be more people who liked all or most of the product compared to those who hated the whole thing.

So, if you need on for your kid, there are  certainly plenty of options out there. But, be sure to read the product reviews first, not just look at the star rating.

That’s all I’ve got on this. Thanks for reading! For your time, here’s a picture of a baby kangaroo.

 

Holiday Weekends

As you should know, Easter is today. Easter is a Christian holiday about Jesus’ resurrection, which signifies rebirth. It’s said to happen during this time of the year because spring is seen as the rebirth of plants and animals (and allergies). But that is not the point of this post, the point of this post is about how to manage to get everything done and have time left over to spend with your family.

At first, it was going to be a post about the history of Easter, but it’s a messy subject using too much of the Bible that I’m not familiar with.

If  your family is hosting a family get together, then you have way too much work to be done. Chances are, your mom is stressed and making everyone else feel the same way. The house needs to be cleaned, things put together, dinner made and who knows what all else. (Probably too much more than that.) But this is really the case anytime family is coming over, even more so when there are little kids involved- because you really don’t want them eating something off the floor that didn’t get picked up.

But you’ve got all this stuff to do, how are you going to spend time with your family when they get there? Obviously by getting up too early to get it all done beforehand with (hopefully) enough time left to get everyone cleaned up and ready to host other people.

So, here’s the best couple of ways to get things done quickly:

Step 1: Do what’s most important first. Like picking big things up, chances are you have to vacuum anyway, so if you get the big stuff, it’s easier to get the rest cleaned.

Step 2: Just do it. Don’t back talk. It’ll just make everyone else, including yourself, grouchier. Trust me, that’s not what you want.

Step 3: Make sure to eat something. If you spend all morning cleaning, you’re going to need to eat. It keeps everyone calmer and happier.

Once everyone gets there, relax, it’s almost over. Just wait for everyone else to leave then take a nap. Try not to kill anyone because that wouldn’t look good.

Holiday’s are stressful for everyone, don’t forget that.

Thanks for reading. For your time, here’s a picture of bunny. When stressed, look up pictures of cute animals, it helps.

How to: Avoid Family

With Easter just around the corner, it’s sure to mean a few things. Seeing family, going to church and eating lots of food. Now, I didn’t grow up in a religious household, so we never went to church and that was fine with all of us kids. But now as I’m older, I dread seeing my family and sometimes even the food.

My family is Czech (yes, I’m going to make a stereotype.) and in our family, food is a social thing. Everyone eats, a lot of food, all day. So, when you’re trying to cut back on certain things, like making sure not to eat too much bread, someone manages to add more food to your plate; whether or not you said no.

So, instead of facing my problems with them about food head on, I just avoid them. Yes, I realize that I shouldn’t and that they’re family, but I can’t handle the look of disappointment my grandma gives me when I “don’t eat enough.”

There are some simple steps to avoid your family.

Step 1:  Be sick. Allergies get ripe around this time, they lay dormant all winter and when spring happens, the allergies come with. So, be sick, or at least find a way to pretend to be sick.

Step 2: Find another “place” that you have to be at.  And then run, run fast and far away.

Step 3: Sleep the whole time. Seriously, naps are great. Naps are even better when you’re avoiding something. Really, I promise.

Step 4: Feed the food to a pet/child or sneak it onto someone else’s plate. This one requires a lot of skill, you have to be really sneaky if you’re going to try the last one; if you’re not, then you will get caught and things will just go downhill from there.

Step 4: If nothing else works, bring homework and headphones. Do something productive with your time, even if it’s homework, because then you’re getting something done while still being somewhat social.

That’s all I’ve got about avoiding family. These steps also work when avoiding just about everyone else and at any time too.  Thanks for reading and for your time, here’s a picture of some dyed eggs.

In all seriousness, don’t avoid your family all the time because you’ll regret it later, no matter what your reason was in the first place.

Allergies.

Allergies. I’ve got allergies. Do you? Because I think I’d just rather be sick like any other normal person. But no, I have allergies.

Spring is now starting to show up, second winter is seemingly over, but we’ll see how long that lasts this time around. And now that spring is here, that means rain, flowers, and pollen. Flowers are getting ready to bloom, the grass is getting green and it’s just generally a lovely time outside.

Except when you’re crippled by allergies. I don’t get sick any other time of the year. Only in spring do I ever get sick.

Runny nose, cough, sore throat and sneezing. I get it all. It’s awful, if you don’t get allergies then I envy you. All I want to do is go outside, walk around and just enjoy not freezing right after leaving the house. But I can’t.

I mean, physically I can, but I’d end up coughing out a lung and sneezing until it feels like I have a six pack forming. And being inside isn’t much better, everything is dusty from winter and doors are left open. I’m amazed that I haven’t sneezed my brain out yet.

So, what do I do? I don’t. I lay in bed, covered in the remains of used tissues and cough drop wrappers. Okay, maybe not. That was too dramatic for my tastes.

I don’t do much though, that’s for sure. Not much more than the bare minimum of everything. I sleep a lot more than I should be, but that is totally okay, I love to sleep.

Steps to combat springtime allergies:

Step 1: Be prepared for it. This means going to the store before the allergies hit to get everything you need for it. Allergies pills, tissues, cough syrup and cough drops. Amount vary per person. Also, don’t forget lightly carbonated beverages and/Gatorade.

Step 2: At the first signs of symptoms, take the allergies pills. If you can stop it before it get worse, things will go much smoother in the long run.

Step 3: Make sure to take the pills as frequently as allowed and correctly. Even if you feel like you don’t need to take the medication right then, it’ll hit you and you’ll be out of luck.

Step 4: Get sleep. Lots of sleep. And drink plenty of water and other fluids.

Maybe if I followed my own steps, I wouldn’t feel as awful as I do. Best of luck, other allergy sufferers.

Thanks for reading! For your time, here’s a picture of spring.

A metal spring. (I’m so funny, I know.)

Smart vs. Good Grades

There are people out there who say that there’s a huge difference between being smart and getting good grades. Now, I disagree with that. I really do.

However, I think that there is some truth to it. There are people who genuinely better at things when it comes to street smarts, but normally these people get good grades. Or there are those people who don’t know what to do when it comes to street smarts, but are very smart. Or any other combination of those traits.

I hate the idea that people spread that there is such a difference between being smart and getting good grades. I think these things go together. Sure, there are people who get good grades but aren’t that smart, just because of the classes they take.

There is such a big range of both of those traits and so many people just choose to ignore that.

I do understand the idea that standardized testing does give this idea because not everyone is a good test taker. You can’t judge smarts based on standardized tests, but you can based on how these people talk.

Good grades are dependent on several things, not just the ability to do well on multiple choice tests. Understanding the material is of utmost importance when taking multiple choice tests; that’s really what it comes down to. If you don’t know the material, or can’t infer enough about it, then you’re not going to do well.

I’ve noticed that a lot of people who don’t do well blame the teacher, when it’s not really their fault. There are some cases when the teacher honestly doesn’t teach well, but then you have to do the work yourself to understand the material- I think that’s the difference between people who are smart compared to those who complain about not getting good grades.

School isn’t easy, it’s stressful and requires hard work. Honestly, if someone tells you otherwise, they don’t know what’s going on then.

To sum up, I think that being smart and getting good grades go together, and anyone who says otherwise is just upset because they feel they deserve better grades then they get.

Rant over. Thanks for reading. For your time, here’s a picture of a food giraffe.

 

Family Vacations

Yes, I love my family. Yes, I love getting to do things with them. But sometimes, I just want quiet and my own room.

Spring break has passed- that’s the time when most people go on vacation with their family. It’s normally an okay time. (Sometimes, well, maybe not. At least not for me.)

I am the oldest kid living at home (but the middle overall), so that means I’m put in the middle. All the rest of them argue. It was a four hour drive. It might not be so bad if we were closer in age, but we’re not. (The closest in age to me is five years younger, obviously we have little in common.) And whine, a lot.

To be honest, I normally keep to my own at home because I just have nothing much in common with any of them. It’s fine to do that at home; but on a family trip, there is no escaping them. None.

Especially when you’re in the car with them. For four hours. (Wait, have I mentioned that before? Oh well.) That brings me to my next point, when you’re taking a trip with your family by car, make sure you’ve brought plenty to do. And headphones, those are probably the most important thing because then you can listen to your own music and pretend you’re just back at home.

Family trips are awful when it comes to my family. So, there are some steps to keep sane when you don’t feel like you should be.

Step 1: Bring something to do. Like books, music or a movie. Make sure to bring your car phone charger, it might come in handy if it’s a long drive.

Step 2: Take a nap. Seriously, take a nap. It’s probably the only decent sleep you’re going to get the whole trip.

Step 3: Bring good shoes and nicer clothes. They’ll come in handy. Whether that’s because you’re going to be walking a lot or end up going to dinner somewhere fancier than you were anticipating.

Step 4: Try not to kill anyone. That could put a huge damper on the rest of the trip.

In all seriousness, don’t kill anyone. It’s best to be prepared when going on a car ride, you never know what could happen and you might end up on the road longer than anticipated.

If this doesn’t work, then I don’t know what will. You might just be unable to get help when it comes to this.

That’s really all I’ve got for today. Thanks for reading. For your time. here’s a picture of marshmallows with faces.

Hurricane 360 Spin Mop.

This is a commercial that I haven’t seen recently, but I know it’s a newer product. To be honest, it actually looks useful. At least somewhat useful, anyway.

The actual product commercial is below, so watch that if you want.

Everyone hates mopping. (I just hate cleaning.) But this product is said to make mopping a one-step process because it “cleans, dries, and polishes” all at the same time.

If something like this were to work, then it would definitely be a smart investment in the long run if you had a lot of tile or linoleum flooring.

The reason that many people would choose to invest in a product like this is simple. You don’t have to put your hands in the dirty water to wring out the mop, there’s less dirt spread around on the floor because the mop is washed and spun, and also because it’s light and easy to use.

However, a lot of the comments state that this isn’t as good of a product as it looks. In the video, the mop looks to work really well with little spilling or slopping. But, the comments show that the bucket isn’t durable and breaks rather easily, so does the handle too, apparently.

Comments range from the mop worked well at first, but after several uses, the mop bucket started to leak or not spin the mop correctly to the positives of the mop working better in harder to clean areas, like around the toilet, because of how the mop head spins.

Another topic is cost, the Hurricane mop costs about $40 which includes just the mop and bucket. You could just go out and buy something similar, like a Swiffer mop for about the same cost and you’re pretty much guaranteed that it’s not going to break, and if it does, it’s a pretty cheap fix.

Personally, (if I cleaned) I would stick to something I know works instead of going out and buying something new and different because then you’re out more money than you would have been originally.

Most commenters on the product websites say that if the faults and problems were worked out in the spin mop, then they would like it much better than they do now. I think that say quite a bit about the product too, obviously when the mop works correctly, it works well.

So, probably not a product I would buy for myself until the kinks get worked out, and they might not ever. I’ll just stick to carpeted flooring.

For your time, here’s a picture of a dog that’s called a “mop.” Thanks for reading!