Thursday, February 23, 2006

Galaxy Quest

I have always lived in moderate to large sized cities, so imagine my surprise when my husband told me that the Andromeda Galaxy is bigger than the moon (see here for a picture that illustrates it). Now I know that placed side-by-side, a galaxy is bigger than the moon, but I thought that all galaxies look like little blurry stars and of course the moon is the largest object in the sky. This is true, if you live in a city or suburb. In a dark sky, like in the mountains or the country, Andromeda is bigger than the moon, but it is dimmer so that city lights wash it out to a barely identifiable smear. I felt slightly cheated. Next time I go out away from the city lights, I am definitely going to look up.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Cell Phones Only

(Warning: Incoherent rambling below)

My husband was mentioning to me yesterday about how one of his coworkers had dropped their land line and was now using Vonage (an IP phone) exclusively. Some of my other friends have dropped their land line and only use their cell phones. I personally will never do this. I see the land line as insurance.

Insurance is why I got my cell phone in the first place. I wanted a phone to take with me (or to send with my husband) so that if something happened, I could call for help. But, I wouldn't trust my cell phone as my primary line. First, I have on occasion mislaid my cell phone, so I call it to find out where it is. I guess I'd be more careful or email my husband to call. Second, the battery life. My cell's batteries last about 2 days at best. I'd hate to need to make an emergency call and have to find the charger first. Finally, what about the babysitter? Do you leave your cell with him or her or what?

With VoIP, I'd worry about emergency situations and the internet service being down. My internet service is fairly good. It hasn't been down much at all in the several years we've had it, but I'd hate to have to trust it for a 911 call. The second issue is power. What if the power is out? In my (limited) experience with power outages, the power is more likely to be out than the phone (this of course assumes a phone that gets its power from the phone line).

I think 911 is the main sticking point. With a land line, 911 can tell where I am and send an ambulance even if I can't talk or had my 3 year old daughter dial it because I was unable to. The same can't be said for cell phones or VoIP.

Yes, there are ways around all the difficulties I've just mentioned. I'd just rather keep my land line (plus, I get free local calls :) ).

Monday, February 13, 2006

My greatest discoveries of 2005

Here's some of the things I discovered in 2005 that I loved:

  1. Welch's fruit snacks - nice and chewy with a great flavor and real fruit (or so they claim)
  2. Homemade Tomatillo sauce - this is the mild, green sauce you get at burrito places like Cafe Rio/Costa Vida. (The recipe)
  3. Costa Vida - a great burrito restaurant, plus it is less than a mile from my house
  4. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser - Gets all kinds of weird stuff off my wall including crayon
I'll add more as I think of them...

Monday, February 06, 2006

New Treat

Saturday at the store, I discovered Reese's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. They are amazingly good, much better than their regular ones. I hope they keep them around for a while because my bag of them is almost gone.