Monday, June 14, 2021

Monetary Motivation

There are incentives both big and small to entice people to get a Covid vaccination. A month ago Hubby Tony and I took advantage of an edible one. Yesterday I got an email from our health insurance company with another one.

The company offers a nice wellness incentive program. If you complete an online health assessment, they add some money to a debit card that you can use to pay for qualified medical expenses (like doctor visit co-pays, lab fees, and prescriptions).  Complete some 'online health coach' goals and they'll throw some more money on the card.  All in all you can earn as much as $170 a year. 

But now, giving them proof of my Covid vaccine will add another $50 to my card. All I had to do was complete an online form telling them which vaccine I received and when, then upload photos of the front and back of my card. The easy project took less than five minutes.

Five years ago: Bang!

Sunday, June 13, 2021

One Of A Kind

Today was forecast to be hot and humid, so right after breakfast this morning Hubby Tony and I put our bikes on the carrier and got ready to go for a ride. After evaluating several routes, we decided on the River des Peres Greenway, located about 20 minutes from our house on the border between St. Louis City and St. Louis County. Over the years most of the river has been channelized and is now more of a storm drain than anything else. It's pretty unattractive up close, but there's a nice walking an biking trail paralleling it. 

We've ridden on parts of this greenway a couple of times. Usually we start at the south end, but thanks to an errand I had to run on the way home it made more sense to go the opposite way. I had a hazy concept of the northernmost trailhead, but it turns out I was wrong. The greenway extended a couple of miles more, crossing a major street (Lansdowne), then turning and following another smaller street before ending up at a park.

At the park we got ready to ride, which meant we would double back on the area we had just driven. Just before we got to Lansdowne I looked over to the left and saw this:

Stag Beer is a local brand that goes back to before Prohibition. Relatives from my parent's generation drank it regularly.

I parked my bike and walked across the street to snap a photo. I couldn't get a good angle from the sidewalk, so I walked partway up the driveway. Just about then I heard a noise. I looked up and saw a 50-something man standing on the porch.

I thought the man was going to yell at me for being on his property, but he was really friendly. He encouraged me to come close enough to get a really good shot, and told me that a previous owner had done the painting. He suggested I take a stroll through his wife's front yard garden, which was small but so jam-packed with plants, stepping stones, and statues that there was no grass visible. I thanked him, but said I had to keep going.

(After that the rest of the ride was nice, but uneventful.)

Five years ago today: Every. Stinking. Time.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

What Do You Think?

I received this oh-so-professional email, offering me a business 'opportunity'. It took me about half a second to send it to the trash bin. Was I wrong? 😀
 
We have a job in your area and we would like you to participate and complete the assignment.
* We are starting a very big research project in USA and
* We are leading agency specialized in (Global) Customer
* You will receive instructions for the task
* and you via email in the location and details of the task
* We are leading agency specialized in (Global) Customer
* You will get (US 300) for each assignment,
 
Info detail to started
* MynAme,
* Address
* Post code
* Mobile Home Phone No
* Email
 
*Thank you for your participation and being here with us.
 
* Thanks,
* Mrs.Anna Best
* Official Recruitment
 
  
 
Five years ago today: Another Day, Another Adventure

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Happy Unbirthday To Me

Just about every retailer has a loyalty program, and I belong to quite a few. It's always nice to get something free, or be offered a discount on an item you were going to buy anyway. Occasionally I've even been incentivized to pull out my charge card based just on a coupon I've received.

When I signed up for some of the programs, all they wanted to know was my email address or phone number. Others asked for more information. I'm a stickler for honesty, so when they wanted my birth month and day that's what they got. Then I read that, for privacy reasons, giving out the factual data might not be a good idea. 

I started staggering my 'birth' date throughout the year, borrowing the phrase unbirthday from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass. Although it still feels a little dishonest, so far not one company has called me on it. 

And other than better security for my personal data there are other advantage of a flexible birth date. My natal day is in January, when I'm always trying to lose weight and save money. Taking advantage of promotions for food, beverages, and retail items doesn't fit in with the new year's mindset. However, in April, June, or September those promotions are quite welcome. 

  Five years ago today: Do You Know The Way To San Jose?

Sunday, June 6, 2021

A Very Purple Path

Hubby Tony and I continue our quest to try interesting coffee shops in the metropolitan area.  So far we've found out that the best ones are independently owned. And all of them require a car ride for us to get there.

The distance has both problems and advantages. It's a shame we have to use gas and contribute to air pollution, but we're having a great time exploring new neighborhoods. Today we headed towards South St. Louis to check out Sump Coffee.

In order for us to get steps Tony picked out a park several blocks away to leave the car. We ambled through the park, then had a great time strolling past some well-preserved brick residences (and sadly, a large handful of buildings that needed attention). We went out of the way to stop at Gus' Pretzels, a local institution which has been cranking out soft pretzels since the 1920s. There we got some stick pretzels...made long enough to peek out of the brown paper sack the associate put them in.

We backtracked towards or caffeine destination. Because a lot of the sidewalk slabs were old and in bad shape I kept my eyes down. Good thing, or I wouldn't have noticed the messes from the mulberry trees that had dropped their fruit all over the pavement. Whenever I encountered the dark purple messes I had to walk carefully so I wouldn't get any juice or pulp on my shoes. The last thing I wanted to do is track it inside when I got home.

Five years ago today: Down In Monterrey

Friday, June 4, 2021

Pavement Patois

Once the weather warms up around here road construction projects start popping up like mushrooms.

This year the water company is replacing about three miles of water main along North Ballas, a major road that runs just outside of our condo development.  In preparation, strange painted marks appeared overnight on the sidewalks and along the street.

I was curious what the squiggles meant, and turned to Google for the answer. It didn't take me long to learn that the colors and shapes denote the type and approximate location of an underground utility.

There's a standard code for colors. Red is the color for electric. Yellow marks gas, oil, steam, petroleum, or gaseous materials. Orange indicates some sort of communications cables. Blue is for water lines. Purple symbolizes reclaimed water, irrigation and slurry lines. Green is for sewers and drains. 

Straight lines show where pipes and cables are. The diamond shape is for a fiber conduit.A zig-zag shows something goes in both directions. Triangles indicate conduits. Colored letters indicate the owner of a given utility element, or the material an element is made out of. White writing is some type of note to the construction workers.

Now when I walk around the neighborhood I'm much more aware of what's underground around me.

Five years ago today: The City By The Bay

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

I'll Get To It Later. Maybe.

I was reading an article at Apartment Therapy about dusting easy-to-forget places, which included:

  • Ceiling fans 
  • The tops of cabinets 
  • Books and bookshelves 
  • The tops of bookshelves 
  • The tops of doors 
  • The top edge of door frames 
  • The top of picture frames and mirrors 
  • Picture frames 
  • Light bulbs 
  • Light fixtures 
  • Plant leaves 
  • Woodwork that’s too high to reach without a ladder or stool
  • The top of the fridge 
  • The top edge of shower tiles 
  • The corners of high ceilings 
  • Blinds 
  • Baseboards

I will admit to being way less than the world's best housekeeper, but I had to laugh at some of these. At my house a good dusting job includes anything at eye level. (Which includes the furniture and picture frames.) Sometimes, if I look down I'll notice the baseboards are in need of some attention. 

Seasonally I'll tackle the light fixtures, ceiling fans, and blinds. When the ladder is out to do one of those jobs, if I happen to glance over at a door or frame and it's covered in dust I'll take care of it. If I use the step stool to get something from the cabinet over the refrigerator I'll be momentarily grossed out by the messy top...then take care of it until the next time I'm up there.

But I can't say I've ever dusted the top edge of any shower tiles, and if a ceiling is tall enough that I can't reach it with a ladder any dust can stay there.

What about you? Are you on Team Dust or Team No Dust?

Five years ago today: A Great Time Was Had By All

Monday, May 31, 2021

Honoring Those Who Gave Their All

In the United States today was Memorial Day, set aside to commemorate those who died in active military service. Last year all the observances were virtual, and this year, even with things opening up, there weren't as many events as in years past. However, Hubby Tony did some research and found out that the Soldiers Memorial Military Museum was having a ceremony in the morning and tours throughout the day. 

The Soldiers Memorial building was built downtown after World War I to honor St. Louisians killed in the line of duty, and over the years has expanded to honor those killed in all wars. Traffic was light, it was easy to find a parking space on the street, and because it was a holiday we didn't have to feed the meter. We arrived at the Memorial with five minutes to spare. While we waited I watched the American Legion members on the dais get organized.

The program started with a wreath-laying ceremony. Legion members walked to the appropriate section of the Court of Honor (across a closed-off street to the south of the building) to a place a wreath at the memorial tablet contained the names of those killed in the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan, Viet Nam, Korea, World War II, and the American Legion Founding Commemorative Monument across the street. (In addition to the wreaths, anyone who was interested could pick up a flower to lay on the various memorials from a tent located off to the side.)

The second part of the program consisted of the reading of names of all those who died in the First World War. Tony and I decided not to stay for that. Even though the temperature was pleasant, the sun was hot and I was afraid I was getting sunburned. 

As we were leaving through the Court of Honor, a reporter for one of the local TV stations asked us if we would consider being interviewed on camera. We agreed. He clipped a small microphone to my shirt and handed me the battery portion to hold. Once everything was set up he asked us to explain why we had come to the ceremony. I tried to put my thoughts into words but I don't think I did a very good job. (Tony told me he was also unhappy with what he said.) 

Based on what the reporter told us we may make the evening news, but I think it's more likely we'll end up on the cutting room floor.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Not For Me, But Still Interesting

I was at the mall the other day and saw a strange new machine next to one of the escalators. Looking closer, I saw it was a Bitcoin Depot.

I am only vaguely familiar with the concept of crypto currency, and had no idea what this machine would be used for. Wikipedia told me that "A bitcoin kiosk is a machine that allows the transfer of cash for a crypto currency. The machine allows customers to insert cash, and have Bitcoin sent to their Bitcoin wallet online." 

I know that Bitcoin started out as (and still is) an actual currency, but I perceive that the word is beginning to become more of a generic term for any cryptocurrency. As a matter of fact, this machine touted that you could buy three different cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum.

No one I know dabbles in cryptocurrencies. I wonder who the target market is for this machine?

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Over.....And Over.....And Over

I heard this song on the radio today, sang along with it, and now it's stuck in my head. (Although the message is so good, and I suspect this isn't the worst thing to have on repeat.)