Old Joke – What Would Jesus Drive?

Posted in Vehicle Safety at 7:29 am

My daughter started her first day at a Catholic School for girls today. In surfing the web I realize that there are parts of the Bible my husband (a Jewish, motorcycle-riding, Philosophy major) & I may have neglected to explain. To help with this:

Most people assume WWJD is for “What would Jesus do?” But the initials really stand for “What would Jesus drive?”
 One theory is that Jesus would tool around in an old   Plymouth because “the Bible says God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden in a Fury.”
 But in Psalm 83, the Almighty clearly owns a Pontiac and a Geo. The passage urges the Lord to “pursue your enemies with    your Tempest and terrify them with your Storm.”
 Perhaps God favors Dodge pickup trucks, because   Moses’ followers are warned not to go up a mountain “until the Ram’s horn sounds a long  blast.”
 Some scholars insist that Jesus drove a Honda but didn’t like to talk about it. As proof, they cite a verse in St. John’s gospel where Christ tells the crowd, “For I did not speak of my own Accord
 Meanwhile, Moses rode an old British motorcycle, as    evidenced by a Bible passage declaring that “the roar of Moses’ Triumph is heard in the hills.”
 Joshua drove a Triumph sports car with a hole in its muffler: “Joshua’s Triumph was heard throughout the land.” 
 and following the Master’s lead, the Apostles carpooled in a Honda ..”The Apostles were in one Accord.”!!!!    


I saw this on a website that appears to have taken it down but I found it on an earlier site Church of Todays Resource Listing check the 11/14/04 listing. Don’t read if you go to church & like the pastor’s jokes. (There must be every old religious joke ever told here.)


Networking Your Way To A New Maid

Posted in Hiring A Maid at 1:45 pm

The Game Plan to Find a Body

Keep your existing maid while you search for your new maid. Ask your friends if their maid has time or has a friend. Ideally you’re looking for someone whom your friends are willing to recommend with a friend that needs a job. You want to end up with two people so that they can move furniture together without killing themselves. If one has a problem, you want them turning up at your house (as opposed to one of their other clients) so they don’t let the other down. Listen carefully to your friend’s recommendation.

If they report that the maid cheerfully does everything they’re asked or shown, on a continuing basis, but nothing else – you should be ecstatic.

Showing up on time is important. If they get through your checklist early – you don’t care. Your needs have been met. More likely they will not get through everything, but both of you will know what needs to be done next time. Does she have ideas about the status of a maid or the propriety of cleaning someone else’s closets? If she is afraid of being thought a thief if she opens a closet or drawer, she is never cleaning the dust bunnies that accumulate there.

Exceptionally slow work may be bad news.  Proper cleaning of a room takes a long time. You need to know that she can do a room or two thoroughly and still have time to do a minimal swipe at the rest of the house.

The maid may already be so overscheduled that she’s exhausted. Determining her availability for a trial period may give you an idea of how booked she is. If she has a lot of clients with small apartments, she is going to be spending a lot of non-paying time in travel.  That time has to be made up with more paying clients. In other words, visiting five houses in five days is better than five houses a day, even if they are all in the same apartment building.

Is she is taking the job of a maid to earn money until she gets another job (an actress? A semi-skilled dress-maker’s assistant?) You don’t want to take the time to train the perfect maid to lose her to another job.

Sometimes the reason your friend is recommending her maid is because your friend is not happy with the maid but doesn’t want to leave such a nice person without a job.  This may be OK. Make arrangements with your friend to ‘go on vacation’ and loan you the maid for a week or two. At the end of the trial she can go back to your friend, grateful that she isn’t working for you, or you may have found someone you can work with. The maid may also start doing a better job at your friend’s house.


Grow Corn for Food or Fuel

Posted in Abrupt Climate Change at 9:12 am

 The game assignment is is turn your town into a net food exporter. Could you turn the town park into a corn field? Should you? Here’s a 2004 corn yield map from the US Agricultural Dept. (2004)


Which Maid to Hire?

Posted in Hiring A Maid at 8:57 pm

The stellar maid who shows up on time, cleans everything, puts everything in it’s place, and does not burden you with stories of her kids acting up at school is fully booked and being paid anything she asks so that she won’t leave her current employers.  She is probably working for Bill Gates after studying for years at an exclusive English school for maids and butlers. Unless you inherited this paragon on the death of your mother or other close friend, you are not going to find her.

Which Maid to Hire – The Family Service?

Posted in Hiring A Maid at 7:47 pm

There is another type of ‘service’. This is the enterprising immigrant who can speak English with a number of her friends who can’t. Five or more may descend upon your house and in a short period of time they’re done.  One might dust, another sweep, another vacuum, another mop, one does the bathrooms and one the kitchen. If they come when you’re home it’s best to go sit in the car – otherwise you’ll be in someone’s way. If light switches aren’t someone’s job, slimy switches are not going to be noticed and taken care of.
Service employees aren’t flexible. You’re not going to be able to work with them to get things done your way. They may be an option when you first move to town, while you make the contacts you need so that you can network your way to a good maid.


What Kind of Maid –
Cleaning Services?

Posted in Hiring A Maid at 12:09 pm

Cleaning services are of two types. One is for after construction where they will clean every surface in your home with special equipment for getting fine dust. This is the type of service you want. The other is for residential cleaning where they wipe some visible surfaces (generally not the wall with the chocolate on it) and include a limited list of other tasks. Training may consist of sending a new person out with an employee who has been with the company a bit longer. The service takes a cut of the wages so your maid is under even more pressure to rush. This is closer to the bill you’d like to pay. The two are mutually exclusive.

 A Cleaning Service Story

My favorite cleaning service story involved John, who could have been a foreman at a major factory if he had been taught to read in his ghetto school and hadn’t been an alcoholic. John could figure out everything that needed to be done, he could do it and, if given a staff of trainees, he could efficiently put them to work and effectively check them. You just couldn’t count on him showing up.

One day the service sent him with their newest girl. He asked her to clean the pictures and he went for the rest of the cleaning supplies. On his return he found her going round the house squirting each picture in the center with a squirt of Windex®. After looking at her dumbfounded for a moment, he grabbed the cleaner, explained that it was necessary to wipe the glass completely before the cleaner dried and to not get it on the wooden frame. He then rinsed the bottom of every frame in the house. 

John was great. It would have been better for the new girl to sit in the corner. I paid the same rate for both.         



Toyota Highlander Hybrid – Safety Not in the Details – Dashboard icons

Posted in Vehicle Safety at 10:10 am

I love the idea of my hybrid – gas station visits no longer require trips to the bank with a wheelbarrow (just small knapsacks) and if I’m sitting waiting for teenagers the electric motor means I’m not generating smog.

 But is it really more important to know that maintenance is required than my daughter left her door open?  The Maintenance Required icon is deemed much more important than open doors or low gas. It stays on continuously with an occasional short burst of the real warning. 

Why would anyone ignore a Maintenance Required light on a new car? I wouldn’t have considered my husband’s romantic impulse to get the car serviced cause to turn the car into a dysfunctional disaster.

 My husband, in said romantic mood, decided to save me time by getting the car serviced. He consulted the manual (must be a male thing – I just take it to a mechanic and let them do what is needed.) Reading that the car needed an oil change for the 15,000 service, he took it to the rapid-and-cheap-oil-change place.

Again, I would have taken it to the dealer who does it for free, but I’m a girl & I like romantic impulses.  Rapid-and-Cheap tells my husband that he also needs a fuel oil injector cleaning. Hubby immediately dismisses this as a money-grubbing, unnecessary, bait & switch type claim by Rapid-and-Cheap. (My husband is brilliant – top ivy-league school, writes programs others claim are impossible, scout leader, and handyman-extraordinaire. No one is going to cheat him out of $39.) Off he drives with Maintenance Required still showing but happy knowing that the car has been serviced.

I resolve to do the next service a little early so romantic impulses get channeled in other directions (fixing the light in the laundry perhaps?) and stop looking at the unchanging dashboard. I eventually figure out that real warning messages are flashing for a second or 2 every minute – fortunately before the door flew open and my daughter flew out. (Note to Toyota – in other words she didn’t – I’m not suing you but I wouldn’t mind a little more critical thinking about your safety system.)   


How Often Do I Need A Maid?

Posted in Hiring A Maid at 9:02 pm

Budget & lifestyle determine how often you get a maid. (Did you need me to tell you that?) A single adult in a pet-free apartment on a low budget will probably want a maid every two weeks. A large house, with kids and pets, will probably need two and would be happier with three visits a week from a team of two maids.

To figure out how much you will ultimately be paying, take the going rate and multiple it by 1 ½.  This amount, multiplied by the number of hours you have determined you need is the amount you will need to pay to keep your maid once you have found one who really deep cleans on schedule.

If a Dam Breaks will You be Swamped?

Posted in Abrupt Climate Change at 8:47 pm

Although there’s some evidence that dams might not be maintained the way you might hope for expected rainfalls (courtesy of MYWAY.com) what will happen to your community if rainfalls increase in intensity during the spring & fall? The National Inventory of Dams gives you an idea of all the dams around you that could fail.  (After you load an annoying but harmless activeX control.) The name links to a page with detailed information on the dam – like the last inspection was in 1945. The presentation is by state with no apparent way to sort the data.  It can be copied & pasted into a spreadsheet on your computer. I created a spreadsheet for the Northeast (5.5 M) which I will link to as soon as I figure out how to put it somewhere useful. I sorted by latitude then checked dams to the north & south of me.  A Name of river sort is mildly interesting if you want to see how many dams upstream could fail on a major river that crosses state lines.


More on Dangerous Municipal Truck Flashers

Posted in Vehicle Safety at 7:43 pm

 Not that I have the least idea if truck flashers that were painful to look at were the root of this accident but it’s what I dread.

Closer to home, the son of one of my church’s members used to earn his paycheck collecting trash until one foggy morning a driver pinned him against the garbage truck, severing his leg.

Revrick, in commentary in Slate’s Fraywatch, on income inequality