yellowrotary Someone on eBaY if offering this awesome yellow rotary phone. I was thinking about biting on this one, it would look really neat on my desk! Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have a line in here. Also, I think I read that the phone companies don’t support rotary phones anymore. And our phone is actually on a fiber optic line, that’s another unknown.

So, in all likelihood, this phone would be a serious overkill of a paperweight… Unless….

It seems like just a few years ago that we started this little mom and pop Internet store, but we got to bickering about it, and as usual, Teresa is right. We have been doing this since 1998. We looked it up on the Washington state DOR site.

Business License

All I have to say about that is, I’m glad that I have a good “day job” or we would have starved.

P.S. I smudged the address, we are online-only and our dog might bite you if your ankles aren’t protected.

Parkside Elementary Seattle Class of 1967 rules

Parkside Elementary Seattle Class of 1967 rules

I guess this is the class of 1967, for picture day I got your basic buzz cut (Dad had a flat top! And I don’t mean that in a good way) – Girls on the other hand… That girl behind me, either her mother is a hair stylist or she got set back four grades. I’m surprised that she’s not smoking in this picture.

I WISH tape recorders were only seven bucks.

I WISH tape recorders were only seven bucks.

I always had to have a reel-to-reel tape recorder to monkey with, when I was a kid. These became a little scarce with the advent of cassette tapes, but you could still get the little reels of tape for them at Radio Shack. They were much preferable to cassettes, because you could slow them down with your finger, or otherwise tweak them.

I was fascinated by all the little rollers and plastic gears. Electronics just don’t have that smell of industrial lubricant and extruded plastic these days, and I kind of miss it. When my son was little I took apart the VCR we had because an Army Man was keeping the tape carriage from moving, but it just wasn’t the same. Maybe they use different lubricant these days.

I got a tournament-approved Monopoly “Speed Die” from a guy on ebay, we started a game using this third die today. Not sure if we will vote to use it in the future.

The speed die does one of four things, three of them good but the last one very bad!

  1. If the SD shows a one, two or three, you just add that to the other dice and move that much further. Good for getting back around to GO a little faster, I guess.
  2. If the SD shows a bus, you have more options where to stop; For example, if the regular dice show a one and a six, you can move one space, or six, or all seven. Unfortunately, this slows the game a bit as players evaluate their movement options.
  3. If the SD rolls a “Monopoly Man” aka Mr. Moneybags, and if there are unsold properties, after you take your regular move, you advance to the next unowned property. This would seem to speed up the game, but actually we have to go through a roll call every time; “Connecticut! Who owns it? Saint Charles- Does anybody own it?”
  4. If the SD rolls a “Monopoly Man” and all 28 properties are owned, then after you take your regular move, you advance to the next opponent’s property and pay rent; This could mean paying rent two, or even three times in one turn, if you rolled doubles twice and were especially unlucky. It speeds the process of eliminating players, but I don’t like the “piling on” aspect of it. Am I just not ruthless enough?

We recently saw a documentary on Netflix about tournament Monopoly players, and it inspired us to dust off the old Monopoly board, seeing as how is was miserable out and all four of us were home.

The idea was to come up with some house rules that make it easier and more fun to play, without compromising the ability to bankrupt opponents, and without tilting it too far away from “skill” and toward “luck”. We were only partially successful. Here are the rules that got a majority vote.

(NOTE: Rules were modified a bit after I got a tournament-approved “speed die” from a dude on ebay)

GENERAL GAME PLAY:

#1. Added a “real estate agent” and a “General Contractor”. The banker only handles money, other people deal out property deeds and buildings. This doesn’t seem to affect game play, or does it? Isn’t the banker who handles everything going to be a bit distracted?

#2. NO ONES. We eliminated the $1 bills and rounded up all rent totals. This eliminated one of my big objections to playing Monopoly, too much time spent “making change”.

#3. NO JAILHOUSE LANDLORDS. We decided that people in jail with Jake don’t have anyone on the outside to manage their financial affairs, so no rent collecting, no trading, they are incommunicado. It makes about as much sense as the regular Monopoly rule that doesn’t let you collect rent on mortgaged property. Just think what a rule like that would do to Donald Trump! Our “No Jailhouse Landlords” rule also discourages hiding in jail to avoid PAYING rent.

BONUS CASH: I am generally against bonus cash rules but I always get outvoted. Hence these house rules;

#4. Free Parking starts at zero, but Chance fines and jail fees, etc. get put in the free parking zone. What is this teaching the children?

#5. They also made a rule where you get an extra $100 for landing directly on GO. I was outnumbered.

PROPERTIES:

#6. The title cards get shuffled and each player gets 3 random properties “From a rich uncle who dies” at the start of the game. I am lobbying to get this thrown out. There are only 28 properties to be had, I think using the speed die gets the properties distributed quickly enough.

#7. The very last property gets thrown in the FREE PARKING pile. I successfully got this house rule thrown out, because it conflicts with the speed die instructions.

#8. Mortgages are interest-free, thanks to an imaginary stimulus program.

#9.Build anything. I grow weary of fussing with all the houses, so until I find some old Monopoly sets with wooden houses at a thrift store, glue the houses together to form duplexes, triplexes, and four-unit apartment buildings, “uneven building” is OK- You can have 2 empty lots and a hotel. That’s how it works in real life.

#10. Since we have multiple sets of buildings, there will be unlimited housing stock; but if you have to sell them back to the bank, it’s still at half price.

ROLLING DOUBLES:

If someone lands on a rental property on doubles, they have to pay rent. We tried the “But I wasn’t staying the night!” rule, it slows the game down. #11. There are unlimited doubles with no penalty. I think rolling doubles three times in a row constitutes “speeding” and there should be an option to just pay a $50 fine where you stand, or optionally go to jail. Too many people trotting off to jail gives a slight advantage to purple and orange property owners. (My son says: “All of a sudden you’re smarter than the Parker Brothers?”)

… So those are our new house rules, what are yours?

The Restless Mouse Command Center

I see Windows Eight has arrived ( They would do better if they call it “Windows Eight” instead of “Windows 8”- It implies horsepower ) – Frank Lee, I don’t see what the hoopla is about. It’s mainly a different screen and a different way to sell software, am I overlooking something important? I don’t need all of my software to be “apps”. That’s another thing, I know “Apps” is short for applications, but it’s also a big chunk of the word “Apple”. Perhaps it would be too Charlie Sheeen-esque to call them “Wins” instead.

This is one of the little nuances that I love at the Bellingham Railway Museum. Although I would rather that Barney got run over by an oncoming train, instead of one that is slowly backing onto a side spur line.

Twinkies will never die Just heard that Hostess is going into bankruptcy (for the second time in recent memory) Hopefully they won’t be liquidated this time. Of course, the products such as Wonder Bread, Twinkies, etc. are valuable assets, and surely would live on under new management, right? right? I don’t know why I care, I’m diabetic and can’t have any of that.

When I was a kid, I really thought “Twinkie the Kid” was about par with the Cheerios kid as pathetic mascot. I remain convinced that The Frito Bandito would win in a shootout with T-kid, sadly you can’t really kill him.

Apparently the spam machine came up with a scenario in which I cheated on and broke the heart of one Teresa Stout. It was probably because she would not take the garbage out. No wait, that was Cynthia.

Nevermind the fact that I have been happily married since early in the Reagan administration to a different Teresa. BTW I am sure that this Teresa Stout bears no resemblance to any person living or dead, etc. etc.

The letter bears the odd, hai-ku like cadence that is common to a certain type of SPAM email.

LOL, I hope this helps if some other poor schmuck is getting the third degree about WHO THE HELL IS TERESA STOUT – Hope one of them googles it and finds out that it is just meaningless spam!

I dont know How to start this letter but I believe you know exactly why I am writing You today.I am writing You this letter with tears all Over My eyes

and In my heart I know that we have come to the end of this relationship and I will never haver anything to do with you again,,I keep remembering

those time you promised me love those time you said You will never hurt me,I felt so safe because all the promises you made to me and today

those promises happen to be a mare promises.I gave You My heart it was You that I keep thinking of all Day and all Night You robbed my heart…

Imagine that I caught you sleeping with my best friend right in Your Bed.I want You to know that no woman shall ever give to You the kind of love I

offered You in a platter of Gold.I shall move on with my life.after so many years of being together this is how to decided to pay be back

(cheating,heartbreak) GOD WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU

I will never give up in this,I know i will one day find that Man who is ready to take me now that I lost you,a man who is caring,loving and sincere and

Not cheat like you someone who shall be my love and husband and shall always cherish me until death do us part.I was introduced to one of this

online dating site maybe I will try It I don’t care if the Man I will find there is single or divorced all That matters to me If he has a Good heart to

Love because One on one settings is full of cheat like You.I hope this letter gets to You..

Regards Teresa stout