Thursday, March 27, 2008

book swapping

OK so I have to tell you about my new favorite thing! It's paperbackswap.com and I really think it's the best thing since sliced bread.

So you have a whole bunch of book sitting around your house that you never read, and they're pretty good books that you think you *might* read again, someday. They're too good to sell at a yard sale, because you like them and no one pays more than $1 for a book at a yard sale and you know they are worth more than that.

If you're like me, though, you'd happily give them to someone who really has an interest in reading them. Especially if this means you get a book that you want in return.

This is EXACTLY what paperbackswap.com is! You sign up and list a bunch of books you're willing to part with. When you list ten, you get an automatic two credits. It costs one credit for a book and 2 credits for an audio book. After you list your books, people will request them and after you've sent them, you get another credit. They even have a system to make shipping easy. They have the weight of the book in their database, so they prepare what they call a wrapper for you, complete with postage if you like, and you just print it and wrap your book in the paper and pop it in the mailbox.

I've sent out three books already, and I'm so happy to know that someone else is enjoying them. I've received one, have one on the way and I'm on a waiting list for a bunch of new ones that have recently come out but the library isn't getting in.

I realized the need for owning books after my second baby became mobile and slept less. The books I'd checked out were sitting there unread. I'd renew them until I couldn't anymore then I'd check them back out again. I've had one book for over 6 months! So I'm going to return them now and wait until someone posts them and then I can have them for as long as I like and then I'll pass them on again! I got a nice note back from one lady who had requested one of my books as a gift for a friend. Maybe I'm a dork, but that made me really happy!

I certify that I am in no way affiliated with paperbackswap.com in any way other than simple membership and am not being paid to post this blog.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

universal design

So down the street from my house, near our little man-made lake, is an abandoned building. This is an uncommon thing in our neighborhood as we're a nice planned community. So plans are being made to remove this "eyesore" and replace it with- you guessed it- TOWNHOMES!

These will be no ordinary townhomes, however. These partially county-funded gems will follow the new Redevelopment Housing Authority (RHA) resolution requiring any new county-funded housing projects be built using universal design practices. Apparently someone is worried about the aging population in Fairfax County.

Universal design essentially means handicapped access. Switches are lower, you can fit a wheelchair under the kitchen sink, elevators, and door levers instead of knobs (a new trend I really don't like- hard to keep kids from opening doors with levers).

So I'm wondering...do they really think this type of house is going to appeal to people outside of the disabled community? Is there a plethora of wheelchair-bound folks dying to live in a townhouse in Burke Centre that I'm not aware of? Seems like another fun trendy thing Fairfax County is doing to be "cutting-edge." Wouldn't it make more sense to require new county-funded construction to be built to greener standards? That's a trend that's really hot right now that we can all get on board with.

What I'm really wondering though, is where is this abundance of people nearing retirement age? The "aging population" of Fairfax County is in general tremendously physically active. My Dad lives here, he's retirement age...and he runs or bikes like 5 miles each weekend. I'm not seeing compromised mobility in his near future. I'm also pretty sure these folks might want to move from this hugely expensive area when they get down to living off those nest eggs. This must be somebody's pet project.

Monday, March 17, 2008

i still haven't quit my day job

right. So I thought I quit my day job. The one where I worked in information security, or as my husband liked to say, "computers."

Speaking of my husband, have you read his blog? if you haven't, go ahead, I'll wait.

Done yet?

Key thing: my husband is on a quest to remain current in the every changing world of technology. A noble goal in which I support him 100%.

BUT

My husband is all about keeping up to date with technological APPLICATIONS. He has no interest whatsoever in procuring or maintaining the hardware that supports them. I think this is cute. So, since I support him 100% in this quest, and think he's really cute, I still have a "computer" job. I just don't get paid for it. Sure, we could pay someone at Best Buy or Micro Center to do this stuff for us, but I really have trouble paying for things that I'm pretty sure I can figure out how to do myself.

Then I had the brilliant idea that my boys could one day be in charge! Right. You can't let your kids be in charge. So I'm thinking I'll have to get the personal training option when we buy our iMac next Christmas.

And now I'm off to wash diapers, am I well-rounded or what?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

stumbling through the web

Hooray! I've have a fun new way to find interesting stuff on the Internet. It's called StumbleUpon and it's likely you've heard of it but haven't used it yet. My husband will be annoyed tonight when he comes home and finds another toolbar installed, but whatever because I LOVE IT.

I clicked stumble and it brought me to a very fun list of words in the English language that are mispronounced, then to this gardening tip, and then here...check it out.