Thursday, January 26, 2017

Little comfort things

Lots of bad news out there.

I've been....spending money. I should not, but it's not large amounts of money at any one time, and some of it is for things that are useful to me (I placed a Penzey's order the other day - was almost out of Poultry Seasoning). And I ordered some tea and also some tea tins for storage from Adagio today.

And I've bought a few toys. Baby North Star is still on her way (hopefully she arrives tomorrow), but her "identical cousin" Baby Sparkle North Star has arrived:

Yes, I now have ALL the Sparkle Baby ponies from G1 and this pleases me. Yes, she doesn't look that different from Starflower but I don't care.

Guess what? Pony butt! (Yes, I am seven). This is partly to show - though it really doesn't in the photo - that there's a TINY bit of pink left in her mane and tail. Some of these ponies had hair colored with a dye that apparently turned out to be fugitive; collectors call it "fading pink." (I think some people re-pink the hair with either RIT dye or with the paste food coloring sold for cakes. Meh, I don't mind the faded color and would rather not risk damaging the pony trying to re-pink).

I really really love the baby ponies best of all, because they are so tiny and round and have such stubby little legs.

(Eventually there will be a "tiny bean army" photo, after Baby North Star (unglittered version) arrives)

Another thing I've been buying off and on for the past few months are Monster High minis. I have a few of the full-sized dolls (well, for some values of "few." Probably "more than" a few is more accurate). But these are just fun. They are unrealistic and goofy and some of them have glittery skin and they are colors not found in any normal human race - because, of course, they are monsters.

But they are NICE monsters, not evil monsters. (The Dracula descendant - Draculaura - was apparently even a vegan in the universe of the short-lived show that was about them. Not quite sure how that works, but....)

And there's also the idea built-in to the universe, that we're all kinda weird in some way but we can all more or less get along, and, as the website says "All are welcome." (Actually, perhaps, sort of an anti-bullying, anti-exclusion message. I suspect that's intentional, but as someone who was excluded a lot as a kid, I can appreciate it)

I also love the dolls because of the high level of articulation (There is a new line of less-expensive, little-kid-play-themed dolls, that are less articulated, but my understanding is they're just a side-line and not a replacement for the main dolls). And there are some agonizing puns about the names or about other features of the universe, but that's fun too.

And on to the minis. These are little blind-bag style figures (but you can, I guess, find them in packs where you know what you're getting). I like the blind-bag aspect, even if you risk getting repeats. (I have a couple repeats, more on that later).

They're tiny, and they come with a little open-fronted "locker" that they can sit in, and the "lockers" you can make a little display.

I picked up a couple my last trip to Mart of Wal. Both of them were ones I didn't have, including one that is my new favorite:

The "Candy Ghoul" (I said there were unbearable puns) form of Lagoona Blue (who is a seamonster in humanoid form). You can't see the sweet glitter on her hair, but maybe you can see that she's blowing a bubblegum bubble, which is agonizingly cute. (The other one was the "original form" of Venus McFlytrap)

I like these because they are tiny, and not SO very expensive, so you can buy one now and again as a treat if you need one.

As I said, I have a couple duplicates: the candy-ghoul Draculaura (who is black and hot pink and glittery) and the white, purple, pink and glittered candy-ghoul of Catrine DeMew ("Daughter of a were-cat," is the claim, I didn't know were-cats were a thing). They are out of the original wrapping but still have the little "locker and the sheet listing all the different if you or your kid or someone you know is collecting these and wants one, drop me an e-mail, I could put it in a bubble-wrap packet and send it off.

And yeah, I need these things in my life right now, partly because of SO BUSY AT WORK (but that's a good thing, even as it tires me out) and because of wider-world concerns, and because of little things like this:

I ran out to refill the gas tank today, Got in to the ONLY open pump at the Love's. Put my credit card in, typed my zip code in like asked. And.....DECLINED.

Wait, what? I just paid this one off and anyway, I knew it was nowhere near the (fairly high) limit for this one.

Okay, well, maybe because it's a chip card. So I pulled out the remaining non chip-and-pin card and tried it....DECLINED.

Then, and I hope I wasn't an idiot* for doing it, I pulled out my one remaining card (the Target MasterCard) and tried it.....DECLINED

(*I hope I wasn't an idiot running all my cards through and that there wasn't a skimmer on that pump. I couldn't see any evidence of one and I reported the card turn-downs to the guy in the store, who seemed unconcerned, but....better check on all the cards several times over the next week just to be sure)

Anyway, I ran in and threw $30 at the guy (no idea for sure how many gallons it would take). Filled up, found I paid $8 more than I used, so I had to get back in to the store to get my change, but there was a woman with kids in the car behind me, so I didn't want to just leave my car sitting at the pump while she I pulled across to the store, and as I did, someone pulled in and took the LAST spot.

Well, it wouldn't have BEEN the last if there wasn't a big luxo-pickup truck, fairly new, parked in the TWO closest spots - yea, the old "I'm straddling a line to protect my nice car from being scratched, so you can just go park far away"

There were NO spots left. And I wasn't leaving $8 in the store because of that. And there was nowhere else in the lot to just leave my car. So I double-parked it behind the big luxo-pickup, on the grounds of "if dude comes out and wants to leave, he can just wait, because he was enough of a jerk to intentionally take two places." (He didn't, and now I wonder if it was one of the guys working in there.) And I was a little nervous as there were a couple cops in there - cops tend to hang out in the convenience stores affiliated with gas stations, partly because they get robbed frequently, and I suppose the cops figure they may be more likely to catch a crook that way. And I was afraid the cop would ticket me or say something about how I had parked, but I guess he didn't care.

But yeah. Not happy about luxo-pickup guy. I don't think anything of it if it's someone waaaaaaay back in the distant end of the lot at the wal-mart or the Target, and leaving closer spaces for everyone else, but when someone takes either a couple close spaces or takes two of a very limited number of spaces, that is not cool.

I was worried maybe somehow all three of my accounts had been compromised, but then when I went to pick up a medication refill (even though this is my cheap one with  a $6 copay), I tried putting it on a card....and the card worked find.

Ockham's razor tells me "That almost certainly means the card-reader at the Love's was just broken" but like I said, I have a tiny ghost of a worry that there might have been a skimmer, so I will check for new transactions the next couple of days just to be cautious. These are credit cards, so if they ARE compromised, the only thing is I'm inconvenienced for a while until they can be replaced; it's not like someone could drain my bank account.

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