Is it Eggroll proof? I can find out if it is possible to be misunderstood, broken or used in a new and unexpected way. It's going to be fun, and possibly a little bit dangerous. . .
|Posted by Eggroll Creative on March 19, 2016 at 12:20 PM||comments (0)|
When I saw these beauties all lined up like toy soldiers, my first thought was that it was a wax museum for witches. It was in the middle of Spring, so I knew they weren't Halloween decorations . . .
Before I tell you what they are really for, let me tell you what Eggroll the Product Tester might try to do with them:
1. Screw it into the ceiling and hang a plant from it.
2. Skewer it and use it as a back scratcher.
3. Put a few on my desk to creep out my coworkers.
4. Open a cabinet that's just a little too tall for me.
5. Make a coat rack and use these for the hooks.
Honestly, all of these seem much more likely reasons for the existence of crooked fingers on pedestals. They also remind me of an old saying I used to love . . . "She shook her crooked finger at me." That used to mean a woman was mad. I wish my great grandfather was alive so I could shake one of these at him. I know he would have laughed and laughed.
So are you wondering what they are REALLY for?
Well on this particular day, they sat on the counter at a nail salon, so clients could pick out what color of polish they wanted for their manicure. They are color models.
Part of me wonders if they were actually made for that purpose, or if that particular nail salon was owned by product testers who just came up with this idea all by themselves while browsing through a horror movie prop catalog.
In fact, if you gave me a box of these for Christmas, I would worry about your sanity.
Now, a box of crooked fingers for your thoughts?
|Posted by Eggroll Creative on January 14, 2016 at 10:55 PM||comments (0)|
I think one of the wonderful parts about the increasing content available over the Internet, is that we have an opportunity to firehose our learning from other people. If something works well, you can tell by all the glowing reviews. I also love all the how-to youtube videos and life hack posts that come through my social media feed. Everytime I see my old Betty Crocker paperback cookbook, I am reminded how useless it has been to me over the past 25 years. As a young woman, I would try to follow a recipe, it would never turn out to be all that edible. From potato salad to banana bread, something would happen along the way that just didn't work. Yet these Internet recipes with pictures that show what the food is supposed to look like at every step work so much better for me. Next time I walk by that old useless book, I am throwing it in the recycle bin.
When you have a run-in with cancer as I have, you start to think about all the knowledge and experience you have bottled up inside of you. And you want more than anything that you can "back it up" -- put it out there in a usable form. Of course, we hope our children will learn from us, but as an alternative, just to get it out there so people can find it and maybe, eventually, your descendants will go "wow."
Today, I'm going to just say that a grapefruit sectioner is not a knife. It will not make a hole in a cottage cheese tub. It will fold in half if you do that.
I hope I have something a little more brilliant for you next time.
|Posted by Eggroll Creative on January 4, 2016 at 3:20 AM||comments (2)|
There is a very stiff warning when you buy one of these Fly Traps with the plastic bag hanging off the one-way entry cap -- and that is to make sure you don't spill the bait.
Also, they are to be used OUTDOORS.
Well my product-testing hubby thought he would hang this trap in the kitchen . . . you know, just overnight, to catch that one annoying fly that has been circling the house for two days. You guessed it, the little twist-tie top on the top of the trap gave out and it spilled.
All. Over. The. Kitchen.
Oh, and since the linoleum is coming up on the edges it went under that and soaked into the flooring below.
My husband has a nose the size of Montana. He loves to smell flowers, certain perfumes, baked goods. But he has never smelled anything like this fly bait. I heard the wailing downstairs and knew immediately I should try to ignore it as long as possible. I worked a Suddoku for awhile, and then swallowed hard and walked downstairs.
It was a mixture of rotting animal mixed with horse manure stench that greeted me. I almost vomited. But cleaning is my "thing" so I banished my husband upstairs, he was already making a mess of it soaking it up with kitchen towels. Towels I would find out later would have to be thrown away . . .
I used my Shark mop, along with spray lysol cleaner with a fresh scent, and finally as a last ditch effort, a pretty strong concentrate of bleach and water. By the time I had sanitized the area like a hospital room, showered and thrown my clothes away, it was 2 in the morning. My husband was talking and thrashing in his sleep. I learned the next day he was having a nightmare that he was homeless and covered in flies. I fell asleep with a prayer on my lips that the smell would be gone when I woke up.
Oh no it wasn't.
Remember those kitchen towels? Well, I threw them in our front loading washer, put it on the sterilizing cycle with bleach (by the way, I have to lift the heavy bleach bottle almost over my head and try to aim it in the small little bleach compartment, and everytime it splashes and ruins my shirt. Someone please fixt that design).
Well, when I did the load of towels, I had the great idea to add the shower curtain which had started to smell a little musty. Thanks to my efficiency, the stench of manure and dead animal greeted me when I stepped in the shower that morning. I felt a sick feeling, knowing that if the smell had travelled to my shower curtain even after going through the equivalent of a scented bleached boiling water treatment, that it would definitely still be in my kitchen.
And it was.
Like the TV show where the smell of body odor in the car contaminates everyone who comes into contact with it, this fly bait appears to be here to stay. Or maybe vinegar will help?
Guess I'll give it a try. Any other ideas?
|Posted by Eggroll Creative on November 23, 2015 at 7:05 PM||comments (0)|
One thing I've learned since finding out I have breast cancer, is that my doctors are moving at the speed of light. They throw out their advice like an empty beer bottle as they fly by . . .
"We'll be watching for symptoms," my surgeon said.
"Things like headaches."
"How can Stage 1 breast cancer cause a headache? Wouldn't that take years to go to my brain?"
"Yeah, probably. . . See you in six months."
If you are ok just going along with whatever treatment comes your way, accepting the lifelong consequences in some cases without wondering if you did the right thig, that's great. Otherwise, I recommend you hustle on over to www.breastcancer.org and do some homework. Learn from women with your same exact diagnosis who have walked the walk, sometimes for years.
Even then, you might miss a few things.
Like the Nordstrom Bra deal.
For several months since my first of three surgeries, I have been in a lot of misery . . . not enough support, or the "over the shoulder boulder holder" that is too tight and causes pain and swelling in the darndest places . . . not only on my side but on my back and under my armpit.
I realize this is getting very personal. Men, just look away.
So after enough complaining, my husband took me to Nordstroms and told me to "Go in there ask someone to fit you for a bra. Don't worry about the cost."
This is very unusual for my husband. Normally, he is very worried about the cost of EVERYTHING.
I was introduced to a compassionate caring young woman named Heather, who has been working in this very specific department for two years and loves it. Her very first important question was to ask for my name, which she then used several times. She whooshed me into a fitting room. As soon as I mentioned my recent lymph node surgery, she told me that they actually bill insurance for bras and prosthetics if the cancer surgery was recent enough.
She rattled off a long list of companies they bill directly.
Of course, mine wasn't one of them. But they would give me a receipt to bill my insurance myself. Who knew!
Then she measured me up and brought me six fantastic bras that all fit me perfectly.
"Wow, this is amazing," I gushed. "What size is this?"
"36 Double D," she replied.
"That's impossible," I responded, in shock. "I've always been a 36B!"
"Most women say the same thing," she said with a look of triumph. "They have no idea what size they really are."
I picked my four favorite from the group and she checked me out... they were about $60 each. As a courtesy, they didn't charge me sales tax.
I'm not sure if or how much my insurance will cover, but I only wish I had come in a month sooner . . . but at least now I'm ready for four weeks of radiation induced "sunburn."
Even if you don't have breast cancer and insurance to pay, I highly recommend you make Nordstroms your first stop the next time you need a new bra. The service truly is legendary, the bras are beautiful and well made, and you might just find that you've been underestimating yourself quite a bit!
|Posted by Eggroll Creative on November 21, 2015 at 2:25 AM||comments (0)|
Some years ago, my husband bought a Glacier Bay Flapperless Toilet for one reason and one reason only . . . it was guaranteed to flush when you pushed the handle. He was tired of toilets that kinda-sorta flushed, and then wouldn't flush until the water refilled. Fast foward a couple of years later, and the valve started to fail . . .
At first I jiggled the handle. When that no longer did the trick, I remove the lid after each flush and lifted the lever inside. Eventually, the sound of a running toilet could not be stopped. My husband began fretting that the septic tank would fill up.
A tiny plastic zipper bag -- the kind you might put a pair of earrings in -- gave me what I thought was a brilliant idea. I filled it with air, so it became a little floating pillow under the lever. I was so proud of my brilliant idea. Unfortunately, I didn't realize it would flush into the works of the toilet the very next time it was used. After that, I tried hooking a hanger around the valve. That seemed okay for a few days. Unfortunately, the tugging action of the hanger eventually pulled the box at the end of the valve completely off . . . and it flushed down into the works of the toilet just like the little ziplock baggie did.
And now the toilet was clogged.
My poor husband fiddled and tinkered and finally got sick of my offering unsolicited advice. He asked me to leave. When I peeked in a few minutes later, the toilet was sitting in two pieces in the bathtub. It was quite a nasty mess. My husband was really frustrated. When I suggested he use the hanger to fish out the valve, I was surprised when he actually gave it a try and pulled out . . . the deflated zipper baggie! A little more fishing around and he finally found the valve box.
While he re-installed the toilet, including a new wax ring, I cleaned up the mess and sterilized the tub.
Then I broke out laughing.
"What's so funny?" he asked me.
"After all of that work, we still have a broken toilet!" I howled.
He sighed, and shut off the water valve.
The sound of a running toilet stopped.
|Posted by Eggroll Creative on October 28, 2015 at 5:55 PM||comments (0)|
Friends, I have found my doppleganger. Her name is Joan and she makes gnome cottages out of river rocks, dresses in shockingly bright colors and she's babysitting a dog next door to me. Today during a visit, I gave her a chocolate donut and we began discussing the various uses of a dishwasher. She's suffering from a painful bout of sciatica and said she was pretty much putting everything in the dishwasher lately. I bragged that it was great for the hot tub filters and soap dishes. Not to be outdone, she claimed that when she lived in Alaska, she poached a salmon in the dishwasher and it was delicious! This strains credulity even for me. Is she making this up? Or can you really stick a raw salmon in your dishwasher and pull out a delicious cooked dish to serve at your next party?
|Posted by Eggroll Creative on September 16, 2015 at 4:15 PM||comments (0)|
We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming with my complete self-absorption over being diagnosed with breast cancer.
Along with fretting, panicking, googling, speculating, catastrophizing and being told to "calm down," I've also been product-testing some pretty amazing technology. The new 3d mammogram technology is definitely Eggroll Proof, as was the ultrasound that followed. I snagged a photo of it while the technician left the room for a second (above). In fact, these tests were so good, that the radiologist practically had me diagnosed within 24 hours. Unfortunately, it took another whole month to prove she was right.
That's because I happen to be the one in a gajillion patients who get a discordant 14-gauge ultrasound guided biopsy.
Are you surprised?
Or are you just confused about what the word discordant means?
Here's what happened: Despite demonstrating that the needle passed through the mass, and being absolutely confident that she got the tissue from the mass, the doctor who did the biopsy came up with benign tissue. So benign that the original radiologist was adamant we try again. "These results are not concordant with the imaging," she wrote. After 15 hours of celebrating what I thought was good news, I learned that "discordant" means that she pulled up ordinary breast tissue, but the radiology shows something NOT ordinary.
I guess as a hat-tip of respect to the biopsy-doctor, they changed my BIRADS rating from a 5 (likely-95% cancer) to 4 (suspicious-20% chance). Because I had a trip scheduled, it would take another two weeks for an excisional biopsy. Finally last week, with a scar that would dash my hopes of ever being a bikini model, I learned that they did find invasive ductal carcinoma.
Give that plucky radiologist a raise, I say!
The fact that I am still married, that my children are not in a mental institution and that so far I am kind of sort of hanging on to my job as a freelance marketing writer, is really kind of a miracle from God. One moment I feel brave and positive, and the next moment I'm calculating my 5 and 10 year survival rates. It doesn't help that I had to go off my hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Lack of Sleep, Hot Flashes and Extreme Irritability?
Meet Total Uncertainty and Constant Waiting.
By the way, if you have a spiculated mass on your mammogram as I did, even though the odds are that it is cancer, the odds are also good it's a low grade cancer. And if it's under a centimeter, as mine is, that should probably also end up being good news. But guess what? None of that really matters when you are waiting and wondering about the results of your pathology results, and MRI's, and sentinel node biopsy, and you have plans and things to do and you don't have time for any of it.
If you are a product tester, you are still going to FREAK OUT.
And you know what I say? Good on you! Scream, shout, cry, get it all over with. This waiting won't last forever. Of course worrying won't help and it may even be a sin, but it beats drinking heavily, because that's a carcinogen.
And if anyone tells you to calm down?
Start laughing maniacally.
Or if you would rather wait for your results OUTSIDE of the mental hospital, try visiting the https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/84/topic/833500?page=27" target="_blank">CRAZY TOWN WAITING ROOM on breastcancer.org.
Not only did they answer all my questions, but they share recipes and pictures of their dogs, and generally do a great job of making fun of themselves. And it's probably cheaper than professional care.
See you there.
|Posted by Eggroll Creative on June 27, 2015 at 11:55 PM||comments (0)|
Last January, I noticed it was becoming increasingly difficult for me to speak. The words would be a jumble. I would stutter, not be able to remember the words for simple everyday objects, and sometimes I would just drop off and stare into space. Staring into space became a pleasant way to spend way too much time. I became disoriented and not recognizing familiar places. When I didn't recognize my neighbor of five years, I called my doctor.
He put me on estrogen, B12, extra thyroid medication, additional DHEA in the morning and pregnenalone at night. All my other supplements, the Vitamin D, fish oil, I started really being good about taking them. The estrogen allowed me to sleep better and I am sure everything else helped a little. But several months later, something wasn't right.
"This is the age we see MS," said my second, more traditional doctor with concern. "But let's look at the most obvious things first."
"And can you do something about her snoring?" said my husband with irritation.
His eyes lit up. He had his obvious answer, saying that I probably had sleep apnea. Sure enough, the sleep study showed I was holding my breath an average of 17 times an hour, sometimes as long as 81 seconds. My oxygen was dropping dangerously low.
I was put on the Sleep Mapper Apap machine, considered "the gold standard."
Well, first off, I'm a mouth breather. Allergies make it difficult to breathe through my nose even when I try. So I was fitted with a full mask. The first nights, I was awoken quite regularly by tornado force air blowing in my face. I could not breathe until I got that mask off my face. Then I would take those desperate gasps, my heart pounding.
Even when I would remember to refill the distilled water compartment, I would wake up with my mouth so completely dry that my tongue would be stuck to my cheek. Many nights, I took my mask off and then fell asleep before I could put it back on.
Let's not forget the air in the stomach! My husband was howling with laughter as I burped like a drunken sailor until I could walk without pain.
I began to dread going to sleep.
So I brought my whole contraption into the respiratory desk at the pharmacy, and the woman there rolled her eyes and said I would get used to it.
Then I got sick. Really sick. I had a terrible fever, runny nose and then the cough. No way could I keep the mask on! That went on for 10 days. Where I was barely compliant before, now I was 10 days short.
When I finally put the mask back on again, I started having a new problem. I would wake up to the tornado winds, but now they were noisily blowing out of every edge of the mask. So I would reset the machine. Again and again. At some point, I must have finally started sleeping through these events, because now I would wake up to find the machine had turned itself off due to the leaking. Eventually, I was so exhausted, I would even sleep through the night with the face mask on and the machine off. So I would only get about an hour of credit for having the machine being on. Those mornings, I woke up with headaches, probably from breathing carbon dioxide all night.
When I went back to the respiratory desk, the woman was still a little peevish that I was complaining, but to her credit, she tightened up some straps on my face mask that I didn't know were there. The ones one top. She forgot and left the machine at the higher pressure she was using to test the mask. So I went home, and it was a shock to have the tornado greet me right off the bat. But I eventually fell asleep that way, and that night I had no leak. It seemed like my problem may have been solved. The machine was still on in the morning.
No one said anything about the bright red spot on my nose all the next day from the pressure of the mask being so tight. Eventually I loosened it up just enough not to cause bruising, but still preventing the leak.
I brought in my SD card after this hellish first 6 weeks, and found that the woman at the respiratory desk had been "let go." People were whispering and rolling their eyes about it. Well, as soon as the new woman came over to help me, I understood why. This person took my problems seriously. She immediately noticed the wrong setting, and she showed me how to override the humidifying feature so that my mouth wouldn't be so dry. And when she read my SD card, she noticed that I was still having apneas even with the machine, and suggested I may need a Bi-Pap instead. She said she would call my doctor and let him know what was going on and also clarified my insurance. She gave me hope.
Two nights later, the hose sprung a leak, or maybe I could have crunched it in the recliner. I vaguely remember it getting caught in the footrest when I stood up to get some water that night. I haven't had time to get in to buy a new one, so right now it's wrapped tightly with packing tape and twist ties. I think that's doing the job. Although I still seem to be waking up with headaches.
"I thought this would be simple, just put the mask on and be cured," I told my doctor at my next visit. "I wish you had warned me how hard it was going to be."
"For most people, it is that simple," he said, shaking his head in frustration while looking at my report. "You put on the mask and sleep."
Are you like most people? Or are you product testing the ba-jeebers out of your Apap, Cpap or Bi-pap like I am?
|Posted by Eggroll Creative on June 2, 2015 at 11:30 PM||comments (0)|
During a recent visit to Yuma, AZ, I noticed very few yards have grass down there in the desert. People used their creativity to make their yards attractive. There were Japanese raked-sand gardens, which had to be remade daily due to passing dogs that would kick at the sand while burying their unmentionables. Dry creek beds are a common theme. Lots of cactus. But my single-most favorite landscaping item was this adorable miniature prospector with his donkey, sitting on some Fool's Gold.
Since these figures are barely two inches high, I would have missed them completely if the homeowner hadn't bragged about how her husband had hidden little unexpected surprises in their fancy-gravel yard. That's right, the rocks you see in the photo above are about the size of peas! I really enjoyed searching for and finding this particular hidden treasure. You can't help but feel inspired at the possibilities in your own yard when you consider this little scene. What little dollhouse-sized surprises could I rig up in my own yard?
The fretting rabbit from Alice in Wonderland with his pocket watch ticking by the anxious minutes . . .
Mary Poppins riding the carousel horse over the race track finish line...
A toy soldier saluting a tiny but beautiful real U.S. flag flying in the imperceptible breeze...
I already have a puppy dog taking a bubble bath in my dollhouse. So that one is ready to go!
But I have to face reality. With my luck, I would forget where I put these itty bitty magic moments and then run over them with the mower. I already go through a mower every other year because I hit things. And when weedwackers connect with small projectiles, they can easily take out a window . . . or a small piece of my leg. So as much as I enjoyed this unique yard decoration, I have to admit it is probably not for me.
|Posted by Eggroll Creative on May 17, 2015 at 10:30 PM||comments (0)|
This entry really should be under the category "fashion." These Pretzel Necklaces are very popular at beer festivals. They come in many varieties. This one is alternating butter-flavored mini-pretzels between giant crunchy sea salt pretzels. The necklace itself can be anything from twine to fancy gold chain. But what I love about these necklaces the most, is how useful they can be . . .
If you're an introvert at a party or a software conference, nothing says "talk to me," more than a Pretzel Necklace. People will ask you how you got the idea (tell them you read it here!). Who knows where the conversation can go from there.
From casual sampling, I can tell you that the pretzels break off easily without a lot of mess and the necklace still looks great even when just a few pretzels are left. But if I had an opportunity to do a more comprehensive product test, I think I might start the day off with at least as many pretzels as items I had on my to-do list. Then each time I accomplished something, I would reward myself. Towards the end of the day, with the dozens of pretzels I would most certainly still have left, I would feed the pigeons at the park and the fish in the lake. These pretzels could also be very handy on a walkathon or if you get lost in the desert, to prevent dehydration and give you calories for the miles ahead. Don't forget, Hansel and Gretel left a trail of crumbs to find their way back out of the woods, maybe they should have hung pretzels on the tree limbs to mark their path back, it might have turned out better for them. Or maybe it would have attracted a large momma bear and they would have met an entirely different but equally tragic fate. If you ask me, properly handled with food-safety principles, and packaged attractively, they could also make a nice gift. Don't forget the Mustard Dip.