Friday, April 3, 2009

who knew? part II

President Obama gave Gordon Brown a gift of hand-selected, quintessentially "American" DVDs. While laying in bed? reclining on his couch? drinking tea? in his 10 Downing Street residence, Gordon Brown inserted the first movie, anticipating a few hours of relaxation and entertainment. He pushed play and reached for a fistful of popcorn.

Guess what happened next?

The blue screen announcing that his DVD could not be viewed in his region appeared. When I heard that story on public radio I whooped I could have told you that! although it did make me feel better that the president and his staff didn't know any better than I did. (Newer readers, reference Who Knew? part I which explains why I learned about DVD regions.) After hearing that their gift didn't translate to Region 2, the Obama people sent over a new American DVD player to Gordon Brown could enjoy his movies.

This story got me to thinking about how experience is a great teacher.

I've learned it's a bad idea to try to vacuum up an ant infestation. One simply must use poison and vacuuming up a huge population of live ants is pretty stupid.

I've learned that nail clippings and hair does not flow readily through one's sink drain. It clogs. Clogs require clearing drain traps. Drain traps are really gross.

I've learned that there's a good reason for all those open parking spots closest to the baseball diamond: fly balls.

I've learned that I need to label all my frozen vegetables from my garden with a Sharpie marker. Case in point: I made a casserole with a quart of what I thought were frozen tomatoes. It was frozen pumpkin puree. The casserole's flavor was NOT what we all expected.

I've learned that signing up your 6 year old son for a summer school class in dance will not lead to his enrichment in the arts and gender neutrality. He will NOT appreciate a gym full of girls skipping around with long twirly ribbons and steadfastly refuse to join the class. (Shut up. I let him drop the class.)

I've learned that playing tag with garden hoses with spray nozzles will definitely result in someone getting their retinas power washed. This? Is not fun.

I've learned that if you're going to have a bonfire in the woods, you absolutely have to rake all the leaves and twigs into the fire and have a wide clearing of dirt around the fire area. If you don't do this, the fire spreads kind of quickly. I've also learned that these little wildfires will burn themselves out kind of quickly, too.

I've learned that I have no business ever drinking any amount of rum.

I've learned that soggy fields full of mud are the equivalent of quicksand. If you step in, it'll keep sucking you down. Don't walk on it. Don't drive on it. Stay away from it.

I've learned that if you're having a party in your back yard, you should keep the food out of direct sunlight. Especially if it's August. And especially if it's cheese.

What has experience taught you?


  1. Oh my, those are some interesting lessons.

    I've learned that telling my husband about the unfolded laundry on the bed does not mean the laundry will get folded.

    On a related note, my husband has learned that ignoring the laundry means I'm not very friendly that night when the lights are off and he's in a friendly mood.

  2. I love your fly ball lesson--I've learned that one too.

  3. Maybe not ants...vaccuming up spiders, however, seems to be dandy!
    * ; )

  4. I've learned that reading some posts will make me sputter and giggle helplessly even when I'm at work. :)

  5. I learned the fly ball lesson, too. Luckily, it wasn't my vehicle that fell under the bat of our best hitter.

  6. I've learned that when your 24 Lb cat is the size of a small toddler, he will poop the amount of a small toddler, and you'd better spring for the expensive kitty litter.

    I've learned that you can't leave Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs in the car for 2 hours in Florida.

  7. I've learned that worrying about something doesn't change the outcome.

    Of course, I learned it, but it doesn't mean I learned from it (yet).

  8. Oooh. The ants. Yeah. That one is a little too familiar. It likely worked about as well here as it did there.

  9. Good advice about the fly balls. Never would have thought of that.

    I use masking tape on my freezer bags. Works pretty well.

    I've learned that neither vacuum, nor poison (eco-friendly or toxic to all), nor constant cleaning can keep ants out of my house. Year round.

  10. ...he,he! Good ones!

    I've learned that anything having to do with kids, (your own or otherwise) is probably the most exclusively "learn-by-experience" thing a person can do. ;)

  11. I've learned never to trust a painter who says there is no need to put drop cloths on the ground before he paints because he's using splatter-free paint. Four years latter I'm still finding paint specks on woodwork, vinyl floors and carpeting.

  12. Does the American DVD player work in England because we had these same problems while living in Germany. Granted, technology may have come along a bit, but in the 90s, you either had to buy a DVD player that played all regions, or you had to import a TV with your American DVD player because the German TVs have different resolution than the American and couldn't interface with each other. It's such a frustrating thing they've come up with - coding DVDs - all in the name of a buck!

  13. I've learned that gum wrapped in paper and left in a pocket will destroy a pair of pants once they've been through the dryer.

    I've learned that not rinsing out the oj or milk jug and instead just recapping will result in a huge stinky mess in your recycling bin.

    I've learned that if you shake a bottle of soda hard enough, the cap will fly off and spray soda on the ceiling. (My mom was not thrilled that I learned this.)

    Aren't life lessons great?


  14. I have learned that when your husband takes an aspirin per day to prevent heart disease, if he cuts himself shaving it only LOOKS like he's bleeding to death.

  15. "I've learned that signing up your 6 year old son for a summer school class in dance will not lead to his enrichment in the arts and gender neutrality."
    And 4 year old boys enrolled in dance will be expelled for being unable to leave the darn record player alone.

    I have learned to never tell anyone in advance what's for dinner. That way mixups and failures can be passed off as inspired. So how was the pumpkin casserole?

  16. I've learned that you are too funny, great post

  17. That was too funny!

    Experience has taught me many many many (need I go on) things.

    Let's see.. experience has taught me that not washing my face at night leads to me looking really haggard in the morning.

  18. I've learned that it's probably not a good idea to meet the friends BEFORE the wedding for drinks.

  19. Hilarious that B.O. gave that gift! and did you hear what he gave to Queen Elizabeth?...just a little something to keep her 'modern' (too funny)

    When you get a chance!!! Come on over and see my surprise!!

    Have a blessed Sunday :)

  20. I heard BO's iPod he gave Queen Liz had, amongst her favorite show tunes, HIS best speeches on it! Loved that! It was too funny on the DVD front--you'd think someone in the State Dept would have thunk of that!

    I've learned you always make me smile, even when you are sore from the dentist. I've also learned that the smelly garbage I think can just stay overnight does NOT improve its odor the next day.

    Fly balls, huh?

  21. Good lesson!

    I have learned never to put dish soap in the dishwasher and that it's always best to read what you may think is a nice email in a grumpy voice just to make sure someone who doesn't know your dry wit and sense of humor doesn't take offense.

  22. all of these things made me chuckle.

    i hadn't heard that about the DVD player.

    and i can so picture that dance class.

  23. i like TX Poppet's lesson about not revealing the dinner menu in advance.

    my extended family is famous for complaining about the food long before it's ever served. (i made the mistake again of announcing what i would serve for Easter dinner. already got one request for a change.)


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