Monday, February 24, 2014

Roll Up The Rim

It's that time of year again... Roll Up the Rim at Tim Horton's...  The bane of my coffee drinking existence as an environmentalist...

Many people, at least in northern BC, view Roll Up the Rim as one of the first signs of spring.  Sure.  By the time the contest is over each year, the snow is melting and all those "disposable" cups that didn't make it to a waste transfer station to decay surface from under their icy grave.  So yeah, I guess it's a sign that spring has arrived.

There are millions of prizes to be won. Millions of cups manufactured for this contest every year. 270,237,000 were made for the contest in 2007.  I imagine more were made each year since then. It just astounds me that in this time, when the world is trying to figure out how to mitigate climate change and other environmental impacts, there is a contest that encourages the use of "disposable" cups. 

Now, to be fair, you can participate in Roll Up the Rim to Win without actually getting a cup.  You can go to their website and play the online version where you spin a wheel.  They call it Roll Up Roulette. You get two chances to play each day with extra plays when you share it on Facebook or wherever.  I can't really see the distribution of prizes being fair between cups and the online version.  My guess is more of the big prizes are given out to rim-rollers. But there is a choice. 
You can, as I do, refuse the cup when they hand it to you with your filled reusable cup.  But be warned, they pretty much always look at you like you have two heads.  I use my travel mug as a way to reduce the amount of garbage and pollution from manufacturing.  And I don't intend to be wooed away from that principle by the chance at a 2014 Toyota Corolla (I have a 1988 Toyota Corolla that works just fine.  Sorta.).  A travel mug may affect the environment more than one "disposable" cup. But it only takes approximately 26 uses for that to become the reverse. (You know, depending on the mug you get - metal versus plastic, size, blah, blah, blah.)  If you get coffee every day, that is less than one month.  

I don't want to do the cliché Tim Horton's versus Starbucks thing, but I'm going to. The Roll Up the Rim is not the only environmental issue I've had with them.  Whereas Starbucks actually makes Cold Cups.  Tim Horton's has, on multiple occasions, refused to use my reusable cold drink cup because of the special design of their cups to work with their machines.  Without that lip that the lid creates, the Iced Capp would spray everywhere when mixed.  Yet! They haven't jumped on the idea of creating a reusable version.  I have also written to them about making Iced Capp Cups.  I no longer even bother to bring one, as it never seems to make a difference anyway.  I now prefer to go get a screamer from Husky.  I can use my reusable cold drink cup there.  (I don't really care for Starbucks Frappuccinos.) 

I go to Tim Hortons.  Don't think I'm all Tim Hortons is EEEVVIIILLL DON'T BUY FROM THEM!! I own this very mug.  We go there occasionally for a nice outing.  Like I said earlier, I just refuse the Roll Up the Rim cup when they hand it to me.  I have, however, sent them a letter each year at this time of year encouraging them to find a better way to promote their products.  I always get a response that they "understand my concern" and they are "always looking for ways to help the environment". But no indication that this contest will stop any time soon.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me

I was born on Friday February 12, 1988 at 11:27pm. That means that I just turned 26 years of age last week. I wasn't showered in presents (Which is great, since I'm not a fan of "stuff" around my house that I don't really use.), but it was a lot of fun. My mommy even put together goody bags! (It's true)
My hunny and I are not ritzy people by any stretch of the imagination.  We not chose to celebrate our birthdays this year (his being 11 days before mine) surrounded by friends, playing board games. We like learning new games and at this party it was Gloom.

The basis behind this game is that everyone gets 5 family members and you try to make depressing things happen to your own family and make good things happen to your opponents.  Your family manners will often have untimely deaths and the winner is the player with the family that has the lowest Self-Worth Score.  

Sounds depressing, right? Actually, it is quite hilarious.  Not only are the tragedies that occur thing such as "pursued by poodles" or "mocked by midgets", but you get to make up some ridiculous story that goes along with how the tragedy (or uplifting event) happened, adding on to what other players have already said about that specific character. 
The other really cool thing about this game is the card design.  They are clear plastic with all the woes and wonders that each character experiences stacked upon the character, still showing the character and scores from other cards beneath them.  It was the highlight of the evening of games.  
The morning after game night, I went with a couple friends on a 717m snowshoe with the average incline being somewhere around 45°.  It certainly wasn't a beginner snowshoe trail. But at the end were enormous ice falls.  It was worth every step, including the ridiculously steep part right at the end.  We wound up sliding on our bums down that part.  I was very thankful that my friend managed to spread her legs before slamming into me and did not impale me with her snowshoes.  
That same friend gave me a new base layer shirt in my favourite colours, which I happily used on the hike. I came home soaked from the dripping icicles and melting snow and with a big grin on my face from the experience.  I would, however, bring a pair of poles next time.
On my actual birthday, the party having been held on a weekend when it was convenient for most, me and the hubby spend the evening playing old school video games. Game, I should say.  We played the original Mario Party on Nintendo 64.  I tell ya, 64 bits on a big screen looks AWFUL!. But it was a blast.  Took us three hours to get through 50 rounds. And it was a pretty close game the entire time. I was mostly in the lead until the very end when he got 7 more coins than me.  Oh! But I had forgotten about the awards at the end and I got an extra star for the win.  That's right! I'M A SUPERSTAR!!

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Guess and Test Method

I enjoy the challenge of trying to figure out HOW to make stuff.  It's not necessarily the end product.  Or the process of making it.  It's the figuring.  It's the problem solving.  It's the math! Yes, I AM that weird.

I don't use patterns.  Don't recall I ever have.  I may have figured out how to do each of the little parts via books and pictures, but I rarely ever follow a pattern.  I learned how to knit and crochet around the age of 5 when my mother handed me a book with the basic instructions.  And when I started sewing, I just did it.  I made mistakes and learned from them.  There were a few things I referenced, for example zippers.  I didn't know what the different feet were for until I had to sew a zipper.  Manuals, YouTube and Pinterest are my friends.

That's why I like custom orders.  Preferably custom designs, rather than custom colours of an already made design. Once I've figured out how to do it, it's not quite as fun any more.  I wrote in previous blogs about the apron I made for my mom.  I just got her to show me a picture of what she wanted and I did it.


And now my sisters both want one of their own for the coming Yule season.  Should be fun.  :)

I just finished working on a quilted dog kennel mat.  It's a great way to use up my scraps while trying to figure out quilt block patterns to fit the 22" square kennel.  

It is a learning process.  As you can see (or maybe wouldn't have noticed if I weren't pointing it out) the blue triangles' tips are cut off.  That is because I made the brown triangles too small and rather than waste all of them by having to cut out bigger ones, I just cut the squares with the blue triangles in them a little smaller.  But now I know for the next time I do this pattern what the correct size would be for the brown and cream triangles. 

It's the adventure of figuring everything out that's exciting.  So bring on the custom orders! I love a challenge.

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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Pay It Forward

Sometimes things just go smoother when you have help.  And sometimes that help is unexpected - the best kind.

A few weeks ago I posted on Facebook that I was looking for a tag shaped punch and I was hoping that someone heading to a larger centre would be able to look for one for me at one of the big box stores.  I had had trouble finding one, even online.  I had found some on, but they refused to ship to me for se reason.  

That evening a got a phone call from a friend of mine asking if I had tried looking online, so I explained the Amazon situation.  She thought it was odd (as did I) that they wouldn't ship to me, so she asked if she could try to order it and see if it would work for her. As much as I thought it was moot, I agreed. And so she did.  And it worked!

I was astounded and confused.  Not sure what I ever did to Amazon. But it was ordered and I was excited to receive my punch.  When I asked my friend how much the total was so I could repay her, she told me she didn't want me to give her money.  She just wanted me to do something nice for someone else. Aw!

I received my punch yesterday morning and it is perfect! Perfect size, works great, it's even sparkly! And it will forever remind me of my Boo and how sweet she is.  

The punch will now be used to make tag shaped business cards.  Can't wait to play with it!

For those of you wondering, I did do something nice for another friend of mine.  I got a few other people to help me write a bunch of things we like about her in a card and sent it to her in the mail.  She seemed very grateful. And, knowing her, I won't have to tell her to pay it forward. She probably already has. 

I would love to hear what kind things you have done recently, just because you can.

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