Archive for April, 2009

Ah, Spring!

Doe a deerThe Easter Bunny left his photographic backdrop propped up by the ice cream place in center court at the mall a few weeks ago. Just couldn’t resist playing around. If nothing else I amused the other mall walkers.

I think the squirrel is a tad out of proportion. If I saw a squirrel that big in real life I definitely would NOT turn my back on it!

Have a great day!
Ami :)

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April 28, 2009 at 7:29 am 5 comments



My friend Mark reminded me that I have my own airline, Air Manilla International. Never mind that it’s out of business! He also reminded me that I have my own airline code: AMI stands for Mataram, Indonesia.

Aparently there are more than 9,000 airport codes. If you want to look up your initials and see where YOUR airport is, try and type your name in the blue shaded box. The next challenge is to somehow work that into a conversation.

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April 27, 2009 at 10:01 am 28 comments

I Am A Beverage

I'm honored.

Who knew?  Yet, there I am on grape, orange drink, and citrus punch labels. AND embossed onto the plastic bottles too. Pretty neat, huh? And, I’m enriched with vitamina C.

We snuck off to Mexico last month and at the little market where we were staying there I was up on the top shelf. The slogan? “COMO ME GUSTA AMI.”  Isn’t that nice? (That’s nice, isn’t it?!)

So who are these Jumex people?  I need to know. More importantly, do they have corporate logos on sweatshirts? Would that not be so cool!?

Who speaks Spanish out there? Thank goodness my name appears in bright orange. The print on the back of the labels is so small I can hardly read it. Looks like there is a toll free number if you live south of the border: 1-800-01-JUMEX. The stuff is made in Mexico, if my Italian helps at all, and is exported/distributed to Guatemala, Honduras and possibly elsewhere in Central America. Any extroverted googlers out there?

Years ago I learned that there is a fly-fishing outfitter named SIMMS.  I wrote and asked for a label. They were very nice. I pinned it to one of my pin cushions.

Simms label

My most treasured “name” of all time were some shirts from a store called B. Moss, that being the same initiatl of Mom’s first name and her entire last name.  Amy Simms, my neice, found them for me. I could only find one shirt left, after Mom passed away, that didn’t have her name markered on the label. This label won’t be on there for long. It will soon live on a quilt!  (Check your closet in case you have any, would you? I’ve got another idea brewing and I think the stores are all out of business.)

B. Moss Clothing

Now, anybody who suggetsts I have too much time on my hands after reading what comes next is going to get slapped upside the head. (I am creatively procrastinating. There is a difference.)

Turns out I am also:

  •  American Megatrends Inc. 
  • Association Montessori Internationale
  • American Meat Institute
  • Association of Medical Illustrators

And, AMIS Semiconductor, whatever that is.  Naturally, I went to their web page. Check our their logo! I made the mistake of calling up their marketing person. (Hey, if you don’t want calls, take your phone number off your web page.)  I dialed a little too fast, before I had a plan, and wound up leaving the most odd and rambling message on the poor woman’s voicemail. And of course I gave her my name! Feeling like a total idiot. OK, I’m going to go quilt now.

Red faced,
Ami Simms

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April 25, 2009 at 7:13 am 36 comments

Toothpaste Conspiracy?!

Nothing but a ploy!I’d rather not think about toothpaste. I’ve got other more important things to ponder. While I resent the 87 different brands, flavors, additives, and claims I have to evaluate before I can throw a tube of dentifrice in the shopping cart, I am able to get over my selection angst. After that, I pretty want to brush and move on.

But I can’t. Alas, sometime when I wasn’t looking, some marketing idiot designed a new cap. The old cap wasn’t good enough. This  new one has to multi-task. Like the ketchup bottles and the SoftScrub, toothpaste caps can’t just keep the contents inside the tube, they have to be able to, what, stand the tube on end? For what possible purpose? Like I have space for a toothpaste display on my bathroom counter? I think not. (Besides I tried that. After half the tube is gone, the tube falls over. Trying to get it to stand on its own is like balancing an egg on end.)

So despite every attempt NOT to think about toothpaste, there I was thinking about it. Why the cap change?  I think I figured it out. All the extra stuff they put into toothpaste to keep your teeth from rotting, make them white, numb the pain from your exposed gums, prevent plaque buildup, and stop mold from growing all over your mouth, somehow changed the consistency. Or maybe they just made it thinner on purpose just so it would drip out of the tube on its own. That’s it, I’ll bet!

Eeeeew!Try and stand the tube on end and (duh!) it exits the tube that much faster. The more spilled in the cap itself and on the bathroom counter, the faster the consumer has to buy more!

Not THIS consumer. I changed the cap!

MUCH better!It was a highly technical operation. Upon close examination I discovered that the bulbous, over-sized, “stand-it-up” cap could be removed! Ah HA! And under it was a threaded opening that was EXACTLY the same size as all the other tubes of toothpaste I have ever purchased. I just took the top off my travel size tube (only slightly less expensive than the suitcase I tote it around in) and used it to cap the larger tube! Perfect.

So, to re-cap (pun intended):

  1. The “old-fashioned” way was better.
  2. I am the master of my oral hygiene products.
  3. On a good day, I can outwit a toothpaste conglomerate.
  4. I now have to keep track of the old cap so that I can put it on all future toothpaste purchases.

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April 21, 2009 at 7:30 am 42 comments

OK, I Changed My Mind. Again.

I’m allowed.

In speaking with the quilt in question, the one made from Mom’s shirts, we decided that my original anal plan was the one go with. It felt more comfortable.  It involved less “quilty thinking” and more “Mommy thinking,” which was the whole reason to make the quilt.

I was stressing too hard about my assymetry. It happens. I retreated to my comfort zone.

There is another quilt brewing that will be a little wackier, but this one just needed to begin and be done. The angst of planning it (or letting go, as the case may be) was overshadowing its primary purpose, so Mom and I went back to Plan A.

How anal is that?

Mom's Shirts Quilt Fairly. I cut up 12 different shirts a different color. From each shirt I cut six of each of the three size.” (I planned on a few leftovers.)  The fabrics were distributed evenly throughout the quilt top. I studied and squinted, and found no duplicate blocks. (If you spot one, please keep it to yourself.)

I created a series of three nesting templates so that I could center each of the  four squares precisely. The grain of each patch in the block runs in the same direction. Every time I fused I smelled the detergent the Alzheimer’s facility used and I smelled Mom. I probably should have just skipped the quilt and ironed her shirts.

Originally I was going to hand blanket stitch everything in place by hand. I gave that up after the first block. Majorly annoying, a real pain in the fingers. Cotton and spandex knit does not give itself up to the needle easily. Neither does the fusible interfacing that backs each background square, nor does the fusible web 1/2″ under the raw edge.  (Yes, each of the 54  6″ background blocks,  all 72 blocks (and their corresponding  fusible web) were fussy cut. And you wonder why this is taking so long?) 

The next plan was to blanket stitch around the outside edges through backing and batting, “blanky-quilting” it down.  The thought of wrestling the concentric squares (attached to the quilt) around and around made my wrists ache, so I opted to do that part block by block, pivoting at each corner. Thank you, Sulky; I love the 30 wt black cotton—all 500 yards of it. And yes, I did fish the tails to the back, tied two square knots to secure them, and hid the tails in the stitching… 216 times. Repetition frees the soul.


I joined the blocks with a sashing strips (regular quilting weight cotton) so the thick seams of Mom’s pants (the black) would never have to be folded back onto itself. It’s a heavy quilt, but it will be flat. I hand-basted each seam allowance in place with water soluble thread so that it would stay where I put it. Who knows when I’ll get to quilting it.

For right now, I’m putting it away so I can move on to other things. I’ve saved all the extra fabric. I’ll let the quilting design percolate a little before I decide exactly what to do.  Too many decisions right now.  I’m going to iron some more of her shirts and see what I feel like.

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April 17, 2009 at 7:01 am 27 comments

Restaurant Bonding Revisited

Refresh your memory of a post I wrote at the end of last month that drew a flurry of excellent comments from readers:  Restaurant Bonding. I wrote to Outback Steakhouse suggesting they re-think their policy of having wait staff sit down next to customers, citing my blog and your responses to it.

With the permission of the person who wrote the email, I am sharing Outback’s response:


Thank you for contacting Outback Steakhouse, we always encourage and appreciate feedback from our guests.

Our servers are not directed to sit with guests while taking orders (unless invited), however we do encourage that they get to eye level.  Outbackers are encouraged to be warm, friendly, and let the true love of their job at Outback shine through.  Our goal is to make every dining experience at Outback an enjoyable, relaxing and memorable one. We believe the service we provide is the best in the business and a true point of difference.

Thank you for passing on this feedback from your blog, we always welcome and consider feedback from our guests.

Your Friends at Outback

I guess I’m stumped. Your comments?
Ami Simms

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April 15, 2009 at 7:04 am 68 comments

Most Boring Job

Sign HoldingNot all jobs can be as exciting as mine. I know that. And not all parts of all jobs are fun; that’s why they call it work. And, not everyone gets to do meaningful work.  But when your entire job can be replaced by one sturdy nail, that’s pretty sad.

So, because nobody else will, I salute the sign holder.

But I just need to ask WHY.  Seriously, what’s with the person-held signage at street corners?! During the last year, they’ve started sprouting up like dandelions.

Why? Is it illegal to nail a sign that big to the telephone pole, but it’s not illegal to have a person hold such a sign? Or are we consumers so pathetic that we can be distracted by the movement and so manipulated by advertisers that we really believe there will be more than one item that actually rings up at 70% off the original retail price?

What kind of instructions do the sign-holders get before they start their shift, besides being told which corner to stand on. Are they allowed to sit? Can they lean? Must the sign move CONSTANTLY? Back and forth? Up and down? What about bathroom breaks — what do they do with the sign?!

Do you know? Tell me.

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April 13, 2009 at 7:19 am 22 comments

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Ami Simms

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