Tuesday, August 30, 2011


During a soccer game, I'm pretty sure that you're not supposed to be thinking don't kick the ball to me please don't kick me the ball please not in this direction no please don't kick the ball at me...

And yet I did.  For the entire first half and most of the second.  And I was sorely reminded that I am fat and out of shape.  Must work on that.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Modern World

Me: "I've been listening to Harry Potter audio books in the car.  It's been great."

Response: "There's something different about listening to books on CD, or I guess iPod, than on tape.  'Book on Tape' just sounds cooler."

Me: "Oh, I'm not listening to it on iPod or CD.  I'm listening to it on thumbdrive!"

Friday, August 12, 2011

Safety First

The general manager at work has some of the best stories.  The following is one:

I was working at the Trojan Nuclear Plant (about 30 miles outside of Portland) many years ago, and we had one of those tallies that counted the days since the last accident.  The company had a policy for giving out rewards after hitting certain benchmarks, like 6 months, 9 months, etc.  We were coming up on a big one, and the company decided to get us sweatshirts.   We thought, "Hey, that's pretty cool."  A subcommittee was formed to design the sweatshirt.  They must not have done a very good job reviewing it, because when we got them, no one would wear it.  First of all, it was pink and none of the men were going to wear that.  Secondly, the writing on the front said TROJAN SAFETY.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Word of the Day

Phenomenologically.  adv.  Related to:


1. A philosophy or method of inquiry based on the premise that reality consists of objects and events as they are perceived or understood in human consciousness and not of anything independent of human consciousness.
2. A movement based on this, originated about 1905 by Edmund Husserl.

Used in a sentence: "Thank you for phenomenologicallly solving this problem."

This word was used in an email written by our Japanese contacts.  We're all very impressed -- and slightly embarrassed -- that they've managed to out-vocab us.  (And yes, I'm using "out-vocab" as a verb).

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


The Utoid has a blind spot when it comes to remembering birthdays.  Some people forget names; others forget faces.  He forgets birthdays.  A detail that I hope to correct, at least for one (mine).  So I've begun a pop-quizzing routine, checking that he remembers mine.  Every few days, I'll ask.  He's getting better about it, but I can't tell if he's teasing me by guessing or he if really doesn't remember at times.

The last conversation about birthdays happened just over a week ago, with me dropping heavy hints about what I'd like on my day.  A few days later, a card from the Utoid shows up in the mail.  Not just any card.  A birthday card.  It's a joke card, too, with Donald Duck on the front, ranting about how people receive no respect on their birthdays: trick candles, gag gifts, etc.  When I try to open the card, I find that it's glued shut.  Turning it over, I see "cards that don't open."  Underneath, the Utoid had written "And cards that are really early!"  I laugh, since this is him joking with me about not remembering my birthday.

We start talking, and I let him know that I liked the card.  He's satisfied that I appreciate it.  A bit later in the conversation, I tell him that I like him, even if he does send me birthday cards over a month in advance.  Then it becomes apparent that he didn't mean to!  He had made a note to send me a birthday card before the 10th, but in his rush to get other things done, it slipped his mind that it was the 10th of September, not the 10th of August.

Silly boy.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Why I Love Southwest Airlines

"Welcome aboard.  Your flight attendants today are Monica, Rachel, and Phoebe.  Allow us to pretend to tell you about the safety features of this Boeing-747.  In the seat pocket in front of you, there is a brightly colored pamphlet that you will never read. . .

. . . In case this flight turns into a cruise, there are life vests under the seats.  Place one over your head, fasten the buckle, and pull the straps to tighten.  If the vests don't work, that's too bad for you.  Thanks for flying Southwest!

We never anticipate the loss of cabin pressure -- if we did, we wouldn't have come into work today!  In case this does happen, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling.  If you are traveling with a child -- or someone who acts like a child -- secure your mask first before assisting your husband.  If you are traveling with multiple children, take a moment to decide which is your favorite. . .or which one has the most potential.

Once again, thank you for choosing Southwest Airlines.  Please keep all hands and legs inside this ride.  We are cleared for blast off!"

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Random Thoughts

I'm still holding onto the hope of being a good blogger: interesting, witty, captivating, funny, consistent, poignant, and dedicated.  Unfortunately, I feel none of those things, and I have several blog ideas floating through my head, but none of them are formed enough to sit down and write.  So here they are, the snip-its:

  • I don't own a TV.  Okay, that's not true.  I have a TV.  It was a hand-me-down from my grandmother, and even she thinks that I should replace it.  It's currently hooked up to my VCR so I can watch my handful of VHS tapes that I'm "borrowing" indefinitely from my parents.  And here's the thing: I don't need a TV.  Every show I want to watch is available on Hulu, Netflix, or CBS.com, and by watching shows online, I minimize my exposure to commercials and TV schedules.  I can watch shows at my leisure and on my own schedule.  
  • Related to the above, I end up watching a lot of TV on work trips.  I turn the hotel TV on for white noise.  When flipping through channels for something to watch tonight, I found 6 crime/murder solving shows, two talk shows, one sitcom, and lots of community cable.  Despite getting sucked into the first few minutes of Without a Trace, I settled on this.
  • The person boarding in front of me on the plane should have read this, specifically the part about choosing seats on a plane.  Stopping in every row and trying to readjust the full baggage bins is fruitless, especially for a bag that can easily fit under the seat in front of you, ma'am.  All you do is hold up the line for the rest of us to board the plane.
  • Tablets are the future of computing.  The touchscreen interface brings a whole new interactive multimedia experience to surfing the web, reading magazines, and playing games.  Plus, it's how we're going to be teaching out children to think.  Example: young couple with a tiny toddler on the plane today.  She started off the flight screaming but they quieted her and kept her entertained by allowing her to play games on their iPad.  The future of parenting, people.
Maybe someday I'll get into a groove with the blog. 
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