carbon neutral since 1975

Year: 2007 (page 2 of 2)


Travelling for work is no fun. You make your own bright spots, however, so I always try to get off the beaten path a little bit. This morning I searched for the second day in a row to find a local cafe. Well, I found this “Backerei and Coffee Shop.” Well, I guess it’s a bakery and coffee shop (everything has a German spelling around here). So I got in there and they had a pot of coffee on with a little sign over it that said “coffee shop.” So it was mostly a bakery. Well I got an apple fritter and a small (only size) cup of coffee for $1.25 from a cheerful old small-town lady. Nice.

Reality Versus The Stories We Tell

A friend recently said that he liked the traveling, consulting life but his wife made him quit that life so he could help raise the children. Here we have a odd man. I propose that the reality behind his statement is one of these three:

1. He really did enjoy life on the road but was not man enough to work that out with his wife; so his wife changed his mind for him.

2. He really wanted to help his wife raise the kids but was not man enough to tell me that; so he passed the buck to his wife.

3. He really wanted to get a different job so he could help raise the children, but he wasn’t man enough to take the initiative and do that; so his wife had to lend him some of her backbone.

Or maybe none of those is the case at all and my perception needs fine-tuning. Maybe he really has brass but (like most of us) isn’t in the habit of talking like it.

Romanian Anomalisms

BB just got back from a visit to Romania. He shared many stories. These photos illustrate three of the more humorous ones. (Click the images to see larger versions.)

They said, “This is a Communist corn crib.”

Communist corn crib.

I am flummoxed; nearly all of the houses have outdoor plumbing. The same folks drawing water from these wells in buckets, own cellular phones.

Communist corn crib.

I think this picture explains itself.

Communist corn crib.

Technology Forks

You know what’s a pain in the head? Trying to build a DVR computer and plan for the future addition of an HD TV at the same time. I was ready to pounce on the $130 HD tuner card from ATI when I realized that that card will only receive HD broadcasts over the air. Anything in HD on cable and even regular digital cable channels are going to require the digital cable box and be unreadable with the tuner card. It’s not that I have digital cable now or an HD TV now, but I fully expect that I will someday.

To top it off, I got a call from Charter on Friday and it turns out that they’re not even providing DVR anymore. They just give you the digital decoder and every show ever broadcast “on demand.” They wanted me to try it at a discount for three months and I told the guy I wanted to try it but I wanted more of a discount. To my surprise he wasn’t playing that game; so I passed.

Anyway, I don’t know where this technology is going right now so I’m going to stick with the tried and true VCR for now. It looking like I may actually be able to skip an entire generation of technology (that is, the standard definition DVR).

Seen at Work

Sign seen above the sink at work:

“Please leave the drain in the sink. There is no garbage disposable. You make a mess, please clean it up.”

Excessive Cookies

You know I like cookies right? I’m a dessert fan in general and cookies are No. 2 for me, right behind pie. Anyway, they have some good cookies here at my local cafeteria. They have regular sized cookies and dad sized cookies. It sounds great, but the rub is that the bakers try too hard on the dad sized cookies. For example, I don’t appreciate chocolate chips in an oatmeal cookie. Then there is the model I just bought. It has white chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, and peanut butter chips; I say that is not a good combination. They also offer a cookie with m & m’s, oatmeal, rice crispies, and almonds sprinkled on top; I call that excess.

So I may have a new theory of cookie goodness…”the classics, the simple ingredients, are best.”

I had occasion to find a certain Calvin and Hobbes strip today and lo, the first hit at Google was the exact tool that I needed — The Searchable Calvin and Hobbes Database! Somebody give the owner of that site a medal.

Called by Recuiter

I’m used to being called by recruiters (a.k.a. headhunters). This week at my current work location, I have received three distinct calls from the same recruiter, who called me by name and skillset. This would be unremakable, save the fact that I don’t even know my own phone number here.

RememberLong Distance?

Do you remember the days when you would answer the phone — rotary dial with a 25 foot cord, of course.


“Hello, this is Aunt Martha. Is your mom there? Tell her it’s long distance.”

Just a few months ago, I was remarking that I have not heard anyone use that line in at least fifteen years, probably twenty. Naturally, the reason is that we don’t pay 25 or 40 cents per minute for long distance anymore. Now, if we are smart, we can pay as little as 2 or 3 cents per minute. So it’s no surprise.

Just yesterday, however, I called Aunt J and asked for my cousin, and received, “May I take a message? I’m on the other line with my sister long distance.” So it was nice to hear the old phone lingo again.

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