Sunday, May 30, 2010


I miss these guys.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Mystery Solved

Remember how I said my order with Bookeen was on hold? Yeah, I figured it out. Last night when I was coming home, my card was declined at the grocery store. And tonight when I finally got around to calling, it turns out that the credit card company freaked out because in rapid succession my card number was used in Washington D.C. (by a human rights organization that I just agreed to donate to monthly), in France (to order the Bookeen) and again in New York (by me, trying to buy whole wheat English muffins, egg beaters and turkey bacon for what passes for a decadent weekend breakfast these days). The D.C. charge didn't come across as an e-commerce transaction, and so at that point they had already called to request verification...when my phone wasn't receiving calls. When their computer saw the French charge--also not flagged as an internet transaction--they were sure that my card number had been stolen by pirates, so they shut the card down until they could speak with me. It's all straightened out now--thank goodness for 24-hour customer service. (Why does this stuff only occur to me at midnight?)

I was a little annoyed at first, but honestly, a little inconvenience is a small price to pay to have them looking out for me, and I'm actually really grateful. After all, who knows what might happen otherwise? Maybe it's just the latest Jeffrey Deaver book I'm reading making me a little extra paranoid....

Ereader Post

I finally ordered an ereader, or at least, I think I did. It was definitely not a choice that would be right for everyone, because my criteria are pretty specific:
  • It had to be small. Whatever you're thinking, probably smaller than that. Bigger than my phone, but still very small. I read everywhere. I read in restaurants, I read on the train, I read in waiting rooms all over Long Island. My dream would be to put a bunch of books in my purse without having to carry a purse the size of a small overnight bag.
  • It had to be lightweight--ideally under 8 oz. Mostly this isn't an issue when you're already satisfying the "it has to be tiny" criterion, but all other things being equal, a light ereader would be better than a heavy one. If I hand my purse to someone today, their immediate comment is that it feels like lead. I have enough back problems as it is. (Anyone ever read A Walk in the Woods? I find the passage where Katz hurls everything in his pack off the mountain strangely cathartic.)
  • I wanted to try an e-ink reader. My eyes aren't the best, and e-ink is supposed to be this amazingly relaxing reading experience, and I really want to see whether I agree. I'm an Android fan, and I'd love an Android e-reader, but for now I'm sticking with e-ink screens.
  • I wanted the background of the display to be as white as possible--as book-like as the technology would allow at my price point.
  • I don't like proprietary stuff. So no Kindle, at least not for now. Kindroid, maybe, because I have to admit Amazon's selection seems to be unparalleled, but for now epub support will be just fine.
  • It had to be around $200--originally I was shooting for $150. I don't even know if I'll enjoy an e-ink screen, so the less expensive, the better.
Without the size restriction, I would still be lost in analysis. There are so many choices out there that it is totally mind-boggling. Fortunately, most 6" readers were larger than what I wanted, and there aren't that many 5" readers out there. Of those, three seemed to stand out as favorites of people who owned and enjoyed 5" readers: the Sony Pocket Pro, the Bookeen Opus, and the Pocketbook 360.

The Sony Pocket Pro is the least expensive. The Sony was running $199 until recently, but can now be found on Amazon for just $155--and it comes in pretty colors. It has a pretty devoted following. I looked at it first, mainly because you can see them in person at Target and Borders, where you can touch them and hold them and try reading on them. I was disappointed in the e-ink experience with the Sony. It was like reading a solar calculator. I wanted to like it ($150 is a great price), but all I could think was "if this is the future of reading, I'm going to kill myself." It was also a little low on memory compared to its competitors, and the battery is not user-replaceable. But mostly, it was the display. For purposes of comparison, I checked out the Nook. I found that it was much better, although it did look calculatorish in certain light conditions. So I'm hopeful that what I end up with will be less depressing.

So $150 was out--now I was looking at two significantly more expensive readers. Well, at first I was looking at one slightly more expensive reader. The Opus was running about $180 when I started looking (and it's still available at that price). But when I started looking at reviews, I noticed that a new version was coming out that boasted instant-on functionality and faster page turns. I'm a deeply impatient person, so I started looking at the new model, which runs $200.

The Opus is tiny--it is practically miniature--6" x 4.2" x .4" (one Amazon reviewer says it is a little larger than a frozen waffle). It is also incredibly light at only 5.3 oz. Of course the trade-off is that it is made of plastic, whereas the heavier but barely-larger Sony has an aluminum casing. The consensus in forums and reviews seemed to be that the Opus was clever and nice but overpriced--it originally sold for $280. At $180 or even $200, it seemed like a decent investment. And I was pretty sold when I saw a blogger's photo comparing its e-ink screen to a physical book (and not just any book, but one of my favorites), here. (I tried to embed it, but Blogger wants to make it ludicrously huge.) I would say "500 points to anyone who recognizes the book," but honestly, I think all our IR's will know it instantly.

At this point I'd like to point out that the $180 Opus should have been my decision. It's got great reviews, it has a loyal following, and the firmware that makes the $200 version faster (it doesn't have a faster processor or more RAM or anything like that) will probably be available for the older model, if it isn't already. So it would be the smart choice. But I'm a girl, and the $200 version also comes colors other than white. What can I say? It's not smart, but it's pretty.

As I was lurking in forums and combing through reviews, I came across the third contender, which almost seduced me. It is the Pocketbook 360. The hardware is very Opus-like (about the same size, same weight), but with a hard cover that goes over the screen (it detaches and snaps onto the back of the reader while you're using it). But the firmware is its true allure, praised by everyone who tries it. The ease of navigation! The ability to highlight! The apps! The incredibly sexy notion of tipping the book to turn the page without pressing a button! (No, seriously--the software senses the motion via the 360's accelerometer and turns the page. It was almost worth the extra $40 to me, and I have no idea why. I mean, it's cool and all, but I don't know why it's such a disproportionately attractive notion to me.) A lot of Opus users convert to Pocketbook 360, lured by its sexy, sexy firmware.

I seriously considered the 360, but eventually it lost out on points. First, it's more expensive. Second, and I apologize for being all hung up on aesthetics, it's really not attractive. It comes in two styles, white and girly or black and sadly geometric. The whirly-girly or geometric designs are molded into the cover, so you couldn't skin them and make them go away. There's also something squat about its proportions, and there was something else about it that I couldn't put my finger on. Then I asked my buddy at work, and he said, "Get the Opus. The Pocketbook has a Fisher-Price look about it." Yep, that's what it was.

So after all this dithering, I went to order the Opus, and it turns out that the French website kind of hates me. I'm waiting for them to come in on Monday and help me troubleshoot my order, which seems stuck in some kind of "pending" status. But folks at Mobileread have theirs and are excited about them, so I'm hopeful. I'll post more about the device as I get familiar with it.

Smartphones Are Only So Smart

So I'm now on my third Droid Eris. My phone effortlessly made the upgrade to the new version of Android and then mysteriously began experiencing weird errors a week and a half later. I took it back to Verizon (fortunately on my way home) and after trying a factory reset they just gave me a brand new phone.

I wasn't worried because I had bought a backup program, but when I took the phone home and tried to access my backed-up data, the program wouldn't accept my password. Fortunately the Android market remembered a fair bit of my stuff, and I remembered the other things I used. Within an hour or so I was back up and running.

Then the next day I started having an issue where people would call me and there was no sound. So back to Verizon, where this time they didn't even bother with the factory reset and just gave me another new phone. This time, having witnessed the failure of the expensive backup program, I had backed everything up two different ways, and restoring everything only took five minutes. And the added bonus is that now I know my backup software works.

And I still love my Eris, which says a lot, I think. I'm also pretty impressed with Verizon. After my previous experience with AT&T, where I had a Samsung phone that reused to keep anybody on the line for more than five minutes, I wasn't expecting such pleasant and trouble-free customer service. (AT&T's response was to ask me to buy another phone.) I'm sure Verizon has its bad times, too, but so far, so good...

It's not natural!

I think I may have posted on this before, but it's been long enough ago that I can't remember it, so I'm hoping you can't either. I imagine our IR's are conveniently forgetful about such things.

Many years ago, while I was working my way through college in a data entry office in the Southwest, I had this friend named Dave. Dave was, well, a hippy of the 90s. He had long red hair, a very laid back attitude, and although he didn't actually say "groovy" he kind of oozed it from every pore. Oh, and he definitely gave the impression that he spent at least half of his life in, shall we say, a state other than New Mexico. Dave and I got along quite well. He had the attitude and life style I never had the courage to have. One day we were talking about homosexuality, and Dave, ultra laid back guy that he was, surprised me by saying "the only thing I have against gays is that it's unnatural, man." I didn't really think before I responded, I just blurted out "Since when have you been worried about natural? Do you see a lot of chimpanzees driving cars around? Do you see baboons sticking bits of metal attached to glass tubes into their arms to deliver synthesized chemicals to fight disease? Any egrets going into space in the space shuttle all on their own, there? How about sloths putting pieces of burning leaves into their mouth to inhale smoke and alter their mood? Those are all a wee bit more unnatural than putting one body part in another perfectly natural orifice" The cool thing about Dave was, he looked at me and said "you bastard, you shot down my argument" and decided he had been wrong. That's the only time I've ever heard someone say that in the context of a subject like that.

But I've been thinking about this a bit more since then, and I've decided that I really hate this dichotomy of "natural" versus "unnatural." Mostly because a) I don't think that any thing is unnatural and b) so many things that could be considered "unnatural" are bloody brilliant and essential. So let's take point A first. What is considered unnatural? Well, anything that does not occur in nature. Ah, but we occur in nature, do we not? And all that we do therefore occurs in nature as well. Who are we to be somehow outside of nature, just by being us? And even those things that don't occur in nature, well, they come from natural things, don't they? Plastics are about as unnatural as we're going to get right? It doesn't exist anywhere in nature, right? Yeah, but plastic comes from oil. Oil is natural. Oil is dinosaurs (well, mostly the plants dinosaurs ate) that has naturally turned to oil over zillions of years. So if you go back far enough, plastic is made of all natural ingredients! Not only natural ingredients, but plants! Healthy, healthy leafy green plants! Yup, choc full of old fashioned goodness. So how will we find anything unnatural? I have no idea.

Ok, so point B. If we are to say that unnatural is anything that is done by humans, or that would not occur except for humans, then thank god for unnatural. As I mentioned, vaccinations are really just outrageously unnatural by that definition - no monkey does that! But most of us (not all of us, some fringe folk fear them, because they make too damn much sense I suppose) are damn grateful for the unnatural little things - needle sticks and all. But you know what is very natural? The black death. 100% grown in nature, transmitted by rodents, killed a very sizable chunk of the human population back when. HIV is also natural - sorry guys, nobody brewed it up in the lab, no gay mad scientists inflicted it on the world. Came from nature's own kitchen. Most of what makes humans human, and successful, is our ability to do what is unnatural. And often what we're fighting - disease, aging, and so forth, is natural.

Now, humans can screw things up all over the place, and when we do we want some label for how we are screwing them up, and I suppose unnatural is a label that can be used. Experimenting in genetics could be bad, for example, and it's "unnatural." But what could make it bad (or very very good) has nothing to do with being unnatural. Incredibly powerful, potentially dangerous, if we're not careful ridiculously foolish, sure. But "unnatural" really doesn't help a lot as a descriptor.

Bad etiquette

Last running post of the morning, I promise.

As I was coming up on mile 8 this morning I had a vivid memory from about mile 23 of the last marathon. It's not a happy memory, but I decided to share my experience so that other may learn from it. There is a new simple rule, and it goes like this:

If you're ever running a marathon, and disappointed in your pace, do NOT complain bitterly about it to the other runners that you are passing. This may get you glared at, tackled, hexed, or shot.

And she's just lucky I had no gun or voodoo doll, and couldn't catch her to tackle her if I wanted to.

Here endeth the lesson.

So you think runners aren't crazy

Ok, this is to balance out the last post.

If you think runner's aren't crazy, try this little experiment. Grab a CD, any CD, like, say "Best of Queen." Get in your car, pop in the CD but don't start it yet. Drive to a freeway. Get on the freeway and start the Best of Queen. Look at your watch. Now drive, and drive, and drive. Drive for 7 miles and see how many songs you've gone through (maybe 1.5). Consider how far you've gone, all the scenery you've seen, all the cows you've passed or apartment buildings or Walmarts. This is a "daily" run. Depending on how you train, you'll do 3-5 of these in a week. Keep driving though. Keep listening to Freddy Mercury. Get to where you've gone 13.1 miles. How many songs have you heard now? How many cows, apartment buildings, or Walmarts have you seen? This is the minimum weekend long run. Every damn week. But don't stop driving. Keep going. "I see a little silhouette of a man..." All the way to 20 miles. By now you're out of the city/town/village you started in. You could be in another state (well, if you're in a border town you could). The scenery has probably changed. And you're on a whole new song. This is a "good" long run. You need 4-6 of these in a training season. But don't stop now! You're so close. Keep going. 6.2 miles more. All the way to marathon, baby! Get to 26.2 miles and pull over. Look at your watch. How long did it take you to drive that? How many songs? This is what we spend 2-6 months training for. Just to do that on foot. Now get back on the road, turn around and drive home. By the time you're back (an hour later probably, unless you drive like some of my family) you'll know, we're freaking nuts.

Running off the pounds

LB2TR here.

I'm trying very hard to be "in training" so you're just going to have to endure a lot of running posts (what else is new, right). Also, Katy is now running 5K's, so you may get double trouble. You are warned.

Did 13.5 miles today, total of 33.5 for the week, and had a funny thought. As I finished up my 13.5 I realized I had just run off a little more than half a pound. Really. Not water weight, weight weight. Think about it: 3500 calories= 1 pound, 13.5 miles x 130 calories = 1755 calories, 1755 calories / 3500 calories = 50.14% of a pound!

When you think of it, that's kind of amazing. All of us have struggled through diets before, and we've all had those weeks where we work our asses off not eating and find we've lost maybe half a pound. But if you run, you can lose half a pound in 2 hours. Freaking amazing. Of course, what screws you up is that by the time you're running 13 miles you also have the appetite of a medium sized village. But other than that, it's freaking great.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Wired Readers' 10 Worst Cars

This is priceless.  The story about the Nash Rambler is my favorite, but the first one about the Vespa MP is also fun.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Why the shorts matter

No, not the shorts you wear, the shorts you run!

As I've been pondering my last marathon and the paradox of decent base mileage for the training and relatively poor performance, I've decided that it's pretty obvious what happened. I didn't run fast enough. Duh. So, how do you run faster, you ask? Well, you, uhm, run faster. No, wait, let me explain. The way you build your muscles is by pushing them to do what they can't do yet - what they don't want to. So you figure out how fast your body wants to run, and then you run faster. Obviously, this has to happen in your training runs. As your muscles get better conditioned, stronger, whatever, you can run faster in the race, when it counts.

Now it turns out, the time to run faster in training is not really on the long runs, or so I've heard. When people talk about speed work, they're talking about relatively short runs (say, no more than 5 miles), and usually runs that are either broken up into small pieces or that have variable paces. Repeats, for example, could involve running a mile at a very fast pace, say for me a 7 minute pace, then resting a minute or so, then doing it again, then resting, and doing it again. A very hard workout (right now, for me) would involve maybe 4 or (someday) even 5 of those mile repeats. The point of it is that by having those little break periods in there I should be able to push my body to go at higher speeds, and thus get the conditioning in I need to be generally able to run quicker. Do I intend to run a 7 minute pace in a marathon? Hell no! Not even a half. I know people who can do 6 minute paces for a half marathon but that's just not me. But by doing those short, fast runs I can hopefully get to where I can do closer to an 9:00 or even 8:30 pace in a marathon. Hell, anything better than a 10 minute pace will be an improvement now.

I've avoided speed work in the past because 1) it's inconvenient (it really works best at a track, where you can judge your distance perfectly, or on a treadmill) and 2) it' s painful. As hard as a 15 mile run can feel, a very fast mile has a whole different level of effort and pain. Not more, really, just different. And you can't do that kind of effort in a long run. If you do it at the start, you'll never have the energy to finish. If you try it at the end, you won't have the energy to do the speed. Hence, the importance of the short run.

So, I'll be trying at least once a week to do short, fast intervals in one of my runs. It's counter to my usual method, which is steady speed at 7 mile or more runs, but that probably means it's exactly what I should do. I'll let you know how it goes (even if you beg me not to - *evil laugh here*).

Marathon report

I am remiss in updating our IR's about my latest marathon adventure. It happened, ironically enough, the same weekend as Katy's 5K, which is one reason I didn't report it. Your first 5K is a Big Deal, and means a lot, and you don't need some yahoo saying "I did a marathon" while you are rightly pointing out how cool it is that you've done your first 5K. Firsts count a lot.

But I also didn't report it because it was a meh race for me. I ran it in about 4:20, which is almost identical to the time for my very first marathon. Which makes it about my 3rd slowest marathon ever. The thing is, the course was flat, the weather was good (it did snow a bit the night before, but it wasn't all that cold really), and the circumstances were ok. I just wasn't trained very well. Which is weird, cause I did do four 20 mile runs, which is pretty good, and had a decent base. The thing of it is that none of them were very fast, and I didn't push speed at all during my whole training time. Whenever I'd go out feeling a bit tired, I'd slow down. Logical, but if you just keep running slower and slower, guess what? You end up running slower! Such was the case for me.

So now I'm training for marathon #8, which will be in October. I'm going to try a few different things this time. One is, lots more hills. It's not that there were a lot of hills in the last race, there were just about none, but running hills strengthens your legs a lot, and that helps your speed. So every run since then has been on one of the hillier routes that I have. The other is that I'm thinking of doing one treadmill run a week to do some actual speed work. I've never done much speed work at all in marathon training but the one time I did I had a dramatic improvement in my time (it wasn't just the speed work, but I bet it helped). I'll post about the rationale for that later.

So wish me luck as I train through the hot months (blech).

Friday, May 21, 2010

That Must Be Some Kind of Record!

E-readers are getting a little less horrifically expensive. There are few people, I would hazard a guess, who would benefit more from an e-reader than I would, and not just because half the boxes in my last move were books. It's mainly the portability. If I had my druthers, I would have a book with me absolutely all the time. The number of times I've found myself in a doctor's office with nothing to read but their crappy, dogeared magazines has made me absolutely paranoid about keeping a book in the car. And every time I go into the city, I love to take the train--3 hours of reading! What could be better? I'll tell you what. Reading the 3 hours and not having to lug the bastard all over the city when I'm not reading it, that's what.

One of my friends just bought a Kindle and loves it--it goes with her everywhere, and she's thrilled. If I could carry an ebook like I carry my cell phone, I would be seriously excited. (And, yes, I can read on my cell phone, but it really is small--5" is about the smallest screen I want to use to read a book. Plus, dammit, I'm lazy. I don't want to have to do 10 page turns to a standard paperback page. It would make me even more sarcastic than I already am.)

I'm not keen on the Kindle. It's all about the proprietary format. It drives me insane that I would have to jailbreak a book that I bought. I'm happy to give money to writers and publishers--my life would suck without them. But I do like to know that when I buy a book, I've bought a book. So I've been looking at all the entry-level e-readers out there and figuring out which ones I'll watch and at what point they're a bargain, and when I would let myself jump at a bargain. Ideally, I'd buy an e-ink book before a really sexy Android mini-tablet seduces me, because I'd like to at least try e-ink. It seems like it would be easier on my eyesight.

And I'm reading the comments and reviews everywhere. And today I read one that I wish I could find again, because it would be awesome to link to it. It was from a woman whose husband had bought her an e-reader, and she was absolutely delighted with it. Not only was it cool and sexy and convenient and just generally keen, but it had really increased her time spent reading. And her comment ended with something like, "I've read four whole books this year. That has to be some kind of record!" I'm pretty sure it was from December.

For the record, I finished a 5k, but I know I'm not this lady.

God Bless Haagen Dazs

What makes everybody happy? Ice cream! What makes single women who live alone happy? Tiny ice creams!

Yeah, I know, IR's. Y'all have families and spouses and whatnot, and your ice cream disappears. Meanwhile, if I eat genuine ice cream like Haagen Dazs, and I adhere to my Weight Watchers points, it starts to grow ice crystals that look suspiciously like fur. And if it doesn't...well, the scale lets me know. (It's like that horror movie "I Know What You Did Last Summer." But the scale's version is "I Know What You Ate Last Night: You'll Never Get Away With It!")

So when I found baby tubs of Haagen Dazs and baby vanilla almond ice cream bars, I was thrilled. Of course, they're crazy expensive (it helped that PathMark had them for half price with their store card), and they're still almost 300 calories apiece, but there are few surer ways to ensure that my binge potential is reined in. And I don't even want to know what the full-size versions weigh in at. I'll stick to the minis as my reward for a truly wretched week at work.

I think Ben & Jerry's is also doing single-service cups. Economically they horrify me, and they're definitely the hallmark of western overindulgence, but it is great to see an actual serving of ice cream anywhere outside my own home. I can't help but remember the first time that I realized that a service of my favorite Blue Bunny ice cream was something like 1/4 cup (about two days into joining Weight Watchers, if memory serves). It seemed absolutely insane--I put it in a children's rice bowl, because every other vessel in the house made it look positively Liliputian. Now I mostly don't bother. It's hardly worth getting the tub out of the freezer to get such a small serving, and I like other treats better anyway. But every once in a while, these little babies are just what the doctor ordered!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The phantom comment

Every time I log onto the blog to enter the post, it announces there is 1 comment to be moderated. For any nonbloggers out there, that means someone has posted a comment that I or Katy have to approve before it's published on the blog. It helps us avoid, say, someone saying that I have a small willie because I'm not a fan of Glen Beck.

Comments are a Big Deal here at T&S. A cause for much discussion and celebration. Mostly because, well, aside from those few IRs reading this right now, nobody reads this crap, much less comments on it. So if someone comments, well, it's startling! Exciting! A real attention grabber. Unless it's a phantom comment.

Sadly, the Phantom Comment has taken up residence here at T&S and it seems here to stay. Every time I log on it screams out that someone has not only read something that we wrote, they said something back to us. Eagerly, sweaty hands trembling ever so slightly, I click on the "review comments" button. And then with now familiar disappointment I realize there is no comment there. At least, no comment visible to human eyes and computer screens. It was all just a cruel hoax, played by the pixelated poltergeist of the Phantom Comment. It's kind of like opening up your email account and being happy to see you have 20 emails, only to find that they're all spam begging you to increase your"girth" with a new tonic for the low low price of 100 yen. But I can't help but check, every time (the comment, not the girth - get your mind out of the gutter, IR!). And thus hope keeps me in the icy grip of the Phantom Comment.


New Corporate Motto

I've devised a new corporate motto. I think it applies to my job, and may just apply to others. Let me know what you think:

“Simplification through complexity. Happiness through frustration. Moving forward by standing still, facing backwards, with our eyes closed. At , change is how we stay the same.”

Friday, May 14, 2010


I have recently become a fan of Better Off Ted. Katy has been watching it for a long time, commenting on it here on the blog, and telling me about it. I didn't watch it. I only started watching it because we got a verra nice blue ray player with wireless internet access that plays Netflix movies on demand on your tv. And one of the things you can play on demand is Better Off Ted. So I watched an episode. Then I watched the season. It is really funny.

The problem is that, no offense to Katy, nobody else seems to watch it! And that sucks because it's got some references that I really really want to use. Chief among them is the Jaberwocky project. Jaberwocky was the name of an entirely fake project that Ted made up at work to hide some minor malfeasance he had engaged in (with the best of intentions). The project came under scrutiny, so he had to lie about it more and more, biggering it and biggering it without ever saying what it was. He couldn't say what it was because, well, it didn't exist. By the end of the episode he was giving a national presentation, with huge wall size Powerpoint, flashing lights, and sound effects, to tell the company about Jaberwocky, which would change the way they did business in all sorts of nonspecific but cool ways. The company loved the presentation, and prioritized Jaberwocky to the point that they moved the project to Japan for rapid development. Where of course it vanished.

Jaberwocky is this phenomenal example of what I see at work all the time. Every few months there is a new initiative, and every year a Big Push to revolutionize what we do and how we do it so that we will be setting the trend for all of health care for years to come. And when you come right down to it, the projects are big on hype, HUGE on hype, with very few details, no tangible change, and no evidence that they would have worked even if they were really applied (which they seldom are). But man, they sound cool, so everyone talks about them for a few months. Everyone tries to sound like they are acting in the spirit of the program, whatever it is, although nobody changes what they do and most don't even understand what the program is anyway. And then the center just keeps on rolling.

So now, having seen this episode, when I see these initiatives, including the very latest that was rolled out last month, to the tune of $7,000,000 in national training, all I can think is "It's Jaberwocky people! It's big, it's impressive, it's the next great thing, and it's absolutely nothing!" But since nobody has seen the damn show, nobody gets my quote! I've explained it so often now they at least know what I'm saying, but it's just not the same. Not the same at all. Sigh.

So moral is: most of corporate life is Jaberwocky, and if you don't understand that watch the damn show.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I Love Pointless Meetings!

Apparently our thoughts can change our feelings, so we should make an effort to spin our thinking so that we view all things in a positive light.
I love pointless meetings!  The more circles a meeting goes in the better!  Here's my recipe for an awesome, awesome meeting.  This is a meeting for making decisions:
  1. Look at an option.
  2. Determine that we love it.
  3. Hug it and kiss it and tell everyone how special it is.
  4. Suddenly find something wrong with it.
  5. Cast it aside like week-old fish.
  6. Look at another option.
  7. Determine that we love it.
  8. Hug it and kiss it and tell everyone how special it is.
  9. Suddenly find something wrong with it.
  10. Spurn it.
  11. Realize that the thing that was wrong with option 2 is not wrong with option 1.
  12. Pick up option 1 again.
  13. Determine that we love it.
  14. Hug it and kiss it and tell everyone how special it is.
  15. Wait!  Something is still wrong with it.  On to option 3!
  16. Option 3 is very special.  We love it.
  17. Hug it and kiss it and tell everyone how special it is.
  18. Holy crap!  Something is wrong with option 3!
  19. Option 3 must die.  It's evil and wicked.  What were we thinking!  Back to option 2.
  20. What was wrong with option 2 again?  Discuss at length.
  21. Discover deep and important and wonderful things about option 2.  Take it to dinner at your favorite restaurant.  Promise to love it forever and ever.
  22. Oh, shit.  Whatever was wrong with option 2 still sucks about it.  Who would have guessed!  Down with option 2!  Fie on it!  Spit in its eye!
  23. Hello option 1, you sexy sexy thing.  We love you. 
  24. End the meeting with a statement like, "So all the options are still on the table, right?  Yes?  Excellent!" 
Whatever you do, don't offer to test an option so as to eliminate it on the basis of empirical data.  Where's the fun in that!  And for God's sake don't point out that for the prorated burdened headcount of the time all the individuals in the meeting have spent, we could have paid someone to solve the problem in a fairly spectacular and sexy way.  Where's your sense of adventure?
It now occurs to me that the word "pointless" in the title of this post is pejorative.  I'll need to work on this whole positive spin thing.  Excuse me while I evaluate several ways of solving this problem...

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Katy Completed a 5k

It's not a Shifter-level accomplishment, but I'm really happy. I still can't run that far, but I did manage to run about 2/3 of the course, so I'm counting it as a victory.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Shoe Shopping

Does anyone else hear Seth Green's voice in their head while shopping for shoes? "Do those serve an orthopedic function??"

Just me?

Allrighty then.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Thoughts on walking in Manhattan

In no particular order...

Do you want to walk, or do you want to play with your phone? Because as I and the other 80 people trapped on the sidewalk behind you can testify, you are not capable of both at the same time.

24 blocks wouldn't be so far if all these other people weren't involved.

Central Park makes everything worth it.