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Cliche Thu, Jul 28, 2005
I get so mad when people use cliches.  Like when people say, "Working hard, or hardly working?"  I just want to punch them in the face.  Or when people start that whole string of stupid things about driving on a parkway and parking on a driveway, I wish I was Dogbert and could say, "I copyrighted all the stupidest opinions in the universe so they can never again be uttered."  But in real life, I usually don't get too mad, so I do the obligatory laugh and move on as quickly as possible in an attempt to shut the person up. #psychology

English Wed, Jul 27, 2005
I went to the bank today and heard two women, a teller and a customer, trying to understand each other.  The teller had a German accent.  The customer had an Indian (of India) accent.  To make things even funnier, this was happening not at the "International Bank" but at the "Bank of America".  I feel bad for people who have to learn English.  I'm glad I already know it.  When you try to explain American jokes to a foreigner, they don't understand.  I worked with an Army guy who used to joke around by saying, "Oh you're an engineer?  Choo choo!"  But when I tried to explain it to a Filipino woman, it got lost in translation.  This same Filipino woman calls me on the phone and says, "Hey Dave, how are you?"  Me:  "I'm good, how 'bout you?"  Her:  "Not much."  And it's not like it's a one-time thing.  It's every time.  I used to work with a guy from Guyana.  I used to say, "Hey Larry, what's up?"  Larry:  "Alright."  Every time.  Poor foreign people. #language

Billion (1) Wed, Jul 27, 2005
I think it's interesting that whenever people say the word "billion", they really "billion".  Just listen to the news or any financial thing on TV or radio.  It says, "The company late yesterday reported sales climbed to $1.75 billion..."  Say it out loud.  It just comes out as billion.  You don't say things like, "I paid 18 thousand for my car," or "My electric bill last month was one hundred twenty bucks".  It's more like, "Eh I paid about 18 K," and "A hundred twenty smackers".  But unless you're Byronn Memmelaar (I wonder if he reads my blog), you don't throw around terms like "A couple bil" or "Eh just a few million". #psychology

Temperate (5) Tue, Jul 26, 2005
I've come to the conclusion that the best temperature anything can ever be is "just under 70".  I just walked outside.  It was in the mid 90s.  It might as well be a million degrees.  It felt like my skin was melting.  So then I walked inside.  It's about 68.  That's what I'm talking about. 

But during the winter, 68 is a little too cold.  Therefore, the ideal year-round temperature is 69 (shut up Jared Simpson).  I've noticed that large buildings and companies haven't quite figured out how to keep a comfortable working environment.  All winter, it was about 66 degrees in my office/lab.  And it's not because they can't afford to heat the place.  It's because it's air conditioned down to 66.  I can hear the AC running.  I asked them to turn it down a bit, and they said, "You have to be careful what you ask for.  If we turn it down, it gets unbearably hot, and then you'll be complaining about that."  So there you have it.  What's dumb about this is the fact that I know how a thermostat works.  Most people do.  In my experience, there's usually a setting for 65, 70, 75, etc. and everything in between.  Wouldn't you think they could change the setting just a little bit so that it reads "69" instead of "66"?  I'm no genius.  But this seems like a logical thing to me.  If I ever find out where they keep this magical temperature device, I'm gonna change everything and save the world! #science

Puke (4) Mon, Jul 25, 2005
I was always the kid in school who puked.  I remember being in kindergarden and we had a substitute.  Her name was Mrs. Piontkowski.  I had been feeling weird all day, but I wasn't sure what it meant.  And then all of a sudden, I puked, but held it in my mouth.  I thought, "Oh it's ok.  I'll just hide it."  But then it was too much too hold in and it spilled all over my desk.  But Mrs. Piontkowski kept talking, so I raised my hand to let her know that I was having a bit of a problem.  From what I remember, she kept talking and didn't seem to be doing anything about my situation.  So I just kept my hand raised.  After a while, somebody did something about it.  And then when I was in the nurse's office, I was laid down on that "bed" covered with a sheet of deli paper.  That's where I puked again and it went all over me.  The nurse gave me "loaner clothes" that had the school emblem on them. 

Another puke story took place when I was in third grade.  It was the second or third day of school.  I had been feeling weird again, but this time I knew what it meant.  At the point of no return, I got out of my seat and started walking to the bathroom.  But then I got scared because I wasn't sure if I was allowed to leave my seat without asking.  So I started walking back to my desk.  But then I realized that the teacher wouldn't care if I puked in the bathroom, but she might mind if I did it in her classroom.  And then it happened.  Too late to try to keep it clean.  It went all over the rug in the classroom. 

After one of my puking extravaganzas, I was at home, lying on the couch.  My sister Dana was practicing piano.  All of a sudden, I got up and ran out of the room because it was time.  She said, "Thanks, Dave.  I didn't realize my playing was that bad." #health

Competition Mon, Jul 25, 2005
I'm not a huge fan of electronics that try to further themselves by going against the flow.  For example, I mistakenly thought that Apple's iPod only played Apple's brand of compressed audio.  This made me mad.  What a great way to restrict people to only using your own brand of stuff and deny the use of industry standards like WAV and MP3.  But I was wrong.  This isn't the case.  But the idea still made me mad.  This is the case with stuff like Sony cameras and laptops, which use Sony MemorySticks.  I think this is dumb.  Why did Sony need to create a new format to store information?  Probably to make more money.  They make this little plastic thing that holds a simple little chip, and sell it for 500% markup.  I'm a bigger fan of people like Canon and Palm, who use Secure Digital (SD/MMC) storage.  Sure, they put out their own brand of this storage, but you can get the same thing from other manufacturers for much cheaper.  It's the same idea as making things that are incompatible or are in competition with Microsoft products.  Sure, Microsoft is a big, mean, emotionless machine.  But too bad.  It's not gonna change.  Instead, people should make things that make Microsoft products better. #technology

Customer service Fri, Jul 22, 2005
I'm a huge fan of customer service.  Well let's face it:  I'm a huge fan of people in general.  Ok not really.  I like to call 800 numbers and navigate through an endless maze of automated options, only to get nowhere in the end.  [Note to users of 800 numbers:  the fastest and easiest way to talk to an actual human being is to press '0' -- it usually skips all the menu nonsense and goes right to a person.]  And I've noticed lately that a lot of automated menus are voice activated.  This is not an improvement.  Now instead of pressing a number, you have to say something, wait for the automated idiot to recognize what you said, wait for the automated idiot to repeat it back to you for confirmation, and then to finally go to your selection.  So I'm real happy when I finally speak to a human and they tell me, "Sorry, we can't help you.  You still owe money."  Awesome.  But then I called Cingular customer service.  Wow.  I talked to a nice southern lady.  She sounded happy.  She fixed my problem.  She wanted me to avoid future problems.  She sounded honestly concerned (she could've been acting; I don't really care as long as I benefit).  And then she said she was happy to have me as a great customer.  She made my day. #business

Wear Fri, Jul 22, 2005
I'm amazed at what girls deem acceptable to wear in public.  I noticed it most when I went to the airport.  All I saw were tiny little skirts and shorts, tight pants, tanktops, etc.  I'm sure this isn't a problem for most males.  But I'm not most males.  Message to females:  if you don't want guys to look at you like an object, don't dress like one.  If you want to meet guys that are more interested in your personality than in your body, dress to reflect that.  And think about this:  if girls dressed in non-showy clothes, there'd be no girls to check out.  So girls would be happier because their boyfriends wouldn't be checking out other girls. #lifestyle

Wildfire Thu, Jul 21, 2005
When you think about it, it's amazing that Christianity spread at all when it first began.  I mean it was led by this crazy guy who did magic tricks to heal people; it was taught by his followers, a bunch of poor, uneducated nobodies; and it was spread through non-violent means while its spreaders were being imprisoned and killed.  It's like if some guy came up to you one day and said, "Hey man, I can tell you the meaning of life.  Just follow this dude Jesus and you're all set."  And then the next day the guy's dead.  Who would listen to him?  And if it looks like everybody who becomes a follower ends up dying, why would anyone want to sign up?  It's a dying organization.  This is why it's so amazing that Christianity did spread.  It really had no benefit for the people who spread it.  It had no benefit for the people who followed it.  There was no money, fame, power, or the promise of women involved.  I think this is one of the stronger arguments for Christianity.  If it's a made-up crutch of a religion, why do people still follow it?  [I'm sure I could get some pretty harsh answers to this...] #religion

Google Earth (1) Thu, Jul 21, 2005
Wow.  Mr. Mike told me about this program called World Wind, which "lets you zoom from satellite altitude into any place on Earth".  It's a big program, but it's really cool.  But then just yesterday, I saw an icon on a co-worker's desktop that said "Google Earth" and I checked it out.  Wow.  It's the same kind of thing as World Wind, but it's a lot cooler because Google made it.  Google has a way of making programs that are extremely useful and yet very slim and simple.  So I tried it out and found my house and stuff like that.  Really cool stuff here. #technology

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