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Busted stuff Fri, Nov 20, 2009
I tend to be gentle with my gadgets.  I don't sit on my cameras, and my cell phones don't slide across parking lots.  But a couple years ago, Wendy and I found an iPod on the beach, and since no one was around to claim it, we adopted it as our own.  But Wendy had just bought an iPod, so this one became mine.  Alas, a wind-swept sandy beach, as one might expect, had not treated this poor device too kindly.  It had a scratched screen, and the usually beautiful shiny steel back was all mottled and ugly.  But I have to say from the time I've been using this thing, I've never treated a device more poorly, and I've never felt less bad about it.  If it breaks, oh well, it wasn't mine to begin with.  So I throw it in my bag, put my grubby fingerprints all over it, and laugh at the people who keep their precious little metallic music players in pretty little cases. #products

Price of waste Fri, Nov 20, 2009
The ranch veggie dip I sometimes buy comes in two types of containers:  One large container, or a package of four small containers.  The large container is obviously the better buy; you get more product for less money, and it uses less packaging (the small containers are held together with cardboard).  This is the container I've bought on multiple occasions for hosting small gatherings.  But since most small gatherings don't consume an entire container (i.e. tub) of ranch veggie dip, that container goes in the fridge temporarily, where it sits for a week or two until it goes bad and is thrown out.  The package of four small containers, on the other hand, can be used one small container at a time.  It turns out a small container of ranch veggie dip is pretty much exactly how much ranch veggie dip is consumed at a small gathering.  And since each of those small containers costs less than one large container, it's like you're really buying four separate large containers but for less money, and without all the leftover product at the end that ends up in the trash anyway. 

What this is illustrating is that it's not always a good idea to get the most product for your money.  Sometimes it's better to pay more for less, depending on how much you plan to use and how quickly you'll be able to use it before it goes bad.  For things like frozen or canned foods, the best investment is probably the lowest price for the largest amount, because these products have a pretty long shelf life.  But for things with a short shelf life like ranch, mayo, milk ... ok pretty much all dairy products, the best investment is for the amount you can consume before it goes bad.  Otherwise you're just paying for wasted product. #business

Invisible forces Fri, Nov 20, 2009
Sometimes something will happen that will convince me that there are tiny, invisible men all around us that prevent certain bad things from happening, and we should make it our goal in life to learn as much about these creatures as possible and worship them accordingly. 

For example, sometimes I drop things.  Like plates and cups.  Made of glass.  Yet they don't break.  Everything I know about physics and strengths of materials tells me that glass objects break when enough force is applied.  Yet, magically, this isn't the case.  The only possible explanation is tiny, invisible men. 

Just a few minutes ago I was unloading stuff from my car when my coffee cup tipped onto its side.  It was more than halfway full, yet it didn't spill.  I saw it happen and quickly set it upright, then stared in amazement at the lack of spillage.  Once again, tiny, invisible men. #lifestyle

Kokomo (2) Fri, Nov 20, 2009
Kokomo is of course a song by the Beach Boys from 1988.  I remember riding the bus to school as a first-grader, listening to some kids in the back blast it from their boom box.  A few years ago, I decided to make it my life's goal to visit all the places mentioned in the song.  This past cruise completed the journey for me: 
Aruba - November, 2009
Jamaica - August, 2004
Bermuda - September, 2008
Bahama - May, 2006
Key Largo - May, 2006 (Key West -- close enough)
Montego - August, 2004 (in Jamaica -- close enough)
What I just learned, however, is that three other places are mentioned:  Martinique, Montserrat, and Port-au-Prince (Haiti), all of which are in the Caribbean.  While I achieved my initial goal, it looks like I still have some work cut out for me.  Some real tough work. #travel