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Bib Wed, Aug 31, 2005
I see some weird stuff.  I was at an Italian restaurant, quietly eating my food.  I looked over at a table near me and watched as a lady pulled a folded up piece of plastic-looking-material out of her purse.  I watched, horrified, as she unfolded it and put it on around her neck.  It was a portable bib!  I watched as she started to eat her salad.  I didn't notice anything unusual.  I was hoping she had a major eating/drinking problem where she only got about 25% of the food/drink into her mouth.  You never know what to expect with people.  But no, there was nothing out of the ordinary.  Just a lady with a portable bib.  And it's not like she was eating some challenging food like ribs or lobster, where a bib is quite appropriate.  Nope.  Just some salad at an Italian restaurant.  And even if she was eating some messy food, I've heard that some restaurants are on the cutting edge of customer service by providing disposable bibs, thereby eliminating the need for bringing one's own.  You might want to check into that. #products

Screwing up America Fri, Aug 26, 2005
On the news and on talk shows and on the internet and everywhere I look/listen, people hate our country and the way it's run.  And I'm not talking about people in Europe or the Middle East or Africa.  I'm talking about American people living in America.  I feel slightly different about this issue.  I'm under the impression that I'm in no place to judge how this country is run or how decisions are made.  And not because I'm just some dim-witted peon, employed by the very thing that these people ridicule.  For some reason, I think there's a whole bunch of stuff that goes on behind the scenes, and we have absolutely no knowledge of it.  So to deride the choices made by the leader of our country is kind of pointless in my opinion.  He's a figurehead.  He fumbles through speeches.  And the actions taken by our nation have almost nothing to do with him.

But anyway, back to the main point:  right-wing fanatics are funny.  So there's this guy who wrote this book about people screwing up America and here's a brief synopsis of everyone listed in the book.  People who feel incredibly strongly about something and make fun of people to get their point across are ok in my book. #politics

Britt Gordon-McKeon (4) Thu, Aug 25, 2005
Google found you, Britt Gordon-McKeon!  Britt is a self proclaimed "bleeding-heart liberal, a progressive populist, or a radical libertarian socialist".  I never knew.  She was always so quiet in high school, of which she was the valedictorian for our class.  She's apparently very opinionated, writing for her school's Peace Project magazine called "The Protest" and participating in protests against sweatshops.  She's still politically active even after she graduated, starting an online petition for socially conscious finances at her school. #sociology

Richard Santillo (1) Thu, Aug 25, 2005
I found you, Richard Santillo!  You're on some sort of physics page on the College of New Jersey website.  I went to high school with Rich and had pretty much all the same classes as him.  He was a weird guy.  He had very stretchy skin.  But he was really smart and would've been first in the class if it wasn't for that whole National Honor Society debacle. #sociology

Long talker Thu, Aug 25, 2005
You remember loud breather, close talker, man hands, etc.  I have a new one:  long talker.  There are some people who just use too many words to say simple things.  And the whole time they're talking, you're thinking, "Ok, I already know what you're gonna say.  But you're still going.  I could've been done hours ago.  I can't believe you're still talking.  Ok, you already said that part.  And that part too.  I wonder if you'll ever stop?  I wonder how long you would talk if there was nothing stopping you?  I wonder if you could ramble on for an entire 24 hours straight?  I bet you could.  Why don't I time you.  Ok that was 30 seconds.  Now 2 minutes.  Have you taken a breath yet?"  Maybe the person doesn't get out much and they haven't talked in days, so when their mouth opens, it just spouts out everything they've been thinking about but haven't said.  But somehow, I know that's not the case.  I know these people talk all the time, even if they just finished a 24-hour non-stop talking streak.  And of course my mind is very logical, and the schooling I've been through my entire life has taught me to pick up on things and to do it quickly.  So I figure out their entire train of thought within seconds and I fill in the blanks with all the things I see on the Simpsons.  Flying toasters.  And then someone else in the group says something like, "I didn't quite understand this one part.  So, you're saying..."  And then the long talker chimes back in and goes on endlessly.  When they finally take a breath, I usually try to say something to fill the silence and to move onto the next topic.  It's a good thing I'm relatively soft-spoken.  Otherwise, I would cause a lot of problems. #psychology

Ring Wed, Aug 24, 2005
I've discovered a new class of people who annoy me:  people who choose the ringtone for their cell phone while in public.  You know these people.  You're sitting around, minding your own business.  You hear several rings from a person's cell phone and think, "Wow, that person must be important."  But then you notice that they haven't brought the cell phone to their ear.  And that's when you realize that they've decided to use this opportune time to select a ringtone from the vast selection included in today's modern cell phones.  You hear some groovy tunes, classical pieces, super noises, that electronic voice that says, "You have an incoming call".  And then you realize how much you want to take that cell phone and shove it down that person's throat.  You've been through the ringtone selection process.  At home.  In the privacy of your own living space.  Because you're not an idiot.  But this person is an idiot.  Maybe they just bought the cell phone, so they have to try out all the rings to see which one they like.  Wrong.  You're in an airport.  What are the chances of a person buying a cell phone at an airport?  You hear the Bach Sonata.  You hear the Blues 12 Bar.  But when you hear the Fur Elise, you want to jump out of your seat and punch somebody in the face.  You annoyingly look around the room to see if anybody else feels the same way.  You make eye contact with someone and give the old "what an idiot" look with your eyes.  They give the old "totally" look back.  You think, "I wonder if I could yell 'Shut up, big dumb idiot!' and have the support of all these people?"  You picture these people carrying you around proudly on their shoulders, claiming you as their hero for standing up to the idiot and saving the day.  The people are singing, "We ... are the champions, my friend ..."  You see the idiot sheepishly put the phone away.  "Boarding all passengers in Zone 7"  Wait, that doesn't fit in with your hero parade.  That's when you realize you're in an airport and your doctor told you you're not allowed to flip out in public.  So you calm yourself down and try to figure out why they board planes from front to back. #technology

Disney Tue, Aug 23, 2005
I just spent a week in unbelievably hot Florida.  I spent 3 of those days in the blissful maze that is Disney World.  So of course, I have a few things to say about this corporate monstrosity.  Since the last time I went, Disney added another park, making a total of 4 separate parks.  Each park costs about $50 to get in, but of course there are limitless add-ons, such as the Park Hopper option and other things.  The mistake to avoid is to allot a whole day to a single park.  This is only really feasible for the main park, Magic Kingdom.  Epcot and MGM could easily be combined into a single day.  We didn't even try Animal Kingdom because everyone said it's a waste of time because it's too hot for the animals to come out.  But do you see how they get ya?  There are 4 separate parks.  Most people plan at least 3, if not 4 total days for Disney.  And the prices go up.  And that's just for tickets.  They make the real money once you get in the park.  You can't get a meal for less than $10.  And all those tempting t-shirts and picture frames!  And this year's big money maker:  a spray bottle with a fan - $17.  Every kid in the park had one.  There were about 16 million kids there.  That's $272 million (give or take)!  So instead of making one uber-park, Disney has 4 mediocre parks.  And guess what?  Other parks are imitating this.  Universal Studios has two separate parks.  That's twice as much money for the same old nonsense.  Smart. #travel

Bathroom etiquette part 3 (2) Mon, Aug 22, 2005
I'm a frequent user of bathrooms.  What can I say; I have a small bladder.  So I guess it's only natural that I notice the most frequent violations of the unwritten international code of bathroom etiquette.  Here are a few more additions in writing, so that no questions are left unanswered. 
1.  Don't stand at a urinal with the leg of your shorts hiked up.  That's what a fly is for.  If your shorts have no fly, too bad; you should buy shorts with a fly. 
2.  Don't "get everything ready" as you're walking to a urinal or toilet.  You have plenty of time to do that while you're standing at the urinal or in your own stall. 
3.  Although this was previously stated, I'll say it again:  if there's a door on your stall, close it.  It's not there for decoration.  And just because you're standing up doesn't give you the right to keep the door open.  It's there for a reason; use it. #entertainment

Dinosaurs Mon, Aug 22, 2005
I've come to the conclusion that dinosaurs aren't real.  I know a bunch of bones have been found and scientists have conclusively proven intricate details concerning size, shape, and character of dinosaurs, but I just don't buy it.  Every movie I've watched and every museum exhibit I've seen portrays these animals as big and mean and always roaring.  And they're always covered with green scales.  What if they were actually orange and blue?  And what if some of those scales were actually feathers?  Maybe dinosaurs purred or barked.  How can anyone possibly know that?  I'm just a little skeptical.  I have a hard time believing everything scientists prove.  What if they're wrong?  What if these things we've been learning since we were in 1st grade are all completely wrong, and we're just a product of our politically-driven educational system?  Oops, a little rant... #science

Hi Fri, Aug 12, 2005
There's this guy at work who looks like a cartoon character.  He has beady little eyes that are made even beadier by his full white beard.  He walks with his butt sticking out a little and takes little tiny steps as he holds his coffee cup in his hand.  But that's not the issue.  The issue is that he's one of those people who doesn't say hi after I say hi.  It kills me.  I don't say hi to everyone I walk past.  Sometimes people look the other way or do something so that saying hi would be dumb.  But this guy walks towards me and keeps his gaze fixed on me the whole time.  When he gets in range, I say hi.  He says nothing.  And what really kills me is that there's no change in his facial expression.  He doesn't even give that look that says, "Hi I'll give you a fake smile because you said hi to me."  Nope.  Nothing.  And then he continues on his way like nothing happened.  Sometimes I just want to scream in his face, "HI THERE!  HI!"  Maybe he'll answer me then.  Oi. #psychology

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