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Things I'm good at Fri, Aug 29, 2008
If all else fails and this whole engineering thing doesn't work out, I've noticed I came preprogrammed with the following skills: 
  1. Destroying things
  2. Washing and stacking dishes to astonishing heights
  3. Serving soft-serve ice cream
  4. Squeegeeing car windshields
It's always good to have options. #psychology

No dog poop Fri, Aug 29, 2008
Similar to the sign seen in Germany is this gem found in North Conway, NH. 

If you look closely, you can see the poop actually coming out of the dog.  Isn't that nice? #nature

Motorized golf pull carts Fri, Aug 29, 2008
I just saw a motorized golf pull cart (like this one) in use on the golf course at work.  A lady hit her ball and started walking towards her bag to put her club away when her bag started moving away from her.  She had a little remote in her hand that made the bag move.  This has to be the laziest product in the history of the universe.  Thankfully it's available for the low-low price of $800, which is practically a steal in my book. 

For people who don't golf, here's a brief history of golf club carrying devices:  First there was the golf bag, which slung over your shoulder and apparently affected your swing after about 14 holes; then there was the pull cart (or push cart, depending on how you use it), which took the weight off your shoulder and had a tendency to roll away when you weren't looking; lastly we have the motorized pull cart, which simultaneously solves a nonexistent problem while also using up extra money that many golfers seem to have weighing them down. #products

Hungry and tired Thu, Aug 28, 2008
It's funny to watch how babies and young kids act when they're hungry and/or tired.  They whine and cry and act out and have meltdowns.  It's always interesting to see a watchful mom fully understand the situation and solve the problem with some food or a nap.  So simple, yet effective. 

I'm quite convinced that this phenomenon is completely independent of age.  The older I get, the more I realize it.  Sometimes I'll be driving on the highway, and I'll start getting ridiculously angry at the guy who didn't use a blinker when he changed lanes.  That's when I realize it's lunchtime and I haven't eaten.  Or I'll be watching TV and become more and more impatient with commercials.  That's when I realize it's bedtime. 

It's weird how we humans think we're all grown up and have control over our bodies' simple desires for sustenance and rest, when in reality we really haven't progressed much since birth. #psychology

Loud motorcycles (1) Thu, Aug 28, 2008
I don't have a motorcycle, but I fully support them in theory.  They're great on gas mileage, they're totally badass, and there's nothing quite like having a roaring engine sitting directly between your legs.  (I'm not sure if that's a joke or not.)  But one thing I don't like is when motorcycles are stupidly loud, like when my neighbor arrived at his house at 2am on a Saturday riding his apparently jet-powered bike.  Sure, it was Saturday, so it doesn't matter if I got woken up in the middle of the night.  But it was less about being woken up, and more about being disturbed by an unnecessarily loud noise.  I understand the sound is part of the fun for some people.  It's kind of like buying a sports car or wearing tight jeans that emphasize one's manliness.  Some guys need loud bikes.  That's fine.  But the problem is that loud bikes disturb.  On a recent trip to the beautiful mountains and wooded areas of New Hampshire, sights and experiences were ruined by ridiculously loud bikes.  And what did all that noise actually prove, and what did it gain them?  Nothing.  I was seeing the same things and driving the same roads with my quiet little Japanese car.  The point is this:  Loud motorcycles should get some mufflers so the rest of us can live our lives in peace.  The end. #travel

We meet again (1) Wed, Aug 27, 2008
My life seems to be an ongoing series of re-meets, i.e. I'm constantly forced to meet people I've already met.  I remember them, but they don't remember me.  I'm apparently not very good at leaving an impression.  In the past month, it's happened at a wedding, a BBQ, and travel for work.  But it always happens the same way.  I make an entrance (also apparently not memorable), greet the various people at the function, and remind them that we met once or twice before, but that it's still nice to meet them again.  The weird thing is that it happens multiple times with the same people.  There's this one friend of a friend that I've met at least four separate times.  Maybe he'll remember me this time.  I would understand if we briefly met one time at a busy function and we didn't even have time to get past the "nice to meet you" part.  That's fine.  I often don't remember people whose hand I've had the pleasure of shaking.  And it would be fine if we met one time in 1993 when I was 11 years old, but since I don't look or act quite the same as I once did, we need to go through the re-meeting process.  But most times, it's the same series of friends-of-friends who simply don't remember me.  I need to come up with some sort of memorable act or line.  I'm sure most people would remember receiving a black eye or hearing the phrase, "Hi-diddly-ho, neighborino!" #psychology

Hug injury (4) Tue, Aug 26, 2008
In the past few weeks alone, I've injured at least three people by hugging them.  It happens with short, skinny girls.  I go in for the obligatory friend hug, wrap my arms completely around the person, feel too much space between us, pull the person towards me, and pound them in the face with my shoulder.  It usually hits their chin or their eye socket bone, so there's some nice solid contact involved.  I always feel so bad, not so much because I hurt a person, but because I'm such a socially awkward idiot.  Please, someone, help me. #psychology

Human skull request Tue, Aug 26, 2008
Here's an email I got last week: 
From:  Mark
To:  Everyone
Subject:  Skull

Does anyone have a human skull I can borrow?  (an extra one, preferably not in use)

I would like to scan it in with our new 3D scanner.
It's almost as good as the fecal contamination incident. #technology

I'll drive (1) Thu, Aug 21, 2008
If given the choice, I'd rather be in the driver's seat than let someone else have it.  It's not because I think I'm a better driver (though I do think that).  And it's not because I'm a man so I can't let a woman drive.  It's entirely because I never feel comfortable leaving my personal well-being in the hands of another person, especially in a moving vehicle, where there's a non-zero chance of dying at any moment.  The thing is, driving is actually an extremely complicated thing that requires instant decision-making and absolute awareness of every aspect of our surroundings.  Sitting in the driver's seat, I know what I can and can't see, and I know that the actions I take are as a direct result of the inputs I'm currently receiving.  But sitting in the passenger's seat, I don't know what the driver knows.  I can't see what he sees.  Therefore, every decision he makes and every action he takes feels off to me.  It's not quite right.  And this makes my heart beat faster and my feet press harder on the floor, while I casually say, "Just let me know if you want me to drive," which translates into, "Pull this damn car over and let me drive; may you never get behind the wheel of a moving vehicle again."  So usually I try to occupy myself with a book or a crossword so I don't pay attention.  What I don't know can't hurt me. #travel

Convenience food Thu, Aug 21, 2008
It's funny how human beings will eat whatever is in front of them, whether or not they're hungry and whether or not they like it, simply because it's there.  I personally take advantage of this tendency to force people to eat healthy.  I know people will eat whatever sits in the bowl in the middle of the table, so instead of chips or cookies, I go for carrots or cucumbers.  Case in point was this past Tuesday's Bible study.  At first, everyone complained about the lack of ranch dip.  The discussion went on and on about how great ranch is and how it would totally make these vegetables perfect.  But within the hour, all the vegetables were gone.  Imagine that.  Sometimes people eat simply because it's convenient. #food

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