Thursday, December 27, 2007

Gee, Thanks Mom

My mother mailed me a clipping from our small home-town newspaper. It was a photo of a guy I went to high school with being sworn in as Township Manager. My mom told me "I thought you'd enjoy seeing the picture because he's bald too!"



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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A Christmas Miracle

Those who live in my neck of the woods are probably familiar with Porto's Bakery. It is known for two things: having yummy pastries and being an absolute madhouse. It is always packed, and loud, and chaotic. But if you are invited to someone's home, a box of goodies from Porto's makes a nice treat.

Late afternoon Sunday I realized I had nothing to bring to my cousin's house for Christmas Eve dinner. I figured I might as well suck it up and deal with the chaos of Porto's. I checked my watch: I arrived at 4:06 and sure enough, it was crazy. The "line" (more of a mob) was heading out the door. Several sheep herders were trying to organize the masses: Cake-only pick-up over here, sandwiches over there, baked goods in the middle.

I was there about a minute or two when one of the herders asked I was getting. I told her I wanted a box of decorated Christmas cookies. She pulled me to the front of the line, showed me the variety they had, and asked how many I wanted. I said four of each. She snapped her fingers and a cookie faerie came over and loaded up a box of cookies for me and brought me over to the registerer. I checked my watch again: 4:12.

In and out of Porto's, 2 days before Christmas, an hour before they closed, in 6 minutes. Truly a Christmas Miracle.


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Monday, December 17, 2007

Feeling a Draft

The President of one of our divisions (R.R.) had to do an unexpected teleconference today. I am not in his direct chain-of-command, but he would essentially by my boss' boss' boss' boss. The person who normally handles teleconferences was out so I, being one of the few people in the building familiar with the equipment, helped out. With this being one week before Christmas, I was dressed pretty casually in a "Ski Breckinridge "shirt. I know R.R. and I'm worried about him seeing me dressing comfortably, but if I have to go into a room with him and a group of 10 executives I would prefer to be a little more formal.

There were, of course, a few technical problems so I had to go back into the room several times. Not a big deal. I try to be inconspicuous but you can't ignore someone walking around the room turning equipment on and off. Point being, people definitely saw me walking around.

After the meeting finished I sat back down at my desk and realized my fly was down. All the way. Huge white beacon of white jockeys flashing out for the world to see. Since I was dressed casually with my shirt hanging out, when I stood up the shirt SEEMED to cover up most of the zipper. But of course if I lifted my arm (like to point a remote at a TV) the shirt would lift up with it.

I have no idea if anyone actually noticed. But I suspect I won't be asked to assist with any more teleconferences.


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Sunday, December 16, 2007

I Feel Safer Already

There was a mesage on my home answering machine: a security guard found my wallet in the garage. Sounds perfectly normal. I went down to front desk and told the guard "I got a message saying that someone found my wallet." I gave him my name and unit number. He asked me "do you have your ID?" I looked at him for a moment and explained, "no it's in my wallet."

The light went on over his head and I think he was a little embarrassed. Better him than me.


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Friday, December 14, 2007

MySpace or Yours?

I hate "social networking" sites. MySpace. Facebook. MSNsomethingorother. They are everything that is wrong with the internet. They are a spammer's fantasy come true: people intentionally go out an post personal information, and try to create as many links as possible with other people, interconnecting everyone's information for spammers to sweep up. And you may not even be aware of it (I wasn't until recently), but there have been serious privacy issues: sites like facebook will link to your other accounts WITHOUT YOU KNOWING and can broadcast what song you're listening to on iTunes, what your last purchase on was, and how much Preparation H you have left in the tube at home. And don't get me started on the DREADFUL user interfaces and obscenely cluttered page layouts surrounding all of these sites. I don't care that you are on Page 114 of A Thousand Splendid Suns. I don't care what kind of Zombie you are.

Be that as it may, a couple months ago I had to get some screen captures of Facebook pages for a project at work. In order to browse the site however, I had to sign up. So I signed up using a fake name and set up account. (I am "Kevin Flynn", the computer programmer who got sucked into the computer in Tron.) But because I registered using my work email address, somehow people are finding me and I started getting requests from people wanting to be my friend. NO! I am not clicking on an artificial link on a fake webpage. The page is not mine. I mean, it's "mine", but it's not "me".

Facebook/MySpace are from the Devil. Unless you are a 9-year old girl, or want to meet a 9-year old girl, stop using these sites.


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Thursday, December 06, 2007

So I'm a Racist

I usually spend Thanksgiving with my cousins. This year, they were invited to their neighbors' house and I tagged along. The family is black, and yes that is significant to the story.

As we were starting to gather around the table, the daughter (in her late 20s) asked "what kind of music should I put on while we eat?" Someone said "just play what ever you normally listen to." She replied, "OK, I'll put on my Gangsta Rap so we can have a nice traditional Thanksgiving dinner." Everybody laughed. Two minutes later the father, being a sensitive host, asked if anyone would mind if he did a blessing. Not knowing the backgrounds of his guests, he said "I'm not sure what kind of blessing I should do, but I can be non-denominational." I said "just give a traditional Gangsta Rap blessing." Everybody who was in the room 2 minutes earlier laughed. The father, who was in the kitchen at the time, did not.

Looks like it's gonna be a white Christmas.

(I do not believe the father took any offense at all, he simply wasn't in on the joke.)


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