28 June 2007

Cafe culture goes canine

This is an old story but I love it!

MEXICO CITY, Nov 17 (Reuters Life!) - Patrons smoke and gossip into the night. Some sip cafe latte from sleek china cups. Others pant and drool and lick the floor.

All are valued customers at Mexico City's Bow-Wow Deli.
The tiny corner cafe in an up-and-coming residential neighborhood caters lovingly to dogs, although people are welcome, too.

Inspired by similar establishments in Japan, it may be the surest sign yet that this developing nation of more than 100 million people -- and countless dogs -- has one leg planted squarely in the First World.

27 June 2007

What PowerPoint deserves

PowerPoint has its uses but it is often, justifiably, maligned. It's something to look at as the person drones on and on. It keeps you from going totally mad. Especially when running, screaming from the room isn't an option. Don't get me started on those who put their entire spoken presentation on their PowerPoint slides. Or those that fill the slides with words. Sheesh! It's supposed to be an overview not a booklet!

The next time you're forced to do a PowerPoint presentation, head on over to Crappy Graphs. At least there will be something enticing in your presentation. Some of the brilliant options for you:
FYI -- If you Google "hate PowerPoint" you get over 10,000 hits.

Found this info at BrandFlakesForBreakfast, a great blog from an advertising firm in Danbury, Connecticut.

Subversive cross stitch

Crafty Planet, a very hip store in North Minneapolis, has a wonderful line of subversive cross stitch patterns. This is one of the more suitable for this blog. I do love some of the others!
I would like to add a few others. I better get designing.
  • Get Away From Me
  • You Make Me Ill
  • Please Don't Talk to Me

26 June 2007

Well that's just silly

I freely use "middle-aged white guy" to describe the sometimes unequal treatment that many women, non-whites, etc., receive at the hands of, well, the middle-aged white guy who has the power. "Who made that rule?." "I don't know. Probably some middle-aged white guy." I also use it to describe an out-of-touch or stupid action like trying to gain favor at an AA meeting by handing out liqueur-filled chocolates.

And sometimes, I don't have a lot of sympathy for men losing a bit of that power since, until fairly recently, they've had a lock on it. But in the story below, I really feel sorry for them. Apparently, a woman changing her name upon marrying isn't possibly dodging something like a criminal past by the name change. But men? You better check them out first. Trouble they are. Just nonsense (or in German, der Unsinn--I love that word).

Changing His Name
Why can’t a husband freely take his wife’s surname?

by Bailey Porter

When New Yorkers Elizabeth Batton and Garrett Sorenson married last August, they wanted to adopt each other’s last name as a second surname, making them the Batton Sorensons. But there was no option on their marriage license application to do so. Elizabeth could easily change her surname to Sorenson, or to Batton-Sorenson, but for a man to adopt his wife’s name is another story.

That’s because although New York is one of only six states in the U.S. that recognize a statutory right for men to take their wives’ last name, the couple married in Kentucky, where no such law exists. Under most states’ laws, if a man wants to take his wife’s name he must petition the court, advertise in a newspaper and pay hundreds of dollars in fees. A woman needs only to fill out a marriage license application. More.

Poor guys. Trying to be all equality minded and the man's after them. It would be interesting to find out if those changed-name couples' lives differ. Does there tend to be a more equal distribution of chores, child care, etc., when both change their names? How about typical roles? If both people change their names is there less, "You mow the lawn, fix the car, etc. You're the man," or "You wash the clothes, take care of the kids, etc. You're the woman." If I was a sociologist I would try to get grant money to study this.

25 June 2007

Poo Poo on Monday -- David Brent dance

When I heard that there was going to be a U.S. version of The Office I was very skeptical. 'Oh great. Take a brilliant show and completely wreck it." But it works. Very well (as you can see from my going on and on about it here).

The U.S. version of The Office provides me with at least explosive laugh per show. Plus a lot of regular laughs in between. The British version is also very funny but in a different way. It's more uncomfortably funny. In the following, David Brent (Ricky Gervais), the hopelessly clueless boss, once again sucks all the attention.

22 June 2007

Living out loud

EclectChick forwarded this to me. Whether you believe in God or not, it's a great affirmation!

God Says Yes to Me

I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic
and she said yes
I asked her if it was okay to be short
and she said it sure is
I asked her if I could wear nail polish
or not wear nail polish
and she said honey
she calls me that sometimes
she said you can do just exactly
what you want to
Thanks God I said
And is it even okay if I don’t paragraph
my letters
Sweetcakes God said
who knows where she picked that up
what I’m telling you is
Yes Yes Yes

Kaylin Haught

As one of my favorite writers, Cheryl Richardson, says, 'What are you saying 'yes' to?'

20 June 2007

Lewis Libby and the German calendar

I have a calendar that has a German word, and a demonstrative sentence each day. The combo of yesterday and today's sentences made me think of Lewis "Scooter" Libby.*
The words and examples make better sense if you read today's entry first.
Today (a la Libby):
sich errinern -- to remember
Ich kann mich nicht errinern. (I cannot remember.)

Yesterday (a la the jury):
wahr -- true
Das is gar nicht wahr. (That is not true.)
*Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was found guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice for exposing undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson's identity. It was done to punish her husband, Joseph Wilson, for questioning the Bush administration's rationale for going to war with Iraq. Libby claimed to have forgotten conversations in which Plame Wilson's identity was discussed. He was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison.

19 June 2007

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

The look of the blog has changed. Again. I truly am a good (?) example of 'a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.'

Last week I was working on my blog and attempted to change something in the template. Bam! There went the sunburst header thingie. So I used a blogger template just to avoid problems. But it was so boring! I love color and mixing it up. (Hence my multiple blog template crashes.)

This past weekend I looked for the sunburst template but didn't find it. I decided I should stop messing around so I used one of the blogger templates that you can customize. Now I can switch up the colors according to the season, or my whim. There's much less chance for a crash and burn since the customizable template lets you do many of the things I've tried in HTML -- to varying degress of success/failure.

If there was a Web site that sent a virtual slap or rap on the knuckles, I would be first in line.

18 June 2007

Is there a card for that?

International Panic Day

When : Always June 18th

Today is International Panic Day, a day for everyone to be worried and concerned. We're not sure what is so big, and so widespread, to create an international incident of this magnitude. But, here it is on the calendar folks......an international day of panic.


Clientcopia is a collection of stupid-client stories. You don't have to be a services organization to laugh at these. Anyone who deals with other human beings will find these horrifyingly funny.

Stupid Client Quote #5403

We recently began invoicing via e-mail (beats the cost of postage, faster and, face it - we're a web company so why would we not?).

Customer: I got this invoice in my email...

Us: Okay

Customer: Well I need a printed version for accounting to pay it.

Us: Okay - if you use the print function in your email to print out that invoice you'll have a copy to give to the accounting department.

Customer: But I need a printed version, not email...

Us: We are no longer sending out "print" invoices, just via email. Do you have a printer attached to the computer that you receive email on?

Customer: Yes

Us: Do you know how to print off the email?

Customer: Yes

Us: Then I suggest you just print the email for accounting.

Customer: But we need a print version...

*sigh* I gave up and printed the email and put in the mail to them, miraculously a payment arrived on schedule.

Poo Poo on Monday -- Napoleon

One of the many great scenes from the funny and odd little film, Napoleon Dynamite.

17 June 2007

Geek love

Saw a jeep the other day with two identical bumper stickers in the back window: You can buy the shirt, a messenger bag or a thong with the slogan at CafePress.

16 June 2007

Hokey Web quizzes

Your Birthdate: September 29

You have the mind of an artist, even if you haven't developed the talent yet.
Expressive and aware, you enjoy finding new ways to share your feelings.
You often feel like you don't fit in - especially in traditional environments.
You have big dreams. The problem is putting those dreams into action.

Your strength: Your vivid imagination
Your weakness: Fear of failure
Your power color: Coral
Your power symbol: Oval

Your power month: November

I usually think these things are pretty hokey. But I liked what it had to say about me so I changed my mind. How's that for narcissistic?.

Good thoughts and prayers

I posted a prayer/good thoughts request on my other blog, Thoughts on Faith. (Don't worry, it's not a scary one. Anyone who claims they know the mind of God would hate it.)

I'd really appreciate good thoughts and prayers for these dears. Thanks!

14 June 2007

Word of the day (Lieblingswort)

The word that's knocking around my skull today is gumption: initiative or resourcefulness. As in, "It takes a lot of gumption to clean that superfund site." It sounds so weird. Like something on a car. "My gumption is out of alignment."

The German equivalent, at least I think it is, is die Initiative (in-ish-"e"-ah-TEE-va). Or, die Eigeninitiative.

Superfund makes me think of toxic waste and that makes me think of hazmat (hazardous materials) suits. The suit you would wear if you were cleaning up a superfund site. Whenever someone is cleaning out our office refrigerator I suggest they wear a hazmat suit.

13 June 2007

Lieblingsplatz -- Sophie in the sun

Sophie the sun worshipper. She will stay in the sun until she's panting, then move out to cool off -- all but her bottom. Then back to full sun.

12 June 2007


Jeannie told me about this one. Soaking pickles in Kool Aid. And then, I guess, eating them. They're popular in the South. Shocker.

A new trend? Photo and a link to a New York Times story at Deep Fried Kudzu. I also found info on TrendHunter. It looks to be a very cool site. Also on the site, a foot rest that works like a skateboard. I don't think I could concentrate on my work if I had one of those. But, it would be a welcome distraction in some meetings.

11 June 2007

Poo Poo on Monday -- Eddie Izzard

Eddie Izzard is brilliant. Here he is talking about empires and dictators. Best to use headphones if you're at work. Unless you work on the docks or are trying to get fired.

08 June 2007

Lawn jarts -- fun for the kids!

We used to play lawn jarts when I was little. We didn't know any better. They're like darts with a very heavy and sharp end. They could really brain you if aimed at the head. Now they're banned in the U.S.

06 June 2007

New technology, new pressure on thugs

Amnesty International (AI UK, Germany) launched a new way pressure the Sudanese government -- a Webcam in Darfur, "Eyes on Darfur." Peacekeepers and representatives from Amnesty haven't been able to get into Sudan in a couple of years. From the 'technology is a beautiful thing!' file:
The human rights organization hopes its "Eyes on Darfur" project will help prevent violence before it happens, and compel computer users worldwide to pressure the country's president, Omar al-Bashir, to let peacekeepers into the country.
This sets my liberal soul on fire. A serious break in the wall the Sudanese government has try to build between the atrocities and the rest of the world. Evidence!

On Eyes on Darfur you can get information on villages in particular danger (those close to resources the Janjaweed wants, such as water) as well as learn what you can do to stop the madness. On the NPR site you can see images of a village before an after the Janjaweed came through and hear the report on Eyes on Darfur.

05 June 2007

Day-old sushi

On Seth Godin's blog, a repulsive story about sushi. Day old? Mmmmm. I don't even like sushi but I know that's wrong.

04 June 2007

Sanders Says

Tim Sanders is brilliant. Not your stereotypical business speaker/writer. He pushes the boundaries. You can win and others can do. But you have to do things differently. Hurrah! From Sanders Says:
You grow relationships by sharing intangibles and you can't do that until you overcome scarcity thinking.
Them Generation. This generation isn't confined to a demographic, it is a way of seeing the world through interdependent eyes.

Suggested activity: Scrutinize one business issue this week (new product, old process, etc.) and ask yourself what it means to someone outside the value chain (company, shareholder, Customer). Look five years into the future and identify all the humans that will be impacted by the business issue. Find the "Them" out there that have no voice, but will feel the impact of your business.

03 June 2007

Poo Poo on Monday -- prison Mike

The clueless Michael Scott, in "The Office," tries to refute his employees' belief that prison is better than working at the company. This scene was preceded by a conversation with an new employee who had been in a white-collar prison. In it the ex-con says that he got to work out a lot and spend a lot of time outside while he was in prison. 'We don't get to workout during work or get to go outside...'

As usual, a couple of employees make him look even more stupid by pretending to take him seriously. Due to language, this is best listened to with headphones unless you're at home. Or, don't care.

Frog in the planter

I was digging around in a planter, preparing to put in some flowers, when out popped this little guy. He must have been living in the dirt. Only about an inch long, he stuck around for quite awhile then bopped off.