23 July 2007
20 July 2007
- Hokey claptrap
- Saucebox -- that is, his French teacher's mouth as in "I didn't know what would next come out of her saucebox." She is mean and unpredictable, often berating students.
17 July 2007
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Thanks to Pig Sty Ave. for the info.
16 July 2007
13 July 2007
A few years back, a not-to-be-named co-worker was in charge of planning the 'fun' part of the retreat. It was horrible, uncomfortable and included costumes. We felt like hostages.
The activity was meant to 'bond' our team. It did do that but with an unexpected twist. We all bonded around how much we hated it.
Another co-worker had gin hidden away in a corner. (Our retreat was on the campus of an undergraduate, and therefore dry, campus.) She'd approach people quietly and ask, "Do you want a drink?" The universal, glee-filled response was, "You have liquor?" If we had to sit through this we might as well have a gin and tonic in hand. Part way into the awfulness my boss leaned over to me and said, "Is there an exit strategy for this?"
09 July 2007
08 July 2007
For the last few days I have been reading a small news story in German. The first was a story from Der Spiegel about the new Simpsons movie. I love the show but I don't know about the movie so it wasn't quite cheating. It was a fun interview with the creators, Al Jean and Matt Groening. I even laughed out loud a few times!
Today I'm reading a story from Deutsche Welle about people who are learning German at the Goethe Institute in India.
Practicing your language skills is amazingly entertaining and the pay off is three fold: you work your brain, improve your language skills and learn something interesting. (I will not be reading any finance or economic stories. That stuff freaks me out in English.)
On a side note, you may, as in all news reading, learn things you do not want to know. I just read in Der Spiegel that Tom Cruise will play Claus von Stauffenberg in an upcoming movie, Valkyrie. Shudder. (Stauffenberg was a crucial player in the July 20, 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler.)
Genau! (Yes!) It's been like Tulsa here. That is, hot and humid. It's been in the 90s (32C+), again.
I carpooled with Sally on Friday. When she dropped me off at my car I knew it would be hot. I'd left a sun shade on the dash. I was hoping that it would make the steering wheel touchable.
I opened up the car door and the heat that rolled out was like a blast furnace. Luckily, I had a canvas tote bag in the car. I used it like an oven mitt to drive. Maybe I'll start keeping an oven mitt in the car. Just in case. Hang it from the rear-view mirror.
07 July 2007
Will people buy the solid gold dress ($250,000, 183,000 Euro), the USB Butt Cooler (4,800 yen, $39, 29 Euro) or the Swiss Glamour Camping Kit ($299, 219 Euro)? Do these things demonstrate the ultimate in consumerism? Is all this stuff just a substitute for 'self actualization' (Maslow's hierarchy of needs)?
Is worth in the eye of the beholder? Or in the eye of the person observing the beholder?
There was a great story in the New Zealand Herald about need vs. want. (I found the link through Google. I don't suffer that much from screen suck.) But for me, it's not just a financial question. This lens on Squidoo is an interesting exploration into Huxley's Brave New World.
I can't throw too many stones. Do I really need my iPod, all the books on my shelves or the special treats I feed Sophie? No. But do I want them, yes.
If found these suggestions. I don't know about all of them but it's a place to start.
1. Can I live without it?
2. Will the world stop going around if I do not have it?
3. Will it make a big difference in my life if I do have it?
4. Will my life end if I go without this item?
5. Can I find it elsewhere for less money?
6. Can I find it on sale or clearance or used?
Guess I won't be purchasing the butt cooler.
06 July 2007
04 July 2007
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Cheney Declares Himself National Monument
Latest Attempt to Dodge Subpoena
In a bold new strategy to avoid a congressional subpoena, Vice President Dick Cheney today declared himself a national monument.
Mr. Cheney took the unorthodox step only after failing in his attempt to invoke a little-known legal principle called the separation of Cheney and state.
Aides to Mr. Cheney confirmed that being a national monument gives the vice president not only immunity from subpoenas, but also a draft deferment in perpetuity.
President George W. Bush presided over a solemn White House ceremony this morning in which a plaque documenting Mr. Cheney’s status as a national monument was affixed to the vice president’s midsection...