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Bo's woes, and also his jollies
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Bo's LiveJournal:

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Friday, June 22nd, 2007
12:03 pm
In earlier days, this was a lesser problem
For some reason, I consider relevant a discussion on the matter of the calculation of gratuities for restaurant checks. It is always a matter of either having a calculator at all times (not possible while wearing gym shorts and taking pizza delivery at home) or attempting to do the calculation in your head, real-time, where I inevitably make it too big because I don't want to be wrong.

Some systems, like Papa Johns, have the online ordering screen where you can calculate gratuity at your leisure while ordering, then incorporate it into an overall charge. (I've had it pointed out to me that this unnecessarily predicts that the gratuity will be proper.) Others, like Pizza Hut, make you make up your mind at the last minute, and I've never seen in-context calculation at the typical sit-down bistro.

In the old days, of course, kids had much better training in arithmetic and not find it the problem that some of us do today. Yes, dumbing down has taken its toll. My practice is typically to get an estimate going of 15% and then round to the next highest buck, like they do in Europe. (Talk about some gratuity-hungry workers; they supposedly don't even include their pay sometimes in the charge for the food; this is to be covered as "Service")

I have a friend who delights in his 4-figure Breitling technical watch, which actually has a slide rule for just this purpose. That reminds me; I need to go find a replacement band for my own watch, a 1999-era Casio weather station-type, which just keeps on going. I think 8 years is a record for me on a watch. The little pin that holds the band onto the watch frame got lost somewhere, but I doubt they sell just the little pin, the way old-time Mom and Pop jewelers would.

Current Mood: irritated
Thursday, June 21st, 2007
11:46 am
Sometimes, I'm with Dagwood
I've written earlier about how I like sometimes to put my feet up on the desk and lean back in my office chair, with the objective of obtaining a few winks.
But I always picture myself being "caught" by a supervisor or someone who needs to see me, when I'm so disposed. It would be like the classic picture of Dagwood sleeping at his desk, until Mr. Dithers comes by and kicks him in the tush, with a sound like "boom!".

I should be grateful that things are so quiet around here that I can really get in some rest, Mr. Dithers notwithstanding. It's inside the security gate, where they cannot possibly judge me as being AWOL, and work is right at hand, for when things look peppier.

So long as you're at your desk, it's hard not to argue that the snooze is not work-related. I really have nowhere else to go with this line.

Current Mood: ditzy
Wednesday, June 13th, 2007
2:13 pm
They didn't want none of that back-sass
In dealing with the elders I must respect, I found that a great tool is to simply sit there and "do more work with your ears than with your mouth", like George Kennedy advises Paul "Cool Hand Luke" Newman. When I grew up, it was common to observe the rule that "children are to be seen and not heard", and that they should "speak only when spoken to". Anything else was a pretty grave offense, along the lines of back-talking or sassing, typically punishable by a whooping of some kind.

So you just sit there, biding your time, for you really have no burning interest in promoting any of the nonsense that might be filling your mind. Silence is quite golden in such a setting, and strangely enough, I do not find it demeaning. If the folks are of the old type, then just humor them, in their waning years. It's the best you can do.

It was a whole mess of back-talk sass, when the hippies rose in 1967, with all of those kids standing there like they had some great principle, telling off their parents. This is where the old man had fought in WWII and the mom had put off a career, but those jokers didn't care. When the whole thing came crashing down in 1973, there should have been hippies tied to stakes along the road, the way the Romans erected crucifixes after conquest, where anything was fair game in terms of abuse, so that the parents would have their dignity somewhat repaid.

What's the line? "Yakkety-yak (Don't Talk Back)", for if you do, there's at least one bony old back-hand that will have open season on your face and body. Get back in your place and stifle yourself. Good advice for any kid who is sufficiently pumped by the media to think he has a valid opinion, worthy of interjection into the broader discourse.

Sigh, I'm wandering into the realm of BDSM, which is not good. There is probably a whole ritual of pretending to be a talking-back kid, with the dominant one meting out the punishment that is due.

Current Mood: pensive
Monday, June 11th, 2007
8:08 pm
So why can't I pass it further along?
Something really burns me up about these rate-increase letters that come from places like the cable and trash companies. Because of increased County waste charges, I will now be assessed $3.00 a month more on what had been a $20.00 service, a 15% increase. They think they sound so righteous to claim that they're just passing along higher rates they must pay. The same goes for all of this fuel surcharge that is coming from places like the pizza joints for delivery.

Yes, they're a huge and powerful business, one having a relative choke hold on the consumer, who wriggles helplessly. In the meantime, let me see how far I'd get with management if, as an ordinary worker, I demanded a comparable increase in pay to account for this kind of nonsense. They try to head this one off with a 3% C.O.L.A., while we all know that inflation is really double digits, but the election cycle is coming up and we'll gently be persuaded to ignore that, just to put the darling Southern Belle or the sophisticated African...man...in as President, instead of doing the right thing and electing a man with old time virtues, John McCain.

Yeah, just try it; they won't buy it, but as consumers we're forced to eat it. Long live the Revolution, and the economic utopia of the final organization.

Current Mood: annoyed
Thursday, June 7th, 2007
12:36 pm
Big-time blah, la de dah...
We're looking at some serious-duty boredom and failure to find interest and/or occupation, in what's left of this day. There have been times like this where I've cited a particular symptom of this low (they do tend to creep in), and gone home sick. But being tired by itself is not sick, they say.

I'm a bit fidgety here, as is commonly the case when I'm presented with a to-experience list for an afternoon that is so barren as today's. Thus far, I beat these times back by forcing myself ahead (just pick up SOMETHING), realizing that there is nothing fair about one's woefulness.

I wish I had some sort of bed in this office, and the ability to take naps undetected, but folks still need me from time to time, and it would be inconvenient. I've been spending lots of time lately at home, by going to bed. I think I'm a bit of a recluse, though not the dangerous kind.

They have "Community Day" outside here, but I'm not into it. Just long lines for miserable barbecue and unintelligible words being melodically yelled from the stage. I had entered the 883 Sportster in the Bike Show, only it looked a bit daunting this morning, to do the actual ride on that machine. My bikes are beginning to miss me.

Sometimes I get into the mode of meditation while I'm sitting here, and find problems of some knottiness untie before me. It can be a brief session, too; on the order of 10 minutes.

4 hours of emptiness stare me in the face, when in fact I'm behind on production and could be yanked from my office like an old battery cage hen that no longer delivers at an acceptable frequency. The way the economical world out there can eat up someone like that alive is rather like the way criminal justice, in felony charges, at least, is described as a way whereby people's lives are ruined, wrecked and/or destroyed. It's an affixing of the shackles, and a ride on to pot pie ignominy, like in "Chicken Run".

I don't know what's wrong with me. I was acting as such a self-starter there for a few years, notably 2005, 2006. Initiative comes, but you never know when. God is an on-time God / He may not come when you want him / But he'll be there right on time.

Current Mood: blah
Sunday, May 20th, 2007
7:41 pm
Forced along
Darn it, I'm back in the enforced camp of non-inspiration, where all controls are useless and my jailer firm. This is the mood wherein I "force myself" to do things. Lots of folks out there will say this is life, and suck it in. I don't know, I feel pretty sucked in as it is already.

This is labor, doing this text, and it is an uphill fight. Oh, how great it is, when you're over the crest of that hill. The summit is way on up there, and I'm already on a 10% grade. The jalopy won't make it; I need to pull over. It's like the vehicles in "The Grapes of Wrath", some of which simply don't have the stuff to cross the Continental Divide on 66.

Current Mood: anxious
Thursday, May 17th, 2007
12:42 pm
Still a great effect
Back in 2005, I lamented how I'd taken to chowing those SweeTart candies that came in a roll, but also how hard it is to stick to a plan of extending the sweet-and-tart effect over a longer period, by doing more sucking and less biting.

These days, I tend to get the "Giant Chewy" variety down at the convenience store, out of a preference for the awesome burst of taste-stimulation they provide, even when sucked alone. Of course, these are not to be confused with the GianTart packages I still remember from being a kid, where the candy was hard like the little ones in the roll.

I should be grateful that I can still "get away with" consuming as much of such things as I do, for when I get older, I'll probably have to find something else to occupy me, when I sit at my desk. It will be hard to do, of course, for taste is so basic to one's experience, right along with smell. But I'm here to work, and not to experience.

I'm now trying the suck-more-than-bite technique on a new item of an old class, the Haribo Happy-Cola Gummis. I still remember where I was in 1979 when I tried my very first Haribo Gold Bear. The Band was selling them as a fundraiser, and they were thoroughly unknown to us in the US at the time. I guess they DO have the basic cola taste, with a sweet-spicy basis that is very gingery/clovey/cinammony. You could pass the flavor off as gingerbread, if you needed to.

As I was experiencing taste while trying to work, I was meditating over the concept of these artificial flavors that I've been conditioned since I was a kid to believe are the real "green apple", "lemon", "cherry" and "grape". I think if the fruit actually had these tastes, I couldn't get enough of them, and make my mother most happy. I'm thinking of Schlosser's "Fast Food Nation", where he speaks of the artificial flavor industry.

It used to be that we could tell food from poison by its flavor, but now, it would seem that corporate interests are interested in making something somewhat poisonous instead taste like the best of food.

Current Mood: worried
Tuesday, May 15th, 2007
12:09 pm
Recalling the legacy non-carbonated soft drinks
I was down at the concession stand and convenience store on our below-ground concourse level (it is delightfully inside the security perimeters and does not require a badge-out) this morning, and heard a fellow customer who lamented that they did not sell Kool-Aid in the beverage coolers.

Thinking in the nostalgic style that seems to have consumed me lately, I realized that in the 1970's, all you had to do was yell, "Hey, Kool-Aid!", whereupon the smiling pitcher would come crashing in with the reply, "Oh, yeah!".

Of course, that was back in the later part of that drink's heyday, when Moms would keep a supply of it in the refrigerator in a 2-quart Tupperware pitcher that invariably came to have the smell of Kool-Aid, even after having been washed. It was considered a luxury, too, to buy the kind that had the sugar already mixed in; one instead used those little unflavored pouches, and always had a cannister-ful of sugar ready to be dipped into.

To the younger readers out there, this may sound a little hard to believe; that non-carbonated drinks were actually prepared in one's home, and not obtained in jugs or drink boxes. Many may not have heard about Wyler's, and certainly would not know that in its bigger times, it was but 3 cents a glass. (Of course, 3 cents was real money in the 1972 timeframe, about what quarters have almost come to look like in 2007.)

The other big brands had to have been Hi-C, which I don't remember being available in powder form, and Hawaiian Punch, which also was not something I recall having to be mixed. We seemed to be more enamored with our 50th state back in the earlier days of its Statehood, with it being the kind of dream destination you now need to travel internationally to find, like in the South Seas. "How'd you like a nice Hawaiian Punch"? goes the question, and the response is "pow!". And then there was Tang, with its intimate ties to the US space program. Supposedly the only thing the Moon-People are interested in is getting a new supply of the stuff from the LEMs as they arrive. I also recall a mix by the name of "Funny Face", or some such, that we had many summers.

Now, why we even have to buy water in a form where the water has been already added. I'm too old for my own good, for this causes me to cry a small tear, for what has long ago passed down the drain.

Current Mood: ditzy
Sunday, May 13th, 2007
6:46 pm
The dangling invitation to piracy
I was over by our local "alternative" movie facility on Friday, where it seems you have to use the johns in there, for the failure of the small mall to have its own restrooms.  When I walked into that area that is usually one of the inner precincts that only ticketed customers can be present in, there was no one at the popcorn counter and no one challenged me from the ticket booth outside, but from what I could tell, they were running the early shows already.  

So I'm thinking, "it's so easy to steal an admission to one of these films that it looks too good to be true".  I think the FBI, or whoever polices the copyrights of movies, probably runs sting operations from time to time, and woe be to the movie-goer who hath not his ticket-stub.  Maybe they can make a real criminal case out of that now.  They have that little clip they like to run in the theaters and on TV that talk about how odious it is to engage in such piracy, in case the kids have somehow heard it said that "thou shalt not steal".  ("Not to mention any threat of h*ll / You better start to learn your lessons well"--Gospell)

Of course, times have changed.  Nowadays, your stub is only good for that one show, whereas when I was a kid in the 70's, you were entitled to sit through the same film as often as you like; pay one price.  I actually did that with a couple of films, when I had nothing better to do.  And what ever happened to double features, anyway?  I've been to a few of those, only they seem to sell every film by itself now.  Gone are the days.

Current Mood: blah
Thursday, May 10th, 2007
8:23 am
Can't live on it in NoVA
Low living though it is, I enjoy playing $5.00 and $10.00 scratcher tickets from time to time, from the Virginia Lottery. I know it's one of the worst sucker bets in existence, but what can I do? You have to drive an hour into WV just to find slots, for Pete's sake.

I have played a number of their "Win For Life" $5.00 tickets, in particular, where the grand prize is to "win $1,000 a week for life!". But as you might imagine, though the income would be useful, I'd sure as heck be keeping my job. To live in a neighborhood such as my own, you're typically drawing at least $52,000 gross for each of two working parents.

This is not to say that the stipend wouldn't open some doors that are currently closed. There are parts of VA where you'd do just fine and dandy, like one of my favorite areas in the hills, where I-64 goes up and over the divide above Lexington. If you didn't mind eschewing your gratitude for VA's giving you a new life, there is even better country further in, as at White Sulphur Springs, WV.

So call me a sucker, perhaps, but I still like those cards; they can spice up a dull day. Thank you, Ms. "Lady Luck", the VA Lottery spokes-character on TV, who now works for Tim Kaine.

Current Mood: chipper
Wednesday, May 9th, 2007
8:32 am
An exclamation I find myself saying to myself
Whereas the Nordic folks are renowned for their interjectory exclamation "Uff Da!" (as, perhaps we would say "Good God, Y'all", in our funkier moments), I seem to have made up one of my own:

The utterance is most approximately spelled "Udg-do!" (uj-doh!). Sometimes I use a longer form, based upon words like "telemetry": "Udg-do-rimetry!". A typical context will be when I have to pick up a heavy load or execute a laborious maneuver concerning something.

It's a grunt, I think, with most of the emphasis going onto the first syllable. Sometimes it can be shortened to just "Udge!", only the "U" is not always the same as "u" in a word like "judge" or "fudge"--sometimes it goes towards the umlauted u, picking up a bit of an "E-udge".

Current Mood: Tentative
Tuesday, May 8th, 2007
9:48 pm
Indeed, Her Majesty
My initial quip about the Queen's visit to Virginia is that she wanted Virginia back for the Empire. But that's in bad taste, and she's far beyond such things.

I saw a photo of Her Majesty being posed next to G. W. Bush at the State Dinner last night, and my eyes were drawn to the magnificent tiara she was wearing. I read that this was the tiara of Queen Mary, something that Elizabeth II would naturally inherit and use properly.

So my mind goes to thinking of the diamonds that must have been involved. The Crown is simply the top diamond collector in the world, of course, with both the Koh-I-Noor and the Cullinan I in the Tower of London, when not in use. So when Queen Mary needed stones, I'm imagining they're all D-FL, and perfectly matched from the world's diamond sources at the time, which was when Cecil Rhodes and the rest were finally getting into gear.

How big did they look in the photo? Well, the ones at the points look the largest, but I couldn't decide exactly how big--they may have been 9 mm rounds, or possibly 10's. This gets into the 3 - 4 carat category, which must be getting up into significant 6 dollar figures each. Just one of those stones would break even many US CEOs, as an engagement ring.

Well, I'm just impressed, let me say that, Your Majesty. You definitely fulfill what Britain expects of its Queen. Long may you live, and God Bless.

Current Mood: blah
Monday, May 7th, 2007
9:02 am
Money, meat and steel
Last year I bid fond adieu to the Thermos brand LP-gas backyard grill that had served me since I put it together (a 5-hour Erector Set experience) in 1993. Rust and corrosion had taken their toll, as in the comment I remember from materials class in school: "an industrialized nation spends 5% of its GNP on corrosion".

But rather than lay out the long green for a new grill, I moved in the somewhat-used Char-Broil that my neighborhood friend was going to throw out himself, only with many more fires left to burn within it. It sat on my deck in back the whole winter, covered with the Weber brand premium cover I bought for the old Thermos.

I'd had some strange aversion to cooking out with this new surface, perhaps because it lacked the familiarity of my tried-and-true setup. This is a shame, for in colder seasons past, I'd routinely come out there in the evenings to have a cook-out. It was not that I was some kind of germophobe, for just as the potential organisms in Crichton's "Andromeda Strain" could not possibly withstand the heat of a nuclear explosion, nothing that could ail me should be able to withstand the rig being fired up and run with full flame for awhile.

Well, it got to be April 2007, and I'd still not had a cookout. When I was at Safeway last week, I decided I needed to have some grillables on hand in the house that I could not ignore. Besides getting one of those 5-packs of Johnsonville Hot Italian Brats (pretty tasty, by the way), I spent some time going through the Ranchers' Reserve steak department, where I'd bought many a rib-eye and NY strip over recent years.

I guess I enjoy shopping for fine cuts of beef, disgusting though this is to our friends in veggie-dom, even after all I've learned about how it gets there. I even watched "Fast Food Nation" the movie all the way through, and read Eisnitz's "Slaughterhouse". Shoot, the stuff is just danged tasty, and nothing stops one gob in quite the same way. We never had anything as grand as steaks when we were kids, of course, for we were so poor (how poor were you?), except maybe once or twice a year going to Bonanza. I am grateful, therefore, to be eating in such a style, and doom-and-gloom economic forecasters just have to pick another victim, in globalization's alleged destruction of the American Dream.

Well, I wanted to make sure I'd seen everything they had in the Safeway display, at which point I noted something called "tenderloin steaks", these big thick "medallion" kind of pieces, 3 to a 1.3-pound pack. I'd certainly heard of beef tenderloin, as when Ray Romano, with smacking lips, says "ten-der-loi-yin" at Our Lady of Faith on the show. Well, this would get me out to cook, if nothing else.

Sunday came that day, after I got back from a brief spin around the neighborhood on my 2007 H-D XL883L (bikers--I mean RIDERS--go for this kind of meal, when they kick back). Though I'd actually cooked some brats on Friday, I was still interested in just how to get the Char-Broil to do its best thing. For a hand-me-down that must have saved me the better part of a $K, this was quite acceptable.

To do the beef, I started by coating both sides with Worcestershire and crushed peppercorn, both sides, in an 8-inch baking pan, which barely held them. This kept the exteriors from burning to an immediate crisp, which would have left the insides still tragically below safe temperature at the end. I watched the smoke exit the closed grill, drifting off into the trees, and soon to pixilate both neighbor and neighbor's dog alike.

I was still charring up the exterior of these steaks to a point where I'd not care to eat it (though I've been known to consume completely black hot dogs in the past--it's just carbon, you know, like a diamond?), despite my attempts to restrict the heat, so I had to take them off and go inside to eat. The insides were still somewhat red, and it is my policy to avoid any meat that has a hint of that color, only I judged it safe to eat, since so many people like them "bloody as h*ll", chosen by John Travolta and Uma Thurman alike over "burned to a crisp", by Steve "Buddy Holly" Buscemi.

I do have to say that the name "tenderloin" is not a misplaced one; it was like chowing on a burger. I finished the entire package, though I knew I'd suffer the inevitable run-down, post-meal crash. And yes, the crash came, with full fury, as you see in last night's posting. But I'm pretty darned spoiled, if I'm going to claim it to be real woe, to have such a meal and consider myself anything other than fortunate.

We plow the fields and scatter
The good seed on the land,
But it is fed and watered,
By God's almighty hand.

[All good things around us
Are sent from heaven above,
So thank the Lord, thank the Lord,
For all his Lo-o-o-ove...]

I really want to thank you, Lord

Current Mood: bored
Sunday, May 6th, 2007
6:52 pm
Hmmm...nothing forthcoming
There is a condition I've seen that must just be plain old depression, where there appears to be an ACTIVE process that scavenges up every last bit of spontaneous inspiration. It is like having been thrown into a deep well, rather like Jeremiah, or maybe Jessica McClure. Thus is my current state. Sigh.

At such a time, all a man can do is force himself to do things; something, anything. These are the same activities that at other times are jollies, but which at present are labors. What kind of absurdity is it, when a person must actually make a conscious effort to exist?

But I'm no danger to myself; only a disappointment to myself for the time being. Other days are sure to come.

I recall the story about a man whose donkey fell into a well like this. After much puzzlement and attempting to get the animal to be liftable with the rope, the idea then comes: You toss earth and stones down into the well, and before long, the beast will be able to walk right out.

So this, basically, is how you get your a** moving, I guess.

Current Mood: bored
Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007
11:09 am
Pics in support of previous entry

On the downstream side of the property, a bush of plural portions, shared with my neighbor (I should really go to visit him more often...).

The view from out front; Dad says it's a dogwood.

Current Mood: blah
Tuesday, May 1st, 2007
9:27 am
Weeping may endure for a winter...
With the focus that seems to be placed upon 1 May as having significance, I went hunting around wikipedia.org, to read more on the subject. There is some notion that it is the end of uncomfortably cold weather in the northern hemisphere, something I celebrate for myself (especially with how cold it has been this April, on many of its days, in northern VA).

I am particularly noting the longer days for some reason this year; maybe I really DO have "seasonal affective disorder", and should sit more under that daylight-box prescribed long ago by a physician for my blues (it is currently a work-lamp, the one illuminating the paint colors and chips in those earlier entries). I am in favor of the country going to year 'round DST, by the way, but I figure folks would eventually become lazy, and not get up as early in the morning as they do during Standard Time.

The solstice, of course, is 21 June, and the grand-pappy (or -mammy) of the various northern hemisphere indigenous celebratory days; I really have to get me some midnight sun, by means of an Alaska cruise, or more preferably, a Scandinavian cruise, like the ones done by Norwegian when they reposition their ships from the Caribbean. The best I've had is on our summer trips to UP Michigan, but that's only 48 or 49 degrees at most.

There are 51 more days that are this long or longer until solstice, then 51 afterwards, owing to geometric symmetry (Galileo, Newton, Kepler, Brahe, and the countless others, be praised). It all ends 11 August, about the time that "back to school" kicks in with real force, and we come to our senses, here in the horse latitudes.

I could do without seasons, and do well; my current favorite states on this account are CA (too expensive), AZ (not enough services) and TX (perhaps just right, after my August 2006 trip, though quite hot in the summer). I was reading about the "colonization of Mars" yesterday on Wikipedia, and was reminded that the Martian year is 1.8 earth years, meaning folks in the northern hemisphere of that planet would have a whole 6 months between their equivalents of 1 May and 11 August, though the longer Martian day of 25 hours would shorten that by a few days. Of course, we ARE talking Mars, which means temperatures as low as those experienced by the Terrans currently wintering over at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. (There is another favorite subject of mine; I'll need to start finding 2007 Winterover blogs...)

It is interesting to me to note the kind of bedfellows there are, who have crawled into the 1 May sack since the time of the 1886 Haymarket Riot, supposedly caused by that generations version of "Anarchists". Having read all of those goldbug and libertarian sites over the last couple years, I have come to understand anarchy to include absolute laissez-faire capitalist freedom, since it is only through an -archy that we can have things like wage floors and price ceilings. But aren't these the kind of things the labor movement organizers wanted?

I don't know; I'm blogging on an official computer and could get in trouble, with any more of this kind of talk. Opinions expressed are solely those of Raymond John Bayerl, private citizen.

The azaleas and flowering trees have also hit me with particular effect this year, especially since I have so many, it turns out, around my own property, the Xana'02 Estate. When I get home, I need to post the picture of one particularly gorgeous bunch.

For further in to the 102 days of "summer" (which is basically the time they give off in actual practice to college students, I note), there will be the hydrangeas, though we ended up chopping the blue one out in the back yard, to get the boat trailer in and out. I need to scrutinize what's left in the ground, and perhaps transplant it; it gave me much joy over the 5 summers prior when I would walk around the yard in gym shorts and flip flops.

The laissez-faire protestor built in me says, "get back to work". But what a day.

Current Mood: cheerful
Wednesday, April 25th, 2007
9:01 am
Speaking so as to be recognized
Having just finished with one of these IVR (Interactive Voice Response) customer service systems, I was thinking of just how the most effective entry of numerical values should be done. From my time as an amateur radio operator, and also as a dabbler in general aviation topics (but without the money to follow through), I recall that they have a standard way you're supposed to say numbers:


The only one I think could have a problem with these systems is "niner", but it's such a standard pronunciation, I think they'll likely have it in the dictionary. Also, it probably picks up on the "nine-" phoneme successfully if you say that.

So my test now is to use air traffic and ham radio numerical phonetics and see if they really are the best way to go. On the one I tried this morning, "niner" worked. Aside from "niner", I think people should say the other 9 digits in this way in all business, and not just talking over radios.

It helps, too, to have a midwestern accent, which I figure to be near the center of what they expect in terms of dialect. On a cell phone such as my Razr, it's generally more efficient to say the numbers than use the keys, but with a regular, legacy-format telephone, I prefer the buttons.

Current Mood: pensive
Tuesday, April 24th, 2007
8:53 pm
More on the colors...will the trip never end?

I finally got around to mounting the paint chips I tried to match to my picture of the 6 subtractive and additive primary colors, in the front cover of my paper journal. I was waiting in the hardware area of Sears for a friend to go park, over at Fair Oaks, but rather than look at tools, which I've seen plenty of, I noticed the display of Dutch Boy paint chips. I made a game of picking the best-looking ones for MCY and RGB. The photo is taken under my natural sunlight-emulating box, now set up in the basement (a whole story accompanies that unit, from 17 years ago).

I realize, of course, what this looks a whole heck of a lot like, but I see no need to perform those inquiries, with the way I currently live. No, that subject is fully moot, as it has generally been, all along. Zero amplitude has no sign. 'Nuff said.

Current Mood: bouncy
12:23 pm
Whether 'tis nobler to chow, or to wait
I may have gone off onto the topic of how weighted down I get from eating what are considered ordinary meals (e.g., ones that "satisfy" properly). It is always the crash of the day, and no victual seems immune, even things a sprightly-constructed as a Chipotle burrito. I thus know why people do not eat breakfast, for there is something of a loftier state that accompanies an empty stomach, and I often compare it to the "real fasting" of saints and ascetics throughout the ages.

It's 1230, with work concluding at 1615. That's 3:45 to subtend, without too much time in the dumps. To get to Chipotle, which actually sounds halfway good right now, I'd have to take the City of Alexandria shuttle bus over to King Street, Old Town. (Much as the developers here in Carlyle, substantially to the west of the historic central town, would like us to believe, this is NOT, and never WILL be "Old Town".) I'm not sure how late into the day they do the "Lunch Shuttle", as it's called; I'd have to hustle, though; I think they stop at 1300.

But shoot, that's just too big a schlep. They drop you on King Street quite some number of blocks from Chipotle, and you have to hoof it, all the while realizing that this rich and established retail district is not for us, for we have no efficient way of getting there (and there is no parking, to boot (no pun intended)). I can see myself now at 1715, dragging the sluggish, chowed-down form into my house, and remembering how I made myself do all of that walking, when the job here has me walking a lot as it is. (The buildings have stairs, too, since they're all ours at uspto.gov and there's no need for security doors between upper floors.)

I must conserve of myself, for it has been a rough morning, and avoid too much more hustle. Otherwise, I'll be far too broken, when the gloom has come for its later-afternoon visit. I've not had enough of a break, really, from the action at my desk. At one point, I am reminded of the signs they had on the 401 in Ontario, almost commanding drivers to take breaks. From Niagara Falls to Windsor in the F150, burning C$0.90/liter fuel, I did stop once, to obtain chow at McDonalds. Not a bad trip that was, July 2005--but that's drifting into another matter, and distractability is a hallmark of the less-burdened way.

I'm looking at the clock now; the Chipotle window is soon to close. I already had a mess of Chinese yesterday, and they never seem as good, 2 days in a row (plus I've never found a good one around here that delivers). I'm thinking I'll go over to papajohns.com and see what the special is. It's always too much for me to eat, but as a senior staff member, I'm allowed to give away things like pizza to junior staff (come and get it, for I'll only throw it out).

Once again, I find myself resentful, that I have such things at all to eat. It is time, perhaps, to read some more stories about the Holocaust or Darfur. Such a quandary.

Over to Papa's...the large 3-topping is $12.99, the definitive choice there, only you get reamed by all of the delivery, tax and gratuity on that. (Folks who deliver should be grateful for US$4.00/gallon gas as per predictions, or we consumers might revolt against them tossing on all of those surcharges in 2005 and not rolling them back when it was temporarily over.) But wait a minute, Dominos might still have something good. It's a Dominos / Papa Johns duality, that exists in my head most times. Pizza Hut got crossed off for delivery, at least for now.

OK, here we are--large Brooklyn style, pepperoni only, $9.99. That looks more like what I want. They have this dreadful coupon-tendering arrangement at dominos.com, however, and I can almost think they're trying to catch people who are not aware of all the things they have to do. Get the door, it's Dominos, and too bad about losing the coupon. Now they want my Coupon Code, which means browsing back around and hoping the script doesn't lose my info...oh, I see, that's for other kinds of coupons.

OK, it's in; 26 - 36 minutes. A good employee finds things to do, while his delivery is pending.

Current Mood: moody
Saturday, April 21st, 2007
8:24 pm
And while we're thinking about oil...
I've had colors and their making on my mind this week, when thinking about laser printer toner in MCYK, whose equivalent in light is RGBW, and then got going on old oil paint-by-number sets. This was the perfect storm, it would seem, for when I got to the paint department at our A.C.Moore Crafts store. I reasoned that since paint is additive just like toner, if I endeavored to find the best match I could to MCYK (and with W to bring the value up if needed), I should be able to mix any color from just 5 tubes of paint.

I'm grateful to heaven above, that I didn't ruin the canvas, or make one huge mess of this by transporting this raw paint to places it didn't belong. It was deceptively simple, though I had to work on a couple of those colors at length; notably, the red, the cyan and the blue. I have enough paint out on that field to do a whole 'nother 8x10, but it's getting time for bed. What a little adventure in the basement that was. It seems to have whole worlds of Zen-like absorption, to the extent I know anything about Zen.

Current Mood: artistic
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