Wednesday, May 16, 2007

that cheap cookies are that way for a reason

I tend to snack a lot while I'm codding. For some reason I think better when I'm eating something. I bought some duplex cookies out of the local vending machine and was merrily munching my way through a complicated function when I had to stop and think about the implications of what I was writing. As my mind started to wrap itself around what needed to be done I unwrapped the cookie I was eating.

First off, I'm a huge oreo fan. Double stuffed cookies understand the concept behind that type of cookie. Namely, its all about the white stuff in the middle. Vending machine cookies have a thin layer of frosting in the middle, but its enough to do the job. Or so I thought, at least until I realized they cheated the cookie. Instead of a solid layer of sweet flavor between two bland pressure cooked cookies there was an O of frosting staring back at me. Ah well, serves me right for snacking outside of meal time.

Lesson Learned: Look before you eat because you usually only get what you paid for.

Monday, May 14, 2007

that american are coin snobs

A recent post I saw on Craigslist's "rants and raves" talked about foreign tourist holding out change and hoping a kinda (and honest) American will just pick out the right amount. I started to think about it and realized Americans are pretty snobby when it comes to our pocket change. None of our coins have a numeric value printed on them. The few coins that actually list their worth are written out in English, which really wouldn't help a foreigner.

On the flip side, Euro coins print the numeric value of the coin as a numeral. I suppose that sort of thing would sort of be required with a multi national currency.

Lesson Learned: Make sure to cut people slack. Just because its easy for us doesn't mean we've made it easy on someone else.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

that you can catch an edge on roller blades

"Catching an edge" in snowboarding is what happens when the downhill edge of the snowboard digs into the snow and sends the snowboarder catapulting forward head over heels. Any first time snowboarder has caught their fair share of edges the first few times out. Its almost a rite of passage.

I managed to catch an edge playing roller hockey today. I took a shot while I was rolling down the court and caught the side of the front wheel on my left skate. The wheel acted like a brake and stopped my left skate, immediately sending my left knee straight into the ground. I hit and rolled but my knee managed to take the brunt of it.

When I stood up from the fall I had an extra bump under my knee. I thought I broke something until I realized it was just extra swelling. For a moment there I was sure there was some major damage. Fortunately it looks like its just a flash wound.

Lesson Learned:
Kneepads are no longer an optional part of my roller hockey equipment.
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Wednesday, May 9, 2007

how much the little things can add up

When I first started working I drank at least a cup of coffee a day. I drank two or three on the bad days and generally skipped it on the good days. Each time I bought a cup of coffee from the coffee shop it came with a coffee cozy to keep you from burning your hand.

Every time I finished a cup of coffee I'd throw the little cozy into a corner. Once the pile had grown large enough I'd neatly organize them and stash them in one of my cabinets. I now have almost two year's worth of coffee cozys hiding in my cube.

I stacked all of the cozys on top of each other and ended up with a column that is only about a foot shy of the ceiling. I'd post a snap shot here but cameras aren't allowed at work. (Thats a lesson for a different day).

The only downside to my monument to caffeine consumption is the realization that each cozy represents at least a dollar's worth of coffee. A dollar isn't much for coffee but its still humbling to start counting up the total amount you could have saved by sticking with water.

Lesson Learned : Small things will add up over time to be a lot larger than you'd think they could be. The trick is figuring out if they are worth it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

that naked juice should put some clothes on

Naked Juice is a brilliant idea to sell fruit juice that is only fruit juice... and some nutrition additives... and some preservatives... and some herbal supplements... and some... The only naked thing about Naked Juice is that it doesn't have any added sugar.

The really naked truth about the stuff is that its mostly flavored apple juice that will run you 3 bucks apiece.

Monday, May 7, 2007

that negation kills

I heard this first from a friend of mine who was in a comedy troupe, but its proving itself even more true as time goes on. Negation kills the joke. It doesn't matter if what someone said is true or not, play along and see where it goes.

For example, I was eating out the other day and a co-worker sat down behind me. I didn't notice him till he tugged on the back of my shirt and told me to get him a refill for his soda. I knew he was just kidding around but I still went to the default negation. I said something along the lines of, "I can't, I'm eating" which generated a slightly awkward moment where he had to back out of his request. It would have been far better if I would have said something like, "sure thing, right after I'm done eating." Not only does that avoid the awkward silence, but it gives him an opening for another punchline which may even lead to some witty banter.

So now I know, don't say no. Just make sure your yes is so over the top that no is the only way they can take it. Of course, ignore all of this if you are talking to someone without a sense of humor. If you aren't on the same page it could be taken rather poorly.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

that I've been drinking far too much coke.

I started reading up on nutrition facts and I'm now convinced that a coke a week is still too much coke. (I've been drinking one a day). The clincher though was when I went to get a coke out of the machine today, punched in the button where the coke always was without thinking about it, and ended up with a completely different soda.

Blind habits like that are usually a pretty good sign that I should lay off.

Oh, and that "you can't sit with a tv in your lap" . Thanks Darcy

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

that lime light turns every one a little green

I had the change to read Barack Obama's book the Audactiy of Hope. Ever since then I've had an eye on Obama. I'm a fan of the way he thinks and how frank and open he is when it comes time to express those thoughts.

Needless to say I was a little surprised when I saw that Obama's campaign seized a myspace account.

I did some more poking and found the letter the owner of the site sent to Obama's campaign to explain the situation.

All of this had me worried that Obama may have finally succumbed to the sliding ethics of presidential politics. The situation is more than a little ugly but it looks like Obama is at least trying to do the right thing here.

Which brings me to what I've learned. Things get more complicated quickly once you start to add coverage and influence. The more powerful and more visible you are the more worried you have to be about what other people are saying and who might be listening to them.

I guess thats just another reason its good to be unknown.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

the difference between the shure e3c, e4c, and e4c-n

I work in a cube farm can get loud at times. I listen to music to drown out the noise but my ears can only take so much loud music before I have to give up and put up with the noise around me. I looked into isolating headphones and I've found that Shure makes the best in the business as long as price doesn't matter.

The only downside to Shure, other than price, is the sheer number of models they have. Shure's entry level earphone is the E2. Following the E2 are the E3, E3C, E4, E4C, E4C-N, and the $500 e5. The Shure website lists the difference in price but not the features or the reason for the different price.

Its taken me weeks but here is the breakdown. The E2 will sound better than anything you've ever used before but there is still room to grow. The E3* series is the price to performance sweet spot. The E4* is a noticeable step up from the E3* without breaking the bank. The E5* is the best on the market but you pay a premium for it. If you have the cash to spend the E5 is worth every nickel (all 10,000 of them).

The C or the C-N doesn't change the technology or form factor. The only difference in the different options seems to be color and cord length. There is a G option on some of the earphones that may offer a sound stage ability which will allow the source of a sound to move forward, back, left, and right instead of just existing between you ears.

I'm still not sold on spending that much money on earphones, but the reviews do make them very tempting. Perhaps in a month or so I'll learn what they sound like in person.