Thursday, May 26, 2011

Quote of the day

"In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to the level of incompetence."
- Laurence J Peter from the book The Peter Principal:  Why Things Always Go Wrong.

For some reason this really seems apropos today.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Impending Apocalypse

Many self proclaimed Christians who have no understanding of the bible are preparing for the rapture, which they believe will come on Saturday.  That being said, if you are planning on departing the earth this weekend, can I have your stuff?

New Drink

Yesterday afternoon I stopped in Gelatiamo for a delicious gelato to enjoy in the sunshine.  While there I was salivating at the smell of the cinnamon bread they had there but when I saw that it was $12 a loaf I decided to pass.  Anyway, since then I've had a cinnamon craving.  Sipping my coffee at my desk this morning I thought that if I were to go to Starbucks I could sprinkle some delicious cinnamon into my coffee.  The drawback to this being that I didn't feel compelled to walk a block to buy coffee when I get free coffee in the building.  Necessity being the mother of invention, however, genius struck.  We have cinnamon apple herbal tea in the kitchens in the office, so I grabbed a tea bag and just like that a new drink was born - coffee tea. 

I don't know why it never occurred to anyone before to join forces of the worlds two most widely consumed beverages, but truth be told it was a little funky and I don't plan to attempt that particular combination again.  I remain undaunted though.  Just because the cinnamon apple tea didn't work doesn't mean that Earl Grey won't.  Some day when I really need to double down on the caffeine I might give it a try. 


With the weather being delightful today, I decided to take a walk during my lunch break.  I headed down toward Westlake Center, on the way passing a band of greasy hippies on 4th Ave protesting something.  I don't know what and I don't care.  They were standing in front of the Borders Books waving signs that said something about stopping mining.  I'm fairly certain that Borders isn't involved in any mining operations, but the real point of this is that I got to thinking - is there any less effective way of gaining support for a cause than waving signs and irritating people with chants?  Has anyone ever walked past a group of people who don't appear to have bathed in a week yelling poorly rhymed nonsense and said, "you know what, I don't think Borders should be doing any mining."  Or has anyone ever walked by a table with some creepy people holding signs with President Obama with a Hitler moustache drawn on him and decided, "well that changed my mind, I'm voting for Lyndon Larouche in the next election."  No, of course not, so why do people still do it?  Obviously they are misguided, but there's got to be more to the psychosis. 

Anyway, moving on from there I grabbed some food and continued my stroll.  As it turns out, the route back to my office was a little adventurous.  A few blocks were shut down by police and there was a helecoptor hovering overhead.  I snapped a few photos across the street from the Washington Mutual Tower, or I guess now the Chase Tower although I haven't heard that it has officially been renamed.  Naturally there were a lot of people standing around watching the proceedings and after stopping to ask what was going on, I found out that there had been a shooting on a bus a couple blocks from my office.  Word on the street was that a woman had been hit by a ricocheting bullet, although news reports I found after the fact say that medical response teams found no evidence that she had been hit.  So despite some fear, no one was injured and the police caught and arrested the two perpetrators shortly after. 

All in all, a pretty eventful lunchtime stroll.  It kind of makes me miss the more rural areas where your biggest concern is that the guy down the street gets busted with a meth lab in his garage.  I'd really like to find a job on the East side again where shootings and violence are rare and my commute would be much shorter.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Office 2010

I have MS Office 2007 on my home PC and Office 2010 at work.  Am I mistaken or is the only difference between the two that 2010 takes forever to load up and they moved everything around so I have to learn where it is all over again?  By the way Microsoft, I hate the ribbon.  Please just go back to the drop down menus at the top of the window. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Beat The Bridge

Well, it was a poorly organized and exceptionally irritating event, and being soaked from the constant rain doesn't help, but I officially beat the bridge. Now I'm warm and dry inside the Starbucks at Barnes & Noble and I plan on beating this cup of coffee and muffin while traffic thins out. Many thanks to everyone who donated. Hopefully it will help save lives. Surprisingly enough, according to the event web site, as of Friday you had made me the top fund raiser for Team Safeco. Unfortunately that's more a case of the rest of the team doing a terrible job of fund raising than me doing a good job, but still... Thanks again.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Spirit Carries On

They've been rock icons for a quarter century. They've sold over 10 million albums. But the unthinkable has happened. Drummer and founding member of Dream Theater, Mike Portnoy, has left the band. I've never seen a band audition before and I have to say that the process is fascinating.  7 drummers auditioned, and I can't really imagine how difficult it would be to choose between them.  But choose they did, and it was well worth the time invested to get to the big reveal.  It was interesting to see how different drummers play songs from their catalog and a big joy for me to get to see them jam and hear snippets of what may end up being songs on the next album.  I can't say enough good things about the following videos.  If you have any interest in music then you'll enjoy watching.

Leave Me Alone

It's finally sunny and dry in Seattle which means I can't walk anywhere downtown without being harrassed on every corner by pushy people wanting signatures or donations or whatever.  I am constantly set upon by PETA, Greenpeace, Save the Children, those creepy Lyndon LaRouche supporters, and various other groups that I can't remember.  Is it really asking that much to want to just go get some lunch and get back to my desk uninterrupted?  And I don't know if I look like a sucker or what, but they always seem to target me.  I just walked across the street to Starbucks and saw several people walk past the trap unscathed only to have a girl try to stop me.  How do other people get through the trap?  What's the secret?

I have two simple rules I follow in these situations:  don't make eye contact and don't shake hands.  If you make eye contact they seem to take that as an invitation to pounce on you.  Don't shake hands was more of a sanitation issue for me because God only knows what's on their hands after shaking with random people for several hours, but the one time I felt like a jerk and shook a woman's hand out of guilt, she wouldn't let go.  I literally had to yank my hand away - lesson learned.  I typically don't let people finish a sentence before I say, "I'm not interested" but there's some vital piece of the puzzle I'm missing to keep them from approaching me to begin with.  Everyone that knows me will attest that I'm not friendly by any traditional definition of the word, so I doubt people are seeing me and thinking, "that looks like a delightful person to talk to."  Would it help if I looked pissed off constantly?

So while I enjoy the (finally) improving weather, it does not come without peril.  Whatever your secret is to help me make it through the summer, please inform me.  And for any organization that employs people on the street, nothing will turn me against your cause faster than harrassing me at inconvenient times. 

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Conspiracy Theories

The human mind is programmed to solve puzzles, to put pieces together, in general to reason out the cause and effect relationships in the world.  In some people, this critical thinking instinct doesn't work properly and the next thing you know, you think that Major League Baseball is using sattelites to spy on you for the purposes of selling more merchandise, or worse yet you're wearing a tin foil hat and watching Jesse Ventura's television show.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I love a good conspiracy as much as the next man.  And I love a bad conspiracy theory more than the next man.  Anything involving covert government operations, secret groups that control the world, time travel, or aliens is usually pure gold.  I found a link today that features some grade A, laugh out loud lunacy. 

Some of my favorites:

J Edgar Hoover created a hit squad of flamboyant homosexuals to assassinate JFK, because hey, who would ever suspect flaming homosexuals?

All redheads are the offspring of aliens.  I'm not sure of the reasoning behind this one, but the lack of reasoning is apparent.

Canada, the US, and Mexico are planning on uniting to form one massive country.  The most entertaining part of this conspiracy is the quote that came from the conspirator, “I heard and see on the internet that this is in the makings is it or not? if so what would happen to the Consitution of Independce?”  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you read that correctly - the Constitution of Independence. 

And my personal favorite:  “Dentist are putting small mircowave type things in your teeth! This help's to give you Heart Burn which in turn puts Doctor's in business and Drug companies selling Heart Burn med's. NEVER HAVE YOU SEEN THIS ONE COMING.”  I personally plan on confronting my dentist regarding this at my next appointment.  I will also seek comment from Dr. McNabb

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Useless Trivia

Did you know that in a round about way, the word gopher is derived from the same word as waffle?  According to my sources, the furry little creature got it's name from the French word guafre, which itself is a corruption of the Dutch word wafel.  The Dutch word, when translated, means honeycomb.  Makes sense that this eventually came to describe the delicious breakfast treat, but more obscure is how it came to describe a rodent.  Apparently some cajuns down in Louisiana adopted the name because the rodents built honeycomb shaped burrows.  So if you ever find yourself in Louisiana, I would recommend exercising caution when ordering waffles from the menu.