Archive for the ‘questions’ Category

What kind of a sports car are you

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

I’m a Chevrolet Corvette!

You’re a classic – powerful, athletic, and competitive. You’re all about winning the race and getting the job done. While you have a practical everyday side, you get wild when anyone pushes your pedal. You hate to lose, but you hardly ever do.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Who are these people and why are they looking for me?

Friday, December 28th, 2007

Several times a week someone comes to one or the other of my blogs after doing an search for my name (often with the word "blog") on a search engine. Some or Google, some on AOL Search and some on Live Search. They are doing it from all over the world. Today it was someone using (Japan) but its also been from all over the world. Places as random as Brooklyn NY and Manila the Philippines.  South Africa and Norway. North, south, east and west.

But why? Are they looking for someone else with a similar name? Perhaps. But the ones that include the name of the company I work for along with my name are, I am pretty sure, looking for me.

On one hand it is sort of flattering. On the other I just have to wonder "why?"

As Seen on TV

Friday, December 28th, 2007

Mrs T picked up some little lights that stick up anywhere and run on batteries. I noticed that the packaging said "As Seen On TV." Wow now there is a reason to buy something.

OK I know perhaps someone is shopping for the same item they have seen on TV and this will tell them these are the same items. But if they meet the need do you really care that they are the same ones as on TV? Not unless you believe that somehow being advertised on TV makes them better. Generally it just makes things more expensive.

Or perhaps you are not deliberately shopping for this item but see them and the notation on the box reminds you that you thought they looked cool when you saw them. Here now a chance to buy them without making a telephone call and paying for shipping and handling. Such a deal! How can you ever pass this up?

I’ve seen other things advertised in magazines with the comment "as advertised on" followed by a list of impressive shows or networks. As if somehow the fact that the company has paid a lot of money for ad time on those shows that somehow the product gains some sort of imprimatur or extra credibility from the experience. Do people fall for that? I assume that some must or the companies would not do it.

What kind of people come up with these marketing ideas? How does their brain work? And how can I avoid it happening to me?

Blogging Burn-out

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

I’ve been blogging for about four years now. There has been some ebb and flow in both the amount I post and the amount of other blogs I read over that time. Lately though its all become less fun and somehow harder to do. In my other blog  I actually missed posting on several business days in a row for the first time in months. Usually I have so many posts in my head that I post several days worth at a time and am a week or more ahead. Not lately.

I don’t post as often here as I would like but there was a time when I posted daily at another blog that has been effectively abandoned. I had thought to move more of that blogging here but instead I just cut back. So total posting is really down about half or more from my peek. I still think about blog posts. I even write them in my head. What’s different is that I don’t actually get them written and posted. Why? Complicated.

Of course some of it is time. I have been traveling a lot lately. A week in Texas and couple of days in New York with lots of local New England day trips in the mix. And there is all this stuff to do because of the Christmas holidays. But that’s not all.

I used to take the computer into the family room and read and write blogs while watching TV. Lately I find I just want to get away from the computer. A bit of information overload I think. I just want to rest my brain.

Recently my brother and I talked about visiting a family owned home that is not much used in the winter. My brother said "but the cable TV and Internet connections are shut down for the season. Why would you go?" I answered "because the cable TV and Internet connections are shut down." Time with my thoughts. Time to pray. Time to just disconnect from the hustle and bustle of a world trying to live on Internet time.

I realized today that I have been programming computers for longer than more than half of Microsoft’s employees have even been alive. It’s been 35 years since my first computer program was written (in FORTRAN) and I have been running as fast as I can to keep up with the technology ever since. I’m not as young as I used to be.  I think now and again I need to get off the treadmill and take a breather.

I’m planning on taking some time off from work for the week that joins Christmas and New Years. My wife is threatening to confiscate my Treo so I can’t check email while away from the computer. I think she’s planning on getting me out of the house and well away from the computers as well. I think it will be good for me.

The only question is will I come back revived and roaring to go again or will I perhaps find that I like being "off the net" better than on it? And if the latter then what do I do?

Off the Wall Thoughts on Airport Security

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

If you go through security at an airport and need to be searched they have men search men and women search women. Well I’m straight so the idea of a man patting me down is yucky to me. Why can’t I request a woman do the search?

I think that the theory behind having men search men and women search women is that they don’t want to searcher to get all excited about searching the person. There are two problems with this. One is that there are these people called homosexuals so potentially there could be a male TSA who gets off searching men. And women who get off searching women. The other thing is that maybe what we want are people who enjoy doing a through search. I mean if we think the search is a good idea don’t we want someone who will do a good job rather than be thinking "how lightly and quickly can I touch and still find things?" Maybe we want someone who will find out if that is a gun in the pocket or are they just enjoying being frisked?

OK so some people are uncomfortable with people of the opposite sex touch them. Fine. Let people request what they want. If I will feel more comfortable having a woman who I can at least imagine is both attractive and enjoying touching me maybe I’ll be more cooperative. Clearly I’ll stand still longer. If you want someone of the same gender frisking you fine – equal opportunity for all.

And then these is thing thing about no electronics being on during takeoff and landing. Are airplane electronics systems really that delicate? If they are aren’t terrorists likely to put electronics in luggage and have it automatically turn on when the acceleration of takeoff starts? Has anyone searched through the wreckage of a plane crash and said "Look at this. A Bose headset turned on. I think we found the cause of this crash?"

And what are the number of crashes caused by portable electronic devices (I’m guessing none) compared to the number of crashes caused by Moslem extremists? And yet we still let Moslems on board planes. Of course banning all Moslems would be extreme and ridiculous. But is banning all electronics during take off and landing much different? During take off and landing is when I want my Quiet Comfort II headphones on the most. How about if I wrap them in aluminum foil?

One last thing. I have a peanut allergy and a lot of airlines still give out peanuts on flights. One of these days that is going to cause me serious problems. Not just from the reaction to the peanuts though that is a concern. What I am also worried about is what happens when I pull out my Epie Pen and jab a needle into my leg. Is some passenger going to freak out on me and get me into serious trouble?

I’m flying to Texas next week. I’ll behave and let the yucky male TSA frisk me if need be and I’ll leave my headset off until the all clear but none of that is going to make me feel any safer at all. If they want me to feel really safe they’ll let me bring a loaded gun and ban the peanuts from the plane. But that will never happen.

Disclaimer: This post is for entertainment value only. Not to be taken seriously. Except for the plea to ban peanuts on planes. And even that you can take with a grain of salt.

Indoor Skiing

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

So I have long been facinated with Ski Dubai which is an indoor ski/snowboarding hill in the middle east. I actually wonder why we don’t have places like that in the US. Of course in some parts of the country we have actual outdoor skiing and that would seem to be less expensive. But I checked the prices and a full day pass at Ski Dubai is less than $75 and incudes skiis/boards, boots, jacket, snow pants, hat and even socks. That’s more then you would get for the same money in the US.

Now granted the ride is likely to be better on a real hill and perhaps their power costs are less in Dubai. But still you think it would be an affordable novelty in places like the deep south and the deserts in the west. And there is always the off season. What do you think Matt? Can you make it work?

No Soap Radio

Monday, June 11th, 2007

The brilliant Scott Adams (a little suck up in case he sees this link) had an interesting blog post about soap. The problem has to do with bars of soap that get too small to be comfortable but not wanting to waste anything by tossing away the small bars. His readers had already made all of the suggestions I was going to make before I got there. But that just meant I had new questions.

What about those tiny little bars of soap they give you in hotels. I find them to be already too small. I do use them of course because I really don’t want to carry my own soap. I could carry my own soap as they make nice plastic travel boxes for bar soap. But you never know if they are going to open up and get everything wet and soapy. Sometimes soap takes a while to dry out after using. And what if the TSA decides to do something to the soap? I mean they probably don’t have time to mess with things like that but what if some disgruntled TSA inspector decided to spit on my soap while he was inspecting my suit case? Probably never happen. I am sure they pay those people really well and they all really love their jobs. I mean who wouldn’t love searching luggage with a week’s worth of dirty laundry in it?

And of course there is the little matter of the hotel staff cleaning away the used bars (sometimes every day) and wondering about what happens to them. Now there is waste. A couple of uses and those small bars are pretty useless. But sometimes people only stay overnight and take only one shower. Or maybe only wash their hands and face. So there could be lots of life (relatively speaking for such a small bar) left in the bar. Of course one doesn’t really want to reuse a bar that someone else has used. One never knows what has been washed with it. On second thought do you suppose there are people out there who get turned on by using a bar of soap that someone else has used? There are a lot of weird people out there you know.

This brings up another question. Can you wash soap and if so does that make it usable by others? So many questions, so few answers.