Sunday, February 7, 2016

I actually watched the Super Bowl game


Not just the commercials, which I traditionally try to catch.  No, this time I sat in my hotel room and stared at the football game, because a local team, the Carolina Panthers, were playing.  I felt I should root for them.

Mistake.

The game was ugly, mostly because the defense of the Denver Broncos was simply better than the offense of the Carolina Panthers.  Poor Cam Newton, the Panthers' quarterback, spent a lot of time either being tackled by the defense or trying to avoid that happening.

The Broncos clearly were the better team, though, so I certainly don't begrudge them winning.  I also have no real room to complain, seeing as how I'm about as fair weather a fan as one could be; after all, this is the only football game I've watched all year.

Next year, regardless of which teams are playing, I'm returning to my practice of watching the commercials.  I find them often more entertaining than the game itself, and I'm certainly more interested in effective advertising than in football.

Oh, yeah:  I'm in Portland now for a couple of days.  Due to early meetings and some junk food I ate during the game--continuing a longstanding tradition--I ate a room-service salad for dinner, so I have no great food news to report.

Tomorrow, though, will be different.


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Life without the tubes


Thanks to an AT&T crew that cut my Time Warner Cable line, I'm living without Internet connectivity (and live TV) at home right now.  A TWC crew is supposed to fix the problem in the morning, but I fly to Portland then, so the fix won't help me.

This trouble is why I didn't blog last night.  (Yes, I could have gone to the house of a friend to blog, but I didn't feel like going out again.)  It's also why I've been slow to respond to email, and why I won't blog again today or respond to more email today.

Tomorrow (Sunday), I'll be in a hotel in Portland and enjoying (probably crappy) bandwidth again.

I do not heart that AT&T team, and I definitely do not like living without constant, high-speed Internet connectivity.





Thursday, February 4, 2016

When you learn


that the redoubtable Jeni Britton Bauer, the ice cream genius behind Jeni's, has created a new collection, American Licks, whose goal is to capture the flavors of how ice creams of the past tasted in our memories, and if you're me, you have only one choice, of course:  you order them.

Click the image to see a larger version.

Then, you and anyone around must grab spoons and have an ice cream tasting party.

It's the only logical choice.

All of the flavors I tasted--I passed on the mint, of course--were delicious.  The standout, to my surprise, proved to be the orange sherbet, which was richer and better than any I've ever tasted.  It was, in fact, as good as my idealized memory of a few precious spoons of orange sherbet on a hot Florida summer day.

If you're an ice cream lover, I heartily recommend this collection.




Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A peek inside my head


I walk into the restroom at work today, and as the door closes, the Beatles begin singing "Ticket To Ride" on the building's music system that feeds our bathrooms.

I pause a second to let the music flow over and into me, and in that moment...

...I am a kid again, going into the Florida theater in St. Petersburg on a Saturday afternoon for the RC Cola six-bottle-cap movie extravaganza--cartoons and a double feature.  I'm about to see Help for the first time.

John Lennon is singing that I've got to hide my love away, and I ache with pain even as I realize that I have no real clue what love is, I just know that I better hide mine away, because every time I smile at a girl she reacts like she's eaten a bug.

I'm sixteen and my first love has dumped me because I loved her too much, and I don't understand how that is possible, how can I love someone and not love them that much?

I'm myself again, and I know I'm less intense now, and I wonder for a spring sigh of an instant if sixteen-year-old me didn't learn that lesson too well.

I shake my head, because I'm at work, I'm late to present at a vision meeting, and I have to focus on that task, not love, not the Beatles, not "Ticket To Ride," not what I lost, not any of that.



It's late now, and I'm playing the Help album.  Alone in my office, the music transporting me and melting away the years, it all comes back to me, and my heart aches again, aches so much I fear my chest might split, though I can't even list all that it aches for.



Tuesday, February 2, 2016

My spam wants me to go shopping


This evening, in a four-hour time period, my spam messages told me I needed to shop for all of the following items:

  • windows
  • siding
  • women (via a senior dating site)
  • sheets
  • flooring
  • a car
Frankly, I remain disappointed in my spam.  It doesn't know me at all.  It has no comprehension of what I might like or need.

My spam needs work.




Monday, February 1, 2016

Something cool PT is involved in


As I've observed in past entries, my company, Principled Technologies, gets involved with a lot of cool projects and activities.  One of the latest is the XPRT Women Code-a-thon in Seattle the weekend of March 12 and 13.  Rather than repeat the details here, I'll refer you to the PT page on the event and to the EventBrite page where you can sign up.

With this event, PT and its partner, ChickTech, are trying to do two worthy things:  help the BenchmarkXPRT performance evaluation tools represent a broader range of diverse interests, and encourage the participation of women in computing.

Please check it out, and spread the news to any interested friends in the Seattle area.



Sunday, January 31, 2016

Whatever happened to consideration for others?


I spend a fair amount of time in airports.  They're almost always crowded, full of people who need to get somewhere on a schedule.  I'm one of those people.  I appreciate the need to move along quickly, and I also completely understand the desire to catch up on email, check texts, and so on.

What I don't understand is how so very many people are so self-absorbed that they can't be bothered to consider the effects of their actions on others.

Friday, in the Charlotte airport, I had to come to a halt four times because women stopped suddenly in front of me to study their phones.  If you need to stop and study your phone, step to a wall on the side, out of the flow of traffic, and dive into your phone.  It's not difficult.

When I tried to go into a men's restroom, I asked three times for the men who were clogging the entrance, standing around talking, to let me through before I finally just shouldered one of them aside.  (I know I was wrong to do that, but I had taken all I could manage at that time.)  If you and your friends need to chat, great, take it to the side, and don't block any entrances.

These are but two examples of many.  I can find no consistent pattern across age, gender, style of dress, or any other factor.  In these large public places, we are all physically sharing the same space, but we seem to be oblivious to that fact, each of us living in our own little worlds.  I'd like to say this is an American problem, but I've faced the same issues in London, Paris, Florence, and other cities.

Surely we can do better.  Let's be more aware of those around us.  Let's show a little consideration, a little common courtesy.  We can make the world a bit better for all of us, and at a very small cost.




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