Monday September 29, 2003

Conspiracy Theory

Coming home from dinner this evening, we drove past a shopping center near our home. As is often the case, several of the storefronts had lights out in their outdoor signs. We see this phenomenon in many shopping centers. There was a Radio store (aka Radio Shack) and the Vietnam Villa e (there is no w; it's actually Vietnam Village). Last night, in a different shopping center, we saw the O D Navy store (Old Navy, not a bunch of overdosed sailors).

We commented, as we often do, how is it that the signs can be partially out for so many stores so often; then Rich suggested... perhaps it's done by intent?!?

If the signs were always complete, passersby would get used to them. But leave out a few letters and, voila, the passersby will have their eyes drawn to the sign (and to the new pronunciation) and their brains will register the presence of the store more clearly. Did I even know there was an Old Navy store in that other shopping center before?

Conspiracy? Fact or fallacy?

Conspiracy Theory ( in category Random Thoughts ) - posted at Mon, 29 Sep, 21:46 Pacific

Sunday September 28, 2003

The Adventures of Robin Hood

Welcome to Sherwood!

One of my favorite movies, The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938, with Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland), is now available on DVD.

The Adventures of Robin Hood ( in category Books, Movies, Music ) - posted at Sun, 28 Sep, 18:22 Pacific

Saturday September 27, 2003

Inside skinny on office fat

There was an article in today's SF Chronicle about how the workplace contributes to the obesity problem. Here's an excerpt:
The workplace study, a random sampling of 611 working adults from around the country, found that although 32 percent of workers usually skip breakfast and/or lunch, they aren't exactly doing a Gandhi impression. Eighty-nine percent admit to snacking during the workday, with more than half embracing fat and sugar's greatest hits: chips, candy and doughnuts.

Hunger and the need for energy are the main explanations they give, according to the study, sponsored by the American Association of Working People, the Institute for Health and Productivity Management and the makers of the Ensure nutritional drink. An additional 23 percent of workers blame stress.

And here's my favorite: 27 percent snack because they're bored. Workers under 25 were twice as likely as their older colleagues to use that as their explanation.

[by Dave Murphy, SF Chronicle; read the rest of the original article on the web at]

I sent a note to the writer with some additional comments. ...
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Inside skinny on office fat ( in category Special Interests ) - posted at Sat, 27 Sep, 22:51 Pacific

Friday September 26, 2003

Friday but no Five

The Friday Five is taking this week off, so in its place we bring you.,.. a book report.

If you like the sorts of questions the Friday Five provides, look for these books: The Little Book of Stupid Questions (David Borenicht; publ. Barnes & Noble Books; 1999) and The Big Book of If... (Questions for the Game of Life and Love) (Evelyn McFarlane & James Saywell; publ. Villard; 1995-1997). The latter is a combo volume comprised of three previous books, If, If2, and If3. ...
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Friday but no Five ( in category Books, Movies, Music ) - posted at Fri, 26 Sep, 22:20 Pacific

Sunday September 21, 2003

Storytelling Festival

We drove up to Trinidad California (in Humboldt County, about 25 mi. north of Eureka, on the California North Coast) for a Storytelling festival this weekend. We headed up on Friday and drove back Saturday afternoon.

In between, we heard from half a dozen storytellers, stories ranging from Japanese fables to the life story of Lou Gehrig. Storytelling festivals can be a "mixed bag". You'll love some, you'll like some, some will leave you cold.

We went to this festival specifically because Willy Claflin would be there! Rich was lucky enough to see Willy Claflin perform at a storytelling festival in Sant Ynez about 6 months ago. He then purchased all available CD recordings (:-), brought them home and I became a fan of Willy Claflin. Willy's best friend and co-teller is Maynard Moose who tells "Traditional Moose Tales". On this trip, I got to see Maynard perform in person (and a lively and animated moose he is, too, cheerful and happy with his work :-)

We had a pleasant time, a long drive (over 300 miles each way), lovely scenery, a pretty piney woods (the festival event was in Patrick's Point State Park) and a cute little cabin over night. I'm happy we went; nevertheless, it's always good to get home.

Storytelling Festival ( in category Special Interests ) - posted at Sun, 21 Sep, 10:33 Pacific

Friday September 19, 2003

Five questions about Music

The Friday 5 is 2 years old this week. This week the questions re about music.

  1. Who is your favorite singer/musician? Why?
  2. What one singer/musician can you not stand? Why?
  3. If your favorite singer wasn't in the music business, do you think you would still like him/her as a person?
  4. Have you been to any concerts? If yes, who put on the best show?
  5. What are your thoughts on downloading free music online vs. purchasing albums? Do you feel the RIAA is right in its pursuit to stop people from dowloading free music?
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Five questions about Music ( in category Memes & Prompts ) - posted at Fri, 19 Sep, 09:35 Pacific

Wednesday September 17, 2003

What's Up? - Mac OS X Bits & Pieces

It's been a quiet week in Lake Woebegone... not much to report. Some minor technical successes... (but would I really want to consider doing tech support for a living?) ...
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What's Up? - Mac OS X Bits & Pieces ( in category Computerware ) - posted at Wed, 17 Sep, 21:48 Pacific

Saturday September 13, 2003

Raed Tihs


Just read the sentence straight through without really thinking about it.

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Raed Tihs ( in category Noteworthy ) - posted at Sat, 13 Sep, 20:51 Pacific

Saturday September 13, 2003

One Very Big "Oops"


As the NOAA-N Prime spacecraft was being repositioned from vertical to horizontal on the "turn over cart" at approximately 7:15 PDT today, it slipped off the fixture, causing severe damage. (See attached photo). The 18' long spacecraft was about 3' off the ground when it fell.

c.f. - Sept. 09, 2003

One Very Big "Oops" ( in category SciTech ) - posted at Sat, 13 Sep, 10:45 Pacific

Friday September 12, 2003

By Any Other Name

The Friday 5 for this week... Names

  1. Is the name you have now the same name that's on your birth certificate? If not, what's changed?
  2. If you could change your name (first, middle and/or last), what would it be?
  3. Why were you named what you were? (Is there a story behind it? Who specifically was responsible for naming you?)
  4. Are there any names you really hate or love? What are they and why?
  5. Is the analysis of your name at / /astroexpert accurate? How is or how isn't it?
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By Any Other Name ( in category Memes & Prompts ) - posted at Fri, 12 Sep, 11:41 Pacific

Friday September 5, 2003

Maggie Needs an Alibi

Do you like mystery fiction? Try this one: Maggie Needs an Alibi by Kasey Michaels.

Maggie Kelly is a writer. Six years ago she wrote Historical Romances (with 15 books to date); then her publisher hired a new accountant who fired most of the "mid-list" authors (including Maggie).

Unable to afford a long vacation, Maggie reinvented herself as a Historical Murder Mystery writer and slipped a new pen name past the accountant (with her editor's assistance). She created a dashing series hero, Alexandre Blake, the Viscount Saint Just, along with his stalwart friend and sometime partner, Sterling Balder. Her new books soon hit the New York Times bestseller list and everyone was (reasonably) happy... until several weeks ago. ...
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Maggie Needs an Alibi ( in category Books, Movies, Music ) - posted at Fri, 05 Sep, 11:01 Pacific

Thursday September 4, 2003

Good Housekeeping

The Friday 5 for this week...

  1. What housekeeping chore(s) do you hate doing the most?
  2. Are there any that you like or don't mind doing?
  3. Do you have a routine throughout the week or just clean as it's needed?
  4. Do you have any odd cleaning/housekeeping quirks or rules?
  5. What was the last thing you cleaned?
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Good Housekeeping ( in category Memes & Prompts ) - posted at Thu, 04 Sep, 21:55 Pacific

Tuesday September 2, 2003

Hooray for Peanut Butter

I've always liked peanut butter; lately I've discovered it's actually good for me (Unfortunately, I don't think Reeses cups count :-)
Eating low glycemic index foods such as peanut butter, yogurt, beans and broccoli along with a diet high in cereal fiber can significantly reduce the risk of non-insulin-dependent diabetes in women, according to a new Harvard School of Public Health study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

c.f. Peanut Butter

Rich and I have been discussing reducing carbohydrates in our diet... cutting down on the "High Glycemic Index" foods. So now, instead of peanut butter toast, I'm going to be eating my peanut butter on celery. Gee, peanut butter and more fiber too. ...
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Hooray for Peanut Butter ( in category SciTech ) - posted at Tue, 02 Sep, 23:48 Pacific