06/01 Direct Link
Heck, as long as I'm working on the site quite a bit right now, I might well try to see if I can get through an entire month of writing myself.

Tomorrow, I'll be taking the train up to San Francisco to meet with the boss and my coworker in our once every couple of months get together.

The traveling is a nice change, but the amount of time to drive to the train, then take the train up to San Francisco, will eat up about 3 hours on its own (for what will be probably a 2 hour meeting).
06/02 Direct Link
Continuing to tweak parts of 100 Words in order to add more interest, new features. Forums started off with a bang, but I assume traffic will taper off.

Working on building the featured recommendation next. That's going to require either a Javascript pop-up or some Ajax. Time to get my ajax chops up to speed.

Okay, well, writing out of sequence now. It's really the 3rd, and I'm watching Lakers and Celtics on the tube. Writing with the laptop, while watching sports, it good since just watching basketball still doesn't take all my attention. It's definitely a secondary thing.
06/03 Direct Link
The great mcDonalds's cover-up is being investigated.

You see, I've been in a very well defined routine (rut) as of late, ordering the same breafast meal from McDonalds each morning. That is the Egg McMuffin meal, with orange juice, along with one of their $1.00 sausage burritos.

Well, the price keeps changing on me. One time it is $6.00 even, the next time it is $6.54.

Not sure what could account for this. Going to go to my local McDonalds tomorrow and keep the receipt, to compare it against this $6.54 one I got today.
06/04 Direct Link
At Starbucks this morning, the hat-wearing non-talky guy flagged me down to tell me he was leaving for the day, offered up his table. It's in a coveted location, back next to the entrance with easy access to the electrical outlets.

I did make the half-hearted attempt to acknowledge him this morning, as an afterthought when I came through the door, from which I guess I was rewarded with his surrendering of wooden surface.

I had convinced myself, from a previous encounter, that he was predisposed to not speaking to me. But, I must have misjudged him.
06/05 Direct Link
Another 6 hour day at the urgent care facility. Your own medical needs are shared with the other 7 people on the other beds, separated from making awkward eye contact by a thin shade of fabric. But, you learn intimate details, none the less, like who is having breathing issues and another who is trying to pass a kidney stone.

The kidney stone guy was quite reasonable and lucid, but moaning like a girl as he wrestled with that thing. He passed on the morphine when it was offered. Probably had some second thoughts about that decision later on.
06/06 Direct Link
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06/07 Direct Link
A video rental store decides they want to keep people from swiping movies off the shelves. The cost for the security system, perhaps with special video jackets and some alarm device at the front of the store, would have its own cost.

Now, the system to catch these thieves may cost a couple thousand, whereas the average month of movie theft may be around $100-$200.

This begs the question of whether you're trying to save money or stop people stealing from you? Is i really a financial matter or just the indignity of it all being 'taken advantage of'?
06/08 Direct Link
When a doctor is trying to diagnose a patient it seems a little like a game of Bingo mixed with a who-dunnit board game. The patient provides a list of symptoms and clues as to what the ailment is, the doctor listens intently. Once they gather enough information or clues, they claim to have solved the puzzle, then move on to suggesting the list of medicines and/or procedures to fix what ails you.

Unfortunately, if the doctor isn't playing this game skillfully it can have dire consequences. So, good troubleshooting skills are a must in almost every profession.
06/09 Direct Link
This Father's Day, why not give Dad the gift he really wants? Instead of cliche ties or sports memorabilia, how about an overall pass for any perceived shortcomings or missteps? An overall 'Get out of jail free' card, plus a modicum of empathy and cooperation?

Sure, the Hallmark people are going to be coming up short with a card that adequately conveys this complex set of feelings. So, feel free to deface and enhance the off the shelf variety with you own additions.

This Father's Day can come with peace of mind, instead of just a piece of your mind.
06/10 Direct Link
Out of sequence but pretty much played fair with my entries for MOST of the month of June. So, as master programmer, I believe I am entitled to a few mulligans.

As I approach the age of 49 I am finding more big swings in energy levels. I supposed this is some sort of sneak preview of old age, when a series of daily naps is both needed and deserved.

Sadly, I don't think the need for a nap is organic. That is, I now get bored more easily and I think my body craves a nap to briefly escape.
06/11 Direct Link
Each day, the Sword of Damocles as of late. The threat of something that hangs in the air, can manifest itself at a moment's notice. Can one really go on with life as 'normal' with such cataclysmic calamity only a hairs breadth away?

But, one does soldier on. One does because being overly aware and focused on the unavoidable outcome robs one of the chance to soak it what can now be enjoyed or at least witnessed. Especially when all there is to say, to do, to prepare for that outcome has already been addressed.

And so, we wait. Patiently.
06/12 Direct Link
Okay, this does it. Makes a full batch which I have yet to complete for some time. Many abandoned, partial batches will testify the same.

I would like to run a business that sells and installs kitchen counter tops. I'll call it the 'Intuitive Counter' company.

Continue to do mostly fun stuff and delay the cumbersome, banal, mundane things. I keep hoping copious amounts of caffeine will bring me inspiration and discipline, but it can barely make a dent in the overwhelming urge to goof off.

So ready for retirement. Just need that nest egg and I'll be all set.
06/13 Direct Link
The newly acquired house has a tenant already, whom insisted on moving in asap. So, that occurred today.

The property management guy called me. He said 'A neighbor came by and said...' and then the call was abruptly disconnected.

As I redialed, I couldn't help but speculate on what he was about to say. My first thought was 'said that the CC&R's don't allow people to rent your house'.

Of course, that is not the case. He told me that the neighbor had noticed the sprinklers running all night, and did us the favor shutting off the main valve.
06/14 Direct Link
A myriad of books on how to get organized hasn't made that much of a dent. The checklist is pretty much "Can I throw this away?" and "If I put it somewhere, will I remember where I put it when I need it again?".

Too much time elapses and I don't even remember I kept it, much less where it ended up. Might as well be tossed out.

Then there's things of value that someone else could probably use. Specialized things like little robot bunnies. I guess I should hit the free listings on Craigslist since bargain hunters do lurk.
06/15 Direct Link
I am a fan of Penn Jillette, but sometimes I disagree with the observations on his show, Bullshit.

The latest episode was regarding fast food. Basically, for portion control, they recommended that you either take home part of your meal or just throw part away.

This was demonstrated by Penn tossing half a burger into the trash. Seems like there should be an offering of a more reasonable size item.

Or, I guess you could befriend someone in line at Carls Jr and offer to split a meal with them. Not something people are accustomed to, but could be effective.
06/16 Direct Link
I've got Jesus cutting my lawn in San Diego. As far as I know, it's not the actual Jesus from the bible but a different one.

How was it decided it was okay to name your child after the son of God? I'm assuming there's no mention in the bible of "Name not your spawn after the son of God, unless you change the pronunciation".

You have to know the first parents to call their kid Jesus took a big risk. Probably, as a last minute attempt to ward off a potential stoning, they came up with the alternate pronunciation.
06/17 Direct Link
Someone else writing on 100 Words mentioned whether there was a place where everything we've ever lost disappears to (and whether we'd be able to finally visit it).

I'm more interested in the last time something occurs. The last time I will see someone. The last time I will use an object.

I recall an old motorcycle I had in my youth. I recall, quite fondly, the many rides I took on it in Southern California. I also remember having it sit for far too long in the garage, rusting with flat tires, before I gave it away on CraigsList.
06/18 Direct Link
Another lunch at semi-healthy fast food restaurant Rubio's. It's overpriced with a meal of 2 tacos, rice and chips at $7.10.

And that's without a drink. I'm using a trick a friend taught me, which is to ask for the water cup but hit the 'Soda' water tab on the soft drink dispenser. Slightly unethical. The resulting beverage lies somewhere between water-with-bubbles and a soft drink without the syrup.

Another fun battle to witness is young kids trying to fill their cups with highly caffeine soda, whereas the moms are steering them for Sprint and lemonade.
06/19 Direct Link
Okay, I'm cheating by going backwards in dates, but I need to see if my new little advent feature is working properly.

It's funny how your prospective of money changes so drastically from childhood to adulthood. A hundred dollars seemed like a lofty amount, but now it's merely a couple dinners out or a fraction of an unexpected auto repair.

My wife and I have been fortunate to have gainful employment for most of the past 20 years. I tend to get pretty decent paying jobs that implode within a year. But, all in all, we've done well for ourselves.
06/20 Direct Link
It is Father's Day and I'm working on 100 Words. I know, you're thinking I should be 'taking it easy', right? Well, I'm now in the mood to work and so now is when I'll be doing it.

Never mind that I told the family what I wanted to do was a trip to CostCo to celebratetoday. It had a twofold benefit, allowing my wife to get some walking in plus my daughter was able to buy the coveted $150 electric toothbrush.

I'm writing this entry to unlock the link to other members entries for this day (Advent feature test).
06/21 Direct Link
Wow, this little advent feature is kinda addicting. I write just to see what others have written for today.

Okay, something of substance. The spin class instructor betrayed me today, playing hip-hop and white urban dance music instead of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Green Day he did last week. I told him how disappointed I was, to which he replied that he plays whatever music people bring in.

So, look for the all-punk spin class workout coming soon. Might like that, plus some Barbara Streisand mixed in. Followed up by the Winnie The Pooh exercise song.
06/22 Direct Link
People in the Starbucks are doing some sort of wheeling and dealing. I hear small snippets of their conversation. Mentions of Wired articles. She's pretty, the two guys listening with wrapped attention.

Oh, where was I? Oh, yeah, finding more reasons not to immediately get started with my paid work.

I have an opportunity to fix a very much missed deadline today. I agreed to help the seniors with their bingo event, but have been woefully late on delivering the letter they want to send asking vendors to donate prizes. If I get this done, a burden will be lifted.
06/23 Direct Link
Today, new tires for the car. I am reminded of a friend that told me the woman he was dating loved the smell of new tires as a potent aphrodisiac. He also said he accommodated her by keeping a fresh tire in the bedroom which her willing olfactory nerves would absorb to set the mood.

It's easy when you can shop openly for something to spice up a relationship like that. I'm sure it could get more problematic later on, when she insists he dresses up as the Michelin Man to keep up the energy and excitement.

Roadside service indeed.
06/24 Direct Link
My newly acquired pal, at the Starbucks I tend to do work from, comes with his own set of quirks. He's nice enough, watching for one of the two coveted raised up tables to be available and then waving me down.

He's also the keeper of the newspapers, helping people find their favorite section when they're poking through the discard tray. He is especially proud of helping the policeman who frequent this place.

He thinks it is safer with them here. I don't point out the completely obvious fact that we're in a suburban shopping center with very little crime.
06/25 Direct Link
"The wind does not break a tree that bends".

An old boss of mine would cite that poem to justify giving in to corporate pressures and making decisions that were generally unethical or unfair. Often it was about compromising in situations where someone was going to be treated unfairly.

The job required 24 hours a day monitoring of the network. Shifts were not assigned in any logical or fair manner. The coveted daytime shifts went to the women who typically had the managements ear.

It was no surprise the men often had evenings, weekends, and the dreaded weekend graveyard shifts.
06/26 Direct Link
A friend had suggested she'd pay for the coffee if I would go get it from the machine. I said "Oh, it's the old 'I'll buy if you fly' game".

That agreement was popular in my youth, often in situations where there was some transaction in a strange environment and not wanting to suffer the nervousness of talking to strangers.

Of course, it would appear on the surface to be a token of generosity, but it typically wasn't. It was more a reflection that it was better to foot the bill for you and a friend than suffer uncomfortable encounters.
06/27 Direct Link
Another weekend waning. And, once again, a sense of squandered opportunity.

Yeah, weekends are supposed to be all about having no agenda, do what you want with it time. But, I feel like the weekends are more my other job, the one for my own home and projects, so I tend to tally up the use of it when Sunday evening rolls around.

I guess it wasn't totally without merit. Some clutter removal, a stubborn stump removed from the yard. A trip to the gym for the sweaty goodness that a spin class provides. But, still seems slightly short-changed.
06/28 Direct Link
Well, Monday turned to be just like it should be. A day when too much time is spent disoriented, or trying to get back on track, trying to get a rhythm going.

The days of 90+ weather to give us Bay Area folks a sample of what horrors await this summer. Sure, it is offset, ever so slightly, by women donning their summer attire and the emergence of bare, shaved legs after 6 months of hibernation.

So, the days chug along. I work to find ways to differentiate them, lest that all melt into a big indistinguishable bland single blob.
06/29 Direct Link
At Starbucks they keep the music LOUD and the temperature COLD. I think this is intentional, to keep people from loitering too much and, without a doubt, to keep people from making more than the very shortest of cell phone calls.

And, in just 2 days, Starbucks starts another bold experiment giving free Internet to everyone (currently you just get a couple hours if you're not an AT&T customer).

With only 3-4 prime seating locations with space, and electricity, it could get a little more competitive to setup that perfect all-day workspace. We will see soon enough.
06/30 Direct Link
He wasn't technically a gleaner. The guy with the bicycle, going from trash can to trash can, was an aluminum collector. He would make his rounds just an hour or two in the morning before the scheduled neighborhood trash pickup.

Now, he's not supposed to be cherry-picking the trash. The garbage company has insisted that the money they make from the more valuable aspects of our recycling, like the cans, offsets the money losing aspects, like paper recycling.

I stood in front of my trash cans when he came to my house. He smiled, small bow, and continued past.