Saturday, July 19, 2008

A simple rule:

It is really irritating when you want to have white wine with dinner but you discover, right at the last moment, all your bottles are at room temperature!

One solution would be to plan ahead. This would work, if you remember to, which you won't sometimes.

Here is a solution which always works: Never take a bottle of white wine out of the fridge unless you put a replacement in at the same time. This totally works and has the added benefit of letting you know when it is time to visit your local wine shop

Friday, July 18, 2008

Suicide Flies

This was an irritating problem in Vermont when I used to go jogging there: The deer flies just would not leave me alone. I have never been bitten by one, but they would land on my head and entangle themselves in my hair. I suspected that they landed on my head because it was the only easy to land on place which was uncovered. My arms and legs are swinging and constantly changing direction while the trunk of my body was covered with shorts and a t-shirt.

I found that if I swatted at them right when they landed--they would fly away for a second and then come back. If I waited for about one second after being landed-on, then I could easily just snatch the fly out of my hair and crush it. This helped only slightly. I would count my kills and would regularly kill a few dozen per 4-5 mile run.

These insects are not close to as common here in Massachusetts, but there have been a few lately and it reminded me of my Vermont days. Back then I used to wonder why they were landing on me: They were never successful at getting a bite out of me and yet they faced most probable death in the attempt. Maybe they have better success with other animals and just cannot tell the difference between me and them. Or, maybe I am really good at detecting them and killing them. After all, I knew they were biting insects because of the all the people who got bit telling me about it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The words behind that infamous cover picture

The New Yorker cover has stirred much comment, but what about the content of the story?

Yesterday's commentary in the Wall Street Journal by By JAMES TARANTO had the following quote:

". . . My grandfather signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Patton's Army. He saw the dead and dying across the fields of Europe; he heard the stories of fellow-troops who first entered Auschwitz and Treblinka. . . ."

I immediately thought, "that is odd, I thought those places were in Poland, which was "liberated" by the Soviets" So, either Obama is incredibly ignorant of WWII history or maybe his grandpa had "fellow-troops" who fought for the Soviets.

I will be very surprised if this gaff sees the light of day. It just doesn't fit the narrative. Now if Dan Quayle had said it, the late night comics would be yucking it up for weeks.

As an added note, Taranto makes note of the same thing in today's edition.

The dog has improved my appearance

I never used to have to iron my shirts. My wife, who does the laundry, used to always plan dryer loads such that she was able to empty the machine while the clothes were still warm. My shirts didn't look as good as ironed, but they were sufficiently presentable for work.

Now that we got a dog, or rather now that she got a dog--her time has been stretched and she is less diligent with side-tasks like laundry. So now I do ironing.

I don't know if I am the only one who does this, but whenever possible I have always sat while ironing. It makes it seem more like a hobby than drudge work. A new thing I have found is that a chair with casters on it, like an office chair, really helps. I can quickly wheel myself into position rather than straining and reaching.

It is actually semi-fun.

I am not going to get all extreme about it though...

Sometimes it is worth looking for a needle in a haystack

I was out jogging today and was in a woodsy area. I knocked my my left ear bud out while swatting at a dear fly and the foam thing was gone. I ran a few more steps, then stopped and decided to at least look for the thing.

I found it almost instantly--though it took quite a while to re-attach it. It is very easy to tear the foam when installing it.

It is often really worthwhile to spend a few seconds even on very low probability ventures. I only risked a minute at most and I gained the remaining 4-5 miles being with music.

A demonstration of good memory, by being bad...

Just the other day I was trying to keep Meenah with me in our study, but she just wouldn't settle down. So, I figured she needed to go outside. I followed her first to the kitchen where she made a bee-line for a stool in the corner and picked-up a pencil to chew on. I took it away from her and she seemed nonplussed by this: She proceeded directly to the living room and picked-up a travel size bottle of hand lotion which was in the middle of the floor. I took this away too.

She must have had these things in mind when she wouldn't stay with me because she went directly to them.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Seven levels of blog-fame

Level 1: You post a comment in a prominent blog and it remains there, but is ignored by everybody.

Level 2: Another commenter, takes note of (either to attack or agree with) your comment.

Level 3: The host makes note of your comment with a response in the comments section.

Level 4: The host quotes you in the main body of the blog post.

Level 5: Instapundit links to the post you are quoted in.

Level 6: Professor Reynolds quotes you and links to the main post.

Level 7: The good professor links to your blog.