Tuesday
Feb222011

Portrait of a Mac user at home

I've come to realize I disagree with some fundamental design decisions around my home. Why don't freezers get a light too? Why are desks still built to be handwriting height instead of typing height?

Why do I have to pour little measured amounts of soap into my washing machine each time instead of having a reservoir I just keep full? If it can work for windshield washer fluid, it can work for laundry.

Speaking of washing, why do I have faucets with dials instead of buttons when I only ever want one of exactly three options: as cold as possible, as hot as possible, or comfortably warm for soaking myself in.

And why do both my stove and microwave think I want them to also be clocks? Timers, maybe, but not clocks. And especially not clocks that are baffled by daylight savings time.

And fitted sheets? Why do I keep buying sheets I can't fold? (Though I guess I'm part of the problem there.)

I may have officially become a design curmudgeon.

Friday
Feb182011

Clock punching

Over the next ten days I'm scheduled to work 50 hours at a trade show plus 40 hours in an office with a 2 hour commute. That's not the problem: heck, it's only about 10 hours per day on average, so it's actually less than usual.

[aside]

And I wonder why I haven't finished my novel.
(Yeah, I know: excuses excuses).

[end of aside]

No, the problem is I'm already pretty exhuasted leading into this ten day stretch because I just worked the past 46 days straight. And the week off I had originally scheduled to take way back in August 2009 just got bumped back yet again to the end of March of this year. Maybe.

It's now been over 21 months since I've had an actual vacation, and as you can imagine I'm starting to get a bit grumpy about it.

Friday
Jan212011

I will refrain from mentioning either shrimps or barbies

Australia is underwater. There are people I really like and admire in Australia, like Mary Bolling, who is smart and pretty and a great house guest. And both Tim Minchin and The Lucksmiths, who are smart and witty musicians. And even Dan Beeston and Greg Wah, who are smart and funny robots from the future.

Notice what they all have in common? That's right: they're smart.

Which means that smart people are underwater in Australia.

The world has so few smart people we really can't afford to keep any of them submerged for too long. Not even the ones with Aussie accents. (Dan's accent is fake, though, so he doesn't count.)

If, like me, you prefer the world to have more smart, funny, wonderful people instead of fewer smart, funny, wonderful people, then let's do something about it.

Please donate to the Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal. Or as I like to call it, the Let's Not Drown All The Smart People Appeal.

Australia long ago apologized for Crocodile Dundee II. Let's show them we accepted their apology, and help them out.

Saturday
Jan082011

Gifted people

I love the idea behind the site Gift a Stranger: spreading a little happiness with truly surprise gifts.

I'm posting this mostly just to remind myself to think of something suitably fun to give away. Then I'll return to let you know what I decided to give as a gift.

[aside]

Dear readers under 30:

I know that "to give a gift to" is a jejune and old fashioned way of saying the thrilling new verb "to gift." But I, too, am jejune and old fashioned, so such thrills are sometimes wasted on me.

It doesn't mean I think it's wrong that you now use gift as a verb. It only means I'm too old to keep up with you. Just leave me my share of the food and a single bullet, and go on without me.

[end of aside]

So, what should I give?

Saturday
Jan012011

Call me Encyclopedia Beige

Old friend Suzanne ("don't call me Suzy") and new friend Jeremy ("don't call me Suzy either") came over today and brought me an indoor picnic of teeny tiny sandwiches, homemade cookies, weird Japanese sodas, and the old Ellery Queen Mysteries TV show on DVD.

We totally solved the first two cases, too. We are now ready to open our own detective agency, except for two things: (1) We need a cool agency name, and (2) we need an office with an etched glass door. You absolutely cannot be a proper professional detective without an etched glass office door on which to put your cool agency name.

I will do the online searching and fight crime with nerd fu, Jeremy will interview suspects using a bad fake accent to unsettle them, and Suzanne of course is the muscle. All 5' 3" of her.

We swapped stories of how bad our respective New Years Eves were -- mine was worse than theirs, so I got the last cookie, does that mean I win or lose? We ate teeny tiny sandwiches, tried to solve The Case Of The Mysterious Japanese Soda Ingredients, and officially kicked off 2011 with laughter and ridiculousness and funny hats.

January 1st was the best day of the whole year so far.

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