My personal ramblings about something.

Posts in the My Thoughts category
The Mythical Expert - 25 Sep 2013

In school I used to think they had everything down to a science. My school had been around for a long time and I just figured they’d worked out the kinks and it ran smoothly and without any issues. Then I got to know one of the school secretaries and learned they had to deal […]

Fear Itself - 24 Sep 2013

Someone robbed a bank within a mile or two of my kids’ elementary school the other day and the school had a soft lockdown. Apart from not being able to go outside for recess, the soft lockdown barely changed their day. The teachers closed classroom doors but visitors were still allowed to sign in at […]

Newton’s New Discovery - 08 Apr 2011

If Apple had existed before Newton was hit by the apocryphal apple, his theories on calculus, optics and the law of gravitation may not have had time to germinate. Something to think about between games of Angry Birds. (via Cagle Cartoons)

TV Shows I Watched as a Kid - 15 Jun 2010

I took a trip down memory lane the other day and made a list of all the old TV shows I used to watch. There are so many, it’s kind of sad. Family Matters Three’s Company Knight Rider Magnum PI Street Hawk Cosby Show Full House Star Trek: Next Generation Hawaii Five Oh CHiPs Wonder […]

Don’t Get Mogi - 17 Dec 2009

I was at SuperCuts waiting for a haircut and saw a commercial for Mogi. They offer an extended auto warranty program. I was intrigued. It sounded like it could be a good deal. I made a note in my pocket mod to look it up later. The general consensus from a cursory Google search is […]

A Dying Wish To Spend More Time at Work? - 09 Feb 2009

I’ve heard the quote, “No one ever wished they spent more time at work on their deathbed” one too many times. I have a beef with it. I understand the intention of the quote and I agree with the sentiment, but it’s dangerous to claim absolutes. A single exception disproves the whole thing. Plus there’s […]

What is an NEV? - 11 Mar 2008

There are a bunch of signs along the roads near our house that say Bike / NEV lane, and below it another sign that says NEV Route. When asked what NEV meant all I came up with was something about Nevada. Maybe, I surmized, if you followed the signs you’d get to Nevada. I was […]

Apple Cider or Apple Juice - 04 Mar 2008

I grew up in New England and loved to drink dark brown apple cider, fresh from the local apple orchard. Supermarkets have jugs saying they’re apple cider, but the juice is nowhere near as dark (or tasty) as the cider I drank. Based on what I’ve read at the Straight Dope and on Wikipedia, there […]

Free report on making money online by teaching - 10 Dec 2007

Before I say anything else, you may just want to take a look at the free report to see it for yourself. Below is my take on the teaching sells web site and explains why I chose to join. The background If you’re anything like me, you’re interested in learning how to make money online. […]

Have you ever solved a Rubik’s cube? - 02 May 2007

The day before yesterday I solved the Rubik’s cube for the first time. I know, I missed the craze by a few decades, but I’m sure there are others who never took the time to work out the solution and I wanted to share my take on it. First off, the terminology can take a […]

What are they thinking? - 02 Jan 2007

What’s up with some people who, during a group presentation or class, act like they’re the only ones being addressed and feel the need to respond? I was recently at a conference where a lady in the front row vigorously nodded her head, agreeing with what was being said, and on multiple occasions said, “Uh […]

A sure sign it’s a scam - 22 Dec 2006

I saw an ad in my Gmail account the other day and it wasn’t very hard to tell that it was a scam. They claimed that out of 79 tools, 95.3% of them didn’t work. The problem is that no integer out of 79 equals 95.3%. 75 is the closest, but 75 out of 79 […]

Responding to e-mails - 04 Dec 2006

The length of an e-mail is directly proportional to the delay until I reply. I should probably preface that statement by explaining that I’m what’s known as a fast-replyer. If I receive a short e-mail, I’ll often reply within minutes. In fact, a friend once told this to their friend, who didn’t believe them. My […]

Christmas desktop 2006 - 01 Dec 2006

It’s December 1st again, and you know what that means – it’s time to break out xsnow and a new Christmas wallpaper for the holidays. I’ve also started listening to my collection of Christmas music to get into the holiday spirit. Happy Holidays!

Bees - 13 Nov 2006

Bees are very interesting and important creatures. For instance, if all the bees died, there would be no more plant life as we know it. Bees have to pollinate plants in order for them to reproduce. That’s why we have the phrase “busy as a bee.” They’ve got a lot to do. Some have claimed […]

Just ask an expert - 26 Oct 2006

Mike Rundle observed that experts in the Web 2.0 industry tell others how to be successful, yet they aren’t having much success themselves. He makes a good point. I took a business and entrepreneurship course in college and all through the course we were told stories of entrepreneurs who were told their idea was stupid. […]

How to indicate you’re done eating - 19 Oct 2006

What is the Emily Post way of saying you’re done eating when you’re at a nice restaurant or eating at someone’s home (in the United States)? I was under the impression that it was rude to put the napkin on your plate and that you should put the napkin on the table, lightly folded (i.e. […]

Handwriting obsolete? - 11 Oct 2006

Nowadays, the only time I put pen to paper is to write a note on a birthday card or to jot down notes in a meeting when I don’t have my laptop. Nearly all personal correspondence has been via e-mail or typed letters for the past few years and I envision that trend continuing. With […]

Genealogists turned hackers - 05 Oct 2006

If you’ve filled out an online registration form you’ve probably noticed the latest security idea – challenge questions. These questions are used if you forget your password to make sure you’re you, but they are also a prime way for hackers* to infiltrate your account. It occurred to me that a reasonably skilled genealogist could […]

Daniel Boone or Davy Crockett Real? - 07 Aug 2006

I recently had a flashback to my childhood and remembered hearing about Davy Crockett (with the song about him being king of the wild frontier). I never heard about Davy Crockett without a mention of Daniel Boone, but then I realized I had no idea if they were made up folk heros like Paul Bunyan […]

can you really boil a frog? - 02 Aug 2006

You may have heard the story about the frog, often used to illustrate the powerful affects little things can have in our lives. As the story goes, if you put a frog in a pot of boiling water it will jump right. However, if you put a frog in a pot of lukewarm water and […]

the spanish lisp - 01 Aug 2006

I lived in Spain for two years. From the time I found out I was going there until now, I’ve heard the same question. Don’t they talk with a lisp there? The short answer is no, they don’t talk with a lisp, and if you think they do, and you speak English, then you speak […]

fluffernutters - 24 Jul 2006

I’m a big fan of fluffernutters, but whenever I’ve mentioned them to people outside of the northeastern US, I’ve gotten strange looks. I was once talking with a group of people who all used the term as a euphemism for farting, which resulted in several smirks when I talked about how much I liked them. […]

happy independence day - 04 Jul 2006

A very happy Independence Day to you. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about the Declaration of Independence. May you enjoy fireworks, family and good eatin’.

fancy parking - 03 Jul 2006

I was perusing Ask Metafilter and started reading about how to improve your parking. I’m an average parker, although my parallel parking is a little rusty since I rarely park that way. In any case, ever since I heard from a police officer that statistically your car is less likely to be broken into when […]

little toot - 01 Jun 2006

When I was a wee lad I loved listening to a song about a little tug boat named Little Toot on the record player. So great was my vigor and enjoyment of this song that I would often dance about, emphasizing the toots in the song with a vigorous leap of joy. My family was […]

is a court a cul-de-sac? - 24 May 2006

I was never aware that a street named court is always a cul-de-sac, but I’ve heard that is the case. In other words, if a street is named “blah court,” it means it’s a cul-de-sac. So far, I have been unable to confirm or disprove the claim. I found a few pages about street types […]

what is a commonwealth - 02 Sep 2005

Last night a guy asked me where I was from, and I told him New Hampshire. His response was, “Oh, is that a commonwealth?” I said no, but then remembered some signs I’ve seen on the freeway saying that Massachusetts was a commonwealth. He was under the impression that it meant something other than statehood, […]

slipped the surly bonds of earth - 23 Aug 2005

The recent successful landing of the Space Shuttle Discovery reminded me of the Challenger tragedy. I was young at the time, but I have always been impressed by Ronald Reagan’s speech in honor of those who had died, especially the last paragraph. The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in […]

the $1 million challenge - 16 Aug 2005

I just found out about an open challenge to prove anything paranormal (their FAQ has a definition of what they consider paranormal) and receive one million dollars. The offer was originally made in 1964, but it was only for $1,000 and has since grown to $1,000,000. So far, no one has ever made it through […]

managing todo lists - 08 Aug 2005

I keep lists of things to do, but they’ve often been spread all over the place. I’ve used a text file for some items, a blog with several entries for a few lists and another blog with draft entries. I decided to combine those lists and began transferring them all over to Backpack, a slick […]

last names - 03 Aug 2005

When did people start using last names? Things started out with Adam and Eve and then Cain and Abel, so there was really no confusion at first. Then there were people like Moses, Abraham and Noah, all of whom had no last names that I know of. We even got to the philosophers like Aristotle […]

mini carrots - 05 Jul 2005

Where’s the quality control at the mini carrots factory? The carrot on top of the bag in the picture does not qualify as a mini carrot in my book.

why so many numbers? - 14 Jun 2005

I keep confusing the names of three companies with each other. Maybe you can see why. 43 Folders 43 Things 37 Signals Adding numbers to your web site name is apparently a hip thing to do nowadays, but I don’t really like it. I find myself wondering if there were 41 things, or 43 signals, […]

automation of paper towels - 07 Jun 2005

In the bathroom at work we have automatic paper towel dispensers where you wave your hand in front of it and out spits an appropriate amount of paper towel so you can dry your hands. So far, so good. There are two dispensers, but one of them has become quite stingy recently, giving none of […]

playing by the rules - 25 May 2005

Anyone who has played UNO is probably familiar with the phrase, “Oh, we play it like this.” For instance, some people say you can match a card with an exact duplicate at any time. That’s just one of the many variations people play by and it’s no big deal if that’s the consensus, but what […]

things you never knew existed - 22 May 2005

Here’s a nostalgic tidbit from my childhood. As a kid, I spent more money on items from the Johnson Smith catalog than any other single expense I can think of. Most of the items aren’t all that appealing to me now, but I can remember wanting to buy something from nearly every page in their […]

our impressions of things - 17 May 2005

Several years ago I worked as a system administrator and our workroom had several computers hooked up to a variety of monitors. One of the monitors was a monstrous 21 inches and I observed an interesting phenomenon. No matter how slow the machine was that we plugged into it, it felt faster when we used […]

kim peek, the rain man - 03 May 2005

I recently had the privilege of meeting Kim Peek, the inspiration for Dustin Hoffman’s character in the movie Rainman. Indeed, not only did I get to speak with him, but we literally rubbed noses. During the meeting he would randomly walk over to people (I had a suit on and apparently he likes people with […]

recipe for simplicity - 01 May 2005

I like to find ways to simplify my life, so I read Linda Pierce’s recipe for simplicity with interest, but I was not impressed. Some of the items make sense, but others are unrealistic. For instance, suggestion #3 says, “Limit your work (outside of the home) to 30 hours a week, 20 if you are […]

what is 1 divided by 0? - 21 Apr 2005

A thread on webmaster world poses a question I had several months ago but never found a clear answer for. The question is simple, but the answer is more complicated. What is 1 divided by 0? According to Google’s calculator, it’s 0, but I think they’re right out. The two answers I had found were […]

fruit or vegetable - 06 Apr 2005

You’ve probably had someone gleefully tell you that a tomato was a fruit. I used to be one of those gleeful people. But then I began thinking about how to distinguish between fruits and vegetables. If a tomato is a vegetable, what about a cucumber? I’ve heard several theories. Some say whatever comes from a […]

music to help you fall asleep - 31 Mar 2005

I know several people who have a hard time falling asleep and at times have suggested they try using a relaxation CD. I own one that has done a good job of helping me to relax for going to sleep called Meditation Made Simple, narrated by John Daniels. Sadly, the CD hasn’t always worked as […]

over optimization - 18 Feb 2005

As a programmer, I often have optimization on my mind. I will think of a way to do something, then think of a way to do it faster. However, it’s easy to optimize the wrong thing. For instance, if you have a computation that takes five minutes to complete, and there is one function that […]

online shopping - 31 Jan 2005

I began writing this to share what I’ve learned when shopping online, but it turned into a lesson for me instead. I learned how to buy something online, return it because it made you look silly, pay for shipping and a restocking fee, buy another item from a different online company and receive the wrong […]

double your money every 60 minutes - 28 Jan 2005

I need to preface what I’m going to talk about with two things. First, when I was young, I received a number of letters from different companies saying I was almost a winner in their sweepstakes, or even better, that I had already won something. Without fail, I dutifully filled out the forms, pasted the […]

far short of the call of duty - 24 Jan 2005

Unlike Amazon, AT&T seems intent on treating their customers as poorly as possible. Their cell phone service was mediocre ever since we signed up, but it began to progressively worsen and eventually became so bad that people couldn’t hear anything we said. Our conversations were spent yelling into the phone (which was pressed tightly to […]

the value of a car alarm - 20 Jan 2005

When I bought my 300ZX, I installed a car alarm along with a stereo. One winter evening I heard the sirens of the alarm blaring and since I knew it had become sensitive to small gusts wind, I trudged out to the car to turn it off. The disarm button on my keyless entry contraption […]

blinking traffic lights - 06 Jan 2005

I drive through an intersection every day on the way home from work, and I’m almost always forced to stop at a red light, even when there are rarely any two cars going the other direction. When I first see it, it’s usually green, but as I get closer it turns yellow and then red, […]

train of thought - 04 Jan 2005

Occasionally I’ll hear a phrase that I’ve heard hundreds of times before, but for some reason I become acutely aware of the literal meaning. For example, hearing that someone had “lost their train of thought” made me begin to question things. Why are your thoughts a train? Why do you only lose a train of […]