Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Why accuracy matters.......

Drilling for oil on Lake Peigneur while mining for salt under the same lake. What could possibly go wrong?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Advertising Statements that make you wonder

Here are a few of my favorite advertising statements:
  • "New and improved" - I think that means the original product didn't sell. Probably for good reason. Odds are the new one won't sell either.
  • "Goes with any decor" - I looked at a number of products that make this claim. I think it means it probably only comes in one color - most likely black.
  • "Almost Genuine" - I've seen this one recently. Your guess is as good as mine as to what it means.
  • "Genuine Simulated Faux Pearls" - This one popped up on late-night TV. I saw it while flipping channels. I just had to watch. If Faux Pearls are Fake Pearls, then what are Simulated Fake Pearls? And what makes them Genuine?
  • "Genuine Simulated Naugahyde" - First you need to consider that there is no such thing as a Nauga. Naugahyde is a synthetic manufactured in Connecticut. So having a Genuine Fake Simulated material? Just for fun I have included a link to the Naugahyde site, more specifically their page A Nauga Story
Many years ago there was a big to-do about Pharmacy errors which allegedly caused a number of deaths. It made the news. In response, a NYC pharmacy took the initiative and placed a huge banner in their front window. It read "We Dispense with Accuracy". I don't feel safer.

On a trip through NY State I passed a sign "Seasonal Gift Shop". Under it was another sign "Open all Year". What part of Seasonal don't they understand?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Light Bulbs - A Survival Guide

When I was young, light bulbs were simple. You simply had a choice of wattage, the higher the wattage, the brighter the bulb. If you wanted more light you simply used a higher wattage. Things have become more complicated - florescent bulbs, compact florescent lights (CFL). You may have tried a few of these new energy efficient replacements, perhaps even the new LED variety. I did. I wasn't happy with the results. I'm sure they are more efficient, I even love the idea that I don't have to change those hard-to-reach bulbs very often. But the light just doesn’t look or feel right. I'm not alone. I drove past a beautiful home in my neighborhood where the bulbs had obviously been replaced by new energy efficient bulbs. It looked awful! Sitting at night under the light of florescent light is just not pleasant. So why would anyone want to switch to bulbs that eliminate the warm cozy feeling we had before? Should we have to trade this just for the sake of the environment?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Resumes from the Psychiatric Ward

What do you do with resumes that come from the psychiatric ward? No, I'm not referring to resumes from employees of the hospital, but from the patients. This isn't a hypothetical situation proposed during an alcohol enhanced conversation. I really did get them, and they kept coming!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

"Could you possibly transfer me to someone who could be of less help than you?"

I work in the computer field. I'm surrounded by computer programmers, analysts and the like. Technical people in this industry are different than most people. They're smart, usually well educated, logical (most of the time), and generally fun to be around. I have been managing technical people for more than thirty years. The only way I can describe what it's like to manage techies is to say; I imagine it would be like to trying to herd cats. It's a challenge. But it's also fun and very rewarding. I love it! I enjoy working and socializing with techies. But I also enjoy my other life on planet Earth with non-techies. I live in both worlds and travel effortlessly between them.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Transporting carefully measured packets of white powder can get you in trouble.

I travel quite a bit. Before 9/11 I travelled almost every week, leaving for the airport at the beginning of the week and returning at the end of the week. I'm a well seasoned traveler.

Seasoned travellers have learned to make travel easier. We know how to get through airports, check in to hotels, make restaurant reservations, and do it quickly. It becomes second nature. We learn from experience and we adapt quickly. I found that dressing comfortably while traveling and changing into more appropriate attire when I reach my destination works well for me. I carry no more than three changes of clothing in my carry-on bag; no lost luggage and I can skip the baggage claim. In the middle of the week I do laundry. I have everything down to a routine. On laundry day I go to the front desk and get change for the washer and dryer. In some hotels detergent and fabric softener are also purchased at the front desk. After I start a load of laundry I go to my room until it's time to put it in the dryer. Same routine week after week. It occurred to me to pack a roll of quarters on my next trip. I thought this would save me time and trouble - I could avoid another trip to the front desk. I shared this idea with some of my fellow travelers and they too thought it was a good idea.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Clocks, clocks and more clocks.

I have too many clocks. I'm constantly setting and winding them, and I'm never really sure what time it is unless I look at my mobile phone. So I can be a bit sensitive when it comes to the subject of clocks. So, why does every kitchen appliance need to have a clock in it? There is a clock in our kitchen range. We also have a microwave oven above the range. Two clocks in the kitchen range? And then there's the ingenious design of that clock - if you don't set the clock you can't turn the light on in the range hood! Great! Walk across the room, turn on another light, go back, set the clock, turn on the light you wanted to turn on in the first place, and then turn off the other light you needed in order to see so you could set the clock so you could turn on the light. Arrrrrgh! Technology may be getting out of control. Just because we have the technology to do something doesn't mean that doing it is a good idea!