Tuesday, May 31, 2005

102.1 FM

My car-mounted iPod isn't working well today, so I turn on the radio. Flipping thru the stations, something catches my ear --"Cutting-edge Classical" the tagline goes. Whoa, I think. Now THIS I gotta hear. I'm picturing avante-garde artists that play Beethoven using nothing more than dental floss and a tin of lima beans. After the Moonlight Sonata, the artist would no doubt douse themselves in raw compost and light the stage on fire as a statement against the Man.

Alas, the mellow-voiced DJ dissapoints. In the same tone as the narrator from Masterpiece theater, the DJ drones on about a Hungarian guy that will conduct the next Bach piece in (gasp) b major.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Everyday Algebra:

SB = Grande coffee, room for cream (16oz)
BC = Bladder capacity, (14.3oz)
CT = Commute time, 7:20am, Rt101 North, (41 min)

(BC-SB) x CT = ST

where ST = Cost of Speeding Ticket
Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

New Fangled Technology

ok, here's another technology I can do without. Those voice-activated phone trees that promise superior service as compared to the traditional "Press 1 for tech support" trees.

"(canned female voice) Hello, welcome to our support hotline. Please tell me how I can help you."

"uh, I want to return a product."

"(canned female voice) I'm sorry, I did not get that. Can you repeat your request?"

"I received defective merchandise and I want to return it."

"(canned female voice) I'm sorry, I did not get that. Can you repeat your request?"

"Return. Product. Now."

"(canned female voice) I'm sorry, I did not get that. Can you repeat your request?"

"arghhh! ^&%$ phone tree!! Forget it!!!!"

"(canned female voice) I have. Thank you for calling."

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Organic Food

As I'm driving to the Corporate Mother Ship this morn (all right, it's Sunday. And yes, it is beautiful outside. And yes, I am a loser), I pass by a Farmer's Market. I didn't have time to stop by, but I called my wife to let her know that they've started up for the year again.

After clicking the 'disconnect' on my cell, I stop to ponder. Not literally of course. It's dangerous to come to a full stop and ponder when one is in mid-merge onto a highway.

Why, I ask myself, do we shop at these things? The wares tend to be more expensive, and are often sold in less convenient venues. I guess it's because Organic conjures up images of golden stalks of corn swaying with the breeze on a hot summer day; and meats served up by happy cows, prancing their way to a smiling farmer. Hmph. I feel like someone's been flashing me subliminal messages. Drink Coke! Eat Organic to Wash Away your Sins!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Universal Translator

Ever wonder what these mysterious HR emails mean?

"The focus should be on increased employee performance, business alignment, productivity, and development. Please note that you and your manager will be asked to formally acknowledge that a discussion on development has taken place"

Using the textilizer function on Gizoogle, now, it's easy!!

"The focus should be on increazed employee performizzles business alignment, productivizzles n develizzle yeah yeah baby. Pleaze note tizzy you n yo managa wizzle be asked ta formally acknowledge that a discussion on develizzle has taken place where the sun be shinin and I be rhymin' "

10 minutes to class. Peace out.

Rain Man

I was in the supermarket line yesterday morn, 6:30 am or so. There's only one line open, so we're all piled together from all walks of life-- local construction workers finishing their shifts, sleepless office workers like me, to mysterious folk who feel compelled to buy a six pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon and a tub of Cool Whip first thing in the morning.

At any rate, I'm standing there waiting my turn and scanning the headlines of the news items that truly impact our lives. How Angelina stole Brad. Get Fit by Eating Lard and Watching TV -- ask us how! Suddenly, I'm jarred from my reverie. "NO WAY! THAT %W@^&!!" I resist the urge to turn around, thinking, poor guy, he is suffering from Tourette's. But just like any rubber-necker on a highway accident scene, my will power gives out and I gawk. This man had freshly pressed pants and a starched dress shirt on, and appeared to be a typical white-collar commuter. Save, of course, for the fact that his arms were flailing wildly, and he was blurting out a stream of expletives as his face grew redder and redder. Then it stopped. The man stopped talking, instantly calmed down, and started scanning the checkout line magazines.

Turns out he has a Bluetooth earpiece on and was talking wirelessly via a cell phone tucked away in a pocket somewhere. Y'know, call me Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer, but those things are just plain disturbing.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Talking with a coworker, who's spouse is a superintendent of the local school district. I'm peppering her with questions, because our son will be starting kindergarten in August.

"some of the schools are talking about installing metal detectors"

"what, in elementary school?"

Wow, kids these days. I didn't bring my first machete into school until I was in junior high!

Monday, May 16, 2005

Chariots of Fire

Special mention of Tomoo's dramatic finish at yesterday's Trivalley 10k.

On the last corner, I see him pumping his arms and legs, face crimson with exhaustion, kicking it up a notch for the grand finale. He crosses the line, and pauses. He has an expression of serenity, or a far-away look that suggests that he is thinking that this race was a metaphor for life itself. Resting his hands on his knees, Tomoo seems to shrug.

Then he puked for about 5 minutes.


Trivalley run in Pleasanton, Sunday 8:30am. Terry, Tomoo and I ran -- I clocked a pretty poor 51:34, terry did a 46 something, and Tomoo also had a slow showing at 56 something. I dunno what it was, but those little hills totally drained me...

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Barbarians at the gate

Lunch with AG, a colleague of mine from England.

"So what's going on?" I say, in between mouthfuls of cold cuts and marbled whole wheat. I notice that a bit of mustard has dribbled down my chin, so I subtly swipe the back of my hand across my mouth. I then pretend to reach down for a potato chip (5 minute rule!) and wipe my hands on my socks. Smooth operator, that's me.

"Oh, same old," he replies, as he carefully slices geometrically symmetric bite-size pieces of sandwitch with his knife. He does the same with his potato chips.

As I write this, I reflect on the necessity of expanding my culinary etiquette policy, which currently consists of only one rule: say-excuse-me-when-belching-in-mid-sentence.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

"the girls bring patience, more organization and they're more meticulous. With the boys, it's pyromania, sheer pyromania"
-Steve Hum, Rocket Team Adviser, Fisher Middle School (from SJ Mercury News, 5/11/2005)
Posted by Hello

it's all in the presentation

For the past two days, I've been in all-day meetings at a local hotel. At lunch, we got a dizzying array of delectable morsels, befitting any connoisseur of the Quick-E-Mart's fine frozen food section. Yesterday, the hotel staff couldn't find the heating element for the soup, so it was cold. They changed the label to gazpacho, and no one was the wiser.

An hour later, they found the gas attachment for the soup pot. The new label read : Minestrone.

Monday, May 09, 2005

If we only had one of these!

a baby translator ! To think that back in the day, we were so unsophisticated that we only had three coping tools in our arsenal: feed baby, change wet diaper, or pretend we're sleeping so spouse can change not-wet-but-still-mysteriously-stinky diaper.

Friday, May 06, 2005

"I want to get in shape, but running bores me!" commented an IM buddy. I thought about that for a moment, and wondered why I don't get bored. I couldn't find the answer, but I decided to pay attention the next time I went for a run.

I now know that I do not get bored, because gasping for breath and feeling like throwing up are, by and unto themselves, fairly engrossing activities. So my advice to those who postpone getting an aerobic workout due to boredom is this: run harder. Or better yet, run harder immediately following a large meal.
 Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


A couple of days ago, there was a guy on the treadmill next to me who was a shining example of productivity. As he ran, he had the Wall Street Journal open in front of him, and was talking on his hands-free cellphone with somebody in Europe.

This morn, I awoke inspired and tried to emulate this paragon of efficiency. Result: got slightly nauseous from trying to read tiny print while bouncing up and down, and my conference call members thought that there was an obscene caller on the line. (pant pant).. hi... (pantpant) .. how's..the.. (pant) ..project...timeline? Hello?

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Neiman Marcus

We're writing our MBA capstone paper on Neiman Marcus, a.k.a Needless Markup. Hey, here's a bit of trivia for ya. Guess how much NM's average customer rakes in per annum? $100k? guess again.
$600K !!!!

We verified this with a field trip. As soon as we entered the rarefied air of the Stanford Mall Neiman Marcus foyer, we tripped the W2 sensors and were immediately accosted by immaculately tailored bouncers. "Pardon me sir, but I believe the Old Navy is down the street."



Here's the finish -- we ended at 3 hrs 34 min, good enuf for 42 out of 271 teams. Not too shabby. Can't take much credit for that one; we had some pretty hard core runners in the Healey Brothers -- these guys maintained 7:30/mile up a 2 mile hill. More power to 'em. Gave us slackers (that's Tomoo, Anthony and me) time to meander about with our waddling 8min/pace. Posted by Hello

Here's mile 22. Not only was my leg fairly easy, but it's also where all the food and treats are! All the other legs get bussed to the finish line, which means that I get a good 30 min headstart to chow down. Posted by Hello

Here's the topo for the course. I had mile 22-finish; one of the easier legs. Posted by Hello

Big Sur Relay

This is the first race of the year for me. Well not really. I ran a 5K at work, back in March, but I had a hacking cough during that race and my time was forgettable at best (24:52).

So here's a play-by-play. My brother Tomoo crashed at our pad last nite as we had an early -- I mean EARLY departure. We did lights-out at 9pm, and woke up at 2:30am. It was so darn early in the morn, I found myself staring at the clock for a full minute, not knowing where the heck I was... At any rate, we meet up with Anthony, a buddy from work, and we made our merry way to Monterey Penninsula College, the pickup point. It was a fun drive as the only folks awake at that time were crazy folk or drunkards who drove as straight as their perception let them, or more or less in the general right-hand side of the road...

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