Tangerine Geek's Journal|
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|Sunday, April 18th, 2004|
I am indebted once again to our friends at New Scientist (10 April) for humor.
The label of a bottle of Tzu Sparkling Apple bought by Stephen Harvey advised him: "Refrigerate after opening and consume immediately." Harvey wants to know if this means he should climb into the fridge with the drink.
John Clamp recently purchased a bottle of Assissi Tea Tree Concentrated Shampoo for Rabbits and Small Animals. The description on the bottle states: "Blended with the finest pure plant oils, pH blanced, low lather and non-toxic. Suitable for all coats. Gentle to the skin. Acting as a non irritant for those rabbits or small animals with skin problems." Below this it says: "Not tested on animals."
|Thursday, April 15th, 2004|
|Q goes to the vet
I took our cat Q to the vet for a checkup. He was declared very healthy, with good heart and lungs. The vet removed a couple of big matts from his fur, and gave him two booster shots, plus a chug of medicine to protect him from parasites, as he spends upwards of sixteen hours a day outside when the weather's good.
Dr. White said Q seems to have a lot of Maine Coon in him. This will be evident in this website: http://www.fanciers.com/breed-faqs/maine-coon-faq.html
|Sunday, April 4th, 2004|
|Idaho investment trip and Maddox
Yesterday Joey, MTT, and I took our pentaweekly trip to Malad to buy some tickets for the lottery. The trip was very different from the preceding three, which were all dominated by vast stretches of whiteness, both on the ground and in the air.
We stopped on the way up at Maddox to have lunch with Leah and her friend John Heflen. We all had a good time.
On the way back, we visited the annual toy expo in Harrisville. I bought a stuffed toy crab, and MTT bought a few gifts.
A very nice day, and the wind has stopped blowing!
|Friday, April 2nd, 2004|
|Zion's Book Store
I walked along Main Street downtown and happened to go into Sam Weller's Zion's Book Store. This used to be the
book store in Salt Lake before the big chains moved in. Walking into it was like walking back in time. The floor area has basically not changed in the ten plus years that have gone by since I was there last. They've roughly doubled the space for the downstairs used book area, evidently going under one or two of the adjacent stores to the north. I looked in the used math book area, and the books that I used as an undergraduate were no longer available. Such is the passage of time.
|Thursday, March 25th, 2004|
|Down in the dumps, or a filling experience
MTT, Joey, and I took a load of old things to the dump, er, land fill. We took Grammy's old TV from 1986, our first CD-ROM, which reads at 1X, the worn out S-VHS VCR, Grandma Harris's sparking microwave, the top of the kitchen table that had been in the garage, the large triangular-shaped monstrosity that had been in the library, MTT's TV that she got at a St. Olaf's charity auction, and the old closet door that had been aging in the driveway. We had to turn the TV's on their ends to have everything fit.
The landfill is just east of Hill AFB. The smell is quite distinctive. I hadn't smelled that since I went with my dad to Salt Lake's dump when I was ten. We didn't see any seagulls, though.
|My new Jumpdrive
I bought a 128 MB Jumpdrive for $40. It has flash RAM and plugs into the USB port. There are a few files that I can use, regardless of the four computers I may be on. This is data such as passwords and to-do lists. Also, it will come in handy for transfering data from one computer to another for the times when one computer will not talk to another through the network. I put it on my keychain. Ain't technology great?
|Trip to Denver
Yesterday I went to Denver on business. Alan Yorgason picked me up at Smith's in Farmington. I took my pack and laptop, but over the problem of my Nature Company utility knife (I had to mail it to myself), I left my laptop at the security screening area, and didn't realize it until I was on the plane. When I got to Denver, I called SLC, and had them hold it for me at the screening area. Alan and I gave our presentation at 1, which lasted a little over an hour. Then we caught a 5 o'clock plane for home. At Salt Lake, I asked for my laptop at the security area, and they said there was no such thing there. Next I called lost and found, and they said nothing like that had been turned in. L & F then talked to security, and they discovered that they had it after all. It seems that when I said I left a laptop, they were looking for a laptop
, and not a computer in a case! Anyway, I got it back.
On the trip, I had a lot of discussion with Alan about just about everything philosophical.
|Saturday, March 13th, 2004|
|Bell choir event
Becky, Joey, and I attended the grand bell choir at Judge Memorial gym. There were scads of bell choirs from all over the Wasatch Front, enough to take up the entire playing floor of the gym. The audience sat in the bleachers. Leah's bell choir was there, as well. The program was free, and lasted two hours. It was a lot more enjoyable than I thought it was going to be; I didn't even open the magazine I brought.
Before the event, the three of us had dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory at Trolley Square.
After the event, I discovered that I had locked the keys inside the car. Not only that, but I had forgotten to turn the engine off. The car had been running throughout the two-plus hours of the event. Becky had a key to the door, so we were able to get in. The car was fine, though.
|Thursday, March 11th, 2004|
I attended an introduction to TM at the Sugar House library at 7. I came in about five minutes before it was to start, and when I got there, the two presenters were meditating seated at the front of the room. One was Randall, who looked in poor health, and appeared in his forties. The other was Cheryl, who was very nice, in her late thirties. Twelve to fifteen people came out for it; a few flakes were there, but that's to be expected for something that is non-mainstream. The discussion centered almost entirely on the medical benefits of TM, which includes reduction of cholesterol, tension, and an increase in IQ. The course consists of seven sessions, of this was the first.
They wouldn't say a lot about how it is done, but it involves gathering energy into one's center. It is a practice and not a religion or philosophy. They recommend two twenty-minute meditation sessions per day. It also apprently involves a lowering of the metabolic processes.
I asked about how long TM has been practiced--did the Maharishi invent it, or has it been done for thousands of years? Cheryl said that it has been done for thousands of years, but the Maharishi packaged it as a technique aimed at westerners.
I got the impression that TM is not for me, because 1) Randall, who is the leader of TM in Utah has such terrible health, 2) I'm not enthusiastic about adding two more things to do each day, and 3) it is entirely passive, and because I sit at a desk all day, I'm more interested in something that involves physical activity, such as Yoga.
The introduction was scheduled to last an hour, but after an hour and a half, Cheryl was showing no signs of nearing the end of her comments, and my metabolic processes had been lowered as much as I cared to have them lowered, so I quietly left.
|Monday, February 9th, 2004|
|What's your dharma?
A person's dharma is their life's main work. I deliberated the question for the first time in my life, and after two minutes' careful consideration, I concluded my dharma is to shake people out of their thinking ruts.
I was entirely ineffective in my birth family, even though they desperately needed de-rutting.
What is your
|Saturday, February 7th, 2004|
|The perfect job
In the 31 January issue of New Scientist, Alexandra Aikhenvald is interviewed. Alexandra is a linguist from Russia. She has traveled in several diverse isolated places looking for languages that are essentially unknown to linguists.
The interviewer asks, "Isn't it dangerous, travelling to these remote places?" She answers, "I suppose it is, but because I am a woman and alone, people trust me and I can get information that would probably be impossible otherwise. I did once have to run away from a drunken miner, but that was in a town. In the more remote villages they like me, I have respect and I am safe. I also have been adopted into families."
Another question was "What's your favourite example of a big difference between languages?" She answers, "In English I can tell my son: 'Today I talked to Adrian', and he won't ask: 'How do you know you talked to Adrian?' But in some languages, including Tariana [an Amazonian language], you always have to put a little suffix onto your verb saying how you know something - we call it 'evidentiality'. I would have to say: 'I talked to Adrian, non-visual', if we had talked on the phone. And if my son told someone else, he would say: 'She talked to Adrian, visual, reported.' In that language, if you don't say how you know things, they think you are a liar. This is a very nice and useful tool. Imagine if, in the argument about weapons of mass destruction, people had had to say how they knew about whatever they said. That would have saved us quite a lot of breath."
It seems to me we sophistocated Westerners could learn a lot from this "primitive society".
|Tuesday, January 27th, 2004|
|The old W32.Novarg.A@mm virus
Well, I got my office computer infected with a virus. It was through Outlook. I got an e-mail with an attachment from someone in the company I didn't know. The subject line said something like qvvxr. The attachment was a zip file, with one scr file. I extracted the scr file and opened it, which I realize was a mistake.
The ironic thing is that I had just updated my Symantec virus software, which addressed that very virus. Unfortunately, it was necessary to reboot my computer before the protection would be activated.
From now on, I'll download virus updates at the end of the day instead of the beginning.
The effect of the virus was to attempt to e-mail to everybody in sight. Fortunately, when I saw a virus had heppened, I unplugged my network cable. Then Symantec did a scan of the drives, and it reported that it had found 160 infected files. Later, the scan started back up, and it was approaching 200 infected files when I took the computer down prior to coming to the office for some help.
When I got to the office, the virus protection software went into action and quarantined the virus. The report of all those infected files was apparently false. So, the virus seems to have had no effect except to cause me to examine my computer for a while.
|Monday, January 26th, 2004|
|A trip to the dentist
No problems at the dentist. While I was there, I asked the hygienist how tartar forms. Does it simply form from saliva, or does it depend on foods we eat? She said that what forms tartar the most is eating a combination of sugar and starch. Just sugar by itself will wash off and be gone. Then when the tartar is on the tooth, plaque will form on top of that.
So, don't put any sugar in your spaghetti sauce, and if you have dessert, brush your teeth before dessert.
|Saturday, January 24th, 2004|
|The second investment trip
MTT, Joey and I went to Malad, Idaho this morning, starting a little before 9 so that we could be sure of getting back by the snow which was forecast for later today. It was foggy all the way--not foggy enough to be a problem, but enough to give the impression, along with all the snow on the ground, that we were driving through Antarctica. The ninety mile trip took a little over an hour. As with the first trip, K-C Oil Company was where we purchased the lottery tickets. K-C has no gas pumps, having been affected by the same ploy (leaky holding tanks) that had been used in Utah by the big oil companies to put their smaller competitors out of business. The people there are nice, and we make sure we buy some food when we are there, to give them our support.
The jackpot for tonight's drawing is 55 Megabucks. I chose to have the machine randomly assign a number that would ride for ten drawings, enough to last until the end of February. MTT chose to place three numbers that she had determined in advance, also for ten drawings.
On the way back MTT treated us to lunch at Maddox.
|Saturday, January 17th, 2004|
I was listening to Car Talk on the radio on my way back from Yoga today. In their closing credits they said their law firm is Dewey, Cheatum and Howe, and their hygiene consultant is Oteka Shawa.
|Wednesday, January 14th, 2004|
Here's another Virgo's delight from our friends at New Scientist for 10 January:
Christmas comes but once a year -- no more, and certainly no less. So reader Emma Brodie was surprised to find babies' T-shirts on sale in her local supermarket embroidered with the slogan "My first Christmas". They came in various sizes, including one to fit babies aged 12-18 months.
|Sunday, January 4th, 2004|
|The joys of Photoshop
Yesterday I was sorting through a box of old photos, and I happened upon a small strip of negatives. Peering at it through the light, I couldn't identify what it was, so I scanned it into the computer. Three of the images were nondescript shots, such as clouds from airplane windows, and a blurry image of a beach. One, however, turned out to be a color picture taken in World War II by my father of some Fijians on a catamaran preparing to launch onto the ocean. I had never seen this picture. With the help of Leah my daughter, I used Photoshop to fix up the color, brightness, and contrast, and it was miraculously transformed into a vivid and impressive image.
|Wednesday, December 24th, 2003|
New Scientist has the best humor. Here's another from 13 December:
"One of the ingredients listed on the Costcutter 'Pioneer Snacks' sandwich bought by reader Anton Oussik was 'antioxygen'.
"Oussik is concerned. He points out that the effects of antimatter coming into contact with the human digestive system are not yet fully understood. Products containing antimatter, he says, ought to carry a warning label on them."
|Tuesday, December 23rd, 2003|
|Embryos in heaven
I found this "Soundbite" in the 13 December issue of New Scientist:
"If each embryo was a person, heaven would be populated mainly by people who have never been born."
This is from Richard Harries, the Bishop of Oxford on the fact that most human embryos die very early in development (meeting of the UK Parliamentary and Scientific Committee).
Think about that, you right-to-lifers and anticloning enthusiasts.
|Sunday, December 21st, 2003|