Friday, February 27, 2009

Spaghetti

I tell you, this lingering cold is driving me nuts. Now I have started to sneeze and alternate between a runny and clogged nose which I hope signals the end of this hassle. That plus being very busy at work has kept me not only from posting here, but has put me far behind on replying to my e-mails as well!

Today I was dismayed to find that my printer wouldn't work. I kept getting an error message about the print spool subsystem being shut down or not running or whatever. I searched online for a solution and saw that several people had the same problem, mainly on Windows XP (I'm using Vista) but the solutions that were proposed didn't work for me. Restarting the spool only resulted in it stopping again when I tried to resume printing.

Then I remembered that Vista, like XP, has restore points that you can go back to just in case some annoyance occurs, like my printer situation. I restored it back to a point in the early afternoon and lo and behold, the printer works now! The restore point was at the time of the latest Windows update so it looks to me like Windows itself caused the problem. Grr...

One project that I would like to get done is to clean up the spaghetti cord tangle that is behind the audio/video gear in the house. The picture below doesn't really do it justice since it is only from the side angle; looking at it from the front would disclose cords going every which way.


See those cords? That is nothing compared to the way our government works. At least all of my cords are connected to something, are working, and serve a purpose. And, they can be straightened out.. more than I can say for our government.

Anyway, my plan is to label each cord then rewire everything so it is nice and neat. No more of this pretzel logic wiring!






Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What's Happening

For the few of you reading this blog you may be wondering what happened to me since I haven't posted with the alarming regularity that you have gotten used to.

I'm just busy, is all. Work is very busy. In fact after I write this (at 8:35 pm on Tuesday evening) I am going to do some more work. But that's good - finally we have someone running the sales department who seems like they are going to achieve success so I am more than happy to help out.

I just thought I'd post to let you know I am still here. I even got a haircut today so I don't look like I am wearing a hat anymore.

Other quick observations: if you want a cheap source for decent cables, I found out about monoprice.com. Audio, video, electrical cables, speaker wire - everything is dirt cheap over there! And they are located in Rancho Cucamonga which means if you are in So Cal you get your items right away. The only drawback is paying shipping (but even so, it turns out to be less than what you pay at a normal store) and sales tax (ugh). I've already bought too much from them.

Also, I didn't watch Obama's speech tonight but in general, I still feel like we are just throwing pearls before swine. If you were to calculate an efficiency factor of the bailout money, meaning the amount put to actual good use to stimulate the economy versus the total amount given, I'd say on average for all the recipients it would be somewhere between 10-20%. The rest? Just like when you fill out a time sheet and have to allocate the hours you worked to specific tasks, you sit there scratching your head wondering where the heck the hours went. Well, no different with the bailout money. All the execs at these big institutions that lost all their money and now will lose all your money will be similarly scratching their heads. (remember that old Pepsodent commercial - you'll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent.. now it is, you'll wonder where your money went when you leave it to our president).

Put the money in the hands of the people - that is where it will be better utilized. If you were to do that, sure, some of it would be left lying around inside of a mattress. But most of it would either be spent or put into savings or invested in some way. Either way, that would stimulate the economy by putting the money into circulation. These wasteful institutions would then have to compete for your dollars, meaning they would have to provide something valuable in return to outdo the competition so that they, rather than their competitors, would get those dollars.

The way it is now, what incentive do these big slugs have to compete if we just shower them with dollars?? Sure, there will be jobs generated, etc., but I can just imagine so much of this money will be wasted that the efficiency factor will be nowhere near what it would be if we just gave it directly to the people to use.

You throw money at colleges and how much of it will be truly used to improve the educational process or make them more attractive to students? On the other hand, give it to students so they can choose where to go, and you will see the colleges put in the effort to attract those students, meaning the quality of education will improve.

All these wasteful companies will just be sitting there lying on their sofas, eating bunches of grapes, er, our tax dollars.

Okay, back to work..




Sunday, February 22, 2009

Symmetry

If you play the odds, you would bet that I'd start my Saturday morning at Costco and you'd bet right.

Today I spied a new entree in the refrigerated case so I took a chance and put it in the cart: shrimp and crab with penne, in a Creole cream sauce:


It's so much easier buying pre-made entrees but in many (most?) cases the nutritional label horrifies me. This Creole one wasn't too bad, but more often than not, an entree looks good and winds up discouraging when I see that one serving, which generally is the size of something that seems more for a child porton, gives you nearly the entire day's requirement or allowance of sodium and saturated fats.

They also had a chop suey entree. I laughed when I saw that. Chop suey??

The only other item that wasn't something I normally buy was a box of pluots. They looked good but I have no idea if they are ready to eat or not, or if you have to allow them to ripen. Since they were in the very cold refrigerated room where they keep perishables I assume they must be ready to eat. The main reason I bought it is from laziness - all you have to do is wash them; you don't have to peel them (do you?) or pull out stems.

After reading all the horrifying nutrition labels, we ate lunch at Jack In The Box, where I ordered my favorite food of theirs, tacos. Haha.. well, there's no nutritional labels on the little bag they come in to discourage me.

My mouth was watering after perusing the Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer that arrived in the mail a couple of days ago, and I circled a few things to get. Like this Indian entree:


Thing is, I find that when I actually go to TJ's and look at the item in person, a lot of times it doesn't look very good. Or it looks downright tiny for the price - I guess I'm used to Costco-sized portions and prices.

An example is char siu (which to me is chashu). Yes, I know I shouldn't be buying something like that at TJ's but it sounded good in the flyer. Upon examination at the store it didn't look very appetizing, though. Still, they have a lot of good stuff and I'd much rather go there than a normal grocery store.

This morning when I was clipping my toenails it reminded me again that my body is not symmetrical. I can't put my right foot in the same position that I do my left when I cut the nails. The left side is more flexible and thus easier to position than the right side.

I already mentioned a while ago that my right eyebrow arches higher than my left one.. and I notice that when I scratch my upper back reaching upward from behind (as opposed to putting my arm over the opposite shoulder), my left arm can go higher than the right. On the other hand (or foot), I am able to separate my pinky toe on my right foot from the others whereas I am unable to do this on the left foot.

I just wondered how many other people were lopsided like me..

When I was little once in a while we would have chop suey from Chung King. Have you ever eaten that? It's nasty!!




Friday, February 20, 2009

Life O' Riley

Today I took my dad to get a chest x-ray. The radiology lab operates on a walk-in basis for taking x-rays; we entered a crowded waiting room at 10:15 and he didn't get called until 12:45. Five minutes later he was done and we left.

I don't understand why there is such a long wait for x-rays when it is a five minute process from going into the room where they take the x-ray to coming out of that room.

Luckily my job is such that I have the freedom to take some time during the day for things like that. When we were driving back, I thought about how I needed to get back to work and hadn't anticipated taking anywhere near as long as it took to get the x-rays done, but was thankful that at least I was able to do so.

Then I thought, wouldn't it be nice if I was financially well off enough to not have to work. When I had lunch with JT recently, he told me how he had retired a few years ago and how nice it was to have every day be a day in which he could do whatever he wanted.

But now he is back in the working world because he received an offer too good to pass up.

I don't think he really needs to work, though. plus it sounds like he has a great job right now. That's the difference - having the freedom to choose if you want to work or not, and not having to depend on a job but when you do work, it is something you really enjoy.

Well, for most of us I guess that's just a dream but I keep thinking, is it so far fetched? Where there's a will, there's a way and maybe I should really apply my mind to the task. Things get cast in an entirely different light when you don't have to do them.

I enjoy my job now, which is a blessing, but the thing is, I have to do it (or do something to earn a living).

Today was Vine offering day from Amazon. Noon on the third Thursday of each month is when they list what samples I can send for and I can choose two of them. I got home at 1:30 after taking my dad back and was thinking there wouldn't be anything good left to choose.

I looked at the list and there was hardly anything on it anyway. Each month it seems to get more and more sparse. Whereas past offerings had up to 5 pages or more, today had just one. On it were 3 books, 4 different flavors of soda of which you got one can as a sample, a jar of Neutrogena moisturizing cream that was already sold out, and two different sets of PC speakers made by Altec Lansing.

So I took both models of the speakers. More clutter for the house. I was kind of surprised that they were still available to choose, seeing as how I got a late start and electronic stuff is usually the first to go. I think it is because Altec Lansing doesn't make very good speakers. Well, they're free so the price is right; even though I've run through numerous sets of PC speakers, I will try them out and duly do my reviews. It seems better than last month when all I got was a bottle of raspberry-chipotle sauce that tastes more like pancake syrup, and a tour guide for Argentina.

Oh, and I also ordered a one-year subscription to Rolling Stone. Amazon has a deal this month that if you buy any DVD, you can get a subscription for only a buck. What the heck, for $1.00 I can try and get up to speed on all these people in the music world that I've never heard of because I'm mired in the 60's and 70's!

Anyway, that was my day today.. still thinking about how to achieve that life of riley, though..






Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It Could Be Worse

I thought the Alhambra Costco was pretty bad but here is a clip of some woman at a Hong Kong Costco who got to the food sample tables too late and all of the samples were already taken by other shoppers.



Monday, February 16, 2009

Woofie

I looked at the Best Buy ad today to see what Blu Ray discs were on sale, and lo and behold, they had the recently released Amadeus for only $14.99! Amazon had it listed for $26.99 and I was hoping someone would have it on sale but I didn't expect to see it at such a discount.

I already have this movie on DVD (and used to have it on VHS, too) but the prospect of better picture and sound made me want to get the Blu Ray version. Heck, at $14.99 that was a no-brainer purchase.

So off we went to Best Buy and.. the shelf was empty. There was no separate display for it so it looked like all they would have had at most was about 5 copies. I asked one of the employees if there were any more in the store. He checked and told me nope, no more and it didn't show in the warehouse meaning it would take at least two weeks to be restocked.

I asked if I could get a raincheck. He had to look it up on their computer. He came back and said yes, but it was coming up at the regular price so he had to go somewhere to get that fixed. I waited a while then he came back, punched more stuff in the computer, something printed out and then he said he thought their main printer was broken so he had to go somewhere else to print the raincheck.

I waited some more and after a few minutes he returned with the raincheck. All of this took about 15 minutes. I thanked him and also apologized for taking up so much of his time but he was happy to help. Then I was thinking, I have to wait at least two weeks for this and then come back to this store with its crowded parking lot? Too bad Circuit City had taken a nosedive because I could have gone there and gotten a price match. Oh, well.

When I got home I looked at Amazon.com and there was Amadeus in Blu Ray for.. $14.99! An even better deal since they don't charge sales tax and I get free two-day shipping! Plus I even had 63 cents left over from a gift certificate so it only set me back $14.36. Such a deal!!

And that was my big thrill for the day. I thought I got a great bargain, though!

By the way, today's title is "Woofie" even though I know in the movie the nickname his wife uses for him is really "Wolfie" and not "Woofie" but "Woofie" sounds better. I used to know someone whose dog had that name.. or maybe it was really "Wolfie" and all these years I misheard what she called him.

Here's a clip from the movie that I really like (and no, it's not a scene with that dopey laugh):






Sunday, February 15, 2009

No More Wire Coat Hangers!

I've got a headache so I don't feel much like writing. My visit to Costco this morning (Saturday) was pretty uneventful, although I did sample a bite of a chicken burrito and a beef tamale (the tamale tasted better; it's the same as the box that is sitting in our freezer).

I also returned the Varilux Clean Sweep germ detonator. What I like about Costco is they just accept returns, no questions asked as long as you have the receipt and are within the time guidelines. No interrogation like they do at some other stores, where you expect Lawrence Olivier to come out from the back with some dental appliances and make you sit in a chair so he can find out why you want your money back.

I even explained to the girl behind the counter why, and she politely listened although I surmised she could care less. She gave me back a credit on my card and then placed a "nonsaleable" sticker on the box. That kind of made me feel bad since there was nothing wrong with it, I put everything neatly back in place inside the box, and it was my own laziness that prompted me to make the return, but on the other hand in bold letters on the big sign above the counter it does say that Costco guarantees satisfaction with all merchandise they sell. And I wasn't satisfied.

Anyway, what's with the wire coat hangers in the title today? I've been on a hi-fi/audio kick lately and have been reading various audio forums and came across an interesting article. Someone conducted an experiment in which they did a blindfold comparison to see if anyone could tell the difference in sound between using Monster-brand speaker cables or wire coat hangars to connect their speakers to the amplifier. No one could.

You can read the article here.

There were some good comments on the article, too. Someone said now Monster will start making expensive coat hangers and telling you how it is better to hang your clothes on them than regular hangers.

I tried finding a clip from the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy meets the snake oil salesman but no luck. But I did find the one below - same idea, just pretend the guy is advertising Monster Cable and all those other over-hyped things in life (by the way, there's also a prediction of the future in the beginning of this clip, i.e., Dorothy's reference to the wicked witch of the west is clever symbolism for Circuit City).






Saturday, February 14, 2009

Why People Are Like Water and Why Congress Is Stupid

Haha, can you tell today is going to be a rant? What I mean by people being like water is that they will just fill up whatever space you give them, and if you don't stop them they will overflow.

Take for example all this bailout money that is being thrown away. The other day some of the bank CEO's were put under the heat lamp and grilled by Congress as to how they squandered the $160 billion or so (about that much; I am sure no one really knows the exact number, especially anyone in the government) that they were given to keep doing what they've been doing all these years.

Now how stupid is that, to give them that much money and then LATER come back and ask how they spent it? Wouldn't you want to be in control of it the entire time to make sure it was spent properly?

That's like if your kid wastes all his money during summer vacation and doesn't have a penny to his name by the time he needs to pay for the next semester of college. So he asks you for a $2 million bailout for school expenses, which is proportional to what the banks and other leeches have been asking for.

And you, being as stupid as the U.S. Government, gives it to him and tells him he better use it the right way. Then 6 weeks into the semester you discover that he is not enrolled in school. You ask him where that $2 million went and he shrugs, trying to make the Porsche he just bought small enough to fit behind him so you can't see it.

So when you find out, you yell at him and speak very sternly. Well duh, don't you think maybe YOU should have paid for college directly instead of funneling it through your wasteful son's hands? And controlled the rest of the purse strings instead of grumbling about it after the fact? Then maybe when you give him the next $2 million you might be a little wiser.

Another piece of evidence as to how stupid Congress is: wasting all this time and money about delaying the transition to all-digital television. Why? Because so many people aren't ready.

When we found out about the transition that was supposed to take place this month, we requested our discount coupons for the digital converter then went to Wal Mart and shelled out our $9.95 plus sales tax for the box. We've had digital for a while now and it's great. How long have they been telling people about this???

You know, as long as you let someone get away with it, they will. Make the mandatory switch to digital and just see how fast those who haven't yet bought their conversion equipment run out and buy it. But if you keep giving them slack, they'll keep taking it.

No different at my workplace. We just brought on a new sales manager that I have high hopes for because finally someone is trying to hold our sales reps accountable. Before that they were running wild.

If you let people run wild, they will. Is Congress that stupid? Well, they run pretty wild themselves. If our new president can ever find any cabinet people who don't get disqualified, maybe things will get better.




Thursday, February 12, 2009

Light Sabre Going Back

I mentioned a few days ago that I purchased a device from Costco that uses ultraviolet light to kill germs and microscopic vermin. It sounded like a great idea.

After using it, though, I think I will return it.

I don't really know if it works (how can you really tell unless you are a mad scientist with a microscope at home) but I don't think I have the patience to use it properly. I was under the impression that you just wave it over a surface and like a giant light sabre, it destroys the harmful organisms as the light sweeps across the area.

Not quite so. In order to be effective, you have to hold it over each area for about 15-20 seconds, slowly moving it from patch to patch. For example, it says in the manual that a 24" x 36" area takes about 3 minutes.

Here's a picture of it so you can see what it looks like out of the box. First the top:


Then the underside from where the light emanates.


There is also a travel-size wand (sabre?) in the box still that I didn't take out but what I thought was funny was that everything sits in a plastic shelf in the box that is only about 1/4 - 1/3 of the height of the box; the remainder of it is a cardboard stuffer to fill up the empty space. This is supposed to be a "green" product because it uses light but look how much cardboard they use!

Anyway, if it didn't take so long to use the product I would keep it but I have a feeling it's not going to be used as often as it should. Now if only it was more Star Wars-like - just wave and the germs be gone..

I would hold it over myself to get rid of this cold but it says you are not supposed to expose your skin to it for any extended period of time.

Happy real Lincoln's birthday, by the way!




Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Investment Advice

Still not feeling well although at times I feel fine and others I'm all congested. I guess I'm all messed up! Right now I feel decent so I will write..

There was an article in the Wall Street Journal about how lots of investors in Hong Kong have been turning to Feng Shui masters (i.e., fortune tellers) for investment advice because the economy is so bad and they have lost so much money.

Business has been up for these hucksters, er, Feng Shui masters and they have become quite popular, even dominating investment conferences that also feature notable investment industry advisors on the panels. The WSJ reported that the majority of questions get directed at the FSM's, causing the real advisors to get discouraged.

At first I was thinking how stupid it is to listen to a fortune teller, but on the other hand, listening to the professional investment advisors doesn't really seem to be any better than throwing a dart at a stock page, either. In either case, you are asking them to predict the future, something no one can do. But the real answer here is not that professionals don't do any better than the market as a whole so why not trust a FSM, the real answer is two wrongs don't make a right. You're not going to do any better than random chance by listening to either of them.

I think the best advice is like this lyric or song title from Bob Dylan (I don't like his songs so that's why I am not sure which one it is or even if I have it correct but I think he wrote this): You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

I mean, if you looked at our economy the past couple of years, common sense would tell you that the boom couldn't last. How long could house prices keep going up and up, and the stock market do the same? Making loans to any old joe regardless of their ability to afford it was bound to result in a crash. And with everyone buying into the stock market, where was the money going to come from to keep fueling it?

There were those who warned that the crash was coming but crowd fever kept the euphoria going. We just didn't want to believe what was right before our eyes. After all, who wants to be the party pooper? As long as you stay in agreement with the masses, you can't look that stupid individually.

On the other hand, look at things today. They say we're in a recession. It certainly isn't pretty. Companies are laying off people left and right, the unemployment rate is rising, sales are declining, big corporations are begging for more bailout money to squander.. it's a mess.

Have we seen the highs before? Yes. Have we seen the lows before? Yes. Every time people say, but this time it is different, but it really isn't. It's all part of the up and down cycle that keeps rolling through history. As long as we are capitalists, it's going to happen.

Every time we've encountered a low, a high has followed. So being the weatherman, what does that tell you? We've seen fire, we've seen rain, we've seen sunny days that we thought would never end. With things as bad as they are and the stock market at pretty low levels, now's the time to be thinking about buying into it.

Yes, it may go down more before it goes up, but no one knows. The only thing I feel pretty certain about is that before long, it will go back up, quite a bit higher than it is now. If you have funds that you can afford to put aside for a few years, now is the time to put it into the market. If this country somehow takes a huge dive and goes out of business, well your money isn't going to be worth anything anyway so what the heck, why keep it in your mattress?

Research has shown that the investment "pros" do no better than average; that is, the rate of returns they get are actually lower than the market does by itself. In other words, on average none of them "beat the market." So why listen to them? Except for those who possess illegal insider information, they don't know anything more than you or I know - we can all see what is happening and it is a matter of using your common sense to interpret it, something you don't need a college degree to do.

Like I said, you don't need a weatherman..






Sunday, February 8, 2009

Light Sabre Saturday

Back to normal schedule for Saturday - first stop was Costco. This cold still plagues me but not enough to keep me from my favorite store.

The first thing I did was pick up a couple of prescriptions for my mom and was horrified at the cost: $211.90!! I can imagine how much it would be at a regular drugstore.

There was a short blurb in this month's Costco Connection magazine about a device that kills germs and some harmful pests using ultraviolet light, that the warehouses stock (hmm.. that is, the warehouses stock the devices, not the germs and harmful pests although maybe they do that, too). I made a point to look for it today and there it was on one of the shelves - for seventy smackers.

Maybe with Julie and me both sick that helped me decide to put the box in the cart and try it out. It comes with two units, one for the house and a smaller, portable one for traveling so you can disinfect pillows, sheets and other stuff in your hotel room that you don't know where it's been or who touched it. The larger one looks kind of like one of those light sabres from Star Wars. I wonder if it hums the same way? Here's a picture of the box, and they put scary pictures of the microscopic things it kills on it to sway you into making a purchase:


My sunglasses were ready. Here's a picture of them (not on me, of course). Kind of makes me look like a hornet. I mentioned last week that they look sort of like what Neo wears in The Matrix. The lenses are very dark, too, which makes them more intimidating.


We went to WalMart after lunch and once again I couldn't help comparing the two stores. It's like going back into the 50's stepping into WalMart. I bought some Bactine because my dad wanted it. Yes, they still make Bactine - do you remember it? The selling point, as I recall from when I was little, was that it didn't hurt/sting as much as other medicines for wounds and scrapes. Probably because it just ran off like water and disappeared! (sorry, no picture.. then I discovered there are two bottles of it in my medicine cabinet although they both expired back in the 90's).

Tonight we ate dinner with Julie's family at a new Chinese restaurant: Lunasia. I think they were trying to spell Lunacy in a fancy way. It's where Triumphal Palace used to be (just another fancy place that all the flaky Chowhound people fawned over and raved about as the greatest Chinese food of all time that went out of business) and the room is beautiful. Their overhead must be incredibly high. The food was less than mediocre, however. I'd rather eat at Panda Express any day.





Saturday, February 7, 2009

Lunchin' With JT - part two

I'm still under the weather with a stuffy cold and this rain doesn't help much although it is kind of nice to be cozy indoors listening to it instead of driving in it right now.

I never did get to the rest of the account of my lunch a little over a week ago with JT, my friend from junior high and high school days that I hadn't seen since we were both Dorsey Dons.

Here's just a few more bits and pieces to share with you.. his recollection of the events on our Foshay campus when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated differed radically from mine. I had related in a recent post that aside from the only white kid in our school being taken home by the vice principal, not too much happened.

As we sat eating our burgers, JT asked me, "Weren't you in the gym that day when they started beating all of us up? And they banged that kid's head into the drinking fountain? Was that you they did that do?"

Did I blank all that trauma from my memory? Even when he described it, nothing flashed; I was blank. "It wasn't me," I told him. "I don't remember anything like that happening at all."

He said some of the black kids were going nuts, beating up all the non-black kids. I remember feeling tense because of the assassination and worried over the possible violence that might occur, but all I can recall is that my worries were for naught. I sure don't remember any of those altercations JT mentioned.

He said a bunch of people went to his house after school since he lived nearby and played basketball until their moms came to pick them up. "Weren't you there at my house?" JT asked.

I shook my head. "I walked home with Michael Jones that day."

"Alan Jones was there, too," he said. "You remember Alan? The tall skinny guy?"

"Remember? He was my best buddy," I said. JT then proceeded to tell me how he and Alan used to ride their bikes all over the place. We both agreed on what a great guy he was. I told him how I recently found out he was an investment advisor and seemed to be pretty successful. Not surprising.

We went on to talk about other things. He said he hated junior high. I said I liked junior high and hated high school. I told him what I didn't like was how political things were in high school, whereas at Foshay we could just say whatever was on our minds to each other, no matter how insulting it was and we were all okay with that. "We were pretty rude to each other," I laughed.

"If we were all together now we'd still be talking that way," JT observed.

And something I observed during our lunch - we sounded like a couple of JA's from the 'hood, back to the way we used to talk in our Foshay days. Maybe JT talks like that all the time but for me, I'll only slip into it occasionally if something conjures it up. I sure do enjoy talking that way, though - it's so comfortable!

As lunch was over, we both declared that we'd have to get together sometime soon and talk story some more. I wondered if we'd really do that, or if more and more time would go by and soon we'd forget about it. I hope we'll take each other up on it and meet up again before too long a stretch.

Meanwhile, that evening I did some googling on Alan Jones and found him listed on LinkedIn. I think I'm gonna send him a note and see if he remembers me. I'll let you know what happens..

Today's YouTube: nostalgia for nostalgia's sake. Hey, watch them while you can because I notice an alarming number of them are being pulled for "copyright violations."





sigh.. if only they would put THAT show on DVD..

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Under the Weather

Excuse me for not posting much recently but I came down with a cold on the weekend so I feel kind of blah and don't feel like writing much.

It hasn't stopped me from reading, however. I'm currently in the middle of The Definitive Book of Body Language, by Barbara and Allan Pease, that I checked out from the library.

I got the idea to read this from the suggestions that show up on the main page when I make my daily visit to Amazon. If a book looks interesting then I see if the library has it; if it looks really interesting or if the library doesn't have it (or if it is cheap enough) then I'll just throw it in the cart.

I think we all know that the gestures and expressions we make belie what really goes on in our heads despite what our words may be. This book explores that area in depth and I find it useful not only to watch other people and relate it back to what I've read, but to be aware of my own actions. That could prove quite useful in situations that involve negotiation, such as buying a car.

The chapter on detecting when someone is lying or trying to deceive you seems to feature Bill Clinton a lot, haha. Seriously - it does!

Anyway, I just thought I'd share my current read with you and let you know that it's pretty interesting and you should be able to find it at a library near you.

Here's a couple of YouTubes about lying.. check out the body language in them, too, lol..








You know, I always thought Mary Ann was better-looking than Ginger.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Radio Roulette

Another Saturday another Costco trip. This morning I ordered a pair of prescription sunglasses from their optical shop which turned out to be way cheaper than the regular pair I recently got that was covered by insurance. Go figure.. No pictures, though, since it will take about 7-10 days. I thought shape-wise the lens part looks a little bit like the ones worn by Neo (Keanu Reeves) in the Matrix, although the frames are black plastic and not wire.

A 50 lb. sack of Japanese-type Cal Rose rice was $24 and change. I forgot to take a picture of it and it's too heavy for me to drag out of the closet and take one now.

It was such a clear morning when I left for Costco that I took my chances with the radio and hoped for matching music. The past few times I've tuned to music stations it's been really disappointing. It seems like either the music is good or bad, no in between and lately the luck of the draw has been on the poor side.

As soon as I turned on the radio, Layla came blaring out of the speakers. That was good sign - a perfect song for the weather, a song I never tire of. I got pretty lucky - there were lots of other songs to sing along with on the drive out to Costco and back, among them:

Take it Easy (Eagles version); Elton John's The Bitch is Back (takes me back to student store days at UCLA when the Caribou album came out and everyone in the store dedicated this song to the woman that ran the Bearwear department, Marge A.); Deep Purple's Smoke on the Water (studio, not live version); Turn! Turn! Turn! by the Byrds; and this one:





Actually the above video is a live version and not what was popular on the radio way back when. I was thinking a couple of things while driving: first, the sound system in my car isn't very good, and second, is it the specific version of the song that evokes the memories and feelings or the song itself? For example, with the Spinner's live version of the song, does it bring back the same feeling that the original 45 does?

I always get a certain feeling when I hear the opening guitar chords of this song. But it's got to be the original, not the altered live version. Just so's you can compare, here's the original:





For me for any song, it's got to be the original. I think my brain is wired so that it has to hear very specific sounds to bring back the good old days. And as for the sound coming out of the speakers in my car.. oh, well. Maybe that works against my argument about needing to hear specific sounds because if that were truly the case, the music would have to sound more like AM radio to really ring true to those days.