Oct 19

If the joke weren’t on sail I’d be walking the plank

Question: How much did the pirate pay for his peg and hook?

Think about it for a second. You’ll want to get this right.

It’s OK, we’ve got time. I’ll be here when you’re done. I don’t mind.

No, really. It’s Thursday evening and this is important. So make sure you get it right.

Got it? Are you sure?

Good! OK, give it a shot. How much did the pirate pay for his peg and hook?

An arm and a leg.

Sometime over the summer I found myself in one of those pernicious little traps of the online retail world. If I spent beyond a certain threshold I would get free shipping on my entire order of high end, but now clearance priced polos. I had already placed the items I wanted and needed in my cart. And I still had to pump something like 12 bucks or so into the thing to save the 15 dollars. Fifty bucks gets you there! You know the phenomenon.

Problem was, there wasn’t much else I wanted or needed. And the retailer, while having decent clearance prices from time to time, skips over middle-of-the-road retail prices and heads directly to a you-better-have-a-lucrative-and-hopefully-legal-side-hustle price category.

But! I found socks! Lots of nice socks. Finely darned things, too. And on clearance! So I picked up four pair, just enough to hit the free shipping threshold. ($51.96, thank you very much.)

Good thing, too. This happened at TV tonight:

You’ll forgive the lines in the foreground. This is a picture of the monitor on the jib, which overlays the rule of thirds grid for composition purposes. The point is, look at those guys. I have to step up my sock game. Next week, it is on.

So thank you, silly retail customer psychology trick. You’re going to put me back in the sock game.

Someone remind me to follow up on this.

And though it’ll be close to Halloween, I promise I won’t wear the pirate socks.

You know …

… the Arrrrrgyle.

Oct 19


Ahhh, Thursday. It may be Thursday to you, but I’m taking tomorrow off. It is Friday to me. Why, I saw someone around mid-day today and told them to have a great weekend and that was a wonderful feeling. Of course he was leaving to return to his sabbatical at the time.

Maybe I’ll start telling people on Monday to have a great weekend. It’s aspirational for all of us.

It was just a work day. We all have them. It wasn’t a terribly bad one. It wasn’t a terribly good one. I talked to some people on the phone and went to see what a room in another building looked like. I did have a nice lunch though. Also, I ran the email gauntlet a few times, and marveled at how some people are really good at that life skill and some aren’t.

I spent two hours in the television studio and marveled at all the young people who are becoming very good at the skills required of them there. It was a sports night, and I’m sure the crew from IUSTV’s Award-Winning TM sports department will have those shows up tomorrow.

Tomorrow, I will sleep in, and perhaps do some other things.

Oct 19

If only you could blame cardboard for all your problems

We went for a run this morning. We went for a run this morning because the weather broke. We went for a run this morning because it was about 30 degrees cooler than it was when we could have gone for a run yesterday evening.

So I got in a slow and sluggish 5K, because it was a morning run. And while it isn’t that I’m not a morning person, I’m just not a morning runner. Or, perhaps, a morning exerciser in general. That part may have to do with the morning person thing. Anyway, we ran on that path, and when we did a few trips around this little manmade pond. That’s not my house:

We beat the sun (above the treeline)!

At the end of the day I chose to take an elevator. I looked at the little pedometer on my phone, to justify the luxury, and that, and my attendant aches and pains, were how I remembered that I had gone for a run this morning.

In between I fired off the requisite rounds of emails, had lunch with my bride, assisted in the purchase of equipment that needed to be purchased, had a few meetings and other office things like that. We were also in the television studio for sports shows, and we’ll be back in the TV studio for another show tomorrow morning.

Tonight, for dinner:

The chicken is pretty good. The waffles … I’m not sure how you even miss on waffles, but that one was something of a miss. I think they deserve a second try, sometime, though.

At home I caught up on a bit of reading, fought with the cat, who just haaaaas to be in the garage. And it doesn’t matter that I’m trying to do him a solid by bringing in some cardboard boxes he can play in. And Poseidon will play in the boxes. I don’t feel I can leave in there by himself long enough to change from my suit, so there I am in slacks on my hands and knees being thwarted by a cat who has somehow lost all motor function.

Eventually I got the push broom behind him and pulled him out from underneath the car. Cat curling is the nicest thing I wanted to do.

I was tired by 8 p.m. — I blame the shorter days — but I’ve just finished, at 11-something, looking for the other cat. The search went from casual to concerning after the second sweep of the entire house, including closets and garage. Phoebe was hiding in one of those boxes I brought in when I got to the house this evening. We tent it up so they can sit in and under it and she found the dark back corner, the one without a motion sensor light.

Cardboard. I am defeated by cardboard. And cats.

I think we should recycle sooner.

Sep 19

Idle browsing

On Wednesday nights, you can have plenty of grand plans. Oh, this morning I was going to get up, get a workout in, go run two errands and then go to the office, because I have a late morning because of a late evening.

I woke up, saw that the sky was still gray and re-invested in the warming properties of the many covers on the bed.

At least I ironed every single wrinkle out of the day’s clothes and got to work on time.

I did receive 55 spam emails today. And I got one email about a package that is on its way, while I was tracking that same package via a previous email. That wasn’t spooky at all. It wasn’t spooky because the tracking page said, simply “Your package is on the way!” Anyone with that attention to detail to the finer points of supply delivery logistics isn’t terribly concerned with putting read receipt bugs in their email script.

But who knows what is in the actual package, right? Completely different ball game.

I returned some items to the same store a few weeks ago. I walked in, an impeccably dressed older gentleman said “Can I help you?” I told him I would like to return these two things and there was nothing wrong with them, no sir, they just didn’t fit through most of the parts they were meant to fit. About that same time his phone rang and he took the call and talked to whomever was on the other end through the entirety of the return and credit process. I signed a receipt and received a copy and, through the magic of technology the money was returned to my account via this piece of plastic in my pocket and then I walked out, the impeccably dressed man having not said another word to me, because of his phone call.

Now you might think this poor customer service, but you’d be mistaken. No time was wasted.

I’ve taken one other thing back to that company before. Similar problem. It was no muss, no fuss and just a little Oh, that’s what you bought from the website, judgement and a quick Won’t you see what’s on sale over on the clearance rack up-sell.

I glanced at it. And that was the moment I realized I’ve completely converted to online shopping. The brick and mortar operation has its uses, but none of those uses are idle browsing.

Words to live by:

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Sep 19

Wish I were here

I’ve been playing with an app to make cinemagraphs. Moving pictures! Who would have thought it! And all right there from my phone! The one that’s a supercomputer! In my pocket! Who would have thought it!

The app is called Pixaloop and it was free. You can purchase upgrades, but all the basics that you receive do a nice job. I’m still learning from some of the finer points of those basics, and while it is basic, it does what you’d want it to do, once you get a sense of what will visually work.

I made that last one while I student was standing me up for a meeting. It’s apropos.