Posts from August 2013
posted Aug 31 2013 12:28AM
Have a happy and safe Labor Day!
posted Aug 27 2013 10:14PM
Like many people, when removed from my usual routine, I become dazed and easily confused. While it's been nice covering AJ's shift and interacting with some parts of our audience I don't usually have the chance to, it's also good to be back in my regular timeslot. To those who welcomed me in the afternoon, my thanks. It felt good to have such a warm reception. And to those who welcomed me back to the night shift, my thanks to you as well. I appreciate it.
I like working nights. I'm just naturally suited to it. And as I said, it's fun covering the odd shift here and there. Keeps things interesting. I've become something akin to a utility infielder around here because I'm called upon to cover for just about everyone else and have done so many times. I find it challenging and it's good to have a job that challenges you.
That said, it's nice to be back to normal. As normal as it gets around here, anyway. Cheers.
posted Aug 23 2013 2:49PM
Time management is thought by some to be a lost art. In years past it's been said that punctuality is the most important part of making a good first impression. I disagree; I think it's all about accessorizing, but I digress.
[WARNING: this post is about to morph into another one of my rants about the stranglehold technology holds on modern society, so if you're not into that, skip to the last paragraph, which is positive, upbeat, and cheery.]
These days, with smartphones having become ubiquitous, it's pretty easy to keep in touch with others. Some find this to be a good thing, others not so much. As usual, I'm on the fence.
I rely on my phone to keep me on time, for the most part. It's got an alarm, it's got a calendar, I can set an appointment on it to remind me of where I have to be and when. This is, for the most part, a benefit. Of course, when something goes wrong, problems can quickly arise.
For example, let's say you plug your phone in overnight to recharge. And let's say your phone, being broken, defective, or some combination of the two, fails to recharge. The battery goes dead, and instead of a multimedia communication device, you've got a paperweight worth hundreds of dollars. I have experienced this phenomenon more than once. Then you get the thing plugged in and get some juice into it, only to discover you've got three missed calls leading to two angry voicemails, seven text messages asking where you are in increasingly agitated tones (which are not easy to convey by text, so kudos to anyone who can do it effectively), and 10 missed reminders of everything you failed to do that day as you sit there still dazed and confused in the midmorning sunlight.
To avoid this I went out and purchased an alarm clock. Not one of those old school deals with the bells and the winder, but a simple electronic tool that tells the time and dispenses alarms. It has not failed me yet, other than that one time when the power went out, but that's kind of out of my control, you know? And my clock has a battery backup, so when the power does go out it continues to work, at least for a while. And it lights up blue at the press of a button, which I think is kind of cool.
My point is, as always: be wary of overreliance on your phone. It's easy to do, and most of us have been guilty of it at some point. But I find it helps to remember that humans survived without smartphones for thousands of years. It is possible. One thing I recommend that may be helpful is to have backups. My alarm clock is one example. Oh, did I mention I can also dock my iPod on it? So yeah that's cool too. I also have a datebook, which I use for big important stuff. I'll set that reminder on the phone, then jot a quick note in the book. It never hurts to have a little redundancy. Also, it never hurts to have a little redundancy.
OK, rant over. As I write this, it's early Friday afternoon. The weekend stretches ahead, and I hope you have a great one. Cheers.
posted Aug 21 2013 7:24PM
Something here in the office doesn't agree with me. I'm sitting here sneezing my brains out. And I'm forced to blow my nose with a Sheetz napkin because nobody has a box of kleenex I can swipe a tissue from. Sure, I could bring one in, and I'd like to, but I know myself too well. I'll never remember to buy one next time I'm at the store. Or maybe I will, now that I've mentioned it.
So I'm filling in for AJ the rest of the week, and while I enjoy the change of pace, it is a bit jarring to be out of my regular schedule. And on top of that, I'm having tremendous difficulty typing. I keep hitting the wrong keys. If I were writing this on a typewriter, it would be completely illegible.
Keep your head up, stay positive, and smile. Cheers.
posted Aug 15 2013 6:07PM
So what's with the weather lately? The last couple of days it's been like late fall, which would be fine, except that it's still August. It should be sweltering out there! Dog days and all that!
Actually I'm not really complaining. The way I see it, if I can go outside in short sleeves, I'm cool. This leaves a wide range of temperatures, and that's the whole point. I really don't have a season I can't stand. I don't even mind the winter. I do hate snow, but that's a whole other rant. The cold doesn't bother me. I believe in being prepared, so during the winter I dress in layers, I carry a skullcap to swap for my baseball cap when my ears get red.
But times like this, when summer is still in full swing yet it feels like autumn, well that confuses me. And what's really annoying is when my house gets really hot, yet it's cool outside, but I can't open the window because my air conditioner is there. So I have to run the air conditioner even though it's like 55 degrees out, as was the case last night. I guess I just need more windows.
What I really need to do is stop puzzling over the weather. How pointless can you get, amirite?! Cheers.
posted Aug 13 2013 6:54PM
WARNING: this post is about food. If you're hungry right now, I suggest you eat something before you continue. Like a cheesesteak. Have a cheesesteak, then read on.
To some degree, I think we all hold a special love for the culinary delights of our hometown. As a kid in Philadelphia, I learned at a very early age to love soft pretzels and cheesesteaks. The thing about the pretzels was that they were everywhere. There is a company that sells them wholesale and you could buy a couple dozen for ten bucks, then resell them for a quarter each and make some pretty good money. In the summer I did this frequently, and I always had money for the arcade. Actually, the fact that they went for a quarter each meant I always had a lot of quarters. A true win-win.
And then there is the cheesesteak. Of all American dishes, the cheesesteak is, in my opinion, the most quintesentially American. Some would say the cheeseburger. I say the cheeseburger wishes it was a cheesesteak. Some would say buffalo wings. I say, chicken? Really? CHICKEN? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!
No, it's got to be the cheesesteak. Obviously I'm biased. And I make no apologies about that. I'm sure most people hold similar opinions. But I mean come on. Sliced steak on a firm (not hard) roll with fried onions and cheese (I like whiz, provolone is also acceptable). You can't beat it.
And I'm sure there's something from where you grew up that you still love more than any other comfort food. Hang onto it! It's part of your identity! Cheers.
posted Aug 8 2013 6:52PM
Have you ever had a soda bottle blow up on you? That's fun. Especially if you're in a position where you can't change your clothes. So you have to walK around all sticky. Yeah, just a total blast. I'm being sarcastic, of coursE.
I left a bottle of soda in my car. It sat in there for a couple of hours in the summer sun. Finally, overtaken by thirst, I reached for it. Bad idea. As soon as I twisted the cap, the contents of the bottle began to spray alL over me. In seconds I was covered from head to toe in tacky liquid, a situation I was unable to remedy for some time.
Apparently it was some kind of chemicaL reaction between the carbonation and the temperature or something. I don't know. I'm not a chemist. All I know is that it was verY uncomfortable, and not an experience I'm keen on repeating.
posted Aug 6 2013 5:50PM
On Sunday I was waiting in line at the approach to the toll plaza at the Fort McHenry Tunnel when my radiator cracked. Steam began to pour out of my hood and the temperature needle shot into the red. I got through the toll and into the tunnel. I turned on my heater and cranked it up. The temp gauge began to go down. I relaxed a little. Then the needle began inching upwards again.
Once out of the tunnel I got off at the first exit and found myself at a shopping center called McHenry Row. I found a grocery story and purchased a jug of coolant. I poured it into the coolant reservoir, which was bone dry. I let the engine cool off for about a half hour, then started it up again. Everything seemed normal at first, then the steam and high temp again. I parked the car again and opened the hood. There was a four inch crack in the top of the radiator.
I called a tow truck. The driver couldn't figure out where I was because the shopping center didn't appear on his GPS. Eventually he got there and took my car and me to a shop, where they told me they could do the repairs but not until the next day.
The next day I went back to the shop and waited outside on the curb because they were replacing the ceiling tiles in the waiting room. Eventually they called me. I paid them. I picked up my car. I drove straight here and went right on the air.
What's the lesson here? There is none. Cars, like all mechanical devices, are prone to wear and breakdowns. But I'll tell you something: the Ft. McHenry tunnel is a very bad place to break down. Next time I break down I hope it happens somewhere else, like maybe right outside my house. That'd be great.
posted Aug 2 2013 2:04PM
If zombies are indeed a thing, don't you think we would have seen one by now? And I'm not talking about those drug casualties. I mean honest to goodness walking dead zombies. No confirmed cases anywhere on earth. This makes me feel a lot more relaxed about the possibility of a zombie apocalypse. I mean, the odds are very remote and I for one find that deeply comforting.