Dave Barry's Blog
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Best … Christmas … EVAR!
Since I have only recently become married, this makes the first Holiday season with my wife. Not only that, but I have never really had a “significant other” during this time of year. And although I always thought my Holliday’s were a wonderful time of year for me, I had never had anything very different to compare it to.
Going through this Holiday season has been so much better than any previous experience that I am having troubles comparing the 2. I guess it would be like only ever having eaten Chips A’Hoy cookies for your whole life, and then suddenly being offered fresh from the oven Chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, and a plethora of other cookies.
Life is so much better when you have someone special to share it with.
posted by Jason 2:47 PM |
Monday, November 15, 2004
Left Foot first?
Do you have a set habitual way to do certain things? You know there are better ways, but you still do it the same way you always have because maybe you think it is better, or you just are to lazy to change? Well I have a lot of those things. Being married, I am realizing how many things I have always done my way without questioning it. A couple relevant examples:
I always bought X brand sliced bread. Why? I have no idea, but if you asked me to pick a different type, I would probably stare at you with the same blank look I gave my wife a few weeks ago when she suggested a change. I think the exact thought running through my head as a response was “uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh………” (Although it was probably longer than that.)
If I need something from the grocery store I will go get it. That may mean I make 3 to 7 trips to the store in a week, but also means I don’t have to plan ahead.
So yesterday I needed something to make dinner, and I told my wife I was going to go get it from the store. She said well we have to get a bunch of other stuff too, so do you just want to go get it all right now. Well I had already planned on going just to get the 1 thing I needed, so I stuck to my plan. Off I went to get my 1 thing I needed for dinner.
So when I got home with my 1 thing, in a record amount of time, I was pretty happy with my decision to have gone, despite my wife’s suggestion that we get other stuff too. Well that was short lived. I had forgotten a different ingredient that was needed for my dinner. Had I taken my wife’s advice and looked through everything and made a list and gone to get everything at once, I would have had everything I needed, but no, I had to stick to my old habit, and now was faced with the need to go to the store again, within 15 minutes.
When someone comes up to you and says that there was a better way of doing something it is always easy to pass that off as hindsight and continue on your merry way, but when the realization slaps you in the face within 3 minutes of making that choice it is hard to ignore.
So what other things do I do in habit that I should consider alternatives to? . . . . . . . I always put my right shoe on first; I wonder what the advantages to the “left first” school of thought would be?
posted by Jason 3:29 PM |
Monday, November 08, 2004
In a recent trip to the grocery store, I had a very interesting experience that got me thinking. First I went to purchase some things and on my way out to the car, I got a call from my wife, and she needed me to go back in and pick up some soup that she needed to prepare dinner for the night. So I turned around and went back in to get the soup. $.98 for my entire purchase.
Picture this, I am standing in the express lane with A can of soup, and a dollar (In Oregon we have no sales tax). The nice lady behind the register takes my can of soup, and scans it. Then sets it on the counter behind her, and as far away from me as she can get it. Then she takes my dollar.
Now I hate pennies, and although that is a discussion for another time, I would have left the 2 pennies of change had I had the opportunity.
But she had set my soup so far away that I couldn’t really get to it in the position I was at, so I ended up getting my change. I said thank you and slid down the isle to better reach my soup, now I was kind of annoyed that the lady didn’t just hand my 1 can of soup back to me right away, but I was willing to let that slide with no further thought. Until her next move.
As far as I can tell, she was getting ready to help the next person in line, so she wanted to make sure that she had enough space on the counter behind her that she could stack the next person’s products in a clean space. Apparently I hadn’t moved quite fast enough removing my soup from her counter (Which I think was literally 3 seconds) that she felt it was in the way. So she moved it. I was already reaching for it, and she picked it up, and moved it about 5 feet down the counter and again as far from my side of the isle as she could get it, all without even so much as looking at me. So I slid down the isle and giving her an annoyed look (which she didn’t see) I picked up my 1 can of soup and left.
I know this story has gotten a little long and the payoff so far hasn’t really been worth it, but this whole issue got me thinking a little. Not so much about how rude the lady was for moving my soup, but more for how I had my little defined time of existence in her world as it related to her job. As soon as that time was over, I was erased from that world, no-longer to be paid attention to, or given extra brain cycles of consideration for. Not that I hold this against her personally, but more of a direction we as a whole of society are moving.
It wasn’t that she was trying to be rude to me, but more the fact that I no longer existed in her world of stimuli. On the other hand my soup did exist in the fact that it was in her way and preventing her from continuing on with her defined tasks. So she moved it, no-longer associating the soup to the purchaser, but dealing with the soup as a single point of focus.
Has the interaction of people deteriorated to the point of only interacting with people when they directly interfere with our pre-defined world of existence? Or has this always been the case and my perception has changed due to a change in lifestyle and/or age?
Have I become one of those old people that thinks of the “Glory Days” of my youth where everything was utopian, and today’s state of affairs is terrible, but in reality nothing has really changed but my mental projection of the world in which I reside?
posted by Jason 2:01 PM |
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Sorry to all of you who have been regularly visiting to see if I have made updates. My life became a little hectic for a while with getting married and all that sort of stuff. I almost decided to bag the whole blog thing a few times during my away time, but decided it wouldn’t hurt to continue to have a grave site on the web that was mine.
But now my life has calmed a bit and I would like to get back to writing here daily. I think doing so perked me up a bit, and I hope the comments make you laugh a few times too.
So welcome back to the site for all those still sticking around, I hope you enjoy the revised me (now that I am married, my view on things may have changed a bit.)
posted by Jason 3:06 PM |
Friday, August 20, 2004
So I am browsing around CNN.com today and there are banner ads on the page. This is normal. I have seen all kinds of ads of all different shapes sizes and content. But most of the times these things are recognizable as something. I have seen boxing kangaroos, flying saucers, Trees, falling Money, and all sorts of other things. But this one I am not so sure about:
It was for mortgage rates, and these apples with “rates” on them supposedly “falling” from the top of the picture, and just before they would fall this large yellow thing would convulse and gyrate until all the “rates” had fallen.
Is it a sex toy? Maybe a large deformed yellow apple tree? I think (and this is really a stretch) that they where going for a banana wearing a fruit hat like the old commercials with the chakita (sp?) banana woman, and the apples are falling from her hat, but is that really what you see? What marketing genius came up with this gyrating sexually suggestive yellow blob wearing a skirt? Whoever it was should be placed in that skirt, and stuck in an internet video like the Star Wars kid!
posted by Jason 11:53 AM |
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
Ok so Taco Bell is running this new promotion for Mountain Dew, and they have an “Exclusive” flavor of Mt Dew to serve to us regular Taco Bell goers. Well me being an avid Dew drinker (Everyday) I thought I would give this latest flavor a try. I have tried the other Dew flavors and here is my Rundown assuming Regular Mt Dew is Grade A:
Code Red – Interesting, but don’t really like. Tastes like they added Fruit Punch to Mt Dew and then upped the Caffeine to make up for the difference. Overall Grade C
Live Wire – I actually really like this flavor of Dew. It reminds me of carbonated Tang. It makes for a good soda to drink right out of Bed. (If your into that sort of thing.) Overall Grade B+
New Flavor “Baja Blast” – I don’t like this one. It tasted like a liquid Green Spree Candy. You know those little round candies sold in rolls as “Sweet and Tangy” or something like that. Well this tastes just like they meant to make a green one but it never solidified. Way too over powering for a soda, and way too sweet. Overall Grade D
Along this topic though, Does Pepsi really gain any customers by offering these odd flavor versions of their Mt Dew Line? Of all the people I know only those that drink Dew on a regular basis ever really even try the new flavors. And in my mind there isn’t really a competitor with similar flavors out there that they might be trying to lure, except for maybe Orange Crush Soda drinkers, but really how many of those people are out there?
posted by Jason 4:05 PM |
Thursday, July 29, 2004
Las Vegas or Bust!
Tonight I leave for a drive to Las Vegas. I am leaving at 10:00 at night and embarking on a 12 hour drive. I am leaving late at night, so that I can drive while that Blazing Hot sun is on the other side of the planet. It has regularly been 99 degrees or above around here, and I don’t really want to drive in that through the Nevada desert.
I am going on the drive with my fiancé and I hope we still love each other by the time we get back. This will be the first 12 hour drive with just the 2 of us we have ever done, although I am not sure how many 12 hour drives are required to pass the prerequisites to getting married. Hopefully it is only one.
Of course to stay awake while driving we have all kinds of caffeinated beverages, so I am pretty sure we will be stopping roughly every 50’ to go pee. So our 12 hour trip will be 12 hours of actual driving, separated by 15 hours of potty breaks. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that it will be Guinevere requiring all those stops, but between us both I think there will be quite a few.
posted by Jason 1:15 PM |
Monday, July 26, 2004
Stir that Bees Nest
Have you ever had the desire to throw a rock at a Bees Hive and run away just to watch the confused bees swarm around? Or is that just me?
Anyway I inadvertently did a similar thing in my company today, and when looked at from the outside it appears as though I ran into the sales department stirred up all kinds of controversy and then ran away laughing.
That isn’t exactly what happened and I had fully intended from the start to see the thing through but, ok, I will admit that maybe I shouldn’t have started laughing as I was walking away from the issue. That incident aside though, I think I was justified in my intent, I was just not prepared for the hailstorm of emotion that I was about to stir up. And once it got to that point I couldn’t come up with a better option than retreat, well at least not a better option that wouldn’t send me to jail.
Now I am silently waiting for the department to collectively calm down, and then I might build up the courage to go attempt to get my answer from them. Of course it might just be like throwing pebbles at an already angry animal.
posted by Jason 2:44 PM |
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
The Destruction has Begun
So I haven’t updated in a little while. Well my life has been a little busy and I didn’t have the time, but an interesting situation occurred a week or so ago that I wanted to post.
So I am engaged to this beautiful and kind woman, and she is so kind that she allowed me to borrow her car while mine was in the shop getting new brakes put on. Wasn’t that nice of her? I thought it was so nice that I figured I would repay the kindness by breaking her engine. That’s right the morning I drove her car to work I seized the engine! Locked it up tight, and it just wouldn’t start again. After towing the car all over town (a different story) we finally are having the engine replaced completely, and she still doesn’t have her car back.
So for borrowing her car for 1 day, I have kept it from her for more than a week, and cost her a lot of money. Don’t I feel like a Jack Ass!
posted by Jason 4:16 PM |
Monday, May 24, 2004
King of the house
Guinevere and I decided it was time to make another attempt at getting her cat, and my dog to get along. We thought this would be a better time to have them introduced then just after we get married. The last time they met the house was hit by an indiscriminant tornado, lives were lost and casualties were high. A TV was almost lost as well.
So we tried to be a little more studious in the attempt this time, and we took the cat to my house, and then let the 70 Lb dog in. There was some hissing and some growling sound that I never would have guessed was coming from the cat, but other than verbal interactions from the cat, the meeting went decently to start with.
After a couple of hours the cat started to warm up to the house and started exploring the immediate room, then stopped under the coffee table. The dog came in on one of his regular premises patrols and found the cat on the floor. This more than bothered him since the cat was once again making all kinds of noises although not running. The dog then spent the rest of the night trying to hide from the cat, by climbing on every house guest he could find, and then peering over them at the cat.
The confidence I have in my dog to protect the house on a scale of 1 to 10 has gone in to the negatives. A 70 lb dog has become the submissive animal to a 7 lb cat with no claws.
Way to protect your master there buddy!
posted by Jason 3:13 PM |
Thursday, May 20, 2004
What did I just do?
I just sent a link to my fiancé that points to this page. I wasn’t sure if I was going to tell her about this or not, and now that I have told her, I am somewhat worried about what she might learn about me.
I made a post to an Onion article a while aback about your mom finding out about your blog, and at the time I wasn’t concerned about that, well I am still not concerned about it, but I hope she enjoys it, and we will see what she has to say about what she reads. Especially since she didn’t know what a weblog was last night when I told her about it.
Since I made this post before she clicked my link, I would like to say Welcom to my fiancé, and I hope you enjoy reading the random things that cross my mind. Henceforth in this blog, you will be refered by name as Guinevere.
posted by Jason 11:45 AM |
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
I turned a year older yesterday.
Well actually I guess it was 2 days ago, see that is the first thing to go when you get older. . . . . Wait what was I talking about.....
Anyway, it was a good birthday, I got some camping stuff and a back scratcher, and declined on a loan, and a rabies shot and tested for worms, no wait the last two were actually my dog.
So I took the day off for my birthday and spent the entire day running errands, which made it not so great, but my lovely fiancé took me to dinner for a nice big steak, which pretty much made up for the earlier part of the day.
So in conclusion stay in school.
Wait that wasn’t my point.....
posted by Jason 4:52 PM |
Friday, May 14, 2004
This phenomenon has been a major inconvenience for me for the last few weeks. Some days I am highly productive in the morning, and then after lunch not so much, and then others I can’t get anything done all day. Take today for instance, I was highly productive when I got in, and was working well. Got lots of things done. Then while I was away at lunch, some motivation stealing elves or something-or-other snuck into my office and stole all of my motivation, so now I can’t seem to get anything done.
Someone needs to let me know where this goes, but my guess is it is the same place single socks go in the dryer, so I will never know. My currently working theory is that it goes to some parallel dimension where there is an entire race that converts stolen motivation into yawns and then passes them back to our dimension through some highly sophisticated random picking process.
posted by Jason 2:40 PM |
Thursday, May 13, 2004
Where did Grade School Go?
So I had a problem and I needed all of the computer users in the company to run through 3 simple steps in order to fix the problem. Now I could have run around to each computer individually, or send out the instructions for each person to follow themselves. I erroneously chose the later process.
Flashback with me now to about 4th or 5th grade when you went through the “Following Instructions” portion of Grade School. I am pretty sure all grade schools have this exact exercise that they teach their students. The creator of this exercise is now a millionaire no doubt, but he is probably rolling over in his grave at where this teaching has gone. The exercise is the one where there are 20 different instructions on the page a truncated version follows:
1. Please read all instructions and then go back and follow them step by step.
2. Write your name at the top of this page.
3. Poke three holes in the paper
4. Tear off the top-left corner of the page.
5. Light the paper on fire while hollering at the top of your lungs
20. Follow only instructions 1 and 2 on this page, and ignore all the rest.
And you only pass the exercise if you only complete the first 2 instructions. I am sure that you have done this same thing at some point in your life. Well I think everyone needs to go back through that exercise at least 1 to 2 times a year.
So anyway back to my problem, I tested different ways of writing these instructions, and sent them to 5 different people Of the 5, 1 person read the first instruction, and made it no further, due to the first instruction telling them to close the program that was displaying the instructions. So I changed my instructions, and tactics, and 3 different people followed the very last instruction before even reading the instructions. The 5th person read the first instruction and followed it but when a question popped up they didn’t know what to do, even though the third step was "Answer all questions asked by clicking ‘Yes’".
So out of 5 different people 0 of them followed 3 easy steps correctly. So I say back to grade school with all of you!
posted by Jason 4:28 PM |