Monday, July 31, 2006

It's hahda than it looks

If I went for a run today in Back Bay near B.U. and had clam chowder and crab cakes for dinner, can you guess the name of the baseball park I'll be at tomorrow?

If yeh need a refresha, here's how they talk heah:

Bizah - odd
Flahwiz - roses, etc.
Hahpahst - minutes after the hour
Hahwahya? - how are you?
Khakis - what we staht the cah with
Pissah - superb
Retahded - silly
Shewah - of course
Wikkid - extremely
Yiz - you, plural
Popcahn - popular snack
Review mirra - so you can look at what you just passed, naturally

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Sure, but the 401(K) still sucks

I started excercising a few times a week about 3 months ago. Recently I upped it to running 3-4 miles at a time. Anyway, I've been listening to the unabridged Harry Potter series for every minute of excercise in these 3 months and according to my calculations I have now logged just over 40 hours of footwork. It's not tons, but it's like a week of work, well in my case 2 weeks of work. Maybe 3.

So to keep my head in it and steam right on past this milestone I'm creating my own personal marketing campaign on that theme. Some options:

1. Running is a part time job. At least it's not Burger King drive-thru.

2. Running is a part time job. Or training for the guy with no shirt on COPS.

3. Running is a part time job. You can't be fired; you can only quit. (Definite inspirational poster material)

4. Running is a part time job. No promotions, no vacation, no feeling in your legs!

...And put on your best Up With People face for my personal favorite...

5. Running is a part time job. The pay is terrible but the benefits are great!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Right to the bottom line

Lemonade Stand Economics 101

Stopped at a corner lemonade stand this afternoon for some delicious refreshment. The beverage was tasty, if a little warm (needed ice), the service was polite and prompt, but the price seemed maybe a little high for a less-than-premium product. 50 cents a glass (in a big plastic cup and not filled all the way) is the going rate nowadays.

Now we all know that in a fair market, supply and demand regulate cost at what the market will bear. Further, inflation and rising labor costs contribute in equal but different ways to the rising price of commodities, including, in lesser part, the raw ingredients of lemonade. Oil prices have skyrocketed per barrel leading directly to rising costs of petroleum products including plastic cups. Assuming the real estate has been procured for the lemonade stand and the raw ingredients are already factored out of net revenue, and the lack of competition in the area, this lemonade stand can project some pretty healthy profits. I only wonder, had they opted for a more enviro-friendly serving choice, maybe smaller biodegradable paper cups, that they would have

A) reduced the labor needed to remove the trash from the stand, thereby reducing overhead

B) increased the customer experience by giving them a full cup while still serving the same amount of product, and

C) increased sales by attracting new environmentally sensitive customers.

I think I'll take what I know about their practices, set up across the street and put 'em out of business. It's a tough world out there and business is business.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Do you know which way counter-clockwise is?

Thursday night we went out for some awesome Italian on Coronado Island, in San Diego bay. My choice:

Linguine Mare Chiaro - Thin flat pasta with clams, mussels, prawns and scallops; seasoned with tomatoes, crushed red pepper, garlic and trebbiano wine.

Yeah, just as good as it sounds. After dinner, we started to talk about the famous Hotel del Coronado located on the other side of the island. It's big, it's old, it wouldn't stand a chance against a match and some kerosene... And it's within walking distance, according to the valet guy.

valet guy (vă-lā' gī) n.
1. An employee, as in a hotel or on a ship, who performs personal services for guests or passengers.
2. A generally underpaid college student who fucks with tourists for fun and then tells his friends how he got 5 idiots to walk ALL THE WAY ACROSS the island to that dumb hotel.

So off we go, into the dark night, to walk to the big hotel, just a short walk away - it's just like a mile away, he said. Right - the half of an hour later we're still walking, mildly annoyed, and I gotta pee. So with the hotel still 11 blocks away (we called and they laughed at us), I dash across the street to a coffee shop to use the facilities. Two guys sat outside, either customers or employees, and tell me that they are closing soon, but yeah there's a bathroom I can use, no problem. The following is an account of what happened:

Me: Knocking on the bar as I walk in, "Hi, are you still open?"

The guy: Counting out his cash drawer, "No, close at 10."

Me: Since it's 9:50 and the neon OPEN sign is still on, "Oh sorry, do you have a restroom I can use?"

The guy: Pointing to unisex bathroom, "Sure, it's right there."

Me: "Thanks." I go in, pull the door closed and - this is important - turn the lock. I pee, I wash, I leave. Or so I think. I turn the lock back counter-clockwise, the opposite way from locking it, grasp the door handle and, turning it, push to open the door. The door does not open at this time. The handle merely turns loosely in my hand. So I keep turning the handle, waiting for it to catch, but it doesn't. I push again. Nothing. I turn the handle the other way, now starting to angle it, trying to get it to catch the mechanism inside, the whole process making a little more noise now. After about 20 - 30 seconds of fiddling I hear the guy outside.

The guy: Already bothered, "Turn it counter-clockwise."

Me: Turning the knob back counter-clockwise, "OK."

The guy: Very bothered, "Turn it counter-clockwise."

Me: Still turning, "It just spins. It's not doing anything."

The guy: Becoming agitated, "No. The lock. Turn it counter-clockwise."

Me: Oh, the lock. I grab the lock, which is already turned counter-clockwise (unlocked), and turn. It doesn't turn. I say, "It doesn't turn."

The guy: Indeed agitated, "Turn THE LOCK counter-clockwise. Do not push on the door."

Me: Wondering why I shouldn't push an outward-swinging door to open it, twisting harder now, not moving the lock, not pushing on the door, "It's not turning."

The guy: Angry, "Do not push on the door. DO YOU KNOW WHICH WAY COUNTER-CLOCKWISE IS???"

Me: Not-so-much-amused anymore, "Yeah, I know which way counter-clockwise is." Resisting the urge to quote lefty-loosey, righty-tighty, turning so hard I have red dents in my fingers.

The guy: Very angry, "DO NOT PUSH ON THE DOOR."

Me: Now pulling on the useless door knob and the tiny lock itself to somehow reverse my stupid pushing of the door. At the same time the guy, my nemesis, pushes on the door from the other side to releasing it from whatever lock-turn preventive position it was in. I grab and turn the lock (counter-clockwise) one last sliver of an inch, it clicks open, the door swings and I am free.

The guy: Angry, disgusted, oozing sarcasm, "There you go."

Me: Without so much as another word or backwards glance, I walk swiftly to the door and out into the night. Behind me I hear the unashamed laughter of the two guys sitting in front. They had heard the whole thing, and I don't think this was the first time it had happened.

20 minutes later we were on the other side of the island checking out the hotel, the beach. It was a pretty cool place and it did make the long walk and ordeal worthwhile. The breeze blew in from the ocean, the flags around the courtyard flowed and dipped, and a silver wind gauge spun...counter-clockwise.

The week in retrospect

Well, well, a hell of a 4th of July weekend! I'm sure that Tuesday is the best day of the week the holiday could fall on, giving most of us the four-day weekend and the build up to the big day. Only the tiniest gripe was that I had to fly out for work on Tuesday. Yes, only slightly, as I was headed to San Diego for the week - not so shabby. Tuesday was actually really cool, hung out with a co-worker, did some beach, did some sushi... Good times.

Also, to my surprise, I kept up with the running all week. The goal was to run in a 5K on Friday that coincided with the trade show, the 5K being the inspiration that got me started a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, we didn't officially run in the 5K, amid registration errors and erroneous doping charges, so no lousy t-shirt... but a jog by the bay beats a jog around the neighborhood any day.

So it was a good week - good food, good scenery, fun with the Canadians.