Tuesday, August 07, 2018

What did I do wrong?

As I was riding my scooter home from work the other night, I stopped behind a car at a busy intersection. I didn't have to worry about the traffic yet because the car in front of me would have to pull onto the road first. As we waited, the guy (who was alone in his car) gave me the finger! Now, if it had been a fleeting gesture, I might have thought I had imagined it. But no - he gave it to me long and clear. What had I done to antagonize this guy?

Was I too close? Had I steered my scooter back forth and shined my headlight in a threatening manner? I couldn't imagine what I had done. He was pretty far ahead of me and I know I had not cut in front of him unless it had happened earlier in the trip. Was he at the last intersection with the red light? Had I crowded him there? Did I remind him of someone he had an argument with or did we have an argument in the past? I didn't recognize his car. I couldn't see him clearly in the rear view mirror but from what I could see, I didn't recognize him.

Should I ride up beside him and ask him what the problem was? Should I be mad or apologetic? Should I say anything at all? He might have a gun or know powerful people or open his door fast and hit me with it.

All of this flashed through my mind in a few seconds and then I noticed something (as he continued to give me the finger) - his sun roof was moving. He was just adjusting his sunroof with the control on on the roof and he was using his finger to push the buttons. Of course!

So, to answer the question in the subject of this post - What I had done wrong was to jump to conclusions. And this was a good reminder to me to think before I act. I may have made him laugh if I had confronted him. Or I could have started something terrible.

The picture here is not from that day but it might help you imagine what I saw and what I thought I saw. Think about what this would look like from behind and not being able to see it clearly from about 15 feet away.

Friday, May 18, 2018

A goofy thought

I need to be writing more here but maybe not more of what I'm about to write.

As I was sitting in the bathroom just now, I realized that my underwear was on inside out. But then I though, "Maybe that's the way it should be." With men's underwear, the outside is smoother with the seams on the inside. Who cares if your underwear looks nice on the outside? The only people seeing your underwear are your mother and your spouse! What underwear needs to be is comfortable. And putting the seams on the outside does that.

I can't believe we advanced as a civilization without realizing this before.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Good weather - finally?

I've probably said this before but here goes, "This has been the worst spring I can remember." I've hardly ridden my scooter so far this year because it has either been too cold, too wet, too icy or snowy. Yes, it is always variable this time of year but I don't think it has ever been so consistently crappy as this year. Not only for riding my scooter but for walking and for getting work done in the yard.

On March 14, a very large tree fell in our yard during one of the many storms we've had this year and I still haven't finished chopping it up. I will try to remember to take a more recent picture to show my (slow) progress. We were very fortunate that it did no damage to the house. It fell at just the right angle.

Anyway - today is more spring-like. It was 48 (degrees Fahrenheit) this morning and may get up near 60 this afternoon! I rode my scooter in for about the sixth time this year (since January 1, 2018). But bad weather is coming again this week-end. So it's not really over yet.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

30,000 miles

On the way into work today, I passed 30,000 miles on my scooter's odometer. The picture on the right shows it. I wasn't quite able to pull off the road at the exact time (hence, the tenths of a mile number is half-way to 1). I ended up down the road from where it really happened which was in front of someone's driveway. I didn't want them to think I was stopping in for a visit.

The lower picture shows where I was when it happened. Not that anyone cares about that. It's just down the road from a cranberry bog I've shown before when they were harvesting in the fall. You can click on the picture to expand it but it won't mean anything to you. Nothing interesting was going on there this morning - except that some weird guy stopped his scooter to take a picture of the dashboard for his blog post.

Since I seem to be putting 4,000 miles a year on my scooter, I could hit 50,000 miles within five years. We'll see.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Winter Olympics? Summer Olympics? It's all mixed up!

The 2018 Winter Olympics finished in February. I've always been confused by the sports included in the two types of Olympics. Basketball, wrestling, boxing, gymnastics and many other indoor sports are really winter sports. Even volleyball (but not beach volleyball!) is normally played in the winter months. It seems like they should be in the Winter Olympics. A lot of people would complain but if major league sports teams can be moved from one conference or league to another (Astros from the National League to the American League, Seahawks from NFC to AFC then back to NFC), why couln't Olympic sports be moved?

Maybe it would be easier to just rename the Winter Olympics to be the Snow and Ice Olympics. Then, maybe, the Summer Olympics could be called just The Olympics with the Snow and Ice Olympics being a special case of the Olympics.

I know it will never happen but that doesn't mean I'm not right :-)

Monday, February 26, 2018

If you want to remember things better

I just read a fascinating article on the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) website about how we can increase our ability to remember things. It's not some supplement you take or drug you have to use. It's not a vitamin or a course of study you have to take. It's simply to rest. Yes, my favorite activity! Rest!

Here is the link to the article. Read it for yourself. It is very encouraging. I'm not sure this technique is useful in every situation. For instance, I am terrible at remembering people's names when I first meet them. I can't imagine being introduced to someone at a party or other gathering and then immediately finding a quiet place with no distractions, sitting down, closing my eyes and relaxing. That would be a little awkward.

Friday, February 23, 2018

A short story

This happened about 30 years ago. Wow. That's when I first started working for this company. Where does the time go?

I had just started working for this company and was trying to fit in. I took on every challenge that was handed to me and tried new things. Since this company produced a number of different computer boards and other electronic devices for sale, I made a point of getting familiar with each of them. Since it was a small company, we all did a little technical support, answering customer questions and even cleaning up around the office. I made an attempt to always be the first person to arrive in the morning and one of the last to leave. And there was a company coffee maker where we all took turns making a new pot when the supply was low.

At some point, I thought the coffee tasted a little off so I decided to clean the coffee maker before everyone came in that day. I was used to doing that. You just pour some vinegar in and run it through the brew cycle. Then you use plain water to wash out the vinegar. No problem. Except this coffee maker was a Bunn-O-Matic. They have a reservoir of hot water (I think it must hold four or five pots worth of water) so that there is no waiting for the brewing to start. There is always hot water available and new water just fills up the reservoir for the next time. So, when I ran the vinegar through the system, it was diluted by the large amount of water already in the reservoir. Plus, running it through the brew cycle only ran a diluted vinegar solution through the machine. Not only did it not really clean the coffee maker, there was still vinegar in the system. For quite a while. I remember running the machine through at least four cycles and I could still smell the vinegar. I didn't even try brewing coffee because with the overwhelming vinegar smell, I knew it was no use. I think I ran a few more cycles and it finally didn't smell anymore so I brewed a pot of coffee. It tasted terrible. I was going to have to dump out all the water in the reservoir and start over.

I couldn't find a drain so I had to tip the whole coffee maker on its side by the sink. I remember not being able to get it all out until I tipped the bottom up very high. When I did that, a tube that directed the hot water from the reservoir to the coffee basket fell out. It took me quite a while to find out how that fit together and when I finally figured it out and put it back in, I poured in more water and started a brew cycle (without coffee at first). But it leaked! There had been a seal around the pipe that fell out and I had either damaged the seal or put it in the wrong place. I tried re-seating it and that didn't work. I tried making a new seal with epoxy sealant and that stunk up the place and made the coffee smell bad.

Finally, someone else from the company figured out how the seal should be seated and it all worked. I think it took most of the day. And I never cleaned the coffee maker again. But at least they didn't fire me. I'm still here.