Friday, March 27, 2009

Fun With Signs

Senator Ted Kennedy, when delivering the eulogy for his brother Bobby Kennedy cited him in this famous quote which I may or may not be quoting accurately, "Some people look at things and ask "Why?" My brother looked at things and asked "Why not?"
To paraphrase this thought in my perspective, "Some people look at things, and say "Huh?" I look at things and say, "That's funny."
My intent is not to make light of the disabled, but some people with Tourrett's Syndrome are afflicted with uncontrollable voice utterances, twitches, or both.
This salon in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho struck me as funny since someone obviously put some effort and investment into naming this salon. I think using the "La" wording was expected to create a vision of something upscale. Somehow though, the thought of sitting in a chair with my back to a person with Tourrette's syndrome who is weilding a scissors or a razor blade would seem to be a negative vision instead of a positive one, in spite of the nicely chosen font and the upscale French sounding adjective "La" It seems like the outcome might be "La Uneven Haircut" or "La Unfortunate Accident." Not necessarily the expected outcome of the marketing department. With this vision in my mind, I had to take a picture.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Seattle Not-So-Supersonic Musing

One of the website I look at frequently is I read their website and get their magazine, but having never had cable TV I've never had ESPN in my home. Maybe that will change with the advent of digital TV since the reception in my area is unstable for all but two channels. On ESPN's website, I enjoy reading Bill Simmons, aka "The Sports Guy." Periodically he does what he calls a "Mailbag" column. I've been a Sonics fan...when there actually was a team called the Seattle Supersonics, and I came across this question and answer that I had never heard before. By the way, Bill Simmons writes extensively about he NBA and is a huge Boston Celtics fan, so I'm not questioning this anecdote:

Q: Wouldn't you say the Red Sox not getting A-Rod in 2003 was BY FAR the best non-trade of all time?-- Adam, Toronto

SG: There's a bigger one: After Seattle picked Robert Swift in the 2004 draft, the Celtics offered the Sonics the 13th pick (basically, the rights to Al Jefferson) and their 2005 No. 1 pick for Swift's rights … and Seattle said no. Three years later, the Celts turned Jefferson, the 2005 pick and other stuff into Kevin Garnett and a 17th title. So that's right up there. I mean, have you SEEN Robert Swift? My buddy House called me last week just to ask me that question, and he asked it exactly like that: I answered, there was a pause, and he said, "I mean, have you SEEN Robert Swift?" Who knows -- maybe the Sox win with A-Roid, er, A-Rod. But there's no way the Celtics get Kevin Garnett for a package headlined by Robert Swift. None.

You may have heard of Kevin Garnett, one of the best 7' centers in the NBA. You may not have heard of Robert Swift, who was drafted out of high school, and has been a victim of the three "I's": Injury, Incompetence, and Ink. The photo shows is a before and after, of what an injured millionaire can do with his spare time. Makes you wonder what other millionaires have tattooed on their arms. What ever it is, probably not as Louvre-quality as Robert's body.

In the third year of a $5Million-plus contract, Robert has played 284 minutes of NBA basketball in the first half of the season, which works out to $882,240 for a half season, and $186,388 per hour of NBA playing time. I wouldn not be surprised if at the end of this season Robert gets laid off. Hopefully he'll have enough money in the bank to do his patriotic duty and stimulate the the tattoo parlor! What a great country!

Global Warming?

An Inconvenient Window Scraping

March is the traditional month for weather swings i.e. "March comes in like a lion, goes out like a lamb." This weekend we had lion-like weather: a snow storm, but it was lamb-like in that it gently fell and covered everything in the color of wool.

Are we experiencing "Global Warming?" Maybe yes, maybe no. Scientists are passionate on either side. As for ths non-scientist's opinion, I think we are just experiencing the swings of nature. The first thermometer of any kind was invented by Galilleo in 1593, and the first mercury thermometer was invented in 1714. So there's been a whole lot more warmings and coolings experienced that we have not recorded in the history of life on this planet, so we don't have a very lengthy data base. Besides whatever efforts we make in reducing global warming in the US are offset by the China and Brazil and third world countries where regulations are minimal compared to the U.S.

Anyway, I thought this photo was fun, being so late in the year.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Is It, or Isn't It

OK, I'm an accountant. There is a stereotype that goes with accountants, and I've been told I don't fit the mold. Maybe that's why I'm not the CFO of a company or something. At any rate, I work on a floor with about 40 other degreed accountant, and many of them do fit the stereotype. I was far from the class clown in high school, but on the bell curve of accountants in my department, I'm the class clown.

Last month the maintenance people at work installed a square thing in the ceiling. It looked kind of like a square smoke detector, about 9" x 9". We weren't sure what it was, but it's probably a wireless internet router, but as of right now, we don't have a wireless internet network. It was the only one of it's kind on our side of the building. Probably installed for some future use.

With the economy tightening up, we've had two staff members laid off which sprinkled a little tension among some of the staff, and the CEO sent an email saying that he was bringing in a consulting firm to evaluate our efficiencies in our building. Most interpreted that to mean that they might be bringing the axe with them to lop off more staff. There has been a gallows humor approach by some, and we were joking that the square thing install was actually a microphone or even contained a small camera.

That thought was discussed yesterday, since the consultants were in our department talking to some of our managers the day before. When Ron Bloom and Brent Armstrong left for lunch (both a couple of guys who understand my sense of humor) I went to work and created a little black camera out of paper and taped it to the square thing in the ceiling. I labeled it the "Bloom Cam" and aimed it towards Ron's cubicle and others around it.

I was curious how long it would take anyone to notice. Well that was yesterday and today people were still talking about it. At first glance, a number of people actually thought it was a real camera actually monitoring people at work. There has been a little bit of edge with some people, knowing that the consultants were in the building. Others, after looking at it, immediately accused me of putting it on the ceiling. I just said, "What makes you think it was me? My name's not on the camera. Talk to Ron."

I was pleased that it got a lot of laughs, and amused at the reaction. I got the blame because, well, some days I feel like I am the ONLY source of humor on our floor. Well, whaddyagonna do? Now I have to think of my next trick.