Category Archives: Business

New Technology

I finally had to cut the cord. My old laptop just wasn’t going to make the grade when I upgraded Explorer this week; it was originally a re-furbish, so it was about six.  Ancient for a laptop and SLOW.  So knowing that it would only get worse, I trundled myself up to the computer store last weekend.  Obviously I am part of a large contingent of folks who waited until the very last minute to do something about this week’s looming deadline.

You all know that while I am fully capable to doing research if I care about something, too much time thinking about computers doesn’t fill me with elan. I went into the store, found a salesperson (so so young), told him what I use a computer for at home along with my price range.  He showed me three different computers and I chose one.  10 minutes.  I spent longer standing in line to pay for it than I did choosing it.

Now comes the hard part – learning how to negotiate the new systems and software. I remember in my Software Etc. days that software would come in big packages… several disks and a LOT of manual.  These days you get a piece of cardboard with a website and a license number.  My first thought when I opened the box and turned it on was “I am lost in space here”.  Three hours later, I am up and running.  Not proficient yet at getting around or typing on the new keyboard, but at least I’ve got security, internet and, most importantly, OverDrive (for listening to audio books)!

What’s the last book you listened to? (Or read…..)

Ohm!

Photo credit:  NASA

Twice yesterday I uttered the words “it’s why I’ll never get on the space shuttle.”

On the way to work, I stopped at SuperAmerica. Sorry, Speedway.  The cashier was struggling with the computer that runs the gas pumps, having to basically re-boot it every time somebody needed to pump their gas.  While I was waiting for her to ring me up (no gas for me), I commiserated with her and she made a derogatory remark about computers in general.  I replied “Yea, it’s why I’ll never get on the space shuttle.”

Fast forward a couple of hours and we had a “flub” (Tech’s word for it, not mine) which locked a lot of us out of our program subdirectories for about an hour. I was the one who called the helpline to document the issue so I was the one to hear the tech swear that computers would be the death of him.  As I repeated my space shuttle line, I realized that I say this often in response to somebody griping about pcs and computers in general.  Interesting that there is a need – seems to me that our society depends heavily on computers but generally doesn’t like them.  So here I am, stuck with “it’s why I’ll never get on the space shuttle” as my personal mantra.  I supposed it could be worse.

Do you have a mantra? What would you like it to be?

Inked For You

Photo credit:  Cody Black

I saw an article about the taboos of tattoos on bbc.com yesterday. We all know that tattoos are much more prevalent  – almost a fashion statement these days – among the younger generations, but there is still a lingering social taboo against them.  Apparently it is legal in the US (and the UK) for companies to have a “no tattoo” policy.  Never occurred to me that a company would even have such a policy, much less that it would be legal!

YA has a few piercings and two tattoos. I’m not crazy about her tattoos (some style choices, some money issues) and just a few days ago we had a discussion about still being careful about tattoos and piercings until you know the acceptance level of a possible employer.

For quite a few years, I’ve fantasized about getting tattooed myself. Small, on my wrist (toward the inside), multi-colored hibiscus flower with YA’s name, in her handwriting.  She knows about this plan and every now and then tries to encourage me.  My guess is it will probably never happen, but you never know.  I know it won’t be a problem here at my company but I might have to wait until Nonny is gone!

Knowing you could get rid of it tomorrow if you don’t like it, tell me about the tattoo you would get.

Space Discovery

Photo credit:  NASA/JPL-Caltech

For all space geeks, the news this week is that a high school student, on his third day of interning at NASA, discovered a planet. For all Star Wars geeks, it turns out that it’s not just your ordinary planet, but a very rare circumbinary planet with two suns, like Tatooine, the planet where Luke Skywalker grew up.

He made the discovered this past July at the very beginning of his internship; he and other astronomers have spent the last six months confirming the find. The planet is now called TOI 1338b and looks to be almost 7 times bigger than Earth.

Apparently not only are circumbinary planets rare, they are even rarer to find since the way that most planets are confirmed don’t work due to timing of the planet passing in front of its stars.   So this is quite an auspicious start for the high-schooler who has said that he does intend to continue his studies in astronomy and astrophysics.

If you could be known as the discoverer of something, what would it be?

No Longer Rapunzel

I am not a fashionista. Not a clothes horse.  Not stylish, chic, swanky, hip or trendy.  If I really thought I could get away with it I would probably don sweatpants and a t-shirt every day (shorts and t-shirt in summer).  Mind you, I can dress up if the occasion calls for it, but I have arranged my life over the years so that the occasion doesn’t come knocking too often.

This is a problem for YA. She is stylish, chic, swanky, hip and trendy and she cares a great deal about her clothing and her make-up.  She once changed an outfit after looking in the full length mirror (in my room) because her black top and black pants didn’t “match”.  I’m not making this up.  This means that my schlumpy outfits offend her and she has more than once refused to leave the house with me until I change.  She often has opinions about what I should wear to a function she is attending with me; she’s still young enough that she thinks other people really give a hoot and that they will somehow think less of HER if I am not dressed to the nines.

So in a weak moment on New Year’s Eve, I let her cut my hair. I hadn’t had a trim in well over a year and she had commented on this fact more than once in the last couple of weeks. I had taken a long look in the mirror earlier that day and decided that it was getting a little scraggly but I’m still not sure why I didn’t just trot myself off to Cost Cutters or Great Clips.  Instead, she armed herself with two pairs of scissors, a comb and a brush and asked how much I wanted trimmed off.  I told her a couple of inches and I’m sure that the new math has something to do with how much she trimmed.  My “couple of inches” translated into about five inches in her world!

If I had known she would chop off that much I might not have let her do it, but I guess I trusted her a little more than I should have when discussing what a “couple of inches” means. Luckily, it’s just hair and it will grow out; I’m not seriously unhappy but it is the shortest I’ve had my hair in years.

Has your trust ever been misplaced? Or stretched to its limit?

I Like What I Like

In 2019 YA and her boyfriend discovered Roti, a Mediterranean fast food place that opened in late 2018 in Edina. It’s a lot like Chipotle, where you choose your base, then your protein, then your add-ons as you go down the line.  Since I rarely go out to eat for lunch (and when I do, I never go far), I didn’t even know it existed until YA suggested that I should include Roti on the list of possible giftcards that Santa could put in her stocking.

It turns out to be fairly close to my office so I went to help Santa with his list a bit before the holidays. In getting a giftcard for YA and one for BF, I qualified for a $5 off card for myself.  Since I had to run an errand yesterday that took me close to Southdale, I decided it would be a good time to try Roti and get a good deal in the bargain.  Since I hate to stand around trying to figure out how the menu works in a new place (with impatient folks behind me), I decided to look on line before heating over.  The menu described how the process works and all the options, including a yummy looking flat bread pizza with hummus, veggies and feta cheese.  Right up my alley.

Imagine my surprise when I got to Roti and the veggie flatbread pizza wasn’t listed on the menu board. When I asked about it, a couple of employees looked at me like I had frogs crawling out of my ears.  The manager piped up and said that it had been discontinued.  Obviously not in the hour since I had seen it online, but I had a feeling that sentiment wasn’t going to get me anywhere.  Instead I did what works best in these situations; I stood there looking up silently and forlornly at the menu board.  Eventually the manager said “but we can go ahead and make one for you anyway” and proceeded to confirm what I wanted on the flatbread.  (All of the ingredients were right there, but I figured that commenting on why they would discontinue something that they clearly could easily make would not help.)

While I was waiting, it occurred to me that I have a couple of favorites at other places that have been discontinued and I still ask for them.  Jamba Juice will still make me an Orange Appeal and Davanni’s will still do their Four Cheese Hot Hoagie for me if I ask.  I assume most people just let these things go and order off the menu, but I don’t always want to try something new.  I just want what I want.

Faced with new options are you adventuresome or do you like what you like?

Politeness – Great Expectations?

Today’s post comes to us from our Ben.

I’ve been pondering this post about how our daughter sort of demands politeness. If she says “Thanks”, you better say “You’re welcome” or she’ll hound you until you do. And it makes me wonder what exactly the rules for politeness are.

“Here’s your breakfast”
“Thanks”
“You’re welcome”

Is different from

“Have a good day”
“Thanks”

Except in our case it would be like this:

Me: “Have a good day”
Her: “Thanks”
….
Her: “I said Thanks!”
Me: “You’re Welcome!”

Just one of her little quirks.

Her: “I like this movie.”
Me: “Ah”.
Her: “…I said I like this movie.”
Me: “I know. I heard you.”

Her: Mumble mumble mumble then very softly “I said I like this movie. I don’t know why he won’t answer” mumble mumble mumble.”

Me: “Stop picking at that.”
[keeps picking]
Me: “I said stop picking at that.”
Her: “OK” [keeps picking]
Me: “Hey! Stop picking”
Her: “But it’s bothering me.” [still picking]
Me: “I know, but you have to stop picking or it’s going to get worse.”
Her: Still picking “But it’s bothering me!”
Me: “I know. But you have t—”
Her: “OK FINE!!” [storms off to room.]
OK, that’s just teenager attitude, I get that.

She’ll apologize a lot for things that don’t necessarily need an apology. That’s OK, but she’s fussy about the response to that too. Just this morning I said she shouldn’t stack glasses together in the sink. She just didn’t know that, so I told her. She said “Sorry”. I said “Yep”. She says, “I said I’m sorry”. “I know, I heard you; you didn’t know so I’m telling you. You don’t have to say ‘sorry’.”

I think she expects us to say, “You’re forgiven” to every “Sorry”.

Do I have to? Is that expected?

The rules of grammar etiquette are hard. And sometimes I just don’t want too. And sometimes I don’t know she wants from me.

Worst Business Grammar you’ve heard?