Thursday, February 26, 2009

Yes, every day is Valentine's Day and ......

My thoughts seem to go haywire while flying. Must be the altitude and the energy drinks Southwest now serves. Anyway, my daughter asked me if the post "See! Red...." meant that every day was Valentine's Day. Of, course every day is Valentine's day. It's just that Hallmark doesn't tell us so.

But, I got to thinking. Maybe it would be more realistic to say that every day life fits a range---say from Valentine's Day to Halloween. You have have a hug one minute and get the "you-know-what" scared out of you the next. Or, the hug itself could be scary. The possibilities are endless.

Many places and people have Valentine's Day themes, but really, if you look behind the scenes, it's all Halloween.

That's why I now sleep with one eye open.

PS: Euromoka, a coffee kiosk at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Los Angeles serves a mean "Red-Eye" coffee. Try it, if you are there. Cheers.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

American Number System

It seems that numbers have come to mean a lot to most Americans. We evaluate ourselves and the quality of our lives with various numbers. Television and the internet pound it into us. Here are some examples:

1. Finance: What is your "credit score"?

2. Health: What is your "good" cholesterol number?

3. Health: What is your "bad" cholesterol number?

4. Happiness: What is your "sleep number"?

5. Business: What is your NPS (Net Promotor Score)?

6. Health and Happiness: How many calories is in that piece of chocolate cake? (worry, worry)

7. Happiness: How many milligrams of caffeine are in that super-charged, energy-zonking drink? (can I have two?)

8. Health: What is your "blood pressure"?

In response to question 8 (note the reference to the number), a lot higher that it should be after considering all these numbers.

Even a trip to the doctor today requires that you describe your pain with a number. As the medical technician asks you, "What is your level of pain on a scale of 1 to 10?" (Oh heck, I am a 10 today, that sleep number bed with a sleep number of 40 is killing my back.)

Let's go back a few years and imagine a time when you you either felt good or you didn't; you either paid your bills or you didn't, or you either slept good or you didn't. Too simple? Maybe not, for I think this number thing has gotten out of control.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Airport Etiquette

I learn something every time I set foot in an airport. Today, at the Salt Lake City and Las Vegas Airports, I learned the following bits of etiquette:

1. Take a seat, and then place each of your carry-on bags in their on seat. Wouldn't want the carry-on luggage to sit on the floor, now would we. Besides, the older ladies don't mind standing.

2. Take a seat, and place your feet/shoes on the seat next to you. Got to spread that bathroom "skunge" around. Now, what is that on the seat of your pants, again?

3. Spread out, sleep in 5 seats. (Get my point?)

4. Eat a cheeseburger, drop the ketchup on the floor, and then smash it with your foot, to make it invisible in the carpet. Maybe you and the dude who puts his feet in seats, should get together. Then we will know what is on the seat of your pants.

Happy travels.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I have a better explanation.....

From, 15 Feb 09

"Crude oil prices have fallen to new lows for this year. So you'd think gas prices would sink right along with them.
Not so.

On Thursday, for example, crude oil closed just under $34 a barrel, its lowest point for 2009. But the national average price of a gallon of gas rose to $1.95 on the same day, its peak for the year. On Friday gas went a penny higher.
To drivers once again grimacing as they tank up, it sounds like a conspiracy. But it has more to do with an energy market turned upside-down that has left gas cut off from its usual economic moorings.
The price of gas is indeed tied to oil. It's just a matter of which oil.
The benchmark for crude oil prices is West Texas Intermediate, drilled exactly where you would imagine. That's the price, set at the New York Mercantile Exchange, that you see quoted on business channels and in the morning paper.
Right now, in an unusual market trend, West Texas crude is selling for much less than inferior grades of crude from other places around the world. A severe economic downturn has left U.S. storage facilities brimming with it, sending prices for the premium crude to five-year lows.
But it is the overseas crude that goes into most of the gas made in the United States.
So prices at the pump will probably keep going up no matter what happens to the benchmark price of crude oil."

My explanation: Why don't we say, the price of gas is up because "someone sneezed in China."

See! Red..........

I have to be honest, Valentine's Day ("V" day) is not my favorite holiday. But, I'm not what you would call "romantic" either. Guess that explains some of it.

My son and I went into a fast food restaurant on "V" day, to grab something "to go". This restaurant was all over the "V". The booth seats and counters were red. They even put out "Red and White" salt and pepper shakers. Man, they sure are getting the place for that "romantic" burger.

Roll forward one day. I went back. Wait, the salt and pepper shakers are still red and white. And, the booth seats are still red. How can that be?

On the "V" day, look for red, and find it. On the "V" day, look for the sparkle from the someone special and find it.

But, what about the day after? Well, it will just have to wait until next year.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Community - in a paragraph or two

I am only good for a paragraph or two. After that, I ramble. So, I hope I can make a point in a "paragraph or two".

(Definition of community: Human communities hinge on a degree of cohesiveness. Being part of a group, and feeling connected)

I believe that technology is advancing to the point whereby we are losing our sense of "community". We are losing courtesy, our ability to share feelings, and ideas. We are becoming distant and un-feeling. Airports are a good example. (flight attendants could probably verify what I am saying)

Example: In an airport today, I made the mistake of thinking someone was talking to me. He was looking right into my eyes, and speaking at me. I even said, "Excuse me, what did you say?" But, actually, he was talking to someone, hundreds, maybe thousands of miles away, through a device in his ear, commonly referred to as a "blue tooth device".

Years ago, there was a sense of common purpose between people. People in airports shared a "common experience". There were people talking to people, and maybe a book thrown in for good measure. Today, there is no "common experience". We all have our "blue tooth device" and "individual experiences". Consequently, we tend to tolerate each other less.

Before I've exceeded my paragraph limit, let's think about how the devices we use, make us feel like we need no one, only ourselves-who are less connected than we can imagine.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Born on......Best before.....

One thing about travelling alone, you can talk to yourself a lot. Today I had a conversation with myself about the "Born on" dates seen on food products and drinks, including beer. In addition to the "Born" date, some products even have a "Best before" date, for a guage of freshness, I guess.

I had a dentist tell me once that I'd never again have the gums of an 18 year old. (and are you going to charge me for that explanation?) So, in this case, the "Best before" date is, well: 18 years old.

If you listen to or read the Holly-Drama, the "Best Before" dates can really be slippery. Best before: Too Old, is probably in the ball park. But, even that changes depending on how much botox, and other facial stretchings have been done.

For me, I think I'll keep it simple. How about Born on: Today, and Best Before: Tomorrow. Living one day at a time, just one day at a time.

Time for another freshly-brewed cup.

Friday, February 6, 2009

But, papa it's not da.....

Amber is 3 years old. Like the other grand daughters, she can tell you that in a blink of an eye. She also likes mints. We were at a restaurant a couple of days ago, and while Amber and I were alone (no mom around), she asked me for some "candy". OK, let's see what I can do. I happened to have my handy packet of WrenchMints TM. (the same mints that Kylie said "tasted like the sun".

I slide open the container and whispered to Amber, "Kylie said these tasted like the sun."

She looked up at me, her lips moving a little before any sound, and said, "But, papa it's not da sun."

Ah ha! Three years old and a realist. We have a five-year old poet, and a three-year old realist.

Oh boy, it's going to be fun watching these two.

Time for another drink, er cup of something. Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Powerful Mint

Kylie is now five years old. Ask her, and she'll tell you. She is also the young lady who saw the egg in the sky, (which is an earlier blog entry).

I don't usually carry breath mints (probably should, but don't) But, in this case, I'd just bought a package of "Wrench Mints" TM, cinnamon flavor. They are actually shaped like little wrenches, and come in a wrench-shaped tin container. (Marketing by-line: When your breath is broke---fix it")

After eating some Mexican food with my son, his wife, and Kylie, I decided to pass out the "Wrench Mints". I'd had one or two--a very nice flavor.

But, then a five-year old brain started to work. She looked at the little wrench, popped it in her mouth, and as we started to leave told her mom, "It tastes like the sun!"

Wow, another quote for her yearbook. Dad and mom, write these down, and tell her the stories down the road.

So far, there's an egg in the sky, and a mint that tastes like the sun. Keep'um coming Kylie.