So you’ve had a long week.  And things aren’t going exactly according to plan.  You’re walking down the street and you think … I would like drink.  There’s a bar right there… should I go in?

The answer is YES.  Go into the bar.  Doesn’t matter if you are by yourself. There is no reason not to go in all alone.  There’s no reason not to get a drink and enjoy your night.  How else could you possibly meet people?  How else could you enjoy the possibilities if you don’t go out there have a drink?  There could be a guy or a girl out there that you would never meet if you don’t go into the bar.  You could learn new and exciting things.  You could find a new way of looking at the world.  But not if you stay on the sidewalk.

So when in doubt… go into the bar!

night

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I was talking to Millie this morning and I told her that she looked lovely…. then I paused and said that she always looked lovely.  Millie told me she gets that a lot and isn’t really sure it’s a compliment.

And I thought about it.  It is and it isn’t a compliment.  The thing with Millie is that she is a lovely person who also happens to be rather beautiful.  She’s nice, she’s a hard worker, she’s smart and she’s pretty.  And she dresses well.  Every single day.

So after a while you just expect it.  And there is something about a constant that creates certain expectations.

Maybe that means that the day-to-day loses impact, but there is something enduring about people like Millie.  People who showcase consistent low-key style and grace.  When you aren’t flashy and inconsistent, it can seem like a rut but how powerful is it to have that level of control over your appearance.  To be that complete and assured of who you are internally and externally that you can present yourself so well that it becomes your calling card… impeccable taste.

Some day I hope people will think that about me.

But it’s going to take more than a little work.

night

I’m not asking for a tornado.  Or anything damaging or dangerous.

But if the wind could pick up and move the air I would be ever so grateful.

I know there are people who wait all year for our two weeks of summer but between the still sunny air outside and the fact that the steam boiler is still on in the office….  well I’m feeling decidedly ill.

When it’s warm and outside is cooler than inside, you have a problem.

Maybe I’ll get lucky and this will be something the OE commission on energy usage will address.  I love that they say that we can’t turn off the boiler in summer because we wouldn’t be able to turn it on quick enough in winter.

Seriously that is the reason why it’s over 80’s in the office… with steam heat pouring from the vents because we can’t turn them off.

You’re jealous of my work place.  I can tell.

night

Last night I finally bit the bullet and looked for my old raincoat… the one I haven’t seen in YEARS.  Which is interesting since it rains here a lot.  But not enough that I’m willing to put on an actual raincoat.

And yeah – it’s gone.  No more.  I probably gave it away because I really didn’t like it.

Right now we are having a bit of a heat wave / actual summer weather.  And I can’t imagine when we will have enough rain to warrant a jacket.  But I’m going to Vancouver which means I’m going to be dealing with rain for a week.  And I KNOW that I need to have a real raincoat.

So tonight after work I went to the North Face outlet and found myself a fantastic raincoat for a good price.

I do feel sorry for people who don’t have North Face outlets near them.  If you don’t, I recommend visiting my neck of the woods.

night

Walter was more than a little shocked that I’ve been thinking about a question since 1993.  But then, Walter doesn’t know me very well.

It started on Friday when I was chatting with Doug.  We were discussing Tele-BEARS and between the two of us we figured out that the phone system launched had to launch around Fall of 1992.  I still remember the lady’s voice.  I always wondered who she was.

Doug said that Russell would know.  So when I saw Russell this morning I asked him… Who was the lady on the Tele-BEARS system?

Not only did he know the answer (Sylvia Moore) but he also told me fantastic trivia about the whole thing.

Like the fact that the BEARS in Tele-BEARS is an acronym for Berkeley Enrollment And Registration System.  The whole office auditioned to be the voice of Tele-BEARS, even Russell.  The recordings were done in the media rooms underneath Dwinelle.  Originally they were reel to reel but later they went directly into the system.

And somewhere in his desk, Russell had the cassette tapes.

He was tickled pink that I asked all these questions.  That I remembered the system he worked on so long ago.

Then less than half an hour later, Russell showed up at my desk with six cassette tapes… of Telebears.  He told me if I had a cassette player I could take them home and listen to them.  That I could remember a part of Cal’s history and also a part of my college history.

Both of the Patti’s that I know went to Cal and they used cards that had to be filled out and handed over either in Sproul or Pauley Ballroom.

Doug and I used Tele-BEARS on the phone.  Hanna uses Tele-BEARS on the Web.

Times change.  But sometimes you can revisit your history… even if only on a walkman.

night

censorship for fun and profit

September 24, 2011

While at Target today I noticed something in the $1 bins right before the check-out lines…  A copy of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde…  abridged for readers 7 years and older.

What in the name of God’s green earth made someone think that 7 year olds needed to read this story?  And how much had to be removed to make it sanitized enough for that age?  And at that point was it even the same story?

I understand the theory that getting young people to read the classics is a good thing.  I even agree.  But are you really reading the classics if you are getting the massively edited version?  Do you know that you’re not getting the whole thing… do you go looking for the expunged parts later so you can know the truth?

A few years ago I watched a fantastic documentary show on the History Channel called Lost Worlds: Jekyll and Hyde.  If anything I learned that the story was even darker than I remembered.

Truly, I’m not against getting young people reading great things but I think I really am against dumbing stuff down to make it “acceptable”.  If it’s not age appropriate, find something that is.

You can go read the whole thing from Project Gutenberg.

Now go curl up in bed with a book.

night

I couldn’t figure it out.  I needed Clara to help me work my way around the issue until finally she hit the nail on the head.

I just don’t like cosmetic fixes for issues that go beyond the surface.

It’s my opinion (and I do recognize that mine is not the only one) that you shouldn’t paint over dirty walls.  You should clean the walls,  fill in the holes with spackle, prime and then paint.  It lasts longer and gives you less problems in the long run.

Sometimes all you can do is cosmetically fix a problem.  It’s the easiest and simplest way to fix something that will be addressed at a later date… preferably not that much later.  Sometimes all you can do is stick on a bandage and hope that you can limp along until a greater fix can be organized and paid for.

But I get an uncomfortable knot in my stomach at the idea that no one is acknowledging that it’s just a surface fix and doesn’t address the broader issues or the other, possibly more hidden, variables involved in the over-all project.

Pretending things don’t exist or not thinking about how they play into the greater picture is something that is easy to do.  It’s very hard to make a stand against a tide of apathy.

But if you don’t have the time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?

In this day and age, there seems to be a trend to ignore best practices because there isn’t enough time, people, and / or money.

I don’t know if I can sit on my hands and keep my mouth shut while people ignore the decisions they are making by taking the easy way out.

I’m all for bandages but really, only for little scrapes and cuts.  Sometimes you need staples and sometimes you need stitches.  There is a big difference between the medicine cabinet and the emergency room.

Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill?  Some may say yes.  But I can’t help but feel that if you don’t stand for quality then you fall into a trap of apathy and it’s so very hard to get out.

There’s a quote from Aeon Flux that I’ve always liked.  “Clean gloves hide dirty hands.”  And that’s true.  But it doesn’t change the fact that beneath those gloves…. you’ve got dirty hands.

But when it means that a project will take more time and be more costly… how do you get people to agree to the more difficult path?

All I can do is raise the issue.  I only have my voice.  But once I have my say, I’m going to have to make peace with the decision that is made.

I’m just glad I know a little more about myself now than I did this morning.

night