Archive for October, 2007

Takin’ a little break

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007 | Life in Czeltistan | No Comments

Vacation time in Czeltistan. Catch you all next Tuesday.

Took me a second

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007 | Life in Czeltistan | No Comments

Saw Abe Lincoln walking down the sidewalk on my drive in to work today. Took my brain a moment to wrap itself around the idea of “it’s Halloween.”

Rolled down my window and suggested he stay away from the theatre this time.

Oh, god. My eyes.

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007 | Bloggity goodness | 4 Comments

The next time I run into someone who thinks the ’70s were cool, I’m going to direct them to this: Strap In, Shut Up and Hold on. We’re going back.

I remember this kind of stuff from the first time around. The horror. The horror.

(Link shamelessly stolen from Sherri.)

Not just for breakfast anymore

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007 | Life in Czeltistan | 2 Comments

OnMilwaukee.com has a nice piece on Real Chili today.

I just had lunch there on Friday. Didn’t actually order anything. I just sat down and it showed up in front of me, followed by my server saying, “I guess I should have asked if you were having your usual instead of just getting it for you.” I replied, “There are other items on the menu?”

Hmm. I have errands I have to run over lunch today, and it’s almost 70 degrees out (not your usual chili weather), but seeing as how I won’t be able to have Chili while I’m on vacation for the next week, I may have to go get some today. Mmmm. Chili.

He’s not undead, just unsober…

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007 | You Call This News? | No Comments

Not a zombie. Just a drunk.

First step: We teach the rural Germans about Halloween. Second step: We teach them to leave the zombies alone. They’ll need this information some day.

(Via The Morning News)

A better way to wake up

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007 | Life in Czeltistan | No Comments

I was having one of those drives into work today that, if I were in the movies, the entire audience would be shouting “don’t go in there!” Pedestrians randomly walking out into traffic (3 different times), cars randomly stopping in front of me (ok, only once), a dumptruck blocking my entrance to the lot, forcing me to drive on the sidewalk to get to my spot, and then when I opened the door to go in to the building, the broom that rests against the wall just inside the door had fallen, blocking the entrance. All signs say the universe is trying to prevent me from getting in to work, right? But I figured out what it was all keeping me from. Our receptionist made cookie batter last night, but the cookies weren’t coming out right when she baked them in her oven. So she brought them in to work to bake in the cookie oven we have.

Now, I’m used to the smell of baking cookies here at work (the joy in that wears off after 9 years, lemme tell ya), but there is nothing quite like the smell of fresh-baked homemade chocolate chip cookies. And they tasted better than they smelled. Best breakfast I’ve had in weeks. (Somehow the shine has gone off the yogurt I have in my bag. It’s just not going to be as good now.)

Y’know what is not a fun way to wake up?

Monday, October 29th, 2007 | Life in Czeltistan | 8 Comments

Getting a phone call, 1/2 hour before your alarm goes off on a Monday morning, from your brother, saying he, your mom, your sister-in-law and your niece are all at the Orlando airport and ready to come home, but it seems they have no flight. They used CheapTickets.com and apparently Cheap Tickets has a nasty habit of telling you they’ve confirmed your flight before it’s actually confirmed. Result: No flight.

They’re on the phone with customer service now. I’m tempted to call the head of customer service myself. Waking a sleeping Czelt is not a good plan. It’s like poking a badger with a stick. I don’t blame my family at all for waking me, but I sure would like to give Cheap Tickets an earful.

Guess I’d better go make sure the cell phone is charged. Might need it a bit this morning if they don’t get a flight very soon.

Update: Last I heard, they were on their way to the airline’s counter with info they’d gotten from Cheap Tickets, so it’s possible they’ve gotten another flight. Trying not to drive them insane with calling, but it’s kind of maddening not knowing what’s going on.

Final Update: After a ton of time on the phone with Cheap Tickets, they got booked on a flight… that had already left the airport. The woman at the airline’s counter found them a flight home today, though. It’s got a 6-hour layover in Philly, but they’ll get home tonight. Suffice it to say, no one in our family will be using Cheap Tickets ever again. And kudos to the USAir staff for doing their best to get everyone home.

Finally. A flag.

Friday, October 26th, 2007 | Life in Czeltistan | 1 Comment

Thanks to this handy little gadget, I finally got around to making a nice little flag for the People’s Republic of Czeltistan.

Now to start writing that anthem…

Not even trying

Thursday, October 25th, 2007 | Screed! | No Comments

Dear spammers,
If you really want me to believe you have a free gift card to send me, the tactic of sending me an email telling me you don’t have my email on file (and then asking me to “verify” my other info) is probably not the one you want to go with.

Mmmm. Cake.

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007 | Fun With Teh Intarweb | No Comments

And this is why you don’t order them over the phone from Wal-Mart.

Big damn heroes

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007 | Fun With Teh Intarweb | 3 Comments

Entertainment Weekly’s got a list of 25 Awesome Action Heroes

I fully agree with the top 3 choices, but I do have to register a complaint: You mean to tell me that pussy Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible can come in at #17, but Connery as Bond in Goldfinger is at #23 and Snake Pliskin is back at #22? What gives? And, as the ever-correct Mr. Steelbuddha says, “Where the fuck is Clint Eastwood?” Paging Harry Callahan.

Hey, I know that guy.

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007 | Design-y Bits, You Call This News? | No Comments

I’ve been following the flap over the new NYC Taxi logo for the last week. (Series starts here, if you’re so inclined to play along.)

The logo the city decided on really is an abomination. Design should never be decided on by a committee. It never ends well. (And this is a perfect example of that.) So the Times asked designers to weigh in. Some offered alternatives, with mixed results. Why people decide they need to get fancy is beyond me. If you’re in NY and need a cab, you’re looking for a yellow car with a lantern on top. Everything else is just window dressing at best, and confusion for the international visitors at worst. However, I get that the yellow part might be problematic for the colorblind, so a logo for the cabs isn’t the worst thing. That said, simple is best.

Then the Times asked readers to submit logo ideas. Eight designs have come in so far. I had discussions yesterday with two different people on the design suggestions (which means I looked at that page a lot yesterday). Didn’t notice until someone posted on our intranet today, though, that the top design was submitted by one of our creative directors here at work. (D’oh! Way to read for details, Anne.) His design’s my second-favorite of the reader-submitted versions. (He’s right — it would look good on a t-shirt.) Sorry, Scotty, but Richard R. nails it. He’s got my vote for best design out of all submitted, designer and reader. It’s got everything you need: the word “taxi,” the rates and even the official NYC logo. Extra bonus: a nice little reminder of the Checker cab days. Well, done.

Now let’s hope the city sees the brilliance in it and scraps the one they’ve chosen. (I know — fat chance. But I can hope for the best.)

Light(house) at the end of the construction tunnel

Monday, October 22nd, 2007 | Life in Czeltistan, You Call This News? | 2 Comments

Hooray! After years of renovation, the North Point Lighthouse is finally almost ready to open. Construction on the keeper’s quarters finishes this month. There’s a formal ribbon cutting/dedication for media, dignitaries, etc. and an open house for volunteers in mid-November. Hopefully everything will be open to the general public shortly thereafter. Landscaping won’t be done until spring, but that’s ok. It’ll look a zillion times better without dumpsters and construction equipment in the yard, so no one will really notice until then.

Guess I’d better get to brushing up on my lighthouse history, or I’ll be the world’s least-useful docent.

We’ll miss you, Max

Sunday, October 21st, 2007 | You Call This News? | 1 Comment

RIP, Packers legend, Max McGee.

I only met Max once (he was funny and nice and chatted with me like we’d knew each other), but he was the voice of my Sunday afternoons for about 20 years. I didn’t know him at all, other than as a local celeb, but this still kind of feels like someone I know has died. My condolences to his family and friends. He’ll be missed.

Overheard at work

Friday, October 19th, 2007 | Life in Czeltistan | 1 Comment

“That smells like liquid awesome.”

Thanks, Dean. I think I have a new favorite phrase.

Two stories involving moms

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007 | Bloggity goodness, You Call This News? | No Comments

There’s really no connection between these two items, except that someone’s mom was involved in both, and I think they’re both interesting. But since it’s my blog, that’s a good enough reason to make them both part of the same post. (I’m drunk with power. Can’t you tell?)

Mom ships 80,000 cans of Silly String to troops
If only they were going to use the Silly String instead of guns to fight the war. No one dies. Everything is brightly colored when you’re finished. And worst case scenario, you have to do a little repainting where the Silly String stained things. Sure beats the other kind of war.

A little customer service goes a long, long way
I’ve always liked Zappos and I’ve ordered from them before with good results. This story ensures they’ll be the first place I look next time I’m thinking of getting some new shoes. I feel good supporting companies with that kind of class.

He’s certainly got opinions

Monday, October 15th, 2007 | You Call This News? | 2 Comments

Steven Colbert writes Maureen Dowd’s column this week. Very entertaining.

Somehow I think that whenever I see Fred Thompson on Law & Order from now on, I’ll think “Appalachian catfish wrestler.”

Color me depressed

Saturday, October 13th, 2007 | Life in Czeltistan | 1 Comment

Foo. Chicobangs is in Chicago tonight and a group of folks are holding a little meetup with him at Fado. I was planning to go, but I’m just back from seeing the doc, and I’ve got bronchitis. It’s still viral (not bacterial, thankfully), but it’s not something I want to share with the group. I also haven’t gotten more than a couple hours of sleep at a stretch for nearly a week now, so driving back from Chicago at night, through construction traffic, is just a horrible idea.

So, sorry all. I really was looking forward to the evening (especially the part where Fado serves up an all-day fry-up. mmm. fry-up), but it’s just not meant to be.

Looks like I’m right-brained

Friday, October 12th, 2007 | Fun With Teh Intarweb | 8 Comments

At least when dealing with optical illusions. :)

I’ve gotten this a couple of times in my email, but I saw it again today on The Morning News, so I gave it one more shot.

Right Brain vs. Left Brain

I could not, no matter how long I stared at it, make her turn any direction but clockwise. After I saw the comment under the article about concentrating on the girl’s face, I did that for nearly two minutes and was finally able to see it go counter-clockwise. As soon as I looked away and looked back, though, it switched back to clockwise.

Better late than never

Thursday, October 11th, 2007 | Life in Czeltistan | 3 Comments

I meant to do a little recap of my 20-year high school reunion, which was last Saturday, but I got sidetracked, then I got sick, and now I’m just feeling lazy. That, and I can’t think of happy, fun, exciting things to say about the evening. It didn’t suck or anything. It was just a bit surreal.

Food was good. Location was fine. And it was really nice to see the friends I’ve kept in touch with since high school and some of the other people I liked when I was a teen but haven’t seen in years. But after the first hour or two, it was mostly just kind of odd. I’m probably a bad person for admitting this, but I just don’t remember most of the people from my class (even with hints from my friends about why I should), and it seems there aren’t too many of them I have much in common with. (Which probably goes a long way toward explaining why I lost contact with the majority of them.)

Don’t get me wrong, I had some nice conversations with some of the people who attended, but for every one of those, there were at least three semi-awkward conversations with others. I don’t want to rehash high school memories. I didn’t go to college with anyone from my class. I don’t have children stories to tell, nor a spouse to talk about. (Don’t really want either. Mind you, that didn’t stop most people from giving me the little side head tilt and look of pity when they learned I wasn’t married or hadn’t bred. *sigh* But that’s not just them. I get that from most people my age who aren’t single and childless.)

Likewise, I had no real common ground with the folks who live out in the country (in one case, completely off the grid) and are into the outdoors thing. Don’t really do too well talking to people about their jobs, either. And I suck at making small talk. I do a whole lot better at simply people watching while enjoying my cocktail. However, I find it makes people uncomfortable if I just randomly pull up a chair and eavesdrop.

I don’t know where I’m going with this. I’m just sort of rambling at this point. I should probably quit while I’m ahead and before I make everyone think it was a terrible evening. It wasn’t. It was just strange.

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