Thursday, August 19, 2004

I'm sorry mom

One of the things that I remember from being a kid was how my mom used to complain that I didn't "put the seat down" or how I needed to "put the seat up" because I peed on it.... I always sorta ignored it thinking "how hard is it to put the seat down" or "gross... I don't pee on the seat"

If I was anything like my sons (2 out of diapers 1 still in them), then I owe Mom an apology. They've got worse aim than a drunken sailor. Actually, sometimes I wonder if they intentionally miss the toilet. Yick.

Please hang up and try again.

Why is it that when you fail to dial the '1' when dialing a long distance number it's smart enough to detect that but not smart enough to automatically dial it for you? Maybe they want you to be in control of whether you make a long distance call.... Then again, the phone company should know whether you've called that number in the past and hence know that you know "what you're getting into" and then they could auto-dial it for you.

Even dumber is the message "you do not need to dial a '1' when dialing this number. please hang up and try again." Really?!?!? Then why on Earth didn't you just complete the call and ignore the fact that I dialed the '1'?

Monday, August 16, 2004

Sherpa Dad

Travelling with kids is an interesting experience, but I think the most noteworthy part is the amount of stuff that one is able to carry in one trip. See, there are two truths about travelling with kids:

1. You carry more stuff. Excluding the toys, car seats, etc. You still have
to carry essentials for them like clothes, diapers, etc.
2. The less trips you make when porting stuff from one place to another
the better.

So, given you these two fundamental truths the humble, God fearing father transforms into a mighty sherpa wending his way through crowds and parking lots loaded with more stuff than the lesser mortals surrounding him.

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Bridge to engine room, we need more power!

We're in Seattle for the next two weeks. I borrowed a bike from my friend Steve. It's an old skool Tomassini with friction shifters, but it's beautiful and it rides SO nicely. However, Steve rides with lots of power (man he's a strong rider!) so he's got it set up with a 53/42 chain ring and a pretty big cassette too (though I don't remember the specs.) My bike is has a 30/42/52 triple chain ring setup with a smallest gear at 30/27. I'm not used to having to ride such a big gear up hills and boy does it hurt! You go pretty fast, but you're up out of the saddle grinding away with all your power. My legs are aching right now.

On Grief

Riley (our middle son) had his first real experience with grief yesterday. Actually, in a way we all did. He lost his blue blanket. We had walked over to Bellevue Square mall to have dinner at Red Robin. After dinner we decided our walking was adequate prepayment for some cheesecake. Moments later as we started to leave the play area (where the kids had taken refuge) to walk home we realized we didn't have blanket. Riley was distressed, but still clearly hopeful that we would find it as we re-traced our steps. However, we had no such joy. Red Robin didn't have it, neither did the Cheesecake Factory, and we didn't see it anywhere in our walking path. So, stunned, and with Riley pleading to go get another blanket at Babies 'R Us we left for the long walk home.

It was an odd sensation, but I realized that was was grieving with Riley. I went through many of the stages of grieving denial (nah! Red Robin MUST have the blanket), anger (why did you have to bring your blanket), depression (I was kinda paralyzed by the whole thing... It was hard to start walking back home). It made it more accute that this was my son! Watching Riley go through the same thing and ultimately come to acceptance (we had a backup blanket that he had rejected a long time ago) was hard. He took the new blanket and while it didn't feel, or smell the same it had to do, and he moved on. It was hard to watch.

Fortunately, there's a happy ending.... Moments after Riley had accepted the reality that his old blanket was gone and he had to start loving his new one we found the old one. Brody had "stolen" it and Shiree found it tucked away in the sling with Brody. What a relief!

Monday, August 2, 2004

Product incompetence

Watch Nightline's special (full version for purchase here) on Ideo, the innovative product design firm, and you will never look at another product the same; in particular the ones that suck. You will start to ask yourself questions like "Did anyone even use this product before shipping it?" or "Do these people understand what I need?"

I just went to the loo in my office of all places and had two of these experiences. First, the toilet paper. Actually this was an experience within an experience. The uber-experience revolves around the fact that the dispensers in this facility store two rolls of toilet paper but require "manual intervention" to advance the second roll (i.e. a janitor must unlock the box and drop the next roll down). Luckily if you're careful, you can still advance the toilet paper from the "hidden" roll by sticking your hand up inside the contraption and pulling at the dangling sheets VERY carefully. The lesser-experience of the toilet paper is "Why is the paper so stinkin' brittle?!?" I don't need cushy plush paper, but I would like to tug at the roll and have the option of getting more than one sheet at a time. Second, the faucets on the sinks. Everywhere these days had automatic this and that. I've even see automatic paper towel despencers (walk up an out comes two sheets). However, the automatic faucets are by far the most disappointing. You stand there looking like an idiot with your hands cupped under the faucet waving them back and forth with nothing coming out.

Who designs these things! I sure hope that these people have unresponsive faucets, pathetic toilet paper, and stupid toilet paper roll dispensers in every bathroom they visit. Maybe they'll learn to eat their own dog food before pushing it on me.