Friday, March 21, 2008

People Plan, Gd Laughs

There's an old Yiddish expression probably taken originally from somewhere in the Bible that roughly says "men plan and Gd laughs.

I almost wrote yesterday about how nice it's getting outside. The snow is finally melting and we can see more grass than ice. It feels like we're really on the brink of spring, which, in Milwaukee, is a great time.

And then, today, WHAM! We're getting a snowfall that could put us in the record books. The weather service is predicting up to 14 inches and any morning televisions shows have been pre-empted by "Weather Watch". I'm not sure why since there's nothing to watch but snow coming down.

Correct me if I'm wrong but we're about at the end of March. This should not be happening. I am not amused.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

More on Blue Plastic Wrap

First, evidently I should not be complaining about blue Saran Wrap because we do not have blue Saran Wrap. We have blue Plastic Wrap (by Reynolds, if that matters). Either way, I still don't like it.

But I don't want to throw it away, either. That would be a waste. So I've been trying to be more conscious about using it. I suppose in a sense that's tantamount to throwing it away since we own a bazillion plastic containers that will hold nearly everything I would need to wrap up. But somehow it seems that it's less wasteful if it's at least used, even needlessly.

Today I was thinking, "Wow. I wonder how much longer this will last. I really don't think I can use it fast enough." When, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed three frightful words (technically, two words and a number/symbol): BONUS 25% MORE!

What?! It's not enough to figure out how to use how much ever is left from the 100 square feet the container was supposed to include - now I have to use an additional 25 square feet?!

To put this in perspective, 25 square feet is a 5 by 5 area. That's bigger than a bathtub, bigger than the largest surface on a refrigerator, and, I believe, enough to cover our love seat. No, not all at the same time. But still - that's a lot of extra blue stuff I have to use. This is definitely not cool.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Blue Saran Wrap

I don't like it. I didn't even realized we'd bought it until I opened up the container and there it was. At first it was pretty cool. I mean - it's blue. That's pretty cool. It functions the same as the regular non-colored wrap and I figured there shouldn't be anything not to like, right? And I don't use that much Saran Wrap anyway so there wasn't much to think about for a while anyway.

But for some , a few times this past week, I've needed to use the blue Saran Wrap.

Onions wrapped in blue just don't look right. Neither does chili. In fact, I'm pretty sure the only thing that wouldn't look really strange is fruit salad and that's more of a guess than it is a well researched fact.

Now I've seen the red wrap, and while I haven't used it personally, it somehow seems that it would not be as strange looking on food. Maybe because there are more red foods? I wonder what black wrap would look like....

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My ipod

Today was the first day in a really long time I could take a real walk outside. Up until now, it's been walking through snow and ice to the garage, or walking down the middle of the street to get out to Einstein's (coffee) or Schwartz's (bookstore). But today we finally hit 40 degrees and it seemed about time for a walk.

And of course, I decided to take my ipod with me. And then there are choices - what is good walking-for-the-first-time-since-fall-and-still-trying-to-avoid-puddles-and-random-ice music? I decided to let the ipod just start playing songs in alphabetical order and see what I have.

I knew I had some eclectic music and hadn't actually considered how crazy it would seem to someone other than me. Here's what I heard today:
  • Accidentally like a Martyr (Warren Zevon)
  • Allison (Elvis Costello)
  • two Israeli songs
  • Across the River (Peter Gabriel)
  • Act of Contrition (Madonna)
  • Adayin (David Broza)
  • Adeste Fideles (Frank Sinatra)
  • and then two, not one, two Adon Olams. One by Josh Nelson and the other by the Sheba Choir. Interestingly enough, both are versions by black Jews. How many people do you know that have two versions of Adon Olam on their ipod? If it's more than one, and the other isn't a rabbi (or other clergy) I'm impressed (or scared for you).
I am thankful for being at my front door before "After the Love" by Culture Club started.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Reality is not all it's cracked up to be

This morning it was back to work and back to reality. It's not nearly as fun as everyone else claims it is. I'm not sure what the hype is all about. I had more than a dozen phone messages (which I didn't listen to until 5pm), conference calls, and hundreds of emails to return. What's that all about?!

Plus, Ronnie has yet to be assimilated.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Ronnie was not assimilated

It turns out I was too cheap to have Ronnie assimilated at the Star Trek experience. Oh well.

Thursday, March 06, 2008


Being the geeks that we are, today we went to the Atomic Testing Museum. It's the one place in Las Vegas where we have NOT seen an ATM. Strange but true. It was actually pretty interesting and there were more people there than I would have expected. Sadly, we are not here in town during one of their field trips. Evidently they do a free monthly field trip to the testing grounds about 65 miles away. Now that would have been very cool.

And tomorrow, it's possible that we're going to the Star Trek Experience. Depending on my mood, it's possible I will let Ronnie be assimilated.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Best Buffet in Las Vegas

If you're wondering where the best buffet in Las Vegas is, I can now tell you with absolute certainty that it's on the corner of Tropicana and Pecos about 30 blocks west of the Strip. You're wondering what can be good that's so far away? I'll tell you - it's the Pinball Hall of Fame.

This is a great place. It's smoke-free, cheap, clean and filled with geeks who like pinball. And, they've got a little 4x6 card on each machine with a little background on the machine - when it was made, who restored it, and any little anecdotes that might be interesting. All the old games are just 25cents and the newer ones are still only 50cents.

Some of the machines were from the 1950's. They had a good number of video games from the 70's, including Asteroids, Centipede and even an old Tetris machine. There were a lot of very old baseball machines. Who knew that there were so many?!

And there are a lot of machines, more than I realized, that are associated with television shows and movies. There were three Star Trek games. One from the 60's based on the original series, one from the 70's (also based on the original), and a later one from Next Generation. I also lost a few quarters in the Terminator pinball machine. Evidently degree of fandom does not allow for any additional skill.

As we were walking out, we saw a tall, wide machine that looked like a multi-level pinball game. It wasnearly as deep as a traditional game and it was about 2 1/2 feet tall. I can't remember the name of the game, but it was one of only two machines ever made like this. It was based on a circus and featured different levles of mini-games, a few hard to see flippers, and a pretty fast ball. It also cost four quarters to play. It was a great game and a shame that more than two weren't made. They needed two cards to tell the whole story of the machine, most of which I don't remember anymore.

The Damn Dam

The Hoover Dam is really, really big. Last October they reinstated the tours that go way far down into the dam and that's the tour we took. The difference between the regular power plant tour and the "way down into the dam" tour is significant. We were in a group of 20 people trolling around the tunnels and hallways on the Nevada and Arizona sides of the dam, looking out the vents, down the really steep pre-OSHA staircases and finally out over the edge. It's a big place.

And their building a big bridge over the canyon. In my opinion, it's going to totally destroy what is now a beautiful view. Forget that it will be an engineering feat - it's still going to be an eyesore. Think of the Holyland buildings in Jerusalem - a total fish out of water. And in the bridge's case, over water.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Boker Tov

One of my tasks yesterday morning was going to get bagels for the house in case anyone stopped by and had not yet eaten breakfast. Unlikely, but nevertheless evidently a possibility. So at 6:45am I drove up to Einstein's. The regulars were there drinking their coffee and reading their papers. I've never been to this Einstein's at this hour but I imagine that this is their regular routine. It's not the kind of thing you just do one day.

But I digress. So I walked up to the counter and a man behind the counter says in a big booming voice, "Good Morning!" And started to respond, "Boker Tov." At which point I realized he would have had absolutely no idea what I was saying. It was a little surreal.

The best part of being there - they already had mixed dozens of freshbagels sliced and in boxes so that I didn't have to decide what kind to get!