Conference calls

I work in a cubicle.

Which means that out of politeness to my coworkers, I don’t use the speakerphone.

However, I routinely have conference calls that last an hour or two hours, sometimes 3. These conference calls are usually with people who have offices and speakerphones, so it doesn’t matter how long they talk, they’re necks stay uncricked.

I’ve put in for a headset, but I’m too lowly for such a thing.


From the AJC

Georgia Power officials reported about 60,000 customers lost power overnight, but those outages were mainly caused not by the snowfall, but by high winds. About 20,000 of the utility’s customers were still without power at 7:30 a.m.

It’s nice to know there are 19,999 other people whose milk is going bad. It’s not some Karmic backlash against us or anything.

Mike Luckovich and Power

Mike’s editorial cartoon today was awesome.

Picture of the Constitution, with a child’s scrawling across it in big, black marker: “(except for homos) G.W.B.”


The power went out in our house sometime before midnight. It still wasn’t on when we left. 1/2 an inch of snow and the place goes to hell. That’s Atlanta.

A Vote Against

As much as I hate to be reduced to voting against someone instead of voting my ideals, I’ll be voting against Georgie this year.

Ordinarily, I would vote Libertarian. But I guess I’m voting for Democratic-nominee-TBD. It’s sort of “lesser of two evils”, but since Georgie is Evil with a capital E, he pulls the scale so far out of whack it almost makes anyone else slide into the “good” catagory.

*sigh*. I wonder if we could get Jimmy Carter to run again.

A Basement Lab

My wife has a former boss, an arts administrator, that is/was married to an engineer. At the time I met them, they were civil to each other, but essentially separated. For financial reasons, he lived in the basement instead of in his own apartment. It was kind of sad, but the joke around our house (being an arts administrator/engineer couple) is that if I don’t watch my step, I’ll find myself in the basement. Up until now, we haven’t had a basement, so it was a hollow threat.

But now we do. And here I am, in the basement.

Actually, it’s just my computer that moved to the basement to make room in the guest room… for guests. So if anyone wants to stay over, they don’t have to sleep under a computer desk.

I had to wire up a phone line. The line that was in this room crumbled to dust in my hands, and turned out not to be live anyway. I wandered around with a flashlight trying to make sense of the serpentine maze of telephone wires crisscrossing the basement ceiling. I found what may or may not be the nexus of phone wiring in our house. If it is, it’s a piss poor one. Add another task to the 2 page home improvement list: straighten out the phone wires.

I’ll get right on that… probably around 2015.


I remember being told there was a specific part of the brain dedicated to recognizing faces. It’s one of the reasons people have trouble learning to draw faces, where they could draw a perfectly reasonable apple or something. Partially because that part of the brain prevents us from seeing what is there, because it’s busy recognizing. But also because we notice differences from the original more.

An drawing of an apple still looks like a good apple, even if there are some imperfections in the drawing. But mess up a face ever so slightly, and the face is hardly recognizable.

I’ve always assumed that that part of my brain wasn’t quite up to snuff, as it takes me several different meetings to recognize someone properly. If they change their hairstyle ever so slightly, I’m thrown off until I’ve known them a while. There was a girl at the theater who I met 5 times but never recognized her, because she always changed her hairstyle and wore a different level of makeup. Embarrassing.


I just wasted some time trying to get DeadAIM to work with AOL IM Vs. 5.5. In the support site, it said, it just don’t work. Can’t find an earlier version to install either. *sigh*.

Book Log – Cartoon History, Mismeasure of Man, Business Lessons, The Fun of It

Because I’m a little joiner who does everything glenn5 does, I’m going to start keeping track of books read this year.

Starting January 2004, we have:

The Cartoon History of the Universe Book 1 – Larry Gonick
The Cartoon History of the Universe Book 3 – Larry Gonick

Very good. A nice synopsis, and funny. Can’t wait to get Book 2.

The Mismeasure of Man – Stephen Jay Gould

Excellent. A great refutation of all the folks throughout the ages who have a) tried to measure intelligence in a concrete way and b) tried to use it to prove superiority of one race/sex over another. Especially a smack-down of The Bell Curve, which I haven’t read. I’ve read several of Mr. Gould’s books, and I enjoy his writing style a lot. But the sections on the Bell Curve were the angriest I’ve ever seen him get. Interesting. The mathematics in the middle section lost me a bit though.

Business Lessons for Entrepreneurs: 35 Things I learned before the Age of Thirty – Mark D. Csordos

Not a great book. Would have made a fine article, or a chapter of another book, but mostly he didn’t have much to say, and had to stretch it quite a bit.

The Fun Of It: Stories from the Talk of the Town – New Yorker – Edited by Lillian Ross

I’m not a reader of the New Yorker, although I think I should be. I’m a huge fan of non-fiction essays (I love the Best American Essays books), and this was a fun read.