Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Strange Questions

November 2, 2009 19 comments

What’s a weird thing you like to do? Me:  Take inventory.  I work, for the moment, as a kind of roving blue-collar worker on a military base.  And I LOVE to take inventory.  I love everything involved with the process, including the stacking and organizing of the shelves, which is especially odd, because I’m not at all organized or systematic in my private life.  But, there’s just something about lining up those creamy ranch dressing bottles that satisfies a hidden OCD impulse.  But, most of all, I love the counting; I could count all day.  I secretly wonder if it wouldn’t be so bad to Edmund Dantes, when he’s in the Chateau D’lf counting the stones of his cell over and over and over again.

What’s your favorite childhood book? Me:  Probably Where the Red Fern Grows.  I almost hesitate to write that, since I haven’t read it in ages, but I can’t think of any single book that had a bigger impact at the time.  Plus, I’m excluding children’s books I read much later (Things Not Seen, for instance) or books I read during childhood, which I really don’t think fit in the childhood book category.  David Copperfield is my favorite novel of all-time, but I didn’t know many 12 year olds who read it, and it’s chock full of mature themes.

What’s your favorite childhood series? Me:  Cynthia Voigt’s The Tillerman Cycle, no contest.  Homecoming, Dicey’s Song, and most especially, A Solitary Blue, are the best in the series, and the ones I remember most clearly.  The first two follow Dicey Tillerman, a scrappy tom-boy, trying to make a life for her near orphaned siblings.  A Solitary Blue follows Jeff Greene, a boy whose life intersects with Dicey’s.  Terrific stuff.

Tea or Coffee? Me:  Tea.  Either Earl Grey or Darjeeling.  No milk, no lemon, no sugar.

Would you rather be stuck on a deserted Island with three people you hate, or no one at all? Me:  No one at all.  Unless that meaningfully decreased my survival odds.

Best movie that had a decent remake? Me:   The Shop Around the Corner, starring Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullivan.  There are actually a couple of remakes of this (I think it’s technically a remake itself), but the most notable is You’ve Got Mail.  Shop was a wonderful flick, and You’ve Got Mail retained a bit of the original’s charm.

Who’s the fairest of them all? Me:  Camilla Belle.


So think of this as a kind of…icebreakers thread?

Categories: Uncategorized

Cool Personality Test

October 30, 2009 18 comments

So I found a super-interesting personality test. Below are my results, if I’ve embedded it right. See what yours are, and post them here.
Introverted (I) 84.62% Extroverted (E) 15.38%
Sensing (S) 51.85% Intuitive (N) 48.15%
Thinking (T) 56% Feeling (F) 44%
Perceiving (P) 70% Judging (J) 30%

ISTP – “Engineer”. Values freedom of action and following interests and impulses. Independent, concise in speech, master of tools. 5.4% of total population.

Take Free Jung Personality Test
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Enneagram Test Results


Type 1 Perfectionism |||||||||||| 46%
Type 2 Helpfulness |||||||||| 33%
Type 3 Image Awareness |||||||||||| 46%
Type 4 Sensitivity |||||||||||||||| 63%
Type 5 Detachment |||||||||||||||||||| 83%
Type 6 Anxiety |||||||||||||||| 70%
Type 7 Adventurousness |||||||||| 33%
Type 8 Aggressiveness |||| 16%
Type 9 Calmness |||||||||||| 43%

Your main type is 5
Your variant is self pres

Take Free Enneagram Personality Test
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Categories: Uncategorized

What’s the Point?

October 15, 2009 Leave a comment

So, my local paper reports that underage Monmouth University students were, drum-roll…… drinking.

Police said they broke up a party, hosted by Monmouth University students, that included underage drinking.Around 2:10 a.m. Sunday, police discovered a loud party at a Garfield Avenue home, said Detective Lt. Steven R. Peters.

He said there was underage drinking taking place at the party and police handed out summonses to more than a dozen people.

Four tenants of the house — Paul M. Szamosszegi, 22, of Wayne, Jake A. Fredrick, 20, of Riverdale, Colton L. Strano, 18, of Westfield, and Jie Li, 24, of Ocean Township — were charged with providing alcoholic beverages to persons underage, and issued summonses for violating the township noise ordinance, police said.

Fredrick and Strano also were given summonses for violating a township ordinance that prohibits the consumption of alcoholic beverages on private property while under the legal age, said Peters.

Police said they also issued the same summonses to more than a dozen other party guests, most of whom were Monmouth University students. Police identified those guests as…

Probably this is like the scoop of the decade.  But, seriously, I would like someone to explain to me why A.)  The Asbury Park Press is wasting space reporting on a party, that was broken up, where all the violators were released, and B.)  The cops even bother.  I’m a big believer that if you have a law on the books, that you have no intention of evenly enforcing, you ought to get rid of it.  Since clearly cops have no intention of seriously enforcing underage drinking laws, they’re making a mockery of the system by unseriously enforcing them.  You scare the hell out of some teenagers for doing something they had no reason to expect they’d get in trouble for, and this is…justice?

Eh, I’m not buying it.  I remember reading, in a Teddy Roosevelt biography, about a law that prohibited the operation of liquor stores on Sundays.  But, it was one of those wink and nod situations.  When Teddy became police commissioner, both the winking and the nodding were gone.  He enforced that law and, not too long afterwards, New Yorkers decided they weren’t so keen on pious dryness after all.  I think that’s the right way to go about it.  Enforce the law and, if it’s an unjust law, eventually someone will complain and it’ll be replaced.  It’s an insult to the Democratic process when you have these meaningless one off busts, to enforce a law no one takes seriously.

Categories: Uncategorized

How Does Your Memory Work?

October 3, 2009 8 comments

Have you ever wondered why you remember certain things and forget others?  Like for instance, why can you remember the face of your sixth grade teacher but not, sometimes, a single thing you learned that year?  Also, how does it relate to intelligence?  Why don’t some people with seemingly great memories perform better in school, or test better?  How about the opposite?  It’s always seemed like a strange process to me with a bunch of unanswered questions.

I wonder because I recently had an interesting conversation that dealt with a lot of this.  A friend was telling me about his reading habits; he’s into philosophy stuff right now.  And as we talked, I realized that, even though I’d read some of it before, I couldn’t remember any specific ideas.  And then I realized that, as a general rule, I don’t remember any specific ideas very well.  Not to attribute them to someone anyway.  I just assimilate them into my storehouse of knowledge and, sooner or later, they come out in my writing. 

There are, actually, lots of pretty gaping holes in the types of things I remember.  Still, I managed to succeed in school and I test well.   So, I thought it might be interesting to try to answer some of those questions by laying down a simple list.  What kinds of things do each of us remember, and what kinds of things do we forget?  Here’s my list:

Things I Remember

1.  Plot and Narrative-  I don’t have a great head for specific events in novels and history, but broad themes stay with me for awhile.  As long, anyway, as what I’ve read is presented in narrative form.  I can’t even remember broad themes for very long if I’m reading textbook style history.

2.  Non-mundane conversations/interactions-  What do I mean by mundane?  Like, conversations about the weather.  Anything more interesting than that I remember.  If you tell me you like a specific movie, if that movie comes up 5 years later, I’ll probably remember that you liked it.  I might even remember the verbatim discussion.  And it’s not simply an auditory thing.  I remember, if anything, online conversations with greater vividness. 

3.  Modestly important current events-  I don’t know why exactly, but I can tell you every position Mitt Romney has ever taken on an issue, when he’s taken it, when he’s changed it or altered it, etc.  If I’ve become aware of it, that is.  I can do the same thing for basically every 2008 Presidential candidate.  If I was ever aware of their position on a given issue, I remember it. 

4.  Measuring numbers-  I don’t mean dates.  I’m not especially good at remembering dates.  I can, however, remember 80% of my grades from high school, marking period by marking period.  Not just A, B, or C- like, 83, 94, 95, etc.  Ditto big test scores.  Same thing for all my friends.  If I ever heard the number, I’m likely to retain it far longer than I should.  And this isn’t just some kind of obsessive competitiveness.  I can also remember prices, heights, weights, etc.  Basically, any measuring number. 

5.  Words, definitions-  If I read a word I can usually define it, in context, and then quickly put it in my memory.  And it’ll stay there, even if I don’t see the word again for weeks or months. 

Things I Don’t Remember

1.  Specific ideas-  Either I assimilate them or they’re lost astonishingly quickly.

2.  Events I’m not personally connected to-  Events from books, from history, etc.  It decays quicker than it should, I think.

3.  Maps, directions-  I am incapable of remembering how to get from one place to another. 

4.  Sequential events-  As a corollary, I have an astonishingly hard time remembering other kinds of directions.  I played a little basketball as a kid but flamed out when we started learning plays.  Plays just wouldn’t stick.  I play chess and in chess you’re supposed to remember mating patterns so that you’re not just starting from scratch each time.  But I am.  Starting from scratch that is.  Or nearabouts.  I can’t or don’t relate past sequences to future sequences.  Oddly enough, I’m good at numbers sequences and recognize them fairly easy, but they must have different properties.

 Any thoughts on why I’m such a freak?  Anyone able to draw the connections I can’t and put this together?  Where do your own memory strengths/weaknesses lie?  Oh, and this turned out to be way more boring than I thought it’d be so…yeah, sorry.  Long Saturday at work.

Categories: Uncategorized

4 Ways…

October 1, 2009 1 comment

So I was looking through Yahoo, and I found an article titled, 4 Ways French Women Stay Thin (Without the Gym).  So I thought hey, cool, secrets from the French.  And then…I read it.  Here are the four ways:

1.) Don’t save your steps, multiply them! Instead of driving your car around in circles to find a close spot, purposefully park far away and walk the couple extra feet

2.) Incorporate simple resistance movements into your daily routine. Use your own body weight as resistance wherever possible. Isometric exercises, discreet but effective, are very French.

3.) Take care of your core. I’m a firm believer that we need to attend to our abdominals as we age. These are the muscles that hold all our vital organs in place; they support good posture and a healthy spine,

4.) Acquaint yourself with small to moderate free weights (3-5 lbs.), especially if you’re over 40. A bit of extremely simple resistance training is an antidote to hours spent on gym machines.

Not bad tips, but isn’t this how all women stay fit without going to the gym?  I was expecting some mystical knowledge gleaned from the peaks of the Ardennes or at least a story about a hot French fitness routine.  Shouldn’t a woman selling a column about the French have to  mention something unique about the French?  The article has an unbelievable 1034 comments, so apparently not.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Bugs in Fall

September 28, 2009 1 comment

Seriously, what’s the deal with all the bugs that seem to fly around in the fall?  Every year around this time I’m forced to give up running or biking outside, because I end up with a mouthful of flies (think Jim Carrey in Me, Myself and Irene).  It always feels like the “real” end of summer to me.  Any science geeks know of an explanation for this?  Or is it just my imagination?

Categories: Uncategorized

The Sly Spammers

September 25, 2009 2 comments

Everyone gets the emails from Ibn Rahmid Abdul, the crown prince of Uzbekistan.  He magnanimously offers everyone 80 million dollars if they’ll only loan him a few bucks, up front, to escape the capitivity of his arch-rival Mushish Abendo, the Caribbean dog-fighter with a penchant for bourbon.  Ibn is compelling but I always manage to resist.  But, occasionally I get an email that seems a little more genuine.  It’s from Yahoo! Account Service or Ebay!@…I always click on these just to make sure they’re not real (I can never be bothered to remember the tell-tale outward signs). 

Well, today I got one from “FedEx”.  It starts off innocuously enough.

We have been waiting for you to contact us for your Package that has been registered with us for shipping to your residential location.

 Hey, that could be… right?  Occasi0nally I get Package to my residential location.  But, then I saw this:

The content of your parcel includes a Bank Draft worth of $288,000.00 (Two Hundred and
Eighty Eight Thousand US Dollars).

Not only does my parcel include nearly 300 million (US dollars), but it comes in the form a bank draft.  Not a money order or a cashier’s check; a bank draft.  Just in case, you know, I happen to live in Regency England.  I really hope these spam messages are automatically created…

Categories: Uncategorized