Friday, June 29, 2007

An Inaugural Award

Today's Useful Person Award goes to a 78-year-old woman in Germany:

Woman Saves Self After Taxi Driver Dies
BERLIN (AP) - A resourceful 78-year-old retiree saved herself and others from possible serious injuries Monday after her taxi driver suddenly died of a heart attack on the highway, police said.

The man was driving the woman on Germany's autobahn near the northern city of Luebeck when he suddenly died, and the car careened into a guard rail.

The woman, who was in the front passenger seat, didn't panic, but instead reached across and yanked the car out of gear, then pulled the hand brake.

The car then slowed to a stop nearly 300 yards farther along the highway. She was unharmed.

Police praised the woman for her "courageous intervention" that prevented a possible serious accident. She then got a lift home in an officer's squad car.
Congrats to this level-headed lady. Her certificate (suitable for framing) is in the mail, and she's now in the running for the Useful Person of the Year (the winner receives a trophy consisting of a swiss army knife and tire iron crossed over a roll of duct tape (all bronzed) and a gift card to either Home Depot or Barnes & Noble (winner's choice)).*

*All prizes completely fictional unless I can get something grassroots going.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Hooray! A new column! I'll get the confetti!

500 words' worth of navel-gazing is up at The Scenic Route. It's better than nothing, at least from my point of view. Enjoy.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

More fun

From Neatorama: Name the 192 U.N. member nations in 10 minutes! (I got 108 before time ran out - I'm fuzzy on Africa, Central America and Central Asia, and I blanked on others.) Also (in another post linked to the one I liked to above), name all 50 states in 10 minutes. (This one I whipped in less than three minutes. Boo yah.)

2/3rds-week yumminess

For the kitchen geeks among us: Trilobite cookies. I'm going to make these for the geologists where I work. The recipe looks pretty straightforward, although you need a cookie press to get the shape right.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Some fun stuff for mid-week

A couple fun links I found:

This page shows how the 50 states stack up against other countries, GDP-wise. Indiana's on a par with Denmark, and California is equal to France (the world's eighth biggest economy). Of interest: Iran, with all its oil, only comes out equal to Alabama. If you've ever been to Alabama, you'll understand why I think that's interesting. (Not that I didn't like the state; it was darn friendly, and quite beautiful. It's just . . . well, it's not exactly New York City, you know what I mean?)

This is just plain cool: it's a clock, executed (I assume) in Flash, that uses concentric circles to give the time, date and day of the week. Too cool. (Unfortunately, I found that leaving it open in one browser window slows down load times in the others. Still rocks my socks off, though.)

Finally, there's this response to the online community craze: First Life! Inhabit a world rendered in stunning color and detail! Create your own "look"! Communicate face to face with actual people! I'm seriously considering getting one of their t-shirts. (It's a graphic, not an actual Web page, so the only working links are the Google ads in the lower right-hand corner, but it's still fun.)

Friday, June 08, 2007

New column up . . .

. . . and the first half is probably better than the second at The Scenic Route. But I wrote the second half this afternoon, and it's Friday and it's raining and I'm tired and practically brain dead, so consider yourself lucky it's up at all. I'll probably go in and fix it in a couple days when I have more energy. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Trials of a (temp) Receptionist

I got a temp job working as a receptionist downtown, and for the most part it's absolute cake. I basically get paid to sit around and surf the Internets, with occasional office work. My job description is basically "Wait for the phone to ring, then answer it." Which is fine, except I keep getting calls from autodialers which put me on hold the second I pick up. I don't know about you, but if I have to sit with the phone to my ear, they could at least coordinate things so that someone's on the other end to respond when I say "Hello."

On the other hand, if that's my only complaint about this job, I really don't have room to be complaining at all. Awwwww, it's a learning moment!

Friday, June 01, 2007

And the rant goes on . . .

. . . although I like to think the new rant at The Scenic Route is a little more coherent that my usual foaming-at-the-keyboard antics. Have fun!