March 01, 2002
Labor Pains, Part II

So, the answer is: No, writing a novel has no meaningful analogy in the birth-giving process.

Why?

Because, you're never really done. I can now print out a document and say, "Here is a novel," but it's still not done. It needs a lot of work, and I'm doing that work. But I don't think it'll ever *stop* needing work. I guess, at some point, I simply stop working on it... but it'll still need work.

There is a definitive point when giving birth is over. That's when one job ends and another job begins. Not so with writing. Completing the first draft and then polishing it into a second draft and then editing it for submission or publication or whatever... it's all the same job.

It's like running a marathon that has no finish line. It's like Sysyphis (sp?) pushing that rock. It's like an Alanis Morrisette song on infinite repeat. It's a lot of work, at first, but then you realize that IT NEVER ENDS.

Actually, some would argue that the same would be true even if you just played the Alanis Morrisette song once.

Jeez, if I wanted to be in an environment where my work is never done and every day it's a question of just grinding, grinding, grinding... I could have stayed in the high tech industry!

More later. Got some work to catch up on.

Posted by at 02:01 PM in the following Department(s): Writing | Comments (0)
 March 04, 2002
Personal Trainers and Coaches -- Semantics

On Wednesday mornings, I attend a business networking meeting. This past week, one of the visitors to this meeting said that she is a personal trainer.

I mentioned the personal trainer to Paulette, and she asked what that was. She asked if that was anything like what is currently known by the term "coach" (as in, someone to help you achieve your goals in life by developing a plan and putting into action, etc., etc.). Ah-ha, I said, no... a personal trainer is someone who focuses on your physical training.

So -- we both realized this at the same time -- a personal trainer these days is what we used to call a "coach." And, a coach these days is someone who does personal, er, training.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Big deal. And you park on a driveway and drive on a parkway, blah, blah, blah. I just happened to find it funny at the time.

Posted by at 03:31 AM in the following Department(s): Tidbits | Comments (0)
 March 07, 2002
I like sugar

I like to eat. Eating is fun. Food comes in so many wonderful flavors. Sugar. Fat. Salt. Garlic. Tomato. Cheese. Chocolate. Mmmm, chocolate. Beef. Onion. Banana. Cilantro. Strawberry. Lemon. Gimme tangy. Gimme bitter. Gimme sweet. Gimme meaty.

My favorite drinks are Pepsi and Dr Pepper. All the caffeine, baby, and bring on the sugar! Nothing quenches my thirst like a Pepsi or a Dr Pepper.

Our bodies are equipped with such wonderful taste mechanisms. Enjoy! Food is for enjoyment.

Alas, I have bit of a problem that is related to this. I haven't been moving around much these past few years. Most of my working life has involved sitting in a chair, typing. In my free time (ha!), I like to play cards, or read, or occasionally catch a movie (haven't done that in a while). There's talking. Talking in a group. Talking on the phone. And, of course, there's cooking and eating.

Not much moving around, however. Oh sure, when the weather's nice, I might go biking for an hour along the river. I'll do that for a few days a week for a couple of months, even. I don't walk around much; everything is either in *very* short walking distance, or involves driving. I gave up Tae Kwon Do for various reasons, and swimming -- my exercise of choice in my younger days -- is just awful. The smell of chlorine makes me sick.

Not moving much + eating lots --> gaining weight.

I have become the Pilsbury Doughboy.

In an effort to lose some of that weight, I've recently started to move more. It's amazing how out-of-shape I've become. I used to be able to bench press my own weight. Now it's a struggle for me to bench press Calista Flockhart's weight.

But I've also been making some other changes, including changes to my diet. That's been a little trickier. I've started to get over the caffeine withdrawal, and the cravings for a Pepsi or a Dr Pepper are starting to lessen, at least a little. Thank goodness. And while I haven't *radically* changed my diet, the simple sugars are definitely out. Instead of my beloved Super Sugar Puffs for breakfast, I'm having eggs on wheat toast.

Wheat toast! Blech. But no more white bread for me.

My body's complaining. "Where's my sugar?! Gimme that instant energy!" And yet, I don't feel that I have less energy. I just feel... differently energied.

And I feel full all the time, lately. I hate that. I don't enjoy eating. (Especially wheat toast.) Now I'm eating for the sake of fuel, and not for the sake of enjoyment. Where's the fun in that?

I think I understand, now, those people who say they eat for fuel and not for enjoyment. It makes sense to me now, because if you limit yourself to unprocessed, non-sugary foods, there's nothing there to enjoy. Eating becomes a chore. And since you feel fuller longer, you're not constantly snacking. Anyone who snacks knows that snacking is fun.

I'm sacrificing the joy of eating in the hopes of once again experiencing the joy of being thinner than Jabba the Hutt. I know that this will be good for me in the long run. I'll be reducing the likelihood of certain health risks, etc., etc. I'll look better, move lighter, and feel more comfortable in my clothes. All good things.

...all assuming that I can keep this up, of course.

For reasons unknown to me, I've never found myself interested in drink or drugs. I've never been tempted by tobacco, pot, alcohol, or the smell of airplane glue. Like those who have disdained eating for enjoyment, I've never seen the point of those kinds of gratification.

But sugar! It's a drug in its own right -- it chemically affects mood, balance, and behavior -- and I'm an addict. It's gone beyond simple enjoyment. I need it. I crave it. Even to my own detriment; even as I watch its deleterious effects upon me.

My name is Allan R., and I like sugar.

Posted by at 04:00 PM in the following Department(s): Tidbits | Comments (1)
 March 12, 2002
Tips for submitting to Clarion and Clarion West

If you're applying for, or considering applying for, Clarion or Clarion West, you may wish to check out this essay written by Howard Waldrop, who has occasionally read for the admissions committee for Clarion West:

http://www.electricstory.com/reviews/cry_me_a_9.asp

I will also confess to you that I am now on the Clarion West board (although I am not part of the admissions committee), and I have a couple of additional tips regarding submissions to the program:

1) The submissions need to be received by April 1st, not postmarked by April 1st. If you want it to arrive by April 1st, you can safely use the US Postal Service's 1st class or Priority Mail for another week or so. If, like me, you tend to rub right up against the deadline, do yourself and everyone else a favor and expedite the shipping. When they say manuscripts must be received by April 1st, they mean it.

2) There is a firm limit on the number of pages for your submission, as stated in the application instructions. Follow it. Don't ask if you can submit an extra ten pages. Don't submit an extra ten pages without asking. Just stick to the limit. Going over the limit pisses off the readers. You don't want to piss off the readers. The readers are your friend. The page limit includes all material for consideration, even your synopsis, so don't figure you can go up to the limit for a first chapter and then include a ten page synopsis. Just don't do it. The limit = the limit.

2.5) And changing the margins to make the limit is a no-no. Follow standard manuscript guidelines. (Courier or Courier New font, 12 point, one-inch margins all the way around.)

3) The application instructions tell you to send in four copies. Send in four copies.

These tips are not me speaking officially on behalf of Clarion West. I'm just saying that, based upon what I've observed, following the application instructions has benefits. For example, it improves your chances of getting in. And, in general, making the readers unhappy with you is *not* going to improve your odds.

For those of you who are not interested in Clarion or Clarion West in any way, well... I'll post something more meaningful here soon. I promise.

No, really!

Posted by at 06:41 PM in the following Department(s): Clarion West Journal | Comments (0)
 March 14, 2002
Giving in to my addictions...

I have many addictions, and they prevent me from accomplishing (or averting) certain things.

As I mentioned earlier, there's sugar. I've been in a crappy mood for the past couple of days, and today I relented and had a big, tall bottle of Dr Pepper. And then, as if that weren't enough, I enjoyed a tall glass of chocolate milk. That wasn't enough, either, so I went to Cold Stone Creamery and had an ice cream. With hot fudge.

Truth be told, I feel *much* better now. So, get off my back.

Other addictions that get in my way?

E-mail. As you know, if you've sent me any lately, I don't actually *write* e-mail. I'm too busy reading it! I loves to read my e-mail. It's a great time-waster.

Web surfing. Another great time waster.

Doing more e-mail, followed by more web surfing. Because, gosh durn it, writing a novel is hard, but reading just one more piece of e-mail or clicking on just one more link, well... that's easy! And, it won't take but a second...

Pacing.

Moping.

Sleep. Now, *that's* a time waster, if ever there was one. But, I'm addicted to that, too.

Worrying about all the work I need to do.

Reading more e-mail. Surfing more web sites.

Those are the big addictions that are getting in my way right now. Those and, as I mentioned earlier, sugar.

You might expect me, at this point, to make some pithy remark about writing this #@$% blog. But, nope. Writing entries for my on-line journal is not an addiction, at all. Like writing scenes for my novel, writing entries for my weblog involves a little more effort. It's not the effortless trap that surfing, e-mail reading, or junk food eating are. Rather, it's a job.

But I do it, because -- in the words of Eric Cartman -- "I love you guys."

Posted by at 03:08 AM in the following Department(s): Tidbits | Comments (0)
 March 16, 2002
The End of The End of History

I am disgusted.

The idea was that the US would, at its prime, establish institutions that could outlast US hegemony. That is to say, while the United States remained one of the most powerful (economically and militarily) nations on the planet, it would help to build international institutions (such as the UN, the IMF, the World Bank, et al) that would seek the betterment of populations throughout the world and help to foster the democratization of the world's nations. Because these institutions would be built with the cooperation of many other peoples, the result was to be that long after the United States' relative power waned, it's legacy of a balancing and democratizing world system would endure -- *without* requiring perpetual unilateral support by the American government.

A grand idea. Little did the architects of this dream realize -- at least, at the time -- that the biggest threat to America's legacy would be America itself.

Now, intelligent people may argue amongst each other whether the global system that was built by the US and like-minded world leaders in the 20th century has proven to be such a good idea. The UN has had its share of successes in defusing some pretty bad situations, but it has also had its share of embarrassing blunders and even costly non-action. The World Bank and the IMF may have helped to save a few nation-states from collapsing, but they have also, arguably, managed to destroy a number of economies along the way, and they've created more than a few economically dependent "client states" (for lack of a better term).

Intelligent people may even disagree on the absolute merits of democracy or capitalism versus various of other governmental and economic systems.

But for good or ill, the hope had been to create an enduring, stabilizing force that would help to preserve the peace and foster a cooperative, democratic world.

The first time this was attempted (Woodrow Wilson and the League of Nations), the whole scheme was undermined by the isolationist US Congress which felt, at the time, that the United States needed to mind its own business and the the rest of the world take care of itself. Soon thereafter, Hitler, Stalin, and Hirohito provided excellent arguments for why this was a bad way of looking at things.

The second attempt (FDR, Churchill, and the United Nations, et al) has enjoyed a little bit of a longer run. And once again, it is the United States that is pulling out and going it alone.

It's not so much that the US has stopped providing economic support (we haven't paid our UN dues since Reagan was President -- or was it Bush the elder?). And acting against the general will of the UN is not terribly new behavior, either... for the US or any other nation, for that matter.

No, the troublesome new trend is the overt, blatant, stand-offish, and unilateral withdrawal of the United States from its treaty obligations. The flagrant disavowal of any kind of rule of law (international law, in this case). It's bad enough that our bureaucracies routinely violate NAFTA and similar international agreements. It continues to be a disgrace that our government circumvents its treaties with the native American tribes. It gets much worse when the US unilaterally decides to freshly violate long-standing trade agreements by imposing stiff steel import tariffs that are tantamount to embargoes. But for the President of the United States to tell the world, essentially, "We just don't feel like honoring the ABM Treaty anymore, so go piss up a rope," is so obnoxious and dangerous as to be genuinely disgusting.

What good is the word of the American government when it tells the nuclear nations of the world that it just doesn't *feel* like continuing to honor it's promises regarding nuclear weapons? How can any nation take the US seriously when it comes time to negotiate new treaties regarding nuclear weapons? What is to keep any other nation from ignoring what it perceives to be its national interests when deciding whether to honor its own commitments regarding nuclear weapons?

Or the Geneva Convention?

The United States, because of its current power, cannot help but lead by example. Our government is now establishing a most terrifying precedent. Instead of leading by example toward cooperation, the US is showing that promises mean nothing and expediency is everything. (I will also note that the moves of the US government to violate these treaties began *before* having September 11 as an excuse.)

Now, some of you who have read this far may be saying, "Yeah, so? Machiavelli told us this is the way of the world. When has it ever been different?"

But it *has* been different. In times of cooperation, peace and prosperity were allowed to flourish. In times of stand-offishness and cavalier unilateralism, the results have always been destructive.

Speaking as an historian, I am particularly worried about the direction the political climate is heading. If the inactions of our nation's previous administration invited the tragedy of September 11th (perhaps an essay for another time), the actions of the current administration may well be taking us into darker territory, still.

Posted by at 03:40 AM in the following Department(s): Tidbits III | Comments (0)
 March 18, 2002
Conversation

Had some folks over for dinner yesterday. We talked about writing and we talked about kids and we talked about politics.

Mmmm. Politics.

I haven't had my ass whupped so much in a conversation about politics in a long time. It's not that my sparring partner set out to destroy me (nor did he), it was rather that he demanded intellectual honesty. Something that has been missing from a lot of political conversations I've been having lately. This has led, in turn, to atrophy in certain essential critical thinking skills.

In other words, I've *been* having conversations about politics, but I've been able to get by with surface observations and bumpersticker rebuttals. I had a conversation last night with someone who had actually thought a little bit more about the issues than your average bear (so to speak... his last name is Bear) and, in order to keep up, I had to dig a bit deeper than I've had to in a while.

And, we weren't even really covering the Big Issues.

I'm out of shape, intellectually. I need to resume sparring again. Need to sharpen my wit and keep it honed. Need to surround myself with people whose brains are not in idle. I had a good time last night. Need to do that more often.

Posted by at 02:53 AM in the following Department(s): Tidbits | Comments (1)
 March 20, 2002
Paranoia: A true story, part one

I always sit down to write a quick note, and then it becomes a long note. Let's see if I can make this quick:

True story. I've been reading a novel called Vitals by Greg Bear, which is a tour de paranoia about how bacteria relate to each other and to their hosts and how they could conceivably be used 1) to increase longevity, and/or 2) induce "mind control." It's a lot of fun and more than a little creepy.

A few mornings ago, I was chatting with a friend of mine named Eric. We go way back. He was pointing out to me a current paranoid theory about the September 11th plane crash at the Pentagon. The theory goes that a 757 never actually crashed into the building. (My favorite part of the site that espouses this theory is where they overlay an outline of a 757 against the Pentagon, and the outline of the plane is *much* bigger than it would be, had it been drawn to scale... but, I digress.)

The fun thing about getting caught up in such conversations is that the paranoia becomes catchy. The more you look for clues of foul play, the more likely they are to seem almost plausible. So, here we were, kvetching about conspiracy theories, and me in a paranoid mindset already because the book I've been reading is a thriller about a conspiracy. My wife comes downstairs in the middle of the conversation. "Do you know why the FBI are outside?"

"What?!?!

"Uh, Eric, I have to go."

I headed upstairs and looked out the window and, sure enough, there was a city cop and an FBI guy strolling around outside. Paulette said that they seemed to be looking for our next door neighbor. (We are in a townhouse, and are therefore *immediately* next door to our next door neighbor.) I wondered if they had eavesdropping devices in their cruiser. (My conversation with Eric had been on a cell phone.) I wondered, if they're looking for Neighbor, why they don't already know he's out of town until Tuesday. I mean, they know everything, right?

Well, the FBI drives away after a bit. BTW, here's how you can tell if a guy outside your house is an FBI guy: he wears an overcoat that says, in BIG BOLD LETTERS: FBI.

As I recounted this part of the story over dinner the next day, the first response by one of our guests was "Well, he works at [a former employer of mine in the high tech industry] and he has a Middle-Eastern sounding name. They're probably just doing a background check." Very plausible, and it puts my mind at ease. I like our neighbor, and I hope that nothing serious is afoot.

And, of course, I'm also glad that the Conspiracy isn't out to get me, after all, either.

So, what we have here thus far is nothing more than an amusing little anecdote about coincidence and paranoia. Something to chuckle about over dinner.

Until the FBI came back yesterday. And the news crews. And no, I'm not kidding. My wife called me (I was out running errands) and told me what was up. I came right home...

More on that in my next entry. I have to get the phone.

Posted by at 03:20 PM in the following Department(s): Tidbits | Comments (1)
 March 21, 2002
Changes to this site

Using Jehan Semper's excellent Geek Log perl scripts to manage this site has given me a lot of ideas about *other* things I could do with this site... and so I have made a few little upgrades. While all of my entries from the Geek Log are here, you'll find that there are some new features, as well, courtesy of an engine called Moveable Type.

For example, I can assign my entries into categories (you'll see categories listed along the right hand side of the screen), and you can peruse them by category, title, or month they were entered. I was surprised to see just how long I've been using this system to maintain an online journal. I'll also hunt down older entries from pre-Geek Log days (back when I used to hand tool my site by hand -- ugh) and post them, later.

As I get this thing up and running, however, there are bound to be glitches. Pages that look messed up, nasty color schemes, missing essays, miscategorized essays, broken links, etc. Please let me know if you run into any problems and drop me a line at journal@rousselle.com.

Oh, one more thing. One of the features that Moveable Type adds to this site is the ability for you to post comments regarding each entry. I've received some great e-mail in response to some of the entries here -- now, if you're so inclined, you can share your thoughts with other visitors to the site, as well. While I fix appearance issues and add new features, I'll also be going through past entries and categorizing them, so you'll see the category pages start to fill up soon.

Thanks for visiting!

Posted by at 11:10 PM in the following Department(s): About This Site | Comments (1)
 March 24, 2002
A Man With a Past

They say a man with no past has no future. No, wait. A man who does not know history is condemned to repeat it. Yeah, that's it.

When I first put up this new engine to manage my online journal, I quickly perused the titles of my previous entries and assigned many of them categories so that visitors could look at entries by subject and not just have to wade through them chronologically. (Since there are several folks who visit the site to peruse my Clarion West Journal from last year, I desire to keep the customers satisfied. :-)

Anyway, I've started going through my entries more closely and making more thoughtful choices about what categories to use for each one. Some entries will appear in more than one category, which is also requiring a bit of consideration.

This means I've been reading through every entry in my blog in chronological order from, oh, November or so of 2000 to June of last year (so far). It's amazing the patterns you can see when you pull up and look at these high-level synopses (sp?) of what was on your mind that you *can't* see when you're too busy living it.

While it was clear that there were good and bad things about working for my previous employer, for example, it becomes obvious very quickly from my journal entries at the time that I wasn't going to stay there very long.

I've had concrete plans to finish my novel within a month for, oh, about 16 months now. (BTW, my current plan is to send out the first three chapters to my agent of choice in about four weeks. Go figure. More on that soon, I promise!)

I've been whining publicly about how bad I am at returning people's e-mail for over a year now, at least. That hasn't changed.

But, yeah, it's been interesting to tour my public journal and see the face I've been putting on events and observations in my life... and how obvious certain eventualities are when you read the journal, and yet how oblivious I had been while writing it.

I wonder if I should dare to read my private journal, too. Ack!

Posted by at 01:09 AM in the following Department(s): Tidbits | Comments (0)
How to Destroy an Afternoon

This morning, I decided to spend a little time trying to fix an interesting bug in the way IE renders this site. The problem had to do with how certain CSS elements (the "float" property, to be precise) are rendered. Netscape 4.7 appeared to be doing okay with this particular issue.

Didn't take long to fix the appearance in IE. I simply put the left and right hand columns back into tables and -- voila -- it worked beautifully. Except, all of a sudden Nescape refused to display the right hand column altogether. Near as I can tell, Netscape 4.7 throws a fit as soon as you start including "div" tags within tables. I played around some more and tried to fix the problem.

Six hours later, and my day is --pfft-- gone. And, what do I have to show for it? Ultimately, I had to revert the site back to its original appearance, which means the rendering problem in IE is back. (In IE, if you have the window set kinda narrow, the right hand column gets bumped down to the bottom of the page. Yuck.) So, in short, I know a lot more about what doesn't work in IE and Netscape, but that's about all I have to show for the day.

Blech.

PS: How many of you use Netscape 4.7? Netscape 6.0? IE for Mac? IE for Windows? Please click on the comments button below and let me know. Thanks!

Posted by at 05:37 PM in the following Department(s): | Comments (5)
Okay. It's fixed.

Finally figured out how to resolve the tables vs. CSS problems with IE and Netscape. Now I can finally do something else with my day.

As always, please let me know if your browser has trouble viewing my site. :-)

Posted by at 09:39 PM in the following Department(s): | Comments (0)
 March 25, 2002
Paranoia: A True Story, part two

So, this past weekend some friends came over for a monthly get-together called "The Mutinous Video Club", wherein we take turns picking a movie to rent and then we watch and critique it as a group. This past weekend, one of the gang chose a movie I'd never seen called "Hackers." An enjoyably awful movie.

In the movie, the Secret Service/FBI goes around busting down doors, barging in as a large group, and sticking machine guns into people's faces within hours of some poor high school slob hacking into a computer system. Shortly thereafter, some corporate weasel (usually in the form of a hacker who is employed by a big corporation) plants evidence to frame the poor high school schmoley for crimes he, the corporate weasel, is committing, and then the FBI/Secret Service stupidly goes around doing the corporation's bidding. Thus, in this movie, students who go in and ruin computer systems for banks and television stations are the "heroes" and "victims", and the corporations and the cops who try to stop them are the "bad guys." But, I digress.

The point is, in this movie and others, law enforcement barges in with guns and shouting, willy nilly, to nab computer-related boogie-men.

So, getting back to my true story: a couple of weeks ago, Paulette had pointed out to me that an FBI guy (she saw a couple, but I ended up only seeing one) and a local cop were kinda walking around our building, knocking on a door or two, and just generally poking around. Just another day on the job. They didn't knock on our door, which was fine by me, but they certainly raised my curiousity.

As I left off the last installment, Paulette phoned me a few days later to tell me that a television news crew was sniffing around. They had, it turns out, rung *our* doorbell. The news crew had told Paulette that the FBI was cracking down on some big alleged internet nastiness, and had confiscated a computer or two from one of our neighbors, and would she care to comment?

Having worked in the news media, I wish I'd been the one who'd answered the door so that I could have closed the door in their faces. Paulette had no such prior experience, however. She did talk to them, but at least she was very, very vague. While this allowed them, during the "news" broadcast later in the day, to say something like "Neighbors are shocked and alarmed" before showing a cut of her saying "You never think it'll happen here" (how deliciously vague!), at least they didn't actually get someone to say something nasy on the air.

Why am I so concerned about this? Well, for a few reasons, but it mostly has to do with my belief that 1) making snap judgements on the basis of what a *news crew* tells you is, generally speaking, a bad idea, 2) we have good neighbors and, unless and until a court says otherwise, we're going to continue to expect that they are good neighbors. News crews can (and have) ruined a few lives along the way with accidental misreportings, and I won't be a party to it.

Anyway, after Paulette called, I came home (I was walking around the neighborhood, wrapping up some errands) and the news crew had left by then. She never saw any FBI on that particular day, despite the news reporter's claim. And, with the exception of our fierce curiousity, it became pretty much a day just like any other. (Although, other news crews came by later.)

My paranoia was just starting to calm down when I received a phone call a couple days later from an friend of mine at the Department of Justice (I'm not making this up). Back when my friend applied for his job with the DoJ, he had put me down as a reference for his background check. Anyway, he called me to say that the guy at the FBI with whom he'd spoken during the background check process had traced back to him because the FBI were looking at me and a neighbor of mine regarding some current case they're working on.

And I'm thinking, WHAT?!

Then I thought about the fact that I have a wireless network that's not encrypted, and maybe someone's been using my network for something nefarious, or who knows what, and my friend at the DoJ says that the FBI told him they'd already spoken with somebody at my house, and he thought it must have been me but maybe it was Paulette, and my brain is racing trying to recall if Paulette had mentioned anything about acutally talking to the FBI, because she might have.

While I'm puzzling all this out, my friend mentions that I was named during an arrest, but that the Feds were becoming a little skeptical of my involvement, because the source was pretty much trying to name anyone he could think of....

My DoJ friend said that while the other guy was being arrested, he was pretty frantic. Raving. He said that the cops practically had to drag him out of the house, because he was grabbing onto anything he could to keep from being pulled away. But, they grabbed onto his legs and pulled real hard and then, well, my alleged friend admitted that he was, in fact, pulling *my* leg.

"And that, your honor, is when I killed him."

He got me good. Matt, who asked not to be named, had read my "part 1" of this story and decided that I was good and ready for a major leg pull, and he was just the guy to do the pulling. And, boy did he get me.

Now, I imagine that both of you who bothered to read this little story were expecting this to be about my neighbor. Hope I didn't disappoint you, but my neighbor's story (if there is a story) is not mine to tell. Rather, it's about paranoia. Just another anecdote to while away the time.

But if there's one thing I learned from this episode, it is this: if you have the potential to be a little paranoid, as I do from time to time, be careful whom you tell. They just might be out to get you.

Posted by at 04:00 PM in the following Department(s): Tidbits | Comments (1)
 March 27, 2002
Losing One's Cheese

Another true story.

I flew across the country recently on Delta Airlines. My first time on Delta in years. Arrived at my destination, rented a car, and drove a couple of hours to get where I was going. Later that night, I discovered that I didn't have my book with me anymore.

I'd left it on the plane.

The book is called "Who Moved My Cheese?" It's a rather short book (and a thin book, which would explain why I didn't realize I'd left it in the seat pocket on the plane... unlike the Stephen King tomes I usually carry with me), and it was a gift from this past Christmas. A special, pre-publication edition. For those of you who are up on such things, I haven't finished reading it yet, so I have no idea as to the quality of the content, so there. The book itself is easily replaced, but there is that sentimental value attached (being a special edition, and a gift).

So, contrary to my typical nature, I called Delta in the hopes of tracking down their Lost & Found. (Rather than just assuming it was lost, and going out and buying another copy.)

Oddly enough, it only took one call to find the L&F at the airport for Delta, and only one call to them to find out if they had my book. Okay, it took three calls to Lost and Found, but I don't count those as three seperate calls because it was simply a case of my cel phone was in a bad cell area, and the calls kept getting dropped. Go AT&T!

In one call I established that, indeed, they had just found "Who Moved My Cheese?" from a recent flight, and they would have it waiting for me at the Will Call of the Baggage Claim office when I went to the airport for my return flight.

A few hours later, I found my copy of the book. Turns out I had misplaced it in my carry-on (it being so thin, the book ended up in a pouch that offered no obvious signs of its extra contents). Who moved my cheese? Me, that's who.

But, that means somebody else out there has lost their cheese. And, you know what? I think I'm going to go to Lost and Found and liberate it. Having moved my cheese, I'm about to end up with *extra* cheese. I think I'll lend out that second copy to my friends. I'm going to share the cheese. Second-hand cheese.

Anyone out there want a copy of "Who Moved My Cheese?"

Next up: maybe I should call USAir's Lost and Found and see if they have a copy of that new Stephen King book I want....

Posted by at 09:50 PM in the following Department(s): Tidbits | Comments (0)

Copyright (c)1998 - 2010 by Allan Rousselle. All rights reserved, all wrongs reversed, all reservations righted, all right, already.
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The author. January, 2010.
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