Monday, February 27, 2006

some old faves!

Found a couple of old comics clipped out and saved at least 15 years ago. Since they were deteriorating, I thought I'd scan and post them here, for others to enjoy.

This is a Bizarro, I believe:
That still makes me laugh.

The next one is so truly true, I've referred to it numerous times in the past:

Now others can grin along with me.


A Rebirth

Readers and fans (not the same thing!) of the Terminal City blog, disappointed that the Diary-x server took a flying leap off a cyber-cliff in the Netosphere, will be pleased to note the resurgence of the Evil Elf's blog as raincoaster.

Read at your own risk, as she re-invents herself in an all new space.



Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Flight No-shows

The other day, a friend commented on the number of people who were no-shows on the day of the flight. I was appalled. Imagine, planning a trip, booking a flight, paying for it, and then letting the travel date just slip past!

Perhaps my reality slipped in there. I'm a budget flyer. I plan carefully, end up with special deals, non-refundable tickets -- and go on my trips. (I've also heard of people who don't quite read their tickets, and arrive at the airport after the plane has left, or go the next day....but that's a different post!)

So, in preparation of a rambling blog post on the silliness of people who pay for trips and don't go, I did a bit of searching -- and discovered that it's more the trickiness of people who get their travel agents to book two different flights, to keep their options open. Then there are the people trapped in traffic, or subject to faulty alarm clocks (6 a.m. flights have higher no-show rates, as do flights "scheduled around Chicago rush hours").

If you're one of those people who hopes to be bumped, read these tips. But, you should also read this interesting article on how airlines are reducing the number of no-shows, and thus the over-booking rates...and then, of course, the number of people who can volunteer to give up their seats for great goodies! (Then there is this article that contradicts some of what the first one says about what the airlines are 'required' to do for passengers they've bumped.)

I have no intention of being late for our honeymoon trip to Paris. Metro found tickets so cheap on Yahoo travel that people have asked us if it's 'on a real airline'...yes it is. We do have to leave from Seattle, stay in a hotel, park the car for the 10 days we're gone...but it's all an adventure.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

How much time did this take?

A little video of Einstein the Parrot.

Oh, it's cute and all, but all I could think of was this woman's life: devoted to training and touring with a parrot.

Is it worth it?


Friday, February 10, 2006

What is the magic formula?

Have you ever wondered how "they" figure out how many restaurants any given community can support? I've heard that McD's has an actual formula...

A formula probably exists for every form of critical mass:
  • How many people need to arrive at a house party before people end up having a mini-party in the kitchen. (A good dozen?)
  • How many cats does a woman need before becoming a 'crazy cat lady'. (More than 5? or 3?)
  • How many of any one item can you have before it is a collection. (A friend of mine says, very definitively: "Four.")
The important one for the work that I do is the number of volunteers/workers before someone becomes dissatisfied because they are under-utilized. Volunteers are an interesting breed -- they will work for free, but they do want...a useful task, acknowledgement, self-satisfaction, and opportunities for self-improvement.

I became a member of Bzzagent dot com (you know something? I have no desire to link to them) awhile ago, and at first flush it is a great concept: Use human beings' innate desire to know about something first and tell other people about it for marketing purposes...the company makes money, and their work force is all willing volunteers. Oh, they give rewards based on a point system -- and it is quite generous, if you are offered bzzagent campaigns.

The problem is, I think they've reached critical mass. A lot of recent publicity has them signing up new Bzzagents like crazy, but it hasn't brought in the same proportion of new clients. If you read their company blog, all is transparent and wow-aren't-we-wonderful, but if you read the comments from the actual agents, you'll see a lot of people who are dissatisfied.

No, not just people -- volunteers who are the backbone of their concept, the product that they sell to clients, and the audience for all of their fabulous self-congratulatory promotions.

The formula is now reversed...

How many is too many?
How soon before the volunteers give up waiting to be used?
How much bad publicity will they end up getting? (probably not enough to make any difference)


Monday, February 06, 2006

Burn your letters!

Just received my birthday present to myself in the mail today: The Bukowski/Purdy Letters 1964-1974 (edited by Seamus Cooney).

{Rule #3 in life...always buy yourself a birthday present, then you're guaranteed to get the one thing you actually want.}

I am a fan of Charles Bukowski's poetry, and Al Purdy' was a delight to find that this book existed. I requested it from over a year ago, and voila! they found a copy in time for my birthday!

Anyway, here's part of Al Purdy's foreword:

"I am, of course, writing this because the publisher wants me to. I can't think of any other reason. This Buk-Purdy thing was a private correspondence, which neither of us expect to see in public, gossiping away like a dumb loudspeaker. I do confess, it makes me a little morose, the way I don't feel when I have lost myself in poems. I hope nobody likes me for it, but someone may be slightly interested."
Reminds me of the title of the collected Robertson Davies correspondence, For Your Eyes Alone (2000) -- published after his death of course. Also reminiscent of Virginia Woolf, who, I believe, asked Leonard in her suicide note to burn her diaries.

In my diaries, I usually write to myself-in-the-future, not some unsuspected/ing public. My letters, when I go back and read them later, are such a mess of triviality that I'm surprised my correspondent even responded...But I'm lucky. I have no pretensions of becoming a famous writer.

To those of you with a desire to be famous: Publish your own letters and diaries (a la Anais Nin), or burn them yourself...don't expect your heirs to do the latter for you.

And to those of you who forget to do it -- your adoring public will devour your spelling mistakes and inanities with love and reverence.


Thursday, February 02, 2006

I'm with Wiarton Willie!

Big news today: Wiarton Willie (in Ontario) & Shubenacadie Sam (in Nova Scotia) both agree that we're due for an early spring this year. Punxsutawney Phil (in Pennsylvania), unfortunately saw his shadow.

I'll add my vote to the other Canadians, and let the US groundhogs fend for themselves. Being born on February 2nd gives me the right to check for my shadow like the my fellow groundpigs.

But I won't mention that I was up and out before the sun is just undeniably unfair that the Lower Mainland gets a sunny day today, of all days!!

Ah well. Off to celebrate my birthday!