Posts Tagged ‘lists’

Mail Box

26 July 2010

Dear J-

I’m on a strange set of mailing lists because, I suspect, my shopping habits on the internet are eclectic and specific.  Last year when I was shopping for shirt-jacs (it’s a jacket!  no, it’s a shirt!) I stumbled across the cheap no-name Cabela’s for half the price of the Carhartt products* so I’m on the same list as folks who buy big orange guns for their Wii and the various cured game meat products.

You’d think there would be something out there for us dedicated tightwads (if there’s a site that advertises outrageous deals, chances are I’ve tried it), but the tyranny of the internet has declared that certain things shall be certain prices with no wiggle room, apparently.  The great search engines have become equalizing tools.

Sometimes it’s interesting to see what comes in the mail; I must be on some alumni lists, because they’re always after me for more money.  Other days it doesn’t pay to open the mailbox, between blow-in ads and all the bills, but I suppose that mail carriers and sorters need to pay their way too, so it’s not hard to begrudge a few cents every now and then.


* The Carhartt products come in more and nicer colors, but if they’d been willing to stand by their made-in-the-USA pledge I might not be so outstandingly ugly in the winters now.


Ten Minutes

17 July 2009

Dear J-

Boeing is running into issues with their Dreamliner — the 787 — where because of delayed rollout, test flight, schedule slip, they’re starting to lose some of their initial orders.  The philosophy is interesting:  how do you improve per-passenger efficiency and costs?  Boeing chose weight reduction and limited passengers, which helps range, but requires more flights to serve the same number of compared to the super-jumbo 747 or Airbus A380.

Back to schedule, though; business is filled with experts and prognosticators plying their trade as seers; some surely thought that Boeing’s schedule was overly ambitious.  There is no doubt that engineering these huge machines is complex and fraught with risk; the better-planned the schedule, ultimately, the more flexibility you’ll have to execute it.  The 787 is, I think, partially hoist on marketing’s petard; well-timed announcements can disrupt your competitors’ products (see also:  vaporware) as long as you’re able to back up your claims.

Me, I’ve been trying to write down in the last ten minutes of work all the things I didn’t get done so that I could attack them with a fresh mind in the morning.  The list has grown unfortunately long, but since I mostly announce them to myself (yesterday I made the mistake of promising tomorrow rashly), the only fear, uncertainty, and doubt is generated in my mind.


Scatter Brain

3 July 2009

Dear J-

There are couple of lists scattered around the house — one a shopping list, the other showing the free parking lots for the San Diego County Fair we attended last weekend — both carefully prepared, written, ready to go, and yet they’ve both gone unused, victim to my increasingly faulty short-term memory. Distractions abound as we get ready to head out of the house; between putting together a bag of milk and snacks, getting the dogs ready, and gearing up (I could use a purse, I suppose), I’m surprised we don’t leave more things at home in the rush out the door.

On more than one occasion, theVet has jokingly accused me of being dead inside; we were discussing what happens after death — as I’ve never given it much thought (or worry, for that matter) I couldn’t say that it’s caused me many sleepless nights. Part of it is that it’s not something you can get a whole lot of precise eyewitness reports back from; the other part is that I’ve got a bit of fatalism in me — I can’t control everything, and I suspect that it’s going to happen from something I’ve forgotten, at any rate. It’s not carte blanche to do whatever I want, mind you — the cosmic slate is not wiped clean by death, let alone having to live in the present.

My brother, having found a new job, is moving to Taiwan in a week. The economy keeps moving in mysterious ways; I, faced with the prospect of possibly not seeing him and his family (it feels remote — we just saw them two weeks ago, and therefore the recent past trumps the unreasonable future, right?) for longer than I can imagine, am now wondering how long a flight figgy can take, how light we can travel. The truth is that with an entire ocean between us, chances are that until we’re all able to live out of a suitcase or two, heading overseas is going to stay difficult — but I’ll find a way to make it work.

It’s not dead inside; inside is a roiling tumult of thought, after all. I may leave the mental lists — those external devices — without batting an eye on the outside, but these things sink down deep where it’s hard to ignore despite what my face says.


Two Year Revue

3 May 2009

Dear J-

I keep making excuses, although we don’t have that much further to run — figgy’s real birthday is Wednesday, but weekends are much easier to observe these things. The second birthday isn’t as big in any culture, I think, except to mark the transition to the terrible twos. My personal hypothesis for that has to do with developmental issues — you’re somewhere between knowing what you want and not being able to say it; the cliché of “use your words” is actually pretty accurate. Therefore, the two-year review:

  • 200 gallons of milk consumed (mostly soy)
  • 150 extra trips around the block trying to get her to fall asleep
  • 100 weeks with at least one tantrum
  • 75 steps, average, taken before asking for UPS, UPS, UPS
  • 50 dollars usually spent on toys quickly discarded in favor of a rock, or a leaf
  • 30 seconds, nominally, until the next request
  • 20 years wondering what life would be like with a figgy
  • 15 percent, time, money, and effort spent trying to guess correctly
  • 10 hours a day worked means no time for figgy, terrible for all of us
  • 5 different ways of pronouncing Daddy, depending on what’s needed
  • 2 cupcakes destroyed today
  • 1 more heart won, as usual