Why I'm glad I'm not famous

I can point to thousands of instances of press violation of people's privacy, in addition to internet rumors and widespread gossip, and the latest is an article about some of the Atlanta "housewives". It's definitely creepy that they dig into police and real estate records to dig up dirt. And there's a lot more going on elsewhere about other famous people. Scary.


Thanksgiving timeline

Today is Thanksgiving, which is a very popular holiday in the US. I'd say it's more popular than Christmas because it's about food, family, history, and thanks, which anyone can celebrate. So today after work (I wanted the holiday pay) I'm going to catch up on laundry and proceed to eat a lot of great food.

Anyway, if you want to know a bit about Thanksgiving within a simple historical context, check out the Thanksgiving timeline.


When is "old fashioned"?

I just took a swig of some "gourmet soda" manufactured by a drugstore chain in the US. It's so gourmet, it has such fancy ingredients as artificial flavor, sodium benzoate, carmel color, and citric acid. Yeah, it's "gourmet" all right.

But that's not what I noticed: it has the word "old fashioned" to describe what kind of root beer it is.

So now I'm wondering, what is "old fashioned"? It's 2008, so is that like 100 years ago, or 50, or more? And have they only been using such a phrase in the 20th and 21st centuries? I wonder if they used "old fashioned" in the 18th century, or earlier in England (since they've been around a lot longer than the US).


European tapestries

I saw the European Tapestries exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago, and I highly recommend going there (if you're in Chicago, of course).

When I first saw the info about the exhibition, I thought it was no big deal, but when I walked into the gallery, I was really impressed because the tapestries are huge and beautiful. I seriously wanted to cheer and yell "All right!" because they were so striking. But I think people around me would've been weirded out, and security would've hauled me away :D

I'm definitely going back--they're there for just a couple of months, and I just have to see their magnificence again. They come from the 15th through 18th centuries, and you can see the detail and hard, meticulous work the weavers and dyers did to create such beauty. The Art Institute catalog calls them "masterpieces," and they really are.


Fired vs laid off

There seems to be some disagreement on the meaning of "fired" and "laid off".

I thought that people are fired when the employer doesn't think they're doing a good job, but people are laid off when there's not enough money to pay them. I thought it was just another meaning for redundant. But someone told me that when people are laid off, it means that they might be hired back. So when there's no chance of being hired back, then they're fired.

Anyway, there have been reductions in staff everywhere, and that often happens in radio, in good and bad economic times, because it seems that media companies are always getting rid of people. Today I saw three people kicked out due to financial reasons, which is really sad, because the two I knew (I didn't really know the third) were really good at what they did.

So since they don't have a chance of being hired back, they've been fired, even though it was because of finances. Or maybe it wasn't, because one person was replaced with someone who was cheaper. So that position was necessary after all.


I'm living on British time

When I got to work this morning at 4 AM, I was listening to the beginning of the BBC's World Update, and they said that it was 10 AM in England/Britain/whatever they call it. Which made me realize that I have been living in the British time zone ever since I started my new work schedule. Which is why I probably feel like I have jet lag all the time.

So I'm basically working a late British schedule: from 10 AM to 6 PM instead of weird Chicago hours. I haven't been there since the late 80's, but if I go again, I won't have to adjust to their time zone.


Swedish Lebanese drinking song

The singer is from Lebanon, and a Swede made up some Swedish lyrics to go along (he doesn't know what the guy is really singing about). The Swedish song is about drinking and hats. You can see the story and translation at the site (click on "Explanation in English").



Somebody mentioned splades in my spork post, and I found a site that explained them with this simple diagram. I guess it's a British and Australian thing, because I've never seen them in the US.




Companies have really gone crazy with the "gourmet" concept, but I've found proof of overkill: the combination of "premium" and "gourmet".

The example I found was a "Premium Gourmet Syrup" which seems so unappetizing, they're probably using "premium gourmet" to convince us that it's palatable. It's pumpkin flavored, and what's pitiful is that it's been out on the counter for months--ie, it's not fresh for the current fall season.

There's also French on the label to assure us that it is truly "gourmet", but the company is located in Florida. And here are the "gourmet" ingredients: sugar, water, pumpkin flavor, spice flavors, and salt. When I see "flavor", I assume it's artificial, because if it were real, they'd make a point to state that.

Yet another desperate attempt at hypinng up quality.


I'm on Leopard!

Even though Leopard came out last year and folks kept telling me how great it was, I didn't get it until this week, and installed it on my computer yesterday. Tiger was a good system, but Leopard is better! It has a lot more features, works smoothly, and looks great.

I use PC's at work but have been using Macs at home since the early 80's, and I don't know why more folks don't use Macs. Oh yeah, they want to make life more difficult for themselves. I guess it's more cool to work at using a computer instead of just enjoying using one.

btw--I don't have an iPod--it's not worth the money for me. Which means I don't have an iPhone either, just am a loyal Mac user :D


Lots of French informational videos!

When I discovered a French video for tying a tie, I went back to the site to see what other instructional videos there are, and there are a lot!

So check it out if you want to learn new things while practicing your French at the same time: Netprof.fr

Right now, I'm interested in the history of Paris (and would love to go there someday), but I might do something crazy and watch the computer how-to videos, because they have stuff there that I want to learn. Of course, I can do that in English, but I really need to improve my French, and what better way than to do that through topics I'm interested in.

Bottom line: this is a great site!


news24 loads!

After much time trying to figure out what was wrong with my Internet access because I couldn't access foreign sites or government sites, and after whining about it, it finally worked itself out and now I can go to News24.jp! The only problem is that I can't access it from anywhere in my home because there's something wrong with the wireless router, which might have been the cause of my strange accessibility problems.

My ISP said they'd never heard of such a thing: why wouldn't I be able to go to foreign and government sites? I still don't know what was happening, but at least I can now view Japanese news and practice reading it as well. So thanks for putting up with my whining and have a nice day :D