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Wednesday, November 30, 2005



I have a new favorite customer complaint. A woman drove up to the drivethrough window, and I gave her what she ordered, which included a large drink. When I realized she wasn't leaving, I opened the window again to ask what she wanted. She held up the drink and said, "When I said 'large,' I meant 'large large'. Do you have a size bigger than this?" The term is extra large, in case anyone was wondering.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005



Ha! I updated again!

Last night when we got home, Jeremy and I discovered that our bathroom ceiling was leaking again. Last time the maintenance people determined that it was caused by the neighbors upstairs overflowing their bathtub. It leaked more rapidly this time, so I was a bit concerned that it might continue and felt justified in calling the emergency after-hours maintenance phone number. You're only supposed to call it if there's an emergency, which would probably make some sense if anyone was around to answer it. However, all it actually does is connect you to the emergency after-hours maintenance answering machine, where you can leave a message, after which they will get back to you within a week. Fortunately, the ceiling stopped leaking after a while, but there is a small hole in it now and a larger soggy area.

Monday, November 28, 2005



In response to the more recent comments on my previous post, non-linear posting means I won't wait to make a small post just because there's a big one. However, it doesn't stop me from being distracted away from *all* posting, for whatever reason. In this case, my oral exam is on Thursday.

Today I wasn't supposed to work except for tutoring, which would have meant that I could study pretty much all day. Then this morning I got a call this morning asking if I could come in from 11:00 to 14:00. Okay, three hours didn't sound too bad. This turned into five hours once I was there, and would have been six hours if I hadn't kept asking to leave. Then somehow I was inconveniencing everyone, because a different employee had to stay late so that I could leave "early". I have yet to think of a reasonable definition of "early" which makes sense when I left two hours after I was supposed to stay on a day when I wasn't even scheduled. The employee who stayed late was offered free food as an incentive. I was not. Okay, I'll stop complaining now. I shouldn't have answered the phone on my day off when I saw it was Taco Bell.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


A Tribute to Non-Linearity

In the interest of not having the gaps in my blog approach infinity, I'm going to start blogging non-linearly when necessary. In other words, if I have a big post to make then I won't wait on it before making smaller updates. Doing things out of order like that bothers my sense of order and propriety, but I figure I can adjust. In order to prove that I'm capable of altering routine, I've given this post a title instead of a time signature. And I'll follow with a rambling update about various details of my life:

I put away the truck shipment at Taco Bell today. It was a relief driver because the usual guy hurt himself. After I got the freezer stuff put away, he moved one stack of boxes up against the freezer door in order to make more room. This seemed to make sense until Logan, who was doing backups, needed to get something out of the freezer.

I had a dream the other night in which I was with several people in a house, and we were all working quickly to barracade the doors and windows. They said there was a wolverine outside trying to get to us. I said that they were overreacting; wolverines are fierce but not that fierce. Then I saw the thing. It walked on two legs, and was three or four feet tall. It had claw-like hands, and was covered in short brown fur. My first thought was, "That's got to be a CG creature, not someone in a costume." Then I remembered that it was real. (This was not a lucid dream.) I said out loud that it was definitely not a wolverine. Someone asked, "Then what is it?" I said I didn't know, and they said that if I didn't know what it was, then I couldn't be sure it wasn't a wolverine. Whatever. It looked intelligent, wicked and dangerous; it was definitely hunting us. Good thing we blocked the entrances.

I now have five students, and three of them have rescheduled at least one tutoring session over the next week. Much more of this and I'll have to start writing my schedule down.

Speaking of tutoring, does anyone remember how to do this kind of problem?

lim(x=>infinity) x*tan(1/x)

Obviously 1/x goes to 0 so tan(1/x) goes to 0, so you end up with infinity*0, an indeterminate form. Given the chapter it was in in my student's calc book, I suspect they need to do some kind of trick to turn it into a form that's valid for L'Hopital's Rule, but I can't think how to do this offhand. They didn't need to know right away so we didn't pursue it when I couldn't solve the problem immediately.

In my Sunday school class, we are up to Joshua 8 or 9 (whichever starts right after the conquest of Ai). I've stopped following the lesson plans so precisely. Joshua has more chapters that I want to cover than the notebook outlines, and I always used to finish early, so I've started just moving through the material until we run out of time. So far we've kept pretty much on schedule; I think we'll finish the book in the prescribed number of weeks. I'm still skipping a large portion in the middle of the book -- 12 to 22 or something like that -- that mostly talks about tribal allotments. I'll show the kids a map of Israel with the tribal borders drawn in and the tribes labeled and figure a picture is worth several thousand words. Granted, we wouldn't be able to construct such a map without all those words, which is part of why they are important, but I don't feel the need to read through it all with fifth and sixth graders.

A few nights ago I wrote a three or four more paragraphs on the next chapter of my fantasy story. I'm gearing up for a couple of major shifts in the plot; I know where one of them is going, but not the other. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

My roommate's learning to play the guitar, and he obtained sheet music for several Simon & Garfunkle songs. I'd really like an explanation of the first verse to song The Boxer by Paul Simon:

"I am just a poor boy, though my story's seldom told. I have squandered my resistance for a pocketful of mumbles; such are promises. All lies and jest, still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest."

Can anyone explain to me what it means to squander one's resistance for a pocketful of mumbles? I've double checked the lyrics; the word is "resistance" not "existence". I couldn't find anything useful on the web.

As long as I'm trying to make sense of Simon & Garfunkle lyrics, how about his verse from The 59th Street Bridge Song?

"I've got no deeds to do, no promises to keep. I'm dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep. Let the morningtime drop all its petals on me. Life I love you! All is groovy."

What does it mean to be "dappled and drowsy"? I know what "drowsy" means, but "dappled," I thought, meant variegated in color. Usually it's used to describe a speckled horse.

Okay, I'm done rambling.

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