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Saturday, January 28, 2006



We had an employee meeting at Taco Bell this morning from 7:00 to 7:25. Various new policies (and/or revitalization of old policies) were discussed, but it sounds like the two things which affect me the most are:

1) The greeting of a customer in the drivethrough is now standardized. I must say, "Hi, how are you?" Those precise words must be used; variations are no longer allowed.

2) Every customer who does not either order a drink or specifically say he or she does not want one, must be offered a drink. This has actually been standard ordering practice for a while, but it's being emphasized because failing to offer a mystery shopper a drink is now going to be grounds for failing the test. The annoying thing is that the drink must be offered even if the customer is only ordering cinammon twists, and even if it's the same customer at the front counter adding one more item to a larger order which was handed out a few minutes earlier. This sort of policy appears to be designed to irritate customers.

In other news, I'm supposed to have a job interview by phone today. But I don't know at what time the guy intends to call me. Since getting out of the meeting I've been hanging out on campus so as not to disturb my roommate who is quite possibly still asleep. This would be a fine place to do the interview, but for all I know he's not planning to call until this evening.

Thursday, January 19, 2006



I'm back in town and working on stuff for a job I'm applying to. More details later.

I've also created a board game, which is mostly constructed. It involves wizards, lizards, and giant frogs. It was influenced by the game Heroscape and the books Eragon and Eldest by Christopher Paolini, but bears little resemblance to either. Perhaps if the wizards had dragons and the lizards and frogs were Urgals. Changing the creatures to Urgals wouldn't be that hard, if I had miniature Urgal figures -- the only reason they are lizards and frogs is because that's what the dollar store had available. Dragons, however, would seriously complicate things. Don't they always?

Last night I had two dreams that I can remember. The first involved me setting out to visit my old college for Alumni Weekend (which in real life is either coming up or else just passed) but ending up at the place where I used to go to summer camp instead. I got there late Thursday afternoon, and it turned out that the camp was having Alumni Thursday that day, so it worked out great. I was very tired when I arrived and wanted to just to take a nap, but they insisted that I participate in a bunch of games outside which went late into the night. Then I had to find a cabin. The new one that used to be the nurse's station was full, and they said that I couldn't stay in any of the original ones, making vague references to an evil swamp. So, I had to go find the *other* new one (which doesn't really exist). It was located deep in the forest, well outside the real boundaries of the camp, and was rather difficult to locate in the dark as there were no paths leading to it. I got to where it was supposed to be, but there was nothing there but a coffin. Someone else was with me, and we were arguing over who would get to sleep in the coffin, when we realized that there was already a dead person in it so we couldn't.

In the other dream, I was taking orders at Taco Bell, which is what I have to go do right now.

Thursday, January 05, 2006



After visiting my family for two weeks, I go back home tonight. Someone called from Taco Bell this morning; apparantly the manager scheduled me to work at 11:00. I thought I had written down that I wouldn't be back until the 9th, to be sure I'd be in town before then. At any rate, I work tomorrow at 11:00. My roommate and his sister are planning to leave at 19:00 tonight. That means I'll be able to go to at least part of the boys' basketball game with my sister. Probably all of it, by the time they actually are ready. The plan is for them to pick me up at the gym, which is closer for them anyway.

Sunday, January 01, 2006



More about Set theory.

Suppose you have a collection of cards which do not contain any Sets, and you want to know the probability of randomly adding one more card and getting at least one Set. For any two cards in your collection, there is exactly one third card that, when combined with them, will form a Set. At first glance it might appear that for N cards, there would be (N choose 2) different cards that could be added which would make at least one Set. The trouble is that it's possible to have two (or more) different pairs of cards in your collection, all of which need the same card to complete them. If there are four cards, for instance, there can be either five or six new cards, each of which would form a set if added. It's possible to do all the calculations by brute force on four or five cards, but then it gets really really complicated.

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