Thursday, May 31, 2007

Are you that person?

Do you ever feel like you are the only sane person that you know? Or maybe that at least one person is definitely just off? Whenever you are in a group that is organized of people not of your own choosing, it is almost guaranteed that there will be that one person. You know them. They seem like they are trying, but just don't get it. Their personality seems to rub with everyone else in the group. Why are they still here? I ask myself. I usually don't have a good answer. I happen to be in a group right now working on a 'special project'. My person, lets call her Jane, has been with the company for nearly 15 years. Perhaps that is the first clue into what she is. Anyhow, she somehow has an answer for everything. Regardless of the topic, she has to provide information that may or may not be relevant. Jane considers herself to be an expert on all topics. Not only that, but all her comments have to include cliches. For example, when we were finished for the day and leaving the building, she said 'Same Bat-Time tomorrow?' Perhaps that shouldn't annoy me that much, but after 9 hours in a room with someone trying to add comic relief that isn't comical I get a little edgy. We all have to analyze the groups that we are in and determine who that person is. Usually, tolerance is the best option. And if for some reason you look at everyone and can't determine who 'that person' just might be you!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Mile High City

Sometimes I travel for work. It has it's good and bad points. This week I am in Denver for a couple of days. Instantly, upon arrival, I am greeted with the crisp coolness of mountain air. The city seems to have a beat of its own. There is music coming from store fronts and the smell of street vendors. People have a type of spring in their step as they listen to their favorite tune on an iPod. Then it begins to rain. Those that I'm with are bummed. 'It's so dark outside,' and 'I can't go out in this' is about all I hear. A coworker and I brave the rain to go to lunch. Do you ever miss playing in the rain when you were a kid? Perhaps you never did, but can you imagine it? Who cares if you get a little wet? With a few exceptions, your clothes will just dry and that's it. It's a rejuvenating feeling. I wish sometimes that we had a little more precipitation where we live. But I guess that the grass is always greener.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The environment and my yard

We all hear about the environment and how delicate or resilient it is. Everyone has to form their own opinion and decide where they fit in. I'm not sure where I fit in. I recently watched Al Gore's documentary An Inconvenient Truth. I found it very interesting, but then again one of my favorite channels is the History Channel. That may not say much for me, but it is who I am. I was impressed by the evidence that we are having a dramatic impact on the earth. I have to admit that I visited the website that is the media base for the film, I checked other websites that had information about how to be 'carbon neutral' and other means of reducing my personal impact on global warming. The advice that is out there on the web is good. A large portion of it even viable. I don't have any problem doing something 'extra' to help the environment, but my primary motivation is not for the greater good. I could be described as 'frugal' or 'monetarily conscientious'. My wife just tells me that I'm cheap. It could all be true. However, when I can do something that will ultimately save me money, I am all over it. For example, Energy Star qualified appliances is a no brainer. You pay a little more up front for something that you were going to buy anyway. But you also get the added benefit of knowing that your electricity bills will be slightly lower because of it. Needless to say, all of the appliances that we have purchased have the little blue star symbol on them. I also have all compact florescent bulbs in our house. The models now a days are much better than before. The size is the same as your regular incandescent bulb and you can choose the type, or color if you will, of light that you want. I know, I know, you are saying "but those bulbs cost way more than regular bulbs". It's true. Anyway, I got thinking about of this today because I broke down and purchased a lawn mower and trimmer. We live in a dry climate and the amount of grass in our yard is limited to a patch about the size of a small swimming pool. I went to the local Home Depot and picked out a manual push mower. No engine, no gas, no cords, and no pollution. I am the motor. The trimmer, however, had to be powered by something else. So I choose electric. I got them both for about $110. I thought that it was a deal. I get some exercise, the yard looks good, I am not polluting the air with toxic emissions or noise, and best of didn't cost much. I was thinking tonight, as I was trying it out for the first time, about when I was a kid and we only had a push mower. It was hard work when the grass got long, but I enjoyed it. Maybe that was my initial draw, but then it was cheap, and I am helping the environment.