"Candy is Dandy, but liquor is quicker." Willy Wonka

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Mozilla Firefox

I think I'm the last person to download this sweet internet browser. I was reluctant and I finally jumped off the Internet Explorer band wagon. In fact, I think I was the driver of the IE band wagon. No longer.

Here's the rub. In Firefox I lost half of my sidebar in my blog. What happened to it? How can I fix it? If anyone has any suggestions please help me out. Otherwise I think I'm just going to continue trying to figure it out on my own. For those Firefox users out there you need to know that there's more to this blog that you can't see. IE is just fine though. Canada phone cards India phone cards France phone cards Russia phone cards UK phone cards USA phone cards Bizon phone card Jupiter calling card Mozart calling card Continental calling card

Freedom Tower

It seems as if there is a race for the world's tallest building. I heard recently that the company that is designing the Freedom Tower has announced plans for a building in Dubai that is supposed to be the world's tallest building once it is complete. The company was previously touting that the Freedom Tower would be the world's tallest building, but not any longer.

According to Emaar:

Petronas Towers in Malaysia (452 meters) and the Chicago's Sears Tower (442 meters) are currently the world's highest man made towers. Recently China and the New York World Trade Centre have announced plans to exceed these records. Burj Dubai's height is a closely guarded secret but it will beat all records and on a scale that will be a dramatic testament to Dubai's faith in the future.

What is the Burj Dubai? Click on the link to check its website out. It is an unbelievable building. I love the looks of all of these structures.

The Burj Dubai

Burj Dubai http://www.hello.com/

This is a picture of the Burj Dubai. Wow!!

It is estimated that it will be 800 meters tall with 160 floors to be finished in November of 2008. It is the center piece of an 8 billion dollar, 500 acre project in the United Arab Emirates.

The Taipei 101 is 508 meters tall and the Petronas Towers in Malaysia are 452 meters tall to give you an idea of this building's height.

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Monday, December 20, 2004

The Checkout Isle

We all know the routine. We search frantically with our heads turning in all directions and eyes scanning the characters in each line to see how much they have in their carts.

We pick an isle and wait patiently trying to suppress the temptation of the candy all around us. We focus on the cashier's hands as they pass each item over the red laser beams as they tally the total and we hope nothing goes wrong.

Then we blink and when we open our eyes the isle number is blinking. We fling the door open to the mini-fridge selling sodas and grab a Coke. We have to open it before we buy it so we can take a drink to take the edge off the frustration. "I can't believe this lady is having the cashier get a manager to check a coupon so she can save 50 cents. That's outrageous!"

We calm down. Take a few deep breaths.

Finally, we get to the conveyer belt and begin the process of placing our items on it in a somewhat strategic manner. We take a certain amount of joy in it. It's almost therapeutic.

Then the question comes from the cashier, "How's your day?"

What do we do with this question? We know they don't mean it. We know they really don't care. But it feels awful to continue this same superficial dialogue week after week almost like a cocaine addict who knows what he's doing is wrong. We just want to say, "Fine, and you?" All of this happening while never looking into the other person's eyes and never meaning a bit of it. What's worse is that the cashier knows the conversation is superficial and is waiting for our superficial answer.

"But I don't want to be a superficial person!"

We could spill our guts and tell the cashier how we really feel. We could honestly seek to know how the cashier is feeling and ask them more pointed questions. However, the response to this would not be good in the least. We would look like one of those zealous protesters that picket for utopian ideals that deep down are good, but do we really want to make the sacrifice? Heck no.

We can think about things like this because there's not much else to do while the cashier is bagging everything. In the end we just say, "Fine and you?" and come back next week only to go through the same routine again and drop our alms in the superficiality donation box.

Fantasy Football

I won playoff game #1 by a landslide. Next week is huge. The guy's team is awesome and will be tough to beat. I'll tell you about it next week.

Just a quick thought. I was trying to change lanes this morning. I had my blinker on and people kept speeding by me not leaving a gap for me to move over. It's obvious that the person next to you when you put your blinker on is not going to let you, but the second, then the third, and then the fourth. Come on! "Someone slow down and let the guy with the blinker in."

Sunday, December 19, 2004

The Introvert

According to personality tests, people (get this) have distinctly differing personalities.
Not only have we learned this startling fact from such tests, but they have enabled us to focus on specific personality types. One distinct difference between people is in the introvert, extrovert characteristic.

Extroverts, by nature, have the ability to socially 'click'. They are the definitive members of society and probably define all of these rules that bind us to artificial protocol. Extroverts have few problems in social situations. Extroverts do, however have difficulties when it comes to relating to introverts. It's as if a quiet, together person was on a separate stratum of humanity - not a higher stratum, mind you. But out-going social butterflies can't understand how introverts work, and reclusive social cocoons see extroverts as dynamic personalities without the ability to be pensive or even thoughtful.

The struggle lies therein. Though introverts are indeed an integral component of our society, they are often ignored and thrown into the caste of 'the untouchables'. Introverts are never key members of a conversation, never have the timing to make their thoughts known, and seemingly are consequently never involved in the every-day social forum. On the contrary, it's the introvert who finds it difficult to end a conversation.

Excuses can be made that have the flavor: 'they need to make more of an effort to be socially active', but they forget that the very nature of an introvert includes the absence of social activity. It's a lose-lose situation. If, of course, you're keeping some kind of social score.

By not taking part in social activity, an introvert subsequently becomes more and more of an introvert. The argument goes the other way of course. An extrovert that takes part in the social arena for years and years becomes more of an extravert by nature. How can the introvert ever fit in with the extravert without:

(1) Coming off as a fake by trying to be extraverted at the level of those around them that have practiced it for years.

(2) Drawing more unwanted attention than necessary because they are acting "strangely" and out of "character". Although it's the "character" that the extravert's seem to be uncomfortable with.

(3) Getting the comment: "You shouldn't try to be like everyone else. Everyone is different and you'll never be happy until your happy with who you are."

(4) People laughing at you out loud or in most cases laughing in their heads because you completely butchered a joke, talked too long, talked too short, said the wrong thing, or just don't fit in because you don't know how to be like them.

What is an introvert to do with themselves if they are to be successful in this world and socially accepted?

Fantasy Football

Daunte Culpepper

Today is the first fantasy football playoff game and I am winning. The other team can still win and it's coming down to the wire. Oh please, oh please, oh please. I don't know what I would do without Daunte Culpepper as a quarterback. Whew!

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Downtown Hong Kong

I used to work in one of the smaller buildings in the middle of the picture for an internship one summer. I love Hong Kong. It's one of the best cities in the world. A friend of mine took this picture and sent it to me. He's really good.

For some reason people haver reservations about Asia when it comes to travel and seem to always opt for Europe. I think they're really missing out. Asia offers so much culture and adventure that just cannot be found in Europe. Unfortunately, I think people put a stigma on Asia as a dangerous place to travel. I, on the other hand, never felt endangered in any way. In most cases I felt safer than I ever would in many parts of Dallas day or night.

Cool Picture

Zero Base Thinking

I was reading Zero Base Thinking (http://michaelgersh.blogspot.com/) today and the writer is an ex-marine. In his latest blog entry he's giving his opinion on Army Spc. Thomas J. Wilson's question to Donald Rumsfeld. The entry is titled: Question Authority.

It's a very well written entry and imformative on top of that. Check it out if you have some time.

As one of my combat instructors told us: "Marines, you're more likely to die from someone doing something stupid than because the enemy is skilled and ingenious. So make sure you've thought things through and that everyone's on the same page. Be polite. Be tactful. But don't be afraid to ask questions."