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Do You Learn More Effectively by Writing or Typing

The act of writing helps you clarify your thoughts, remember things better, and reach your goals more surely. Here’s a look at the science and psychology behind writing, and why the pen may be mightier than the keyboard.

Here is a great article on LifeHacker about writing vs typing.  It is not an end all be all but I find it rather more like something to be read, considered and then figure out where it lands with you.  I have been all about writing for the last several years.  I ordered stationary to send written notes rather than emails all the time.  Now I simply need to put more effort into improving my handwriting!

Overpackaging

I was recently at Chipotle and while getting a cup of water I noticed they had lemons.  The only problem is somehow they feel that sliced lemons do not have enough packaging so they helped out nature and decided to put each lemon slice in a small plastic condiment container.  Instant over packaging!

Dear Mommies…

Dear Mommies,

I love children, I have three nephews and many other “adopted” nieces and nephews that I adore.  But one thing that my parents practiced and taught me was appropriateness (adj. – Suitable for a particular person, condition, occasion, or place; fitting.)  Taking your children to a coffee shop which charges $4 for a coffee beverage is not appropriate.  Other adults come to these places with the hope that spending a large amount of money for on an inexpensive beverage will also buy them an appropriate environment suitable for relaxing, having a casual meeting or just getting away from the office.  When the mommy and me groups descend upon the coffee shop the environment is transformed into an extension of the local nursery school.  Children are standing on the chairs, dropping their water, and throwing their expensive organic milk containers on the floor.  All while screaming and yelling.  When the store employee came to mop the floor the comment made to him was “I guess you are just not kid friendly here.”

Yours,

John Q. Public

P.S. In the end one of the mommies came up to ask a question about my MacBook and ended with “sorry if our kids interrupted your work.”  This leaves me to believe that they understand that what they do is not appropriate but they do it anyway.  After all, having kids is apparently a free pass to share the hectic hellish life that you have created with perfect strangers.

Delta Paperless Boarding Passes

This is a letter I sent to Delta recently regarding my experiences trying to use their new paperless boarding passes.

Since I first heard that Delta was offering paperless boarding passes I thought how fun this would be to try. On my last few trips from LGA I decided to try checking in on my phone. The first time there was no option for online checkin, obviousy a problem that day. The second time I got my online boarding pass but it did not include the barcode so TSA could not use it. Today for my third time I got the barcode and figured everything was fine. I went through CLEAR for security screening and they did not have the computer to scan the screen. They went to all the TSA agents and nobody had gotten the computers out that day. Finally they found one person who had the computer. After some “fiddling about” they got the computer on and then tried to scan the barcode for about one minute. After they they “determined” that the barcode on my iPhone was not compatible with their scanner, I suspect they did not have any idea how to use the equipment. I was then sent back through the security line, I had to find a checkin kiosk that was free, print a boarding pass (so much for that tree) and then go back through CLEAR to be screened again. I am almost certain that this is not the process Delta had in mind when designing the paperless boarding pass system. Should I continue trying and getting frustrated or just use the old-fashioned paper boarding pass and be relatively headache free? If I choose tha later, then hours and many thousands of dollars are wasted on Delta’s part.

What should I do here?  Am I expecting too much?

Disney World Celebrates Sky Martin

Why should I read the H.R. 1 stimulus bill?

I did some research today and came across a site that seems to put handy information together about the stimulus bill H.R. 1.  ReadTheStimulus.org has the text in PDF, and Text format along with a search on site.  They have references to external sites such as the Washington Post that has a very handy and easy to read chart breaking down the categories.  I cannot help but be frightened by the amount of money being thrown about.  Will we ever be able to pay it off?  And the cost per household is estimated at up to $20,000!  I will be making an attempt to read or at least skim through the document(s) but I am interested in feedback from others who are/have read it.

Unlimit Yourself… Limited time offer.

I hear a commercial this morning on the radio for a mobile provider that used the tag line “Unlimit Yourself”, immediately followed by the disclaimer “Limited time offer.” Does this make the anyone else feel a bit uneasy?

Stand on the right and other unclear directions

As I navigate the airports today interacting with the public at large I am reminded how infrequently people think of anyone but themelves. People get on the esculator or moving walkways and just camp out. Sometimes they stand next to people, other times they stand on the left for no apparent reason.

Similarly when geting ready to deplane the aircraft it is not unusual to have someone sitting behind you rush forward and not wait for their turn.

Can we all just look out for someone else a little more often? I understand you have to take care of yourself, that is great but there ought to be at least a few minutes of your day to make sure your actions are not the cause of anger, grief or inconvenience for the rest of us.

No Smoking Alarm Will Sound

So what happens if I smoke?

Why are these placards always written in Title Case? And what is with the lack of punctuation. Think about how high the unemployment rate will be soon for commas.

Windows Command Scripting Gems

Over the last few weeks I have been extending my knowledge of Windows Command Scripting, or to simple folks, writing batch files.  A few things really annoy me, like when people cannot grasp that something has changed.  News flash the acronym PCMCIA went away years ago when the decided to call it PC Card, cmd is a replacenment for the old command prompt, and batch files (.bat) have been passe for a long time now with command scripts (.cmd) being introduced in Windows NT 4.

As I have been trying to learn better ways of doing things I wondered today how I could find the current drive letter the command script was being called from.  I found people questioning it, I thought about writing an elaborate script to set a variable and parse it, but finally I found Rob van der Woude’s Scripting Pages which had the reference I needed.  What is the answer?  ”%~d0″  Now how in the world would anyone ever guess or figure out that %~d0 returns the drive of the current command script?