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Sunday, March 31, 2013


Steve Cole muses: Just thinking to himself about life, culture, and business:

1. I enjoy watching DOOMSDAY PREPPERS but find most of their plans impractical. Most of them plan to travel a couple of hundred miles to some remote fortress, which will be difficult when everyone else is fleeing in panic. Plus, you'll get there to find that the construction crew who built it for you have moved in and they have guns. Seriously, people do need to prep, but more for the short-term disasters (say, hurricane cuts off power and supplies for 10 days) than anything else. Buy one of those hand-cranked radio/flashlight things, get a good first aid kit, keep two weeks of your prescriptions on hand, and stock a few cases of canned food in the bottom of the pantry. (Eat a can or two every week and buy a few new cans once a month. Mark the date and rotate your stock. Over time, you might increase this to an actual ten-day stockpile for your family. While I can eat canned stew every meal for a month, you probably can't, so stock some variety.) You might even want to buy some three-gallon water bottles, fill them, and put them in a back closet. [At our office, we have two of those but primarily for times when the pipes freeze and we use the water to flush toilets.]

2. Recently, my PC (the non-Mac I use for the internet) started working funny. I noticed it when it would not let me renumber wildlife photo files I was downloading. Jean asked if the top-row numbers still worked, and they did, but even she did not connect the information, insisting that I call the technician in for a virus scan (which found nothing). Then I remembered that Petrick's Christmas present had fallen off a shelf onto the keyboard, and started looking around, and found something I had never seen called NUMLOK which, which I pressed it, fixed the problem. Curious about the fact that the number pad on the Mac didn't work in PageMaker but did work in every other program, I did an experiment and found that the mysterious NUMLOK key fixed that problem as well. Who knew? (Everybody but me, apparently.)

3. Recently I watched an episode of Hotel Impossible where the expert tries to make a fishing lodge in the Alaska wilderness successful. He did a lot of things with marketing and maintenance and it seemed to fix the issue. One thing I noticed was that every lodge in town had a fish cleaning service. (The big attraction is a river full of salmon.) They will send a bell boy out to clean and filet your fish and freeze the meat for shipment home. This results in a whole lot of fish parts which (if left in a trash barrel) attract bears. Bears can be dangerous to people. Encouraging bears to hang around the hotel and eat the guests is not good for business. The expert told the staff to throw the bags of fish parts (heads, tails, spines, guts) into the freezer and then haul them to the dump later. Seems to me that the lodges and the town are missing a bet. Pick a spot a mile away and set up a tourist feature: a bear feeding station. Pick a time of day and haul all of the fish waste out there and dump it, then let tourists take pictures. This creates another attraction for the area, at no real cost. It's also a nice thing to do for the bears and would attract them to some isolated spot a mile away from town.

4. One day I was flipping channels and came upon a show called DANCE MOMS. Even though I am not a fan of dance, I was hooked by the show and it's dynamics. I don't really understand why Abby Lee thinks she needs a new routine every week. I don't think her leadership style works very well. She's very arrogant. It's true that to get the best out of a 10-year-old girl you have to push them, but you don't need to punish a girl because her mother said something nasty.

5. Can an old dog learn new tricks? Can an old husband learn to correct things that annoy his wife? Maybe. When Jean was visiting, Leanna told her (in front of me) that she could tell where I can been because the drawers were open about an inch instead of being closed. (Ok, when I open a drawer and want to close it, I give it a shove in the general direction of closing. If it makes it, fine. If it gets within an inch, that's good enough for me, but not for Leanna.) My feelings were hurt and since then I've tried to make it a point to shut drawers. Of course, I get no credit for the extra effort because I'm supposed to be doing it that way anyway. At least maybe 35 years of resenting a slothful husband will slowly melt away.