Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Who has the greatest eyes of all-time?
10. The Cookie Monster - As a kid, I was fascinated by his misdirectional, googly eyes so prominently displayed atop his cookie-spurting mouth.
9. Ali - Sorry Ali, you are only 9th greatest on my list. However, his eyes ALWAYS backed up his mouth.
8. Gollum - CGI for living creatures was lackluster before Gollum entered the scene. The eyes are the windows to the spirit, and before Gollum, I assumed that CGI would continue to fall short in getting the eyes right. Man, he is scary.
7. Lincoln - Do you really need to read a book to learn about Lincoln's depression, struggles, intelligence and ultimate responsibilities? No, his eyes tell his story.
6. L.T. - Lawrence Taylor's eyes really only said two things, "I have NO regard for my own sanity" and "I have even LESS regard for your body when I hit you ... real hard."
5. Elizabeth Taylor - From one Taylor to the next. When people think of Cleopatra's sultry eyes ... Liz is who they picture. Pretty impressive to own an icon like that.
4. Bette Davis - um, there's a song about them, duh.
3. Cool Hand Luke - Without Paul Newman's blue eyes, Lucas Jackson is really more frat than rebel role-model.
2. Girl with the Pearl Earring - Vermeer solidified himself as a master with this glance.
1. the man with no name - the eyes of death, plain and simple. "I can and may kill you. I'm thinking about it."
My whole life ... I mean from my earliest days, I have been told about spin, (Dictionary.com: To provide an interpretation of (a statement or event, for example), especially in a way meant to sway public opinion).
Mainly, I am just fascinated by my opportunity to go out and hear a politician's stance on issues with the click of a button. I am currently reading Barack Obama's first memoir, so I decided to check out his site and found these speeches/podcasts. Wow. How wonderful is that? Before I vote, I don't have to rely on sound-bites, endorsements and pamphlets ... I can go hear the words straight from the horse's mouth. Sure it is directional, scripted, rehearsed and edited words ... but I expect a politician to put their best foot forward. You learn a lot from understanding WHAT someone WANTS others to think about him/her.
This is really great for me, because I am very much a political neophyte. I always wanted to be more involved but had a difficult time trusting my abilities to differentiate and decide. Now that my confidence in adulthood is building (nothing like going over 30 to realize I'd better start figuring this adulthood thing out), I am dedicating myself to an increased awareness in politics. Please feel free to help me.
OK ... check this out ... The words of the State of the Union.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
While I do appreciate being able to pop a couple of Advils, I would love the opportunity to take a calming garden walk to rid myself of this morning's headache.
A dreamy, peaceful garden planted with species chosen for their calming and soporific properties, the 4Head Garden of Dreams illustrates the stress-relieving properties of plants. The garden promotes the role of Mentha x piperata in 4Head as an effective natural treatment for headaches.
This garden is set in secluded, tranquil woodland and protected by a thorny hedge from harsh realities beyond. A small brook emerges from shaded tree roots to meander through a sunlit glade towards a large central pool, which surrounds an island. On the island is a stunning 'living' sculpture, which is a dreaming girl composed of mud, twigs, grasses and plants. The dreaming girl is inspired by the famous 'Mudmaid' from the Lost Gardens of Heligan and created by her sculptors, Sue Hill and Peter Hill of the Eden Project.
The pool is bordered by open meadow, with profuse use of plants selected for the calming properties of their perfume and their subdued colours. With plants such as vervain, borage, lavender and chamomile, the palette is limited to blues, mauves, white, the palest of yellows and green.
Many of the herbs that will be used in this garden are known to possess medicinal benefits. Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum) has calming properties, wild marjoram (Origanum vulgare) will lift spirits and calm nerves and mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) is a mild anaesthetic and is used to induce sleep.
Monday, May 29, 2006
We just got back from the latest installment of the X-Men movies. This flick definitely is much more a nod to the comic fans than the previous two, with plenty of "in jokes" and under-developed characters. Basically, a great film for Sam and me. However, the scene of Magneto and Pyro hurling flaming cars from the Golden Gate Bridge (above) gave me a chill concerning my upcoming commute.
Sunday, May 28, 2006
142857+142857 = 285714 (+ 142857) = 428571 (+ 142857) = 571428 (+ 142857) = 714285 (+ 142857) = 857142 (+ 142857) = 999999
I found this repeating sequence of numbers fascinating in 6th grade ... I still sit on conference calls doing this problem on a calculator, making sure that we have not slipped into some warped mathematical dimension.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Ahhh, summer in
So for my non-Chicago peeps out there. Here is how you make great brats. Put your brats in a pot on a stove. Add beer until it completely covers the brats. Add a packet of onion soup. Stir. Boil until the beer is all gone. Throw the brats on the grill to desired charness. Go get arteries unclogged. Yum.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
In a little over three weeks, I will bid adieu to this fine
So here we go things I will miss most about
10. The city smells like chocolate when I get off the train in the morning at the Mart. Really, it does. People who haven't spent a lot of time in
9. The Folk and Roots Festival. The whole outdoor music fest scene is ranked 9 only because I don't think I will miss it much with the S-F scene. However,
7. The El. The train is so easy and wonderful and reliable and I can't say enough about how much the El kept me connected to this metropolis. Thank you El.
5. The winters. Seriously. I had only lived in
4. The Art Institute. This museum should be one's first experience with art. The eclectic collection will satisfy just about anyone's needs. I reconnected with my artistic appreciation under that roof. The audio tour is a must. I would give all the museums in the city an A+ as a collection.
3. The diversity of people. While
2. The Architecture. While many cities rest near open water ... none do it so stunningly. A British friend once said to me while visiting, "Any city which features an Architecture tour on a boat is classy." I'll have to take him to
1. Wrigley Field. Of course. While the other nine could virtually switch places with each other,
Monday, May 22, 2006
Pick this up if you are searching for something quick and socially thought-provoking.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
See if you can find the infinite things wrong with this ad, from a picture taken by high school friend and now professional journalist, Josh Benton, on his 2003 Pew Fellowship in Zambia. Well done, Josh. Thanks.
Anthony, before you start yet another rant about how we in the advertising profession need to be flayed. This is why we have advertising agencies. This is the kind of advertising that clients produce when left to their own devices.
Friday, May 19, 2006
Here are a few map-diagrams:
The pink dot is the location of the apartment. The green circle is a grocery store just a couple hundred feet away. The red circle would be Sam's school about 0.3 mile away. The purple circle is Ring Mountain, which is actually a big hill with interesting geology and plant-life, including the Tiburon Mariposa Lily which can only be found here. The blue circle is the Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary and Lyford House. That green stuff on the corners is the Bay!
This map gives an idea of where we will be living in relation to the Bay Area. It would be in Marin County, and there are plenty of natural activities available to us. To get to work, I'll either take a ferry south to San Fran. or a bus across the Golden Gate Bridge.
Here are the essential photos of the place: the patio. The rest just looks like a plain ole apartment:
Exciting amenities that I have missed here in Chicago include: a walk-in bedroom closet and 2 bathrooms!
I immediately chimed in with "Happy. We want happiness."
I was crushed. I mean, I thought that was the answer without a doubt. However, now that I have graduated into real life and have sensibilities that extend beyond hormonal insights, I have learned that there are definitely more appropriate responses. #1 is probably COMFORTABLE. Others may include AWARE, SCIENTIFIC, DEMOCRATIC, WEALTHY. Please feel free to add your own... The point is: Happiness is not really on this list, is it?
But now I have recently learned of the Buddhist country of Bhutan and their placing happiness within their government policy. They have even instated a GNH, "Gross National Happiness" similar to a GNP. While the country is a bit rigid in how it measures this happiness (banning plastic bags and tobacco), I do appreciate their pillars. One of the most strict rules has been the conservation of their natural environment, requiring to keep 60% of the country's forests. So, some societies are actively trying to move towards happiness.
On an individual level, being happy and around happy people is important. I agree with this recent blog entry from Creating Passionate Users. I work best and feel best when I am projecting happiness and around happiness. I am a person ruled by change. If I find myself in an unhappy situation, I do my best to leave it behind and move on. Our limited popular view of psychology tends to frown upon this behavior. We feel we should confront and address our situations, learn to live with them, endure them, build character. However, this is absurd. Why do this unless you really have to? (Please do not extend this to a base principle of mine. No, I don't just leave work because a deadline is crashing, or a marriage because of an argument ... I understand long-term investments.)
When I was living in Dallas, I was very tired of my situation. I was drenched in ennui. I no longer felt fulfilled in my work, activities or environment. So, I picked-up and left. Moved to Chicago. Fabulous idea. (I am not doing the same with the move to S-F. We are very happy here in Chicago ... but do believe we can kick it up a few notches in S-F, especially Marin.) I did not confront what was troubling me and work through it. I simply recognized it and moved on. I rarely have any lingering difficulties with the decision.
My point: despite Western Civilization's drive towards other things, I am going to steer towards happiness. Please join me... I think this resort is a good place to start.
Photo found here
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Here are the current most viewed photos on Yahoo!:
An incredibly obese man with his belly hanging to the floor, a bear eating a monkey and a porn star turned GOP spokesperson. Back to Barnum ...
As much of an over-the-top showman as he was, Barnum was quite dedicated to his philosophy. Fortunately, he was always available for comment. I have always appreciated this insight:
"Those who really desire to attain an independence, have only set their minds upon it, and adopt the proper means, as they do in regard to any other object which they wish to accomplish, and the thing is easily done."This is such a cyclical statement! People just have to "set their minds" to and achieve "the means" in order to gain independence; isn't that sort of the definition of independence? He's a riot. You can just picture the bowler hatted folk exclaiming, "By George! He's right, you know!?" Of course this idiocy has not disappeared, has it?
Matthew Stewart in this month's The Atlantic has this to offer in regards to current "management education and training,"
The thing that makes modern management theory so painful to read isn't usually the dearth of reliable empirical data. It's that maddening papal infallibility. Oh sure, there are a few pearls of insight, and one or two stories about hero-CEOs that can hook you like bad popcorn. But the rest is just inane. Those who looked for the true meaning of business process re-engineering, ... were ultimately rewarded with such gems of vacuity as "BPR is taking a blank sheet of paper to your business!" and "BPR means re-thinking everything, everything!"
Each new fad calls attention to one virtue or another first it's efficiency, then quality, next it's customer satisfaction, then supplier satisfaction, then self-satisfaction, and finally, at some point, it's efficiency all over again. If it's reminiscent of the kind of toothless wisdom offered in self-help literature, that's because management theory is mostly a subgenre of self-help. Which isn't to say it's completely useless. But just as most people are able to lead fulfilling lives without consulting Deepak Chopra, most managers can probably spare themselves an education in management theory.
This goes back to my earlier entry, specifically #2, about stating the obvious vs. that truly simple, brilliant idea. However, I much prefer Stewart's terminology: infallibility. I often think about how all modern business needs is a bit more dedication to thinking ... and then doing.
Reference: The Management Myth, The Atlantic, June 2006
Thanks to Russell Davies (see right) for turning me on to the great "Do Something" blog entry on "Everything I know"
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
When moving day comes, I would normally look to find what able-bodied friends, family and acquaintances I could convince to help in the gut and back wrenching act of moving furniture and such into the U-Haul. Then, when we get to California, what do I do? Who do I get to help? The few friends and co-workers I have there .. "Hey come help me move ... if you hurt yourself, I think it may count as worker's comp.??" I could use a moving company ... but aren't they expensive? Everybody says they are expensive, that's what I hear...
But this eMove gives me a list in seconds of over a dozen of potential helpers. Pricing for 1, 2 or 3 people assisting per hour + travel cost. There are customer reviews with starred ratings. I pick who I want, when and where I need them and pay eMove online, and the rest is handled. So, I don't have to make sure I have the money for them after 2,200 miles of driving. I don't have to worry who do I call if they don't show. I don't have to bug any of my peeps. Done. Off my plate. Peace of mind is always worth a couple hundred dollars.
So, now that I have just done an eMove commercial, does that mean this is the wave of the future? No more commercials ... just partnerships and blog reviews through the offering of unique & wanted products/services. OK, I guess the following step comes next month when I review how the actual experience went...
Monday, May 15, 2006
I thought I would share one of my favorites today. Thanks Rob, Bucky and Satchel for making me laugh so many times.
BAD -- I was told I could not make changes to the account because it was in Mary's name. They told me Mary should call to have a form sent to her, that she would send in to get a cancellation request to send in to get our toll tag cancelled. ugh.
Chicago Parking ticket
VERY BAD -- this is a horribly long story, but basically we got two tickets for expired plates within 24 hours. (We had moved and Mary changed her name so we never got the notice in the mail). I wanted to pay one and contest the other. It failed via mail. We tried to do it via phone and our address was not updated in the system (despite changing it on both our license and our now updated plates). I changed our address. They told me I had to pay one ticket to refute the second one. I went online, pressed to pay and got "Sorry, our system is down. Try again later." So, I did ... and I got the same message again. I thought I would go downtown to pay; however, I looked on my bank statement a couple of days later and saw that the City of Chicago had taken both of those $100 payments from my account. I called again. They asked me to send in my receipt, because it was not in the system. I explained that I did not have it. They asked me to fax my bank statement. (I would do this two more times over the next several weeks). I recently was informed, "OK, our system was down for periods that day." They then asked me to fax my bank statement, but it might take 72 hours to refund my money ... still waiting. I have easily had 15 calls on the matter.
Chicago Card Plus
My card has recently stopped working for the Chicago public transportation. This morning, I sat on hold for 20 minutes ... I thought this was going to be another bad experience. However, I had a 90-second conversation in which I learned I only have to walk 2 blocks on Wednesday afternoon in order to pick-up a new card that it will have all the money already on this broken card. She was very nice.
Saturday, May 13, 2006
It is already Mother's Day in
This Mother's Day is a bit challenging for me ... for Eric ... for Mom. My mom recently suffered a stroke, just a few weeks ago. She now has a difficult time using her right arm, numbness in her lip and her sense of taste has dropped dramatically. She can’t quilt like she used to, she has to concentrate more when she writes, chops and other right hand functions. She has to develop to a new life.
Mom, you mean the world to me. You have always been one of my best friends and I appreciate your love for me a great deal.
Once a year, my mom would pull me from school and we would play hooky. We would often head to
I have a tendency to over think things, and therefore I often overreact. However, now and then, I am able to pause, think about the Flamingo or the hundreds of other times my mom took a deep breath, accepted circumstances and celebrated. We just have to put it in perspective, you know?
So Mom, next time your right arm doesn’t do something you want and you drop your glass, just think ... flamingos are going to want to fly now and then...
I love you, take care.
Edwin is an incredibly personable performer (musicians get called by their first name; authors by their last, FYI Language usage of Cameron's Blog). Almost every song-writing story started with, "So, I was sitting at this bar" and ended with "well this person was so annoying, I had to write a song about it." I love these southern soul-rockers that were probably told many times to "be more country" and didn't: Lyle Lovett, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Allman Brothers. The band rocked with a flute, oboe and several sizes of saxes. I highly recommend his music both live and on CD, my personal favorite being The Austin Sessions.
Friday, May 12, 2006
1) American Chillers and Michigan Chillers by Johnathan Rand
Sam really digs these books. They pretty much launched his reading interest. They are short chapter books that take place in American states or Michigan cities. Each story is the typical creepy/mystery genre a la Scooby Doo or Goosebumps. The chapters end on cliff-hangers: "And suddenly a giant green monster entered the room"/ Next Chapter "...that turned out to be the gardener, Mr. Meriwether." Good stuff to keep him reading for extended periods.
However, the unique thing I like about them is the extreme customer service we get as parents. The shipping is super-fast and the people are very pleasant. Furthermore, every book comes autographed and some with a bookmark. Mr. Rand seems to be an active author in his community, which is greatly appreciated. We now own every published Chillers book, and look forward to the next ones. He's got a good thing going for sure.
2) American Gods by Neil Gaiman
My friend Pablo, first interested me in Gaiman's work with his book Neverwhere, which is fabulously haunting and intriguing. Then his graphic novels, The Sandman, entrenched my imagination and feelings about the world beyond our understanding. However, I think all these experiences were surpassed by the story in American Gods. Mr. Gaiman originally hails from the UK and brings a remarkably fresh and accurate perspective on the make-up of America (also on display in Marvel 1602). In American Gods, he weaves many finely-tuned characters (from macabre to magnificent) in a mystery/fantasy that actually opens the reader's eyes to the suspect world of American mythos. It is an amazing achievement to say the least.
3) A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
Wow. This book taught me more about the world we live in than any science class I have ever taken (sorry Mr. Tremble and Mr. Pee) . Mr. Bryson is mostly a travel writer, and that is exactly what he does ... he writes about the journey of science. He not only tells you the answer to great scientific questions, but gives incredible anecdotal accounts of the discoveries (often quite humorous). I don't think I have ever enjoyed reading a piece of non-fiction as much as I enjoyed this book.
OK, just a few books that rock... thanks for letting me share.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
How do we make these choices? The teams we hold dear. I am about to move to a city where I will have two options for baseball and football. The S-F Giants vs. the Oakland A's ... the S-F 'Niners vs. the Oakland Raiders... I will have a decision to make. Barry Bonds has me leaning away from the Giants and the 'Niners drafting two freaks in the first round have me leaning their way. But I am not so disillusioned to think that I get to make my own decision. These things just happen ... you sort of connect with a team, much like a brand. It just fits.
Adam, who took the above picture of Wrigley Field bleacher fans, grew-up in Delaware. One brother rooted for the "local" Philadelphia Eagles; the other brother chose "America's team," the Dallas Cowboys. Adam decided to reach across the middle of the country (before the internet made this quite simple) and plucked the Minnesota Vikings as his team. And I mean "HIS" team ... the dude is obsessed with them. Borderline unhealthy. How do these things happen?
So, I know my grandfather-instilled love for the Astros and the passion I have developed for Maddux and the Cubs over the past several of years will remain 2,200 miles from where I sit. But, who will become the team I identify with out west...??
Photo courtesy of Adam King
Tuesday, May 9, 2006
However, let’s pretend for a bit that you are a junior planner seeking some helpful words … and you meant to type http://www.russelldavies.com/, but you screwed-up and typed my name. Happens all the time.
Making a good first impression is a unique situation, where each person should turn to their own strengths. However, I believe there are a few written-in-stone rules on not absolutely destroying yourself as a person who can add value to a conversation. Adding value to a conversation is basically one of the most essential planner traits, correct? OK, here are my four rules for not RUINING a first impression:
1) Do not say anything clearly wrong
I was recently in a conversation where the following statements were made, “Well, Dunkin’ Donuts doesn’t make their money off of the coffee, everyone knows that. It is the donuts and the ice cream, the coffee is cheap. Look at their name.” I questioned this idea. I mean, coffee is dirty water, and yet it sells for more than a bottle of crisp, clean water. It can be made in extreme bulk with just roasted beans and water. Have you been to a grocery store lately? Don’t look at the price of coffee beans; look at the price of ANY other type of bean. Cheap, eh? Why is coffee so much more expensive? Because it is roasted? Please, that makes it easier for transport. And fire ain’t too expensive either. So, I had my doubts about this statement. I decided to look it up. I found this 2005 New York Magazine article, Average Joe
The name Dunkin’ Donuts is something of a misnomer. Coffee makes up 63 percent of the company’s $4.4 billion in annual revenue. And while Dunkin’ won’t say how much its coffee is marked up, industry experts say java carries by far the highest profit margin of any Dunkin’ product, perhaps as much as 95 percent (a $2 cup might cost Dunkin’ just ten cents). Dunkin’s fortunes, in other words, rise and fall not on the strength of its eponymous glazed, powdered, or chocolate-covered confections but on how much joe it can pour.
Yeah, that makes sense to me. Now, I doubt any “fact” this person gives me. If you think something may be true, but don’t know it for sure, feel free to offer it as exactly that … a supposition. Let people know it is a theory you have and explain why. Therefore, if it is proven wrong, then you have given good reasoning and people don’t doubt your word.
2) Do not state the obvious
I am not going to explain this one too thoroughly, but rely on the statement as a stand alone.
However, I will say this. My best ideas seem to be the ones that were so simple but actually weren’t really obvious. Therefore, this point is a difficult dilemma. You want the idea to be so darn undeniable that no one could really doubt it leading to success. However, you don’t want people thinking, “Duh. I know that already.” Once again leading to the question, “Can this person add unique value to our conversation?” Usually just thinking a bit before you say anything will help with this one.
3) Do not try to sell anything
I am not really a sales-type person, but I assume that sales are mostly based on relationships (this statement may fail to pass one or both of the two points above). Therefore, establish the relationship first, and then move on to the sale. You have to set your foundation in some fashion (whatever your strengths lead to) before you have the chance to convince a person to make a sales commitment with you.
4) Listen to the whole thing…
This one is my biggest challenge of the four. I am a great listener … for the first couple of sentences. Then, I start thinking of all the ideas I want to share with this person to add value to the conversation. “Ooo … I should point out that thing I read about the Etruscan horses’ sleep patterns…” Meanwhile, the speaker has just used their opening remarks as simply that... an opening to a larger conversation. However, I may have missed the boat. And now I am concerned about what has been said. I don’t want to repeat what has already been observed (that is about as bad of a breaking of rule #2 as possible). Try to absorb the whole point, before you add your insight.
Of course, I am also learning that there is nothing wrong with letting the person know that you were distracted by an earlier point they made … at least you were listening and it was their discussion which caused the distraction. It is when I start thinking about how Ethan Hunt is a lot like Batman that I get in trouble.
OK, just some things I have picked-up on in my conversations (I have done all of these things myself in the past). Sorry if they are wrong, obvious or salesy…
Monday, May 8, 2006
Friday, May 5, 2006
If you send a researcher to tell you about a squirrel climbing a tree, this person will explain the tree and the squirrel, with specific focus on the grooves in the bark and the little rodent's climbing claws. The researcher will explain to you the situation of how the squirrel climbs the tree .. it is a finite environment. A researcher can paint you a good picture.
The planner will tell you how the squirrel will climb the tree to the edge and watch you, and then as you get closer, the bushy-tailed creature will creep around the tree ... leading you on an endless chase around and around the tree ... a planner will give you the story.
To a researcher a tree might prove an effective escape device for the squirrel simply because it can scamper up ... a planner will observe the method and see the infinite escape route available from a wide, round trunk.
Both offer useful advice and true information necessary to understand the situation. It really depends on why you want to know about squirrels climbing trees ... you weirdo.
Anyway, that's my take on it.
Photo taken from this person.
I know this question will be answered by some Topeka or Peoria homemaker today. And it will provide some incredibly useless information to make yet another bland toothbrush communication piece, perhaps with a coupon...
I would answer this question at probably 24. So, they would take this data and assume that we each get a new toothbrush once a month. They would have no idea that about 3-4 are for me, and 20 are for Mary. They would not know that I currently have one that I transfer from shower to medicine cabinet; Mary has at least one in each location. They would not know that my old one becomes a watch brush and Mary's are thrown away never to show their frayed heads again.
Or what about my stepmother Liz? Who has the foresight to purchase several toothbrushes in advance for potential visits. I wish I could be such a gracious host, very thoughtful indeed. Most surveys will not unravel this insight.
Research is a frustrating thing. It is a shame to see how many people continue along the same tried-and-true methods, simply because of approved budgets, mindsets and benchmarks. However, here ... I just talked about some behavior ... on the web, for all to see. Do you think some toothbrush research person is reading this right now ... developing a brilliant strategy?
I doubt it ... this person is too busy deciding how to sub-segment the U.S. Hispanic audience right now. (Should I ask Northern Mexico vs. Southern Mexico in origin??)
Cool graphic from this guy.
Thursday, May 4, 2006
Wednesday, May 3, 2006
So, I am currently reading Richard Rhodes' biography of John James Audubon. Too early in the reading to recommend.
And I ran across this passage from JJA about him checking out the Chimney Swallow (or American Swift):
Satisfied with the sight, I closed the lantern. We then caught and killed
with as much care as possible more than a hundred, stowing them away in our
pockets and bosoms, and slid down into the open air.
Growing up in a state and family that greatly admired the beauty of JJA's work, I have always found him and his work fascinating. I have also assumed him to be "a friend of all with feathers." However, the above statement is written with the calm collection of a serial killer or perhaps The Tell-Tale Heart hero, is it not?
Americans in the early 1800's really had this idea of endless bounty. And here we sit 200 years later collecting DNA from
lions so we can clone them after the entire population is wiped out.
Tuesday, May 2, 2006
I failed 10th grade the first time simply because of an overwhelming inability to focus on the task at hand. I would read tons of books, sit entertained in class, pass tests with flying colors ... but devote extended periods of time to work at home? ... that is an absurd idea.
I am currently sitting next to Sam as he painfully sighs, flips through his book page-by-page-by-page-by-page and drops his pencil for EASILY the 40th time. I remember being told that homework would be over after school ... it is not. It has once again reared it's ugly head and fanged teeth!
Sam and I decided to draw a picture of the demon HOMEWORK.
So this morning I decided to get a feel for the city some. This is what I searched for:
-Whole Foods (found within walking distance of most places we are looking at)
-Pizza (found a couple of places)
We are actually considering not going to S-F before we choose our place. It is amazing. Digital photos of apartments and views, blogs about the area, satellite maps, internet maps with business locations, transit map pdf's .. so many tools at our disposal 2,200 miles away...
Information super-highway indeed.