Prison for stealing a pen?

I was waiting in line at the post office today when I noticed a disturbing sign. It said something along the lines of:

“The ballpoint pens placed here are for your convenience. They are property of the United States Post Office. Taking one of these pens is considered theft and is punishable with a $500 fine and up to a year in prison.”

Holy crap batman! A year in prison? Seriously, I think those signs are a bit antiquated. I guess the Post Office has to make their money some how… with all the new technology like e-mail.

I would have tried to take a picture, but was afraid they’d lock me up for having a camera on Federal government property.


On my way to work yesterday I transported something pretty unique. When I got in my car, I found a seed floating around. It was one of those white ones that looks like a snowball. You know, the kind you always caught as a kid and made a wish before letting it go. Well anyway, it must have gotten trapped when I put my windows up the night before and spent the night in my car.

It floated around on my way to work, swirling around my face and wherever the current from my air conditioner would send it. I put up with this for about 15 minutes on my drive in to work. When I got there and opened the door, it picked up a current and escaped out the door only to float on to somewhere else. Its like they have a mind of their own, yet they only go wherever the wind takes them.

Can I have some fries with that fat?

I went to McDonalds for lunch today and saw some disturbing figures printed on my french fry container. Apparently they now print the nutritional info on the sides of those cartons. They also had a fancier, easier to read version on the opposite side. Here’s what it said:

Calories 380 19% DV
Protein 4g 8% DV
Fat 20g 31% DV
Carbs 47g 16% DV
Sodium 220mg 9% DV

For a medium size order of fries… 31% of my daily value of fat! That’s Gross! I’m sure that puts a large fry at about 50% 47%. Two large orders of fries could be your daily intake of fat! What’s wrong with that picture? I was happy when they printed it on their website, somewhere where I could go see it if I was actually that curious.

I’m not one to watch my weight, but that’s both disturbing and disgusting. And we wonder why there are so many obese people. If you want 101% of your daily fat intake, order a Quarter Pounder (27%) Value Meal with Large Fries (47%) and a Large Vanilla Milk Shake (27%). I’ve ordered that on occasion and now no longer wonder why I felt sick after eating it.

If you want, you can check out McDonalds Nutrition Fact Finder for yourself.


Wow, its one thing when you’re on vacation and you have no internet access, but I found out this weekend how hard it is to go without it when you’re dependent on it!

I was trying to get some things done on Sunday when we lost our internet connection for about 4 hours in the middle of the day. I was trying to get school work done as well as work on some other projects and had to kick myself into offline mode. I ended up deciding that almost everything I needed to do required me to be online at some point so I gave up and watched a movie. To make things worse, it was Kim’s weekend to work so I was home by myself and the house was quiet.

We also had no connectivity for most of the day Friday. It was off when I got up around 6AM and didn’t come back until about 4PM. We also lost cable all together from 2-4PM and had no TV service or internet. The other two incidents were internet-only and was a failure to get a DHCP address from my provider.

I woke up this morning and it seemed like it was just recovering again and had been disconnected at some point last night after 2:30AM. I’m not really sure what’s going on, but their service uptime is starting to become worse than when I had Comcast. Normally their outages were DNS related and my secondary DNS servers never even let me know.

I’m curious to see what my uptime is on my new provider. Does anyone know of an app that would ping a site every minute or so to measure uptime? If not I might write something simple that would record the time on a failed attempt, continue attempting then record the first time it was successful. It would show start and end times and calculate a total (hours and minutes) it was out for. This could then be written to a log file for later viewing. Does anything like this exist? Any OS… Windows/Mac/Linux … I run all three!

GTD Series: Daily Overview – Part 2

This is the fourth article in my GTD series

First things first
Once I get to work, I flip on my work laptop and go grab a big cup of water. By the time I get back my laptop is ready for me, and I’m ready for it.

Things to do: Round 2
I log on to my laptop and check my email first. Same things as home: reply, defer, delete. Any incidents that might have come in after I left the previous day get printed out for my reference. Once I have all of them in hand, I check my calendar to see anything outstanding I have scheduled. Continue reading GTD Series: Daily Overview – Part 2

GTD Series: Daily Overview – Part 1

The first part of my day begins with waking up and getting the ball rolling. This is everything before I leave the house for work. Unfortunately I am not currently self employed and do not work out of a home office. This means I have two systems to use during the day.

Getting up
I generally get up around 5AM. This varies, and I have had a tendency to oversleep the past few weeks. I plan on getting back into this routine to give myself exercise time and go out for an early ride. After that I take a quick shower and get dressed for the day. Then off to my computer.

Things to do
The next step is to sit down at my computer and get my bearings for the day. I first open Thunderbird and glance at my email. I read anything that is relevant, delete others, and answer anything requiring a response. After I’m done in Thunderbird, I open NewsFire and glance at any new items. Once again, reading relevant ones, marking some for follow up, and finally marking all as read.

The third step is opening kGTD and iCal. Here, I glance at anything outstanding that might be done today. Because I have to use two systems, I keep some of these as “open loops” until I get to work. These items could be anything from calling someone at lunch or an errand I need to run. If I have a lot to do, I will send an email to my work address.

I will go more into detail about how I use some of these applications later in the series.

Once done glancing at my to-do list for the day I try and get a few things done before breakfast. I head down for a quick bite to eat and head out the door. Occasionally, if I’m up early enough and have time before breakfast, I will accomplish a few tasks first thing in the morning. I normally head out the door around 6:30, so when I do up at 5, I give myself a full 90 minutes to get ready for work and get things done.

Cars are happier on a Pennsylvania roadtrip

This was a slogan in the state’s online contest for a new official state bumper sticker. Its a good thing it didn’t win, because with all the pot holes and the overall poor condition of Pennsylvania roads, the only vehicle you could put it on would be a Jeep! Pennsylvania is the only state in the nation where you need a 4-wheel drive vehicle for all the roads.

[Winning Pa. Bumper Sticker Touts Shoofly Pie] – WGAL