Sunday, March 22, 2015

Computer Assistance

Trying to figure out why my daughter's PC is having problems, I listened to a Youtube video.  Here is part of what it said:




Just how freaking stupid ARE some of these people?  Then again, I found this on a different site:

"Windows 8 and 8.1 make it really simple to disable startup applications. All you have to do is open up Task Manager by right-clicking on the Taskbar, or using the CTRL + SHIFT + ESC shortcut key, clicking “More Details,” switching to the Startup tab, and then using the Disable button"

A four step process doesn't strike me as 'really simple'. 

Friday, March 20, 2015


Actually spoke in Italian this afternoon.  Horrible, chaotic, wrong word wrong  tense Italian....but Italian.

Another Snow Day

First day of spring, last (we hope) snow day for the year.  Last year was worse in terms of total days , but this one has been fairly grim, too.

This is an example of why French is difficult:  this phrase appears in something that I am listening to while I read the transcription:

Chaque élève choisit vers 14 ans ce que sa série sera 
(Each student chooses around 14 years old what his focus of study will be)

Its that last part of the sentence that stuns me, because it's pronounced as 'suh kuh sa suhREE suhRAH'.  If that doesn't sound like gibberish when you're desperately searching for any meaning as the sentence rockets past....

On the otheer hand, a new partner tells me that I speak reasonably well, so that's something....

Oh, and the Third Law thing?  Inertia. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


This morning at breakfast my wife and I discussed why it is so incredibly hard to get a lucid non-mathematical explanation of Newton's Third Law.  Neither of us is a science person.  We didn't get very much further than these people, they either don't know or they can't speak English.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

News Night

I'll never see this in my lifetime, but perhaps my children will.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Monday, March 09, 2015

Heads in Beds

Just finished reading Heads in Beds, an autobiographical book about a guy's career in the hotel industry.  Most of the book is only mildly interesting - this is how the desk clerk can really screw you over!  This is how you can empty out the minibar and never pay a dime! -- but the parts at the beginning, where he talks about being a lowest-of-the-low worker at a high end hotel, a place where they stressed and emphasized the value of customer service -

It made me want to find that hotel, and stay there. It's in New Orleans, someplace.  Now, it might not exist any more.  Floods, you know.  Or it might have been taken over by SuperOmniMax, with every flower having to pull its own weight  plus 10%, no more than five in a given location.  And I have stayed in expensive hotels, up around the $350 dollar a day rate (which I know isn't all THAT expensive, these days, but it is for me), and while most of them were worth it, some, not so much.  Looking at you, DC Four Seasons.

But if I could find that hotel....I'd almost be willing to go to that city, just to stay there.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

An Ad....

I see where some French kids' resumes are starting to arrive for 3 week stays this summer. We'd really like to do it, but we're picky: we prefer a kid who is from a small town and has never been to the US. Wonder if we should put an ad in Le Monde? Something like "Habitez-vous en petite ville? Votre enfants ne sont jamais alleé aux Etats-Unis? Envoyez leur à moi!" Yeah, that should do it.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

OK, This is Weird

For the last three weeks or so, I've been in touch with a language partner who's recently gone through a traumatic breakup - trying to restore her confidence in herself, mostly, trying to make her see that she's still a good and decent person whom a lot of guys would like to get to know.

Last night she told me that she was going to go 'hang out', and I thought great, she's getting out of the house, glad to hear it. Today I heard briefly from her relative to two posts on my Facebook account, but this evening, when I tried to ping her, I got no response.  I don't think she saw it, which means she didn't have her telephone with her. 

I find myself worried about someone who really doesn't need me to worry about her!