the day after a monday holiday

That is the phrase that strikes fear into the heart of every mail carrier.

Consider for a moment the amount of mail you get in one day. Now, multiply that volume by 550 (the number of boxes on my route). Try to imagine how that pile of mail would look... neatly sorted and placed into trays, of course. That is a conservative estimate of how much mail I have to move in an average day. It is conservative because I have something like 40 businesses on the route, four of which get enough mail to fill a foot high tub.

Okay, now. Take your sorted day's worth of mail and mulptiply that by three.

If you can visualize that, you have will begin to get an idea of what I did today.
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has it been a month already?

I don't know where May went but my June article, about Boyertown for the 422 Business Advisor is now up.

Incidentally, just so you know how very odd my life can be, I not only write for the 422 Business Advisor, I deliver it. Does that count as self publishing?

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another it wasn't just me post

So today a rural carrier sub drove into a ditch. That in itself is not so amazing. The amazing thing is that it wasn't me.

Apparently she is fine, though her car had to be towed out of the ditch. I'm not sure if there was any damage.

The bad news is she was talking about quitting. She's a very good carrier too; tries hard and can get her route done pretty fast; goes out of her way to be nice to people and encourage them too. It would be a shame to lose her. Not to mention the fact that it would leave us with only three subs for seven(!!!) routes and no one in the pipe.

I hope they can talk her into staying.

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the trouble with t'rati: and i thought it was just me

For the last couple of months I've been wondering what is up with Technorati. I haven't said anything because I thought maybe I was the only one, and that maybe I was somehow doing something wrong. And also because it doesn't matter all that much, except, it is nice to know when someone links to or blogrolls you so you can maybe reciprocate. But despite the fact that multiple new blogs have put serotoninrain on their blogrolls, and those sites have linked to me in some of their posts as well, my t'rati stats have not changed a whit since, I dunno, probably March.

Not only that, but the service has often been sllllooooowww and just as often unavailable. The idea behind Technorati is stellar, and none of the other multipurpose tracking sites are all that great, but lately t'rati isn't so great either.

So it is with a dubious sense of relief that today I discovered I'm not the only one disheartened by Technorati's woeful performance. Media Orchard's been pondering the same issue.

So Technorati... get yourself together! We need you out here.

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the new world: the tree... the branch breaks off, it don't stop but keeps reaching toward the light

The New World is as close as Terrence Malick will probably ever get to making a "chick flick," which is to say, not that close.

It is the story of Pocahontas and her "romance" with Capt John Smith. Although we never hear the Indian princess referred to by that name (which means something like "wanton" or "free spirit"). It is almost spoken once, but only almost. By that point in the film she no longer wishes to be known by that name.

Why? Because even though she is one of "the naturals," she lives in a New World. The world she lives in is John Smith. However many levels of meaning Malick's title has, this is certainly one of them. The New World for Rebecca (her name upon baptism) is the "lands across the sea," which brought the captain to her, and which she eventually visits, never to return.

Along the way, the love that grows between Rebecca and Smith will cost them and others dearly. It's a heartbreaking story to the end, and Malick tells it in his trademark style: jaw dropping visuals, internal dialogue from multiple characters presented through voice-over, and deliberate pacing (even during battle scenes we pause to look at the slaughter through the eyes of some character who is standing incongruously still).

There may not be a filmmaker working today who is as good at visual composition. He films and films and films and then, as Sean Penn reflected following his work in The Thin Red Line, Malick puts together a performance during editing. I don't know if that's actually the case, but his films feel that way. Watch during The New World as he even gets a flock of birds to perform for him. Ain't no CGI here folks. That kind of footage only comes through endless shooting. Watch the special features of the DVD and it will be obvious within thirty seconds how Malick works.

The movie is good, but like all three of Terrence Malick's other movies... (yes this is only his fourth feature film in almost as many decades) it requires an investment. If you're into thrills, well, you won't like Malick. Many people do not. But if you're a sucker for a story plummed to its emotional depth, slowly and with plenty of images of grandeur thrown in for hell of it, then get hold of Malick's entire oeuvre (you can watch it all in less than 9 hours) and bon appetit.

One quibble: James Horner is a great film composer, very gifted. So why, I wonder, did he feel he needed to rehash his score for Field of Dreams. This movie deserved better.

Thanks to RC at Strange Culture who reminded me of this movie, which I was excited to see when it came out in January but managed to forget about.

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speaking of bookstores and their communities

Today I found the coolest used bookstore in the history of used books. Well, okay maybe there are cooler bookstores. But this one is up there. It's called Wellington Sqaure Bookshop, in Exton, PA.

It's not really in Exton however, it's in Eagleview, a beautiful planned community near Exton. Check out the following blurb from the developer's web page...

The community is based on a “walkable” lifestyle which includes sidewalks, jogging paths and greenways integrating the home, market and workplace. EagleviewSM was planned to reverse the modern trends of suburban sprawl and lengthy commutes while still providing quality, affordability and aesthetic beauty.

Wait. Doesn't that sound like something I heard earlier? I guess it does. Here's a link to the Eagleview master plan.

Now if only I could come up with about $400,000, I could live there and visit that bookstore every stinkin' day.

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i read this article so you don't have to

Here's a long village voice article about disappearing local book stores. Yes, small book stores are disappearing. You know what I say to most of those departures: good riddance. I am a big fan of any quaint little bookstore (especially with a healthy stock of used books), with maybe an espresso bar thrown in for good mesaure, one that is designed to be a pleasant place to linger. Most little bookstores (around here, anyway) are decidedly not pleasant, but fusty, smelly drab looking dungeons with well intentioned but not very book smart dungeonkeepers behind the counter.

That's neither here nor there. What I wanted to mention: the article finally hits on something at the very end...

Today's field, though, may not be the future's. Superstores live and die by generous zoning, massive inventory, co-op money, and deep discounts.

The reason for the rise of big box book stores, clothing stores, hardware and home supply stores, etc is simple: the car. When our nation, over time, moved away from the walkable, cohesive neighborhood and toward the suburban development with retail centralized on quasi distant former farmland, we made a choice on multiple levels about our collective future. Every choice has consequences, and some of them don't show up for a long, long time. We're finally starting to feel a delayed after effect of this particular choice every time we fill up our gas tanks.

If we ever start moving back to a nation of communities rather than a nation of suburbs and blighted urban centers, we'll probably see some of those mom & pop businesses again (whether that's a good or bad thing will depend to some extent on how pleasant those businesses are).

Suzanne Kelly and boyfriend Keith pose in Suzanne's "Bridge Street Bookshop" in Phoenixville, PA. It's a lovely place; the kind of small bookstore you dream about... if you're a book freak that is. She's in a newly revitalized pedestrian friendly, cohesive downtown and doing quite well, thank you very much.

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how to know when you've actually become a carrier

Today I delivered yet another new route for the first time, and had the easiest day of my 5 month old career.

The mail was pretty light today, which was good. But on top of that, I've learned a few tricks at the mail case, and also a few slick techniques for loading my car, that make me a lot faster at delivering.

I got in at 6:10. Left the post office for the street at 10:10 (a record), delivered the 38+ mile route and was back at the post office at 2pm. The afternoon casing work was average but I finished it in less than half an hour. I was out of there at 2:25, which if you're doing the math is 8 hours and 10 minutes. My shortest day so far.

All of this probably means next to nothing to you, but I was pretty juiced about it. Thanks for putting up with my retelling.

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proud dad (skip this post if you can't stand a guy braggin on his kids)

Tonight at my daughters' school it was Art and Music Night. In the past, this event has defined missability. Tonight however, was different. As I was discussing the event with my daughters a mere 28 hours ago, I asked what they would be doing for art and music night. This was all a ruse to give me a reason (read, excuse) to skip it.

Amy said she would be in a featured group of vocalists in her chorus and would also be playing Frere Jacques in a flute ensemble.

Kristin said she would be playing a duet with her trombone instructor. I asked, "what song." She said it didn't have a title and that it was only "something I wrote."

"A song you wrote yourself?"


Amy's singing and her flute ensemble went very well. In an evening full of squeaks and squawks, there were none in either of her perfromances.

And when Kristin's instructor introduced the piece saying "this is a piece that Kristin wrote herself" the room got as quiet as a church on Holy Saturday. Up until that moment, cell phones had been going off and conversations proceeded at normal talking volume. But all of that stopped and everyone faced forward.

The performance was flawless. The song was pretty good too, and fairly complex considering it was written by an eleven year old.

All in all, the evening provided a few "that's my kid!" moments. The coolest part was watching other parents go out of their way to walk up to Kristin and offer their appreciation for her work.

Okay, that's all. Thanks for indulging my little episode of bragging on my kids.

As you were.

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you talk like that?

This meme was kinda fun to do. I don't know if the results mean anything but the questions in the survey were cool. Check it out via the link below my results.

H/T to the non-midwestern midwesterner, Gwynne.

Your Linguistic Profile::
50% General American English
30% Yankee
10% Upper Midwestern
5% Dixie
0% Midwestern

THe quiz needs another question though for my friend and regular visitor Brett:

How do you pronounce the word "closet"?

a. clah-zet
b. claw-zet

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relax, it's just a meme

I got tagged with this virulent meme a couple of days ago. Here goes.

I AM what I am by the grace of God, and his grace to me was not without effect. Thank goodness.

I WANT to take a trip west by myself for two weeks.

I WISH I had the money and time to take that trip.

I HATE brussel sprouts. If you like them, then what exactly is your major malfunction?

I MISS almost nothing.

I HEAR almost everything.

I WONDER about all of it.

I REGRET not getting an MFA instead of an MBA.

I AM NOT a very interesting person.

I DANCE. Wait... no I don't! And don't ask again!

I CRY when someone old enough to know what they're doing gets baptized.

I AM NOT ALWAYS, nor do I want to be.

I MAKE WITH MY HANDS annoying drumming noises just like Eric does, but all the time, not just when I'm nervous.

I WRITE a lot. Sometimes I get paid for it. How 'bout it?

I CONFUSE everyone, including myself, with my career choices.

I NEED to make some choices.

I SHOULD make one in the not too distant future.

I START when I'm ready.

I FINISH on time and under budget, or I don't start.

I'm tagging: you! Get to work.

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time to acquire a taste for alligator

My title puts a silly spin on a very serious current issue.

Looks like they're having a bit of an alligator problem in Florida. The first couple of paragraphs of that linked article are frightening:

Friends of a 23-year-old woman found her inside an alligator's mouth on Sunday

But it's the last line that tells the real story:

...alligator nuisance complaints have more than doubled in the last 20 years, to more than 18,000 a year. [A report] says the reason is simple: More and more housing is being built right on top of alligator habitats.

So, who is the problem here? Alligators or us?

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you actually read this stuff?

If you've checked up on my reading list pages recently you've probably noted that they haven't changed in some time.

Yes, I have a fair amount of catching up to do. I now have both a backlog of books to read and a backlog of books to post to the lists as well. So, for my own amusement, I thought I'd mention two notable books here since they may not get a review in the recent reads list...

Americana by Hampton Sides: This book was tremendous! It's a collection of Sides' articles on travel throughout America and also by Americans to other countries. All are top notch, but two (one about the first American casualty in the Iraq war and another about various survivors of 9/11) are heart wrenching and brilliantly written. I would have to count this one as a 'must read.'

Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer: I've been a fan of Krakauer's work since I read "Into Thin Air" over one breathless weekend. This book is about Mormon fundamentalism. It is not a pretty book and Mormon fundamentalism is not a pretty faith (in my own opinion it isn't a faith at all). The trade paperback edition includes Krakauer's response to an attack on his book by a prominent (non fundamentalist) Mormon theologian. Also a must read, but be warned, this one will make you mad.

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now it can be told: how i turned an easy day into a nightmare

I worked route number 5, my usual route, on Saturday and had a rare light day. Good thing too, since I was supposed to interview someone for my next 422 Business article at 4pm. On top of that, it was Stamp Out Hunger day. Stamp Out Hunger is the postal service's food drive. More on that later.

After pulling all my mail I wound up with only 8 trays, which I neatly arranged on one of those large carts I've told you about before. Those carts actually have a name, they're called nutting carts and they look something like those pictured. The difference, and it is a key difference, is that the carts we use at the post office have one large wheel in the center and one wheel centered at either end, as opposed to the two wheels you see in the picture. That makes them easy to turn. It also makes them tippy.

I took my mail out to the dock and as I went to get my car, I noticed that the cart was turned the wrong way. I backed my car up to the dock, leaving plenty of room to load the trays from the cart into the back of my Passat wagon. Then I hopped up on the dock to turn the cart. As I did so, about 2/3 of the way through the turn, the cart started to tip toward the parking lot. What had happened, apparently, was that the forward wheel was off the end of the dock, grabbing air. This effectively removed any obstacle between the front of the nutting cart and the parking lot, three feet below. At approximately 400 pounds without mail on it, a nutting cart can go pretty much wherever it wants to.

I tried to stop it but when it seemed my arms might either leave my body or that my body might follow the cart off the dock, I let go, stepped back, and watched in horror as my entire load of mail dumped itself onto the pavement. The cart and mail trays did not hit the car, so I had that going for me.

You might think that this would reduce me to tears. And had it happened in February, tears just might have flown. However, I am a smarter carrier than I once was, maybe just as clumsy but smarter. I now rubber band every slot in my mail case. All those rubber banded bundles stayed intact and fanned out nicely on the pavement. I gathered them, threw them in the trays and went back insdie to my case. The suprervisor helped me put the bundles back in the case because there were a lot of them out of order.

I had to cancel my interview but all told, I only lost an hour. I was home by 5pm. Of course, if I hadn't dumped my mail I would have been home before 4.

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postal codes: lots of zip

We rural carriers (and rural carrier wannabes like me) spend what can sometimes be the equivalent of a full work day together before we even make our first delivery. In the morning we "face the case." That is, our mail case. And we face it for anywhere from three to six hours (sometimes even longer). But despite the fact that we're not looking at each other, we talk to each other constantly. A lot of it is friendly banter and there are codes that help keep it that way. It may not seem that way, but creative use of this vernacular can render a neophyte such as myself speechless with laughter. Some people can tell 'em, some can't.

So forget zip codes. Here are some of the code words and phrases you simply must learn in order to survive working for the postal service... at least at my office.

  • 8:47! It might be any time, really. This is what Doug yells the moment he pours coffee from his thermos into his cup for that first daily sip of joe. Often the time is followed by "people", as in "9:18, people!"
  • Don’t leave without me! Someone will say this to you as soon as you begin to push your cart full of mail away from your case to leave for the street. Unless, of course, you are the last one to leave in which case you must say it to yourself.
  • How ‘bout it? This phrase is appended to any statement for which one seeks affirmation. For example, "These flats are a pain in my butt! How bout it?" The expected response is "how 'bout it!" (note subtle difference in punctuation)
  • How do we get paid for that? The de rigeur response to pretty much anything the supervisor says when other carriers are present.
  • Howr they comin’ down? A companion statement to "howz it goin' in?" In other words, "how fast are you pulling the mail out of your case and will you beat me out of the office today?" The polite answer is "slow, thanks for asking."
  • Howr they linin’ up? When the other carriers see that you have finished getting all of your mail into your case and have retrieved your parcel hamper, which, since it is Monday and this is the heaviest route in the post office, will be filled to overflowing, they will ask this question. It means how fast are you putting your parcels in the order that you will deliver them and will you be finished quickly and thereby beat me out of the office. The polite answer is "slow, thanks for asking."
  • Howz it goin in’? (alt. Howr they goin' in?) Meaning, "how much progress have you made in putting your presorted letters into your mail case, and will you be finished soon and thereby beat me out of the office?" This is never asked until the pre sorted mail is actually brought around, which happens somewhere around 9 am on weekdays. The polite answer is either "slow, thanks for asking," or the even more polite "they're not, thanks for asking." If the latter is yelled, the inquisitor usually responds back with "sorry to hear that, name."
  • I’m listenin’ name! This is the initial response to any question anyone asks you. It's all in the way you say it.
  • Name, come and find me when you’re done. If you are leaving before other carriers to take your mail to the street, one of them will certainly say this. Though it is not a serious request, it means, "When you finish delivering your mail, come and help me finish delivering mine."
  • Save me a spot on the dock! Pretty self explanatory, don't you think?
  • We don’t talk like that! When someone crosses the line into impropriety, and often even when they don't, this is the next thing you will hear. Often it is heard from multiple voices simultaneously.
  • Welcome back name. When you return from doing anything (delivering your mail, getting your parcel hamper, going to the bathroom) any other carriers present will say this.
  • You’re faaaaaast. This phrase is uttered whenever anyone does anything mail related before anyone else does that same thing. For instance (even though this almost never happens) if I finish casing my flats before anybody else, Bill will say, "Jim, you're faaast!" He may say it twice. If only it were true.

deep calls to deep

Julie has written a stirring meditation on baptism, and has included with it a breathtaking photo from her Nicaragua trip (start with part i in her series of posts).

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is it a trend? google it

For example, grits.

Or, if you prefer, the far less trendy oatmeal.

Whatever floats your boat.


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ok, so which one did i get wrong?

You Passed the US Citizenship Test

Congratulations - you got 9 out of 10 correct!

Forgot the hat tip to Limerick Savant.

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do the math, people!

At NPR's blog, Mixed Signals, Ken Rudin writes about mothers who are afraid to give birth on June 6 of this year, aka 6/6/06. First of all, that date is all wrong... there's a zero in there messing up the works.

But even worse, apparently no one told these people that 666 is not the mark of the beast. I figure we have at least ten more years of foolishness to go.


christian postal quitting: part ii

A week before Floyd showed up, the supervisor asked me if I wanted to learn yet another route, my third. I said okay and asked for the line of travel for rural route 3. The line of travel is an ordered list of all the roads and turns the carrier makes as he or she "follows the mail" on the route. I drove it last Friday on my own time just to see what it was like (I've done that with the other routes I've learned as well).

Today the supervisor called me at home. She said "I usually like to do things the way you guys ask me to but sometimes I just can't."

"Huh?" I said.

"You're not going to learn route 3. I need you to learn route 7. The sub just quit."

That sub was Greg (not his real name). He came on about two weeks before me. He often talked about his Christian faith and asked lots of questions about what I did as a church staff memeber. He was struggling as a carrier and more than once had mentioned that his wife was unhappy about him having to work every Saturday. Two weeks ago I told my wife I thought he might quit soon.

Somehow Greg managed to take all of last week off, which is why I worked three days, they needed all the remaining subs. He hadn't yet returned to work from his week off when he called today and quit, effective immediately, no notice.

So now I'm going to learn the route he abandoned and suddenly I will be working every Saturday for the forseeable future.

Part of me is a little miffed that Greg talked so openly about being a Christian but then put the screws to the whole crew of subs by quitting so suddenly and, despite being asked by the supervisor for two weeks notice, refused to give it. Though I'm not surprised, I guess. The demands of this job make it very, very hard to think of anyone but oneself.

Still... "very, very hard" is not "impossible."

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christian postal quitting: part i

Rural Carrier Associates often quit after only a short time in the job.

Last Wednesday a new sub showed up for his shadow day (an often overwhelming day of observation in which the newbie rides along on the route to which he or she will be assigned). We'll call him Floyd. As soon as I saw Floyd, I said to myself "pastor." Maybe it was the way he stood, the way he carried himself, or his countenance, but I was certain he was a pastor. He was shadowing on route 2; I was working route 4 that day and the cases for these routes are next to each other. Floyd talked a little to me and to Ann, the sub he would be riding with.

I thought and thought about a way to get him to own up to being a pastor without having to directly ask him, "so, are you a pastor or what?" After much thought I asked, "So, what brings you to the postal service?"

Floyd said, "Well, I guess you could say it's been an interesting journey for my family these past few months."

Absolutely 100% pure pastor!

"You see," he continued, "I'm a pastor..."

"Yeah, I knew that from the moment you walked in," I said.

"How'd you know?"

"Takes one to know one," I admitted.

Well, I got word yesterday that Floyd attended two days of rural carrier academy and called it quits.

I remember the semi-nauseated feeling I had all during the four day long academy, the endless questioning "What have I done?" I was tempted to quit myself.

But Floyd's is not the only story of quitting I have to tell today. The next one will be related in part ii.

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the new vw ads are slammin!

As the owner of not one but two volkswagens, and former advertising agency research drone, I pay attention to VW ads.

But the new campaign (entitled "Safe Happens") grabs me by the throat, and the stomach, and the heart. Woah!

No doubt you've seen the new ads. People are driving along in a VW having a normal conversation when suddenly they are slammed by another vehicle. There is a brief blackout after which we see that all the characters are okay. One of them starts to speak but we cut to the title card "Safe Happens!"

Slate has a review of the ads. They give the campaign a "B," even while claiming that the "execution is remarkable."

I think the ads are great! Their stark originality makes them stand out from everything else. As the next ad comes on, you're still thinking about that VW commercial... and that, folks, is true advertising brilliance. We used to call that "cutting through the clutter." It matters not whether you cut through it in a happy, maudlin, or terrifying way, just so you cut through that clutter of advertising messages.

These ads do that. In fact, the element of terrifying surprise helps the ads to pretty much burn the clutter to cinders. And they look great too, which always helps.

Good work VW. Now about that MAF sensor in my Cabrio...


busy is as busy does

I'm not a great believer in busyness. I think we get more done when we're not insanely busy, well, more that's of value at any rate.

So it is with regret that I announce that I am way too busy this week. I'm learning a new mail route, writing my next downtown article, plus I'm on tap to preach this week at church. And, of course, today my web content client emailed asking to talk about putting a bit more spin on my pages, the same ones I had been told were fine.

I will post if and when I can. In the meantime, check out the excellent blogs in the sidebar.

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okay, this freaks me out

Clive Thompson scores another link (he's thrilled, I'm sure).. actually two links with his posts about The Seeing Eye Tongue (part i and part ii)!

As fascinating as this idea is, it just gives me the sceeves. Eeeuuuggh.

should we be praying for this guy

something's happened to Eric. He's simultaneously channeling Elvis and Shakespeare.

Is it the Texas heat or something?

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downtown - no finer place, for sure

My next article, this time it's about Phoenixville, PA, is up over at the 422 Business Advisor website.

It's a bit long, but feel free to give it a read it if you're interested in another slice of downtown southeastern PA life.

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high ringxiety! oooh.... xiety!

Ringxiety: The illusion that you are hearing the sound of your phone ringing when it is actually not.

Clive Thompson writes about it here. He gets a little vulnerable on us too, confessing his own ringxiety attacks:

I sometimes find myself literally hallucinating mobile-phone sounds when I lie in bed... I'd like to think that I'm being hoaxed by a trick sound, but honestly I think that in this situation, the sounds are completely inside my head: A form of madness unique to the digital era.

Me too! I think I'm hearing the phone ring when I'm in bed of a morning, hoping against hope that the post office will (or often, will not) call me to work.

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it's all in your head: control your own migraine

Reinvent your diet, says Dr. David Buchholz to control those horrific headaches.

"The Ramen Noodles, total MSG bomb!"

Among the things outed by the diet: all soy.

Onions contain tyramine, a known migraine trigger. It's also in bananas, nuts, highly aged cheeses. But there are tons of triggers, such as weather and stress and hormones and the amount of mail you have to deliver. When the multiplicity of triggers redlines, you get a headache.

Says Bucholz, lighten your trigger load.

Interesting. The thing that kills the diet for me, no caffeine. Fortunately, I don't get migraines.

Give it a listen.

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the wages of plagiarism

This is sobering. And not only is the deal off but new allegations of plagiarism have surfaced in the case of Kaavya Viswanathan. This is serious stuff, folks. These people don't mess around.

Hopefully, Miss Viswanathan has learned that if the book has your name on it you'd better make damn sure it's also got your stuff in it.

ITMS: still a good buy

Ars Technica credits Steve Jobs with bringing the major music labels to their knees.

Apple has successfully renegotiated four of its contracts and will be keeping the price of its music where it's been for the past three years. The contracts signed were with their four biggest partners: Universal, Warner Music, EMI, and Sony BMG.
... to keep the prices for ITMS songs at $0.99.

How about we put Black Turtleneck Man in charge of the RIAA.

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help me spend my tax refund

We got a refund this year on our taxes. Yessss!

The check came yesterday and there was much rejoicing, although we really should change our withholding options so the government doesn't have as much use of our money in the future.

But that's beside the point. Being the big spender that I am I've decided to blow a major chunk of this refund on... are you ready for it...

A new grill!

This is the model we currently own, though it has definitely seen better days. I'd post a picture of ours but it would be too horrific for your gentle sensibilities.

None of those propane monstrosities for me, no sir. I'm strictly a charcoal and wood chip kind of guy. Simplicity is my motto, or something like that.

This is where you come in. Do any of my readers have recommendations on a charcoal burning, medium sized grill? Offer them up via the comments. And be snappy about it, I can't have this refund burning a hole in my pocket. Home Depot beckons!

Thank you in advance.

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you don't mean that! it's just the coffee talkin'.

Apparently caffeine makes it harder to say no.

caffeine increases persuasion through instigating systematic processing of the message

Or does it?

Co-author Dr Blake McKimmie says the research suggests that caffeine increases our ability to scrutinise the content of a message.

I don't know about you but I'm getting mixed signals from that article. Maybe the author had a few too many. She even says in the article that

too much coffee, however, means we're more likely to be distracted by peripheral factors, rather than the strength of the argument.

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