Friday, July 30, 2010


No Segues is going on vacation while I spend some time with my alter ego life giving presentations in Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas on health care reform. Be back August 9th.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What to do with cricket poo?

During a recent trip to Austin, Texas, I learned that during certain parts of the year (i.e., now) there's an up tick in the cricket population in the area. So big an increase, in fact, that my hotel left me this note in my room:

The bottom line for the hotel is that there are simply too many crickets for them to get rid of them all, and we might as well enjoying their singing.

The situation go me to thinking -- What can you do with the cricket poo?

Turns out that there's an answer. Cricket poop apparently makes a great fertilizer. There are even companies that sell it. Live crickets are raised in a big box called a "brooder. The poop falls to the bottom of the brooder in a mix that is roughly 98% poop and 2% a mixture of shed crickets skins, cricket food, and paper. Its not sticky, and it has very little odor.

So, that's what you do with cricket poo. You help your fruits, vegetables, flowers, shrubs, etc. grow.

(And, I think this just goes to show that you never know what you'll read when you stop by this blog.)

Monday, July 26, 2010


Sigh. The Tour de France is over. The FIFA World Cup is over. What am I going to do until football season starts?

Well, for one thing, I just learned that the back panel of a shoe is called the "counter." The upper part of the shoe that covers the foot is called the "vamp," and the strip of material that joins the sole to the upper is called the "welt."

Scientists believe that people have been wearing shoes for the past 26,000 to 40,000 years. (But I suspect that the cavemen didn't have "welts.") Ancient cave paintings in Spain and the south of France (see, there's the tie-in to the Tour de France) show humans wearing shoes. And, an "Ice Man found frozen in the French Alps was wearing shoes at the time of his unfortunate demise around 5,000 years ago. (Back to France.)

Who knew? Well, probably a lot of people, but not me.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


According to The World Almanac 2010, the average computer has 3,000 germs per square inch. According to another source confirming that keyboard germ count, toilet seats only average 49 germs per square inch.

I'm not sure what to do with this bit of information, but it certainly makes me say "Ew."

Whose germs are accumulating on my office computer? Mine? My co-workers? (And, what are they doing in my office pawing my computer?)

Guess we need to add "Wash your hands after you use the computer" to the Mom list of things to nag about. And, apparently, I've got a little keyboard cleaning to do. No wonder my desktop is refusing to play. It probably has the flu.

I'm off to wash my hands . . .

Monday, July 19, 2010

Forecast: Bumpy Seas

The desktop computer is refusing to play. It won't even boot. So, I'm working on my netbook today.

I seem to go through little spells in life when things just don't go right -- to the point that you just have to laugh. Not big things, fortunately, just little things -- like the battery dies on the car, a contact gets lost, the big client project gets deleted -- all in one day. Those are the kind of spells I go through, which basically means that you should avoid getting into a car with me for a while, or an elevator, or even a building. I have to remind myself that the only thing I can control is my attitude (which I admit to saying through gritted teeth a few times last week).

But as the old proverb goes: "A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner."

So, as I watch the cursor on the black screen blink at me from my desktop computer, I'm off to sail the bumpy seas.

Hope you all have a great day, and if you see me on the sidewalk, you should probably look up to make sure there's nothing about to fall on our heads.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Who are you?

I have trouble remembering names. I'm fairly good with recognizing faces, but stink with names. Nonetheless, it's hard to imagine being unable to recognize familiar faces. However, folks who have an impaired ability to recognize faces suffer from a condition known as "prosopagnosia" or "face blindness."

This could be a condition that develops later in life, or is something a person is born with, but it can wreak havoc with social interaction. Can you imagine going through carpool line and not knowing which kid is yours until you heard her voice?

Similarly, there's a condition called "phonagnosia" or "voice blindness," which leaves an individual unable to recognize voices. Scientists say that we can usually recognize a familiar voice over the phone with just one word, but those suffering from phonognosia can't even recognize the voices of parents or spouses.

So, the bottom line -- we shouldn't be upset if someone doesn't immediately recognize our voices or faces because he or she might be suffering from prosopagnosia or phonagnosia.

Now, if only I could get spellcheck to recognize my name as a real name. I don't think it has any good explanations for its continuing failure . . .

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Le Tour de France

Now that FIFA Copa Mundial is over, my TV viewing time has been filled with one of my annual obsessions -- the Tour de France. If you're not familiar with the Tour de France, it's an annual bike race over 23 days covering roughly 2,200 miles (3,600 kilometers) through France and its surrounding countries. The trek is broken into daily segments called "stages" with a few rest days built in.

My little obsession started in my triathlete days. I just so happened to run across the Tour on TV while riding my bike on my stationary trainer, and I've been hooked ever since. (Those were the days before I had my cycling accident, which lead to partial paralysis in my left hand, which was cured by a surgery leaving a six inch scar on my left elbow, but I digress -- as usual.)

Yellow Jersey (maillot jaune), Green Jersey (maillot vert), King of the Mountain (or Red Polka Dot Jersey - Maillot à Pois Rouges), and the White Jersey (maillot blanc) -- I can't wait to see who wins what. My family doesn't understand my strange desire to watch other people bike for hours on end, and that's okay. They just add it to the list of my quirks and move on.

But, in honor of le Tour de France, here are a few randoms:

1. Tour riders will pedal an average of 324,000 to 486,000 strokes over the course of the race.

2. A single rider burns approximately 123,900 calories during the three week ride. That's about 6,500 calories per day.

3. For stages other than the sprints, rider must use a bike which weighs at least 14.998 pounds. (There are newborn babies heavier than that.)

4. The main group (called the peloton) stops en masse when they decide it's time for a bio break.

5. "Boiling the saucepan over" is cycling slang for "doping."

Vive le Tour.

Monday, July 12, 2010

FIFA Copa Mundial



Friday, July 9, 2010


Last Sunday, we dropped my oldest daughter off at summer camp. When we got to the check in table, I was asked if she had another "legal guardian" that I wanted to add to her list. "Legal guardian?" As opposed to an "illegal guardian?"

And, yes, being me, I couldn't help but ask that very thing of the nice young lady helping us check in. She took my question with great humor and told a few tales of how other parents have responded to her question.

But I digress. As usual.

I was a bit nervous about how my daughter would handle being dropped off at sleep away camp for the first time. But when it came time for the rest of us to leave, she gave us a quick hug (absolutely no tears -- from either of us) and said good-bye. Minutes later, we saw her walking to the lake with a new friend while we got water from the dining hall.

We pick her up tomorrow morning, and I'm sure I'm WAY happier about that then her, but that's okay. We'll both get over it.

I haven't had a word puzzle in a while, so how about one for "camp?"

Changing one letter at a time, how many words does it take you to get from "camp" to "love?" (E.g., "sat" to "sit" to "pit" is two words.) I can get there in five words.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Ah, summer. Sweltering heat. Cool pools. Sleeping in. Gotta love it.

In honor of one of our favorite pastimes -- hitting the pool for a swim -- here are a few randoms about swimsuits:

1. Barbie's first outfit when she debuted in 1959 was a black and white swimsuit.

2. Until the 20th Century, when women's swimsuits began to "shrink," a woman wanting to swim in the ocean had to hold onto a rope in order to avoid drowning because her swimsuit weighed roughly 22 pounds.

3. Ancient Minoan paintings from around 1600 B.C. show women in two-pieced suits similar to the 1960s bikini.

4. It wasn't until the 1930s that men wore swimsuits that exposed their chests.

5. Not surprisingly, women's swimsuit sales make up about 70% of the market.

Well, hopefully the rain will go away long enough for us to get a swim in today.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Red, White, and Blue

I hope that everyone had a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July. We spent most of the day taking my oldest daughter to camp. And, let's just say that if this is any indication of what it will be like to drop her off at college, I'm going to need sedatives . . .

So, enough about that. Let's get back to the Fourth. I feel a special connection to Independence Day because one of my ancestors fought in the American Revolution. Family rumor has it that he even served under Washington at Valley Forge. (I haven't tracked that bit down, but it's an accepted part of family lore.)

As I sit in my comfortable home enjoying the greatest personal freedom in the world, it's hard to imagine the conditions that brought our ragtag ancestors to the point of trying to overthrow an empire. But today, I live the freedom they fought so hard to win. May I never forget their sacrifices.

In honor of the Fourth of July, here are a few Star Spangled randoms:

1. Only one American president was born on the 4th of July -- Calvin Coolidge.
2. Only two people actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
3. Independence Day wasn't declared a national holiday until 1941.

Enjoy your day.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Why "Soccer"?

I've wondered for a while why we Americans call "soccer" "soccer" and not "football." Seems that it's not really our fault. According to a couple of soccer-savvy websites, when the sport first reached our shores in the late 19th Century, it was called Association Football -- a name we got from the Brits.

They were also responsible for calling it "Assoccer," a kind of abbreviation for "Association Football." That in turn became "soccer," and we Americans grabbed onto the term after World War II, partly due to our own "Football," which allows teams to touch the ball and has more timeouts than a three-year-old in a month.

So, basically, it's not really our fault that we call it soccer. We got the term way back when from the Brits.

Also, if you think about it, the other countries aren't really calling the game "football" either. If they were, then countries like Mexico would call it "La pelota de pie," and the Italians would call it "La palla di piede." No, they're picking up on the English term "football," so to the folks in Mexico, the game is "Futbol."

Well, enough of that, I have critiquing to do.

Have a wonderful Fourth of July.