Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Make a stand, secure your laptop! - Lessons from the HBLL part III

After the fiasco with the restroom and the buttons, I decided to sit down and do some research, or blogging to be more correct. While plugging my laptop in I noticed an embossed little 1" by 3" embossed sign that reads, "DISCOURAGE THEFT - Secure laptop here," next to a metal loop.

I found the wording of that sign quite interesting. It left me questioning what the motives were behind it. Was the sign for my benefit so I realize there are kleptos even at BYU, or was it for the Library's benefit so they might avoid the hassle of thievery claims. I don't know what it was about that sign, but it seemed to me to have some personality here. The job could have been accomplished by a simple "Laptops Secure Here," yet this sign was different. It made me securing my laptop (which I'm not quite sure how to do) more like making a political statement. I was now discouraging theft.

But would I really be doing that? Or would I just be discouraging theft in my own locale. I imagine that one with the gumption to steal a laptop at BYU wouldn't be thrown into an introspective haze and begin questioning the ethics of his attempted actions, just because he couldn't take my laptop. He'd probably just move to the next open laptop, or even off-campus. Or is it more of a discouraging of the thief that we are attempting. The more laptops he can't get, the more discouraged he becomes, eventually leading him to an utter state of despair where he is humbled to the whisperings of laws, ethics, and the spirit? I'm not quite sure.

Interesting little sign of five words.

Who's idea was this anyway? - Lessons from the HBLL part II

As I was pondering the aforementioned thoughts (see previous post) over a urinal, I struggled to get my fly closed. I'd say zipper zipped, except it wasn't a zipper. Regrettably I was brought to remember the day when I brought home these jeans from the store and tried them on, only to realize they had metal buttons for a fly instead of a zipper.

Immediately I began to question the logic in such a design choice. Was it for functionality? Certainly not. Four buttons were much harder and time consuming to button than zipping a zipper. Also, the sly turn-to-the-wall-casually-so-no-one-can-see-you-zip-up-your-fly move is much easier and less conspicuous than the turn-to-the-wall-for-a-long-time-and-struggle-to-button-up-buttons-into-tight-holes-of-denim-while-people-wonder-what-you-are-doing move. Was it affordability? I think buttons and holes are similar in cost to a zipper. I mean, I got the pants cheaper, but that is because everyone realized the problems with buttons for a fly quicker than I did. Then maybe it was fashion? Again I question this reasoning. Personally, I don't go around showing my fly to other people. As far as I am aware, it would be quite odd to do that. Maybe I should just casually put myself in sitting positions accentuating my unique fly. Once again, probably odd and inappropriate. Then again, I should get some sort of recognition for the hard work this fly has put me through, shouldn't I?

Odds are I'll walk into a women's restroom someday - Lessons from the HBLL part I

Every once in a while I have these completely irrational fears. Though my fears are hardly plausible, if they were, they would bring serious consequences.

I encountered one of these fears in the library today. Usually I use those single room, huge handicapped bathrooms. Not that I'm handicapped, but I assume that since the sign shows a person in a wheel chair, a person in a dress, and a person in pants, any of the three types of people (uhandicapped, unhandicapped-Male, and unhandicapped-female) can use the restroom with such a sign. Perhaps it just means that both male and female disabled people can use the restroom, I don't know. But that is neither here nor there. This time, however, there was a woman standing outside the restroom. Whether she was waiting for someone in the restroom or not, I don't know. I didn't want to risk embarrassment though so I aborted by course for the handicapped restroom and charted a new one. Bathrooms aren't that hard to find usually. There is something about their placement that is intuitive. Maybe the architect just walks around the plans in his mind and feels "I should put a john here," and pencils one in. Perhaps its a human intuition akin to a mother's intuition. I don't know. Water fountains are the same way. This is most likely why it is so frustrating when we are standing in a place that seems bathroom or water-fountain worthy and yet there are none in sight.

So I walked on and saw a bathroom sign on the door. I took a quick, cursory glance at the sign and started to walk in. The instant I cracked the door open, however, fear flooded my mind. This bathroom was a pastel yellow. Thoughts raced as I continued to open the door (I was committed at this point): "Aren't boys' bathrooms usually blue?" "What color are the other bathrooms on campus?" "Are girls' bathrooms yellow or pink?" This last thought threw me for a loop. The only time I could remember being in a girl's bathroom was cleaning the church years ago in Pennsylvania. How was I to know what colors girls' bathrooms were? I had very limited experience in this field. I was rather confident that the sign I had glanced at had a man on it, but then again the only difference between men and women on those signs are obtuse angels on the woman's midsection apparently representing a swallowed triangle or a dress. I've misread things or seen things incorrectly many times in life. Was this one of them?

I proceeded to open the door and began to see the edge of a person's profile. I heaved an inward sigh of relief as I noticed it was a man. Either he was a pervert or I was in the right bathroom. As I used the facilities I began to think of the statistical odds of entering the wrong bathroom. It is quite easy to misread something or to mistake one symbol for another. We use public bathrooms quite frequently. Statistically I am bound to walk in a girls' bathroom one day. I just hope it's when I'm old and I can get away with common mistakes.... and swearing.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Check!

I've accomplished another life goal. I did a little polar bear swimming today. Still working on the marathon.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Research papers are like sand in your pants

Okay, maybe not like sand in your pants, but like sand at least. Cast your mind back to the last demonstration in sunday school on priorities. It most likely involved rocks, pebbles, sand, and a mason jar. I'm doing a research paper for Hon 150 now, and I think it is pretty much like the sand. Any project is for that matter. They are often too big for me to procrastinate till the last moment and hope to get a good grade. Ideally you should be doing it throughout the whole course until the due date.

So my life is like a jar of rocks, with the spaces in between my freetime. Then comes along a project. It is the sand that fills each chunk of freetime up. Okay so maybe it doesn't fill it up because I resist it, but you can never have a moment of freetime where you think, "Ahh, nothing to do," because above your head a research paper swings like the sword of damacles... or sand... whichever visual does it for you.

A fund... just for me!


Okay. So as I was browsing the internet this morning instead of doing the homework that I should have done, I came across a most peculiar site. www.Nummafunds.com lets you set up a fund for any cause. Then people go to Nummafunds and type in a code, go to a vendor's site, buy something, and a percent of that purchase is donated to the fund. So out of curiosity and interest, I made my own fund to support my latest plan.


It is called Gabe's Cruise. After realizing that cruises are only a couple hundred dollars, I have been considering going on a cruise this spring. Anyone else want to come? I was thinking Mexico or the Bahamas. Anyway, there are a bunch of retailers that will contribute to my fund as long as you go through Nummafunds.com. I picked iTunes, eBay, half.com, buy.com, tigerdirect,com, amazon.com, netflix,com, 4inkjets.com, backcountry.com, gap.com, oldnavy.com, overstock.com, toysRus.com, shopadidas.com, and some other ones. I figure that if I buy from these sites regularly, which I do, why not get something back? They'll donate anywhere from like 1% to 10%+ to my cruise fund. So if you want to participate in my experiment that'd be great. I don't want you to buy anything you weren't planning on. However, if you are going to buy something from those sites, remember me.


It's easy to do. You don't need to register. Go to www.nummafunds.com, type in "cruising" as the fund code, and then click on the vendor to go to their site. Thanks everyone! I figure this will be an interesting experiment:-)

Body for Sale

You heard me right. I am now putting, or at least considering, putting my body on the market. In the past I've limited the prostitution of my body to its plasma. But, as many of you know, there was an accident at BioMedics two weeks ago which involved me, my blood and almost a hospital trip. My pint of blood was robbed of me and I am on an 8 week hold until I can sell my plasma again.

I'm convinced plasma is just a gateway activity though, because yesterday I learned about another lucrative venture. My friend, well she became my friend yesterday, told me that she participates in medical research. No, she doesn't wear goggles and work in some lab on campus for $7 an hour. She lets Life Tree Research do tests on her and pay her. One involved them rubbing habanero paste or something on her (doesn't sound too bad). The other involved the testing of a topical anesthetic. She made a couple hundred on one and $150 on the other. Doesn't sound too bad. So, she gave me the number and I'm going to call them. Either I've become more financially saavy, or just more desperate. You tell me.

Trail of Tears

In consequence of my miserable walk to campus tomorrow, in particular that monstrous hill, I've considered renaming it the Trail of Tears. Okay, so maybe it isn't the most appealing title, but it sure is better than Rape Hill. I mean, I guess that's part of Rape Hill. Maybe there are only certain portions of that hill included in the Rape Hill title. I guess I'm not quite sure, and I doubt they have Rape Hill titled on the university campus maps. It will be a sad day if they ever do.

Anyway, that hill is ridiculous. I don't mind walking up the hill on a normal day. It's kinda nice, stretches out your legs. But how about walking on it when it is snowing? Time to hang it up. BYU grounds team, or whoever is in charge of it, somehow has the talent of shoveling it in just the right way so that instead of fluffy white snow that is annoying but allows you to get some traction, it is now a slick sheet of slush that effectively robs you of about 50% of your walking efficiency. I would much rather walk in snow than on slush. Oh well. Plus it also scares me when you're walking up that hill and someone in one of those BYU trucks comes cruising by on the bike side. Sure we've got a separater but still, I didn't see any pictures of a truck on the signs at the top or bottom of the hill.

So, even though I have yet to see blood in the snow on the south hill, I still propose a renaming from Rape Hill to Trail of Tears.