kris

Two observations about Maine

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1. They don't stop for pedestrians

Despite the signs that say, "State law, yield to pedestrians," cars don't. Kris was nearly hit by one car while crossing the street. Cars don't slow down when a pedestrian starts crossing the street.

2. They aren't afraid of talking to strangers

Between my conversations on the street and women coming up to me in the grocery store to talk to me, it's easy to realize that people here are just not afraid of starting a conversation with a stranger.

I'm liking the second. The first I can do without.

Welcome to America

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"Lots of trucks and four wheel drives and SUVs here."

"Welcome to America."

"Not everyone drives a Prius?"

"Indeed not."

Yeah. That.

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Sitting at lunch, looking at maps on phone, I turned to Kris, and commented.

"Can you imagine this 100 years ago?"

"Service would be a bitch."

"My wormholes to the future, yeah, they aren't so stable."

"That, and you'd be burned at the stake as a witch."

"Yeah. That."

Morning! Er... afternoon!

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After sleeping until nearly noon and enjoying a deliciously late start, Kris and I ventured out of the resort in daylight to see what this Maine place is like. Turns out, to my delight, there are a lot of lilacs in this area. I wasn't expecting to see lilacs since they're not still blooming in the Bay Area.

Our first task of the day was, "Find coffee." No, wait, that's not quite right, it was "Fine good coffee." Our journey took us a long the main street, where we stopped at light. On the four corners of this main street where a Burger King, a McDonalds, a church and an abandoned building. I thought it telling of how representative of American culture that street corner is.

We eventually found our way around the town, and, to Kris' delight, found a coffee shop right next to an easy parking space. Turn, zoom, screech, brake, flip, open, close, hustle, and Kris was right at the door of the coffee shop.

It was closed.

While part of me was a little annoyed, the other part of me appreciated that even coffeeshop owners can want a life, one that includes doing something else on weekends than wait for the not-quite-tourist-season trickle of tourists to come into the shop for a $3 cup of coffee. Of course, I'm not the one addicted to the caffeine of those cups of coffee, so it was easy for me to express appreciation.

So, off we wandered, back on the original plan of checking out the small town we're in. We passed a couple restaurants that seemed good, the menu had lots of tasty items on it. Kris made a note of them, then kept going.

Until we approached the Brass Compass. The place was PACKED!

Knowing that locals always know, Kris turned to me and said, "Here. Let's go here." "Because it's packed?" "Yes. The locals always know."

In we went.

As we stood near the door, waiting our turn to be seated, a small girl walked up, a look of concentration on her face. She knew exactly what she wanted, the yellow ones from the jar. I was amused by the recollection of the number of times that I, as a child, had done the same thing.

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I was also a little impressed with the conversation that happened at the table next to us. There were three men seated at a large table. They had already ordered and were waiting for their meals to arrive. As we stood waiting, a waitress walked up to the table, and said, "Gentlemen, I have a favor to ask." Without hesitation, one of the men asked, "Would you like us to move, to give this table to a larger party?" No pause, no thinking it over, the three of them stood up to move.

Clearly, we weren't in a metro area.

We were seated quickly after that. Looking over the menu, one of the items was listed as Lucy's Triple Deckah. Not a Decker, a Deckah. Yeah, I pretty much had to order it, even if, well, it ended up to be TOO MUCH FOOD. It did, but it was pretty awesome nonetheless.

It reminded me of the interview I read about recently that went something like, "Why can't more people become vegetarian?" "Bacon." That pretty much sums it up. I'll be vegetarian for the rest of the day, but for this meal, mmmmmmm, bacon......

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Oh, and Kris managed his coffee.

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Compare and contrast

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Let's compare and contrast, shall we? In particular, the results of the the beers around the world celebration of the New Year.

Kris, asleep until 4pm.

Kris asleep

Andy, awake and productive at 8am.

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Given a choice, I'll vote for Andy's liver.

Celebrating the New Year Around the World

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Kris and Andy decided some time in the last few weeks that the best way to celebrate the changing of the new year and new decade (yeah, yeah, don't tell me 2010 isn't the new decade because there was no year 0 - there was no year 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or a whole bunch of other years, either. 2001 represents the END of the FIRST year, so yeah, there was a year zero and 2010 is the END of the first 10 years and January 1st 2010 is, therefore, the start of the new decade) is to celebrate the new year in each timezone as the day progresses. And what better way to celebrate each of these new years than by toasting, and drinking, a beer made in each of those time zones.

Because he doesn't eat slowly enough already

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For as long as I can remember, my meals have always included more liquids that pretty much anyone else I've eaten with. Where my classmates would often have milk left over after lunch in elementary school, I often wished I had two cartons. Where friends will finish a meal leaving their water glass untouched, I'll have gone through two glasses and be frantically looking for the bathroom before we'd have even left the restaurant.

I often wonder what my friends think about my always going to the bathroom after eating. Of course, I know they think I have the smallest bladder in the world, when in reality I just have it really really full all the time.

My pasta meals are often a bowl of sauce with a dash of spaghetti, instead of a bowl of spaghetti with an accent of sauce. And really, the whole purpose of a french fry is to get ketchup to my mouth.

Not so fast

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You know, when I decided to fast with Kris so that I could sympathize with his plight (which includes resisting making chocolate brownies in the evening, because, well, that would be just too cruel), I expected the burrito I purchased at lunch to actually be edible.

Instead of the normal light salsa at lunch today, I ended up receiving a scorching, burn-your-mouth-just-thinking-of-it hot burrito. I think they may have substituted habanero peppers for the green bell peppers when making the damn thing.

How hot was it? So hot, I nearly puked.

Yeah, that hot.

So, though Kris may be able to fast from 6 pm until 9 am, I am unable to fast from 11 am until much past 10 pm. Of course, he has the 10 hours of sleeping advantage over me.

Visiting Kris' work

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Went to work with Kris yesterday. He was called into work to interview a candidate for a position they really, really, really want to fill. I suggested they contract out some of the work, since finding the perfect person was turning out to be difficult. They are looking for a designer who can program, and we all know those people are worth their weight not only in gold, but also platinum. What I thought was entertaining about visiting Kris' office was realizing his desk contains all the important items in his life: the coffee cup for his coffee addiction, the water bottle for ultimate, hand sanitizer, a large monitor and, the most important, dental floss. The man cannot live without his dental floss.

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Turns out, I'm very close to the candidate they're looking for. My skill sets are missing the design skills, but that's the part I was arguing they should contract out. It's a once-every-two-years expense, less expensive to do that and have another developer on staff, than to have a designer sitting idle for 11 months of the year, or, worse, bored out of her mind.

My opinion, doesn't count for much in that argument.

I was asked, however, to interview the candidate, to assess his skill sets. I found the request wonderfully entertaining, and declined, not completely understanding at the time the position they were filling. Would have been entertaining, to be sure.

On the way out of the office, we walked through the parking garage, when I stopped, and started laughing. Kris, in confusion, waited until I was done laughing before asking what was so funny. I answered by pointing down.

Wacth for cars

Bias

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"You like this shirt only because I'm not wearing any pants."

"I'll admit bias to that effect."

"Thought so."

"You are wearing boxers, though, which mitigates that bias somewhat."

"Somewhat."

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