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February 13th, 2009

I forgot to mention a couple of things about yesterday:

  1. When I got home from work neither my trash can nor my recycle bin, both of which I had put out in the morning, were anywhere to be found. I spotted a trash can halfway down the hill upon which I live, laying on its side near a set of mailboxes. I walked down there to check it out, and to my utter surprise, it was mine. I have my townhouse unit number on both my trash can and recycle bin as required by our homeowner covenants. I can't begin to fathom how it got all the way down there—makes no sense whatsoever.

    My recycle bin, however, was nowhere to be found. I checked several of the ones that people had pulled up to their doors or front porch areas, and none of them had my number on them.


  2. At the end of that lecture I attended last night, I went up to the speaker and asked him if he had seen the video about global warming in which the guy in it presents an argument for why we should heed its warning whether it's real or not, as I wanted to know what he thought about it if he'd had. Well he hadn't, and he asked me to send him a link to it.

    Once home I sent him this email:

    Hello Dan,

    Thanks so much for a riveting lecture tonight. I loved how personable you were and the illustrations you gave to make your points. Most excellent stuff... and I was there of my own irrational doing; that is, wasn't required to be there for a class. :-)

    Anyhow, here's a link to the vid I told you about outlining an argument about global warming. I'd be curious to hear your perspective on it, such as if he's using one of those devious techniques that he knows people will fall for or is unknowingly falling for one himself! :-)

    Best regards,
    John


    I was shocked (and pleased) to receive a response from him a little over an hour later—much less on the same night of his lecture! Here's what he said:

    I like the video because he is trying to say why we need to act based on the asymmetric cost of the two possible actions (so pick act over not-act)

    What he is missing (which would make his argument stronger) is that the probability for the global warming is not 50% but 99.2% so this makes taking an action even more important

    Irrationally yours

    Dan

    www.predictablyirrational.com

    Actually, I don't think the guy in the video "missed" the fact that the probability of global warming is way higher than 50%. I'm quite sure he believes that, and that's why he made the video—to show that even it wasn't that high, even if we didn't know one way or the other; that is, that the chances were 50-50—it still behooves us to act.



Okay, all caught up on Thursday. Now about today, Friday.

I worked from home this morning, as I had volunteered to take Joe to the airport at 10:00 for his trip to Erie. I had a message from him first thing saying that he was sick—so much so that he'd thrown up in the middle of the night, and he thought he had the flu.

After some discussion, I offered him some anti-nausea medicine that I'd gotten with my pain pills for my surgery, and he decided to go ahead with his trip.

At his house, while I was loading his big suitcase into my trunk, his nut job of a neighbor, who is convinced that she is being stalked came over to ask me if I'd seen anyone. "Did Joe tell you about my stalker? I think he lives over there (she said pointing). He came to my house this morning, at about 8:40, rang my doorbell and ran. It's awful." Please do click here for just a tiny bit more insight into Joe's neighbor.

After dropping him off at the airport, I made a quick stop by Target on 70, where I bought three Mrs. Fields heart-shaped tins of Valentine's chocolate, and one larger one, along with a nine-pack of scented votive candles.

I went into the office for the afternoon, where I gave the three smaller hearts, one each to my officemate, my boss, and my friend and co-worker, Jen.



Mid-afternoon, I ran across the street to get a cup of coffee. Picture it. Sicily, 2009:

I'm at the register in the coffee shop in the NCSU library, and there are two customers behind me. There's the cashier taking my order, one employee behind him by a sink opening some box tightly wrapped in cellophane, and there's another employee who is yammering to the one trying to open the box, saying, "Yeah, and that's why the emu and the kangaroo evolved like they did in Australia..."

She continues with her report, loudly, while the cashier takes my money and tries to hand my coffee cup to her, but she's not taking it because she's too into her evolution chronicle. "Yeah, I saw that on the nature channel the other night..."

I've already told the cashier that I don't need room for cream. The yammerer finally takes a breath, though still totally oblivious to me, the two people behind me, and what I've ordered. The cashier touches her hand, which she is so animatedly using to tell her fascinating stories, and says to her, "Regular coffee."

"Do you need room for cream?" she asks, finally looking at me.

"No," both the cashier and I say at the same time.

She turns her back to me and begins to fill my coffee cup, and says to the boy still working on that complex task that's obviously more important than serving waiting customers, and continues with more—riveting only to herself—Australian fauna narratives, while the cashier leaves the register to get my bagel. Watching him, I make sure he doesn't touch it with the hand that just took my money.

He hands me my bagel in a bag, and while she's taking forever to fill my cup, I say, "If you knew as much about customer service as you do about the Outback, that'd be really, really nice."

Actually, I didn't say that, but I sure wish I had.



I met Robert in Durham for the 8:00 performance of Manbites Dog's current production: The Receptionist. As always, I totally enjoyed the performance!

</table>

The Receptionist
by Adam Bock
Directed by Jeff Storer
February 12-28, 2009

Ringing phones, office politics, and dark mysteries where you least expect them...

Beverly deals effortlessly with her job as a receptionist in the Northeast Office: ordering a birthday cake for her boss, solving her co–workers' romantic crises, and zealously guarding her office supplies. Everything seems ordinary, until a charming visitor raises questions. Very, very disturbing questions. Acclaimed playwright Adam Bock takes a comically chilling look at homeland insecurity.


If you enjoy live theater, I know you'd enjoy this performance! Buy tickets online... (Valentine's Night is sold out!) Or get more info about the show or tickets...

There was an opening night reception after this show with some killer, killer food provided by Alice, who like myself, is on the Manbites Dog Board of Directors. She made some awesomely delicious pimento cheese. There was enough food that Ed encouraged me to fix up a plate to go, an offer to which I totally obliged. :-)

In the parking lot, I gave Robert his card, his Mrs. Fields heart of chocolates, and his votive candles in a Valentine gift bag. Awwwww.

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