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I had a good night's sleep. I've had almost no back pain in the last month or so. Perhaps those crunches strengthening my abs has helped in that regard.

After fasting for 12 hours, I had a 10:00 appointment to have blood drawn for lab work. Four observations from my visit:

  1. My doctor's office has been totally re-arranged, and I mean physically. For instance, the check-in desk used to be flush with the wall along the wall that's straight ahead when you walk in. Now, it's along the right wall, and it juts out into the waiting area. It's so different that when I opened the door and went barging in (I was two minutes late), I thought, "Uh-oh, I'm in the wrong place." I stepped back outside and read the business name to make sure I was in the right office. Weird.

  2. After finding my way to the lab, which was in a totally different place in the rearranged office, I was invited to sit in this huge mother chair. It was very wide, and the arms, were up at my upper chest and neck level. It was so wide that my arms barely reached the armrests. I said as I sat in it, "This is one wide chair. It makes me feel thin. I'm going to get me one of these in my house. And pull it up to the table." The technicians giggled.

  3. The phlebotomist put a tourniquet on my arm, and then said, "Make a wrist for me." Of course, that set off the editor in me, and I thought, "Well, I really only have the two wrists that came with my body. As a consolation, however, I'd be happy to make a fist." I kept the comment to myself, however, since she had a 2-inch needle poised in the crook of my arm. I must say, though, that she was good at what she does know. It was a perfect stick on the first try.

  4. The doors at the entrance and exit to the building in which my doctor's office resides have some "affordance" issues. Okay, affordances on doors are things like handles, plates, small windows, peepholes, and so on. A "good" affordance is one that is intuitive. Here's an example of a door with "bad" affordances:

    Any affordance that requires a "document" with it (in this case, the word "Push") is a bad affordance. What would make this a good affordance would be to remove the word push and make it open by pulling, as a handle "implies" (makes you want to, fairly intuitively, pull it). Now, if you removed the word "Push" on this door, and removed the handle, just leaving that plate that is there, that would be a good affordance. When people see a plate by itself on a door, the natural inclination is to push. No document necessary.

    So the doors in the building I'm talking about were worst case scenario: handle, yet to be pushed, and no document to tell you that. Which of course means that I yanked the hell out of it thinking it was to be pulled, and since it was a full glass door, it shook in its frame.
If you found all that uninteresting, thank you for reading it anyway. If you found it interesting, you would most likely enjoy The Design of Everyday Things by Daniel Norman. Caveat: This is the kind of stuff he talks about and after reading it, you, too, will be walking around perseverating about such things. Consider yourself warned.

My workplace treated our design, development, test, information development, and support software product team to an outing at The Durham Bulls this afternoon. I was in the information development group, in the role of technical editor, of course.

Our treat consisted of a free ticket into the 1:05 game today and 12 "Bull Bucks," which were good at any of the concession stands. I really wanted a foot long, and under duress, had to purchase one from one of the eateries that had this sign underneath "Dillard's BBQ":


If not for the comma after DOGS', I would wonder how many dogs exactly owned how many drinks. I'm just saying... WTF???

At the top of the third inning, I moved away from our group, which was along the first base line in seats in the shade, out to to the seats behind right field. I said to the managers there who had organized the event, "I'm going on a cruise next week, and I'm moving to a seat in the sun to work on my base tan."

Aside: You might be gay if... you have to check Wikipedia to see if where you sat was left field or right field. I can never remember if it's from the perspective of home plate looking out, or from the outfield looking in.

You might also be gay if... you're not sure of the final score, but you know that the outfield lawn was immaculately edged, mowed, and flawlessly lush and green, and the players' uniforms were Tide-with-Bleach white, and nicely pressed.

I worked out today, which was an upper body day, and which I followed with 30 minutes of cardio—after negotiating myself up from 20 minutes. I listened to my Retro Remix again.

Today's workout statistics:
Exercise Type
Calories Burned
or Area Worked



Upper Body





It was a very green day on Wall Street today—money green, not environment-friendly green. GLD is really earning its keep:






 93.01 -93.71





Way more exciting than that, though, is the fact that my IBM options finally hit my you-really-ought-to-sell point. And now I have to not get greedy and wait for them to go even higher. After all, the 1-Year Target is $127.08.






 117.17 -120.47





Working against me though, other than pure psychology, is that these options expire in 2010.

I took the bus over to the English building at NCSU to attend two Master of Science in Technical Communication capstone presentations being done by two friends of mine in the program.

Jeremy Miller: Triangle Hockey: A Team Strategy Website
Sandra Bjorkback: IBM Global Print: A Technical Manual for Administrators

Both of the presentations were well done! Congratulations to Jeremy and Sandy!

Robert picked me up in front of Tompkins, and drove us to dancing. Dancing was okay tonight—our last local dance before The Stomp this weekend. Those of us who are going are heading out to Charlotte at around noon on Friday.

I guess it's a "grammar kind of day," as Stephen told me, unsolicited, about a sign he saw in Viriginia on the way home last weekend, though this really, really sounds like a joke to me.

They stopped at a dinky gas station, in a small, small town, where there was a collection box set out for a family that had evidently lost everything they owned in their mobile home, and according to the sign, it was "Dew to far."


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 17th, 2008 01:41 pm (UTC)
John, would you take over my portfolio management. I mean seriously! You are making me jealous with those numbers. Last I remember (few years back) you had over 500k invested so you're got to be near $750k. Dear Gawd.
Apr. 17th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
My portfolio is in the hands of a professional. Well, the IBM stock options I got on my own—compliments of Big Blue.

And so, what are you trying to say? That little-ole-me, the guy-next-door, might be the millionaire next door? :-)

Edited at 2008-04-17 05:20 pm (UTC)
Apr. 17th, 2008 06:13 pm (UTC)
Re: FWIW...
I think you already are. If your life isn't blessed by God, then I do not know whose is.
Apr. 17th, 2008 06:13 pm (UTC)
Re: FWIW...
That post was not supposed to be anonymous. It was me!
Apr. 17th, 2008 09:36 pm (UTC)
Re: FWIW...
I think we should all meet together with your professional and copy exactly what you're doing - financially speaking, of course. Some of your other activities I doubt I would enjoy with the same line dancing.

Apr. 18th, 2008 03:07 am (UTC)
Re: FWIW...
Let me say this LOUD AND CLEAR! The only reason I am where I am today is because I started putting away money the FIRST day I started with IBM. I can't stress enough how important it is to do this while you're young. Defer a want to a value. Being comfortable when you're older is something you value. Defer your wants to it.

There, I officially sound like an old person. So sue me. Oh wait, it won't do you any good. I have umbrella (ella, ella...) insurance. ;-)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )



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