2008 Nov 30 | Greek Festival, Thanksgiving

Somebody put up a poster with those little pull-off tabs with contact info but forgot to actually cut the lines between them, which ruins the entire purpose of making them in the first place. Or perhaps it's a psych experiment to see if anyone will actually go to the trouble of cutting one off.

Notice the double-white line? I really hate people who merge at the very last second. Usually I leave plenty of room between me and the person in front of me in case people want to come into my lane, but when it gets to this point, I try to jam right up behind the car in front to try to keep people like this out. This person probably cuts in front of frail old men and pregnant woman waiting to check out at the grocery store, too.

Same thing goes for people who don't use blinkers. If someone hits their blinker to get into the lane I'm in, I'll slow down to make space for them. But even if it's pretty obvious they want to merge into the lane in front of me and don't use their blinker, I won't make any space. If you don't show any courtesy, you won't receive any.

Will started a UHCO breakfast club for Saturday mornings where we go to different restaurants. This time it was at Baby Barnaby's, and it was the best breakfast I've had in Houston (especially the French toast and bacon). They have a fairly long wait (about 30 minutes) because it's such a small place, but it was worth it. They also had fresh-squeezed orange juice, and we being nerds kept watching it to figure out how it knew when to stop (I think it just does 10 oranges at a time). Not to mention the owner (at least I think that's who it was) was super friendly and funny.

Saturday evening was the Greek Festival. It was in Montrose, however, where parking can be tough to find even without a big event going on. Then again, I have no problem walking a few blocks. It was pretty packed.

It's not a real festival unless there's meat on a stick.

They had free cathedral tours and also free dance performances. The lines for the latter actually started forming about 30 minutes before they let anyone in, but I just grabbed some food and ate while in line. The dancers were a ton of fun and looked like they were having a really good time, too, which got the audience into it more, along with the yells of, "Opa!"

These guys had rolled their pickup at the entrance to my apartment. There were enough of them that they just rolled it back onto its tires, though.

Some of the aftermath. I'm surprised the fire hydrant wasn't spraying water everywhere. I wonder if it was broken or somehow was turned off quickly?

Aw, I know I dropped a grape somewhere, but I spend 10 minutes looking for it and still couldn't find it. I wonder what little hole it found its way into so that it could rot and get all nasty.

The wonderful post office, now with nobody serving you. Actually the woman had gone into the back to get someone's package, but nobody in line knew that, so we were trying to figure out if there was a strike or something.

I can't believe they actually have to write out this humongous number by hand when they leave a package. And what for? They just find the package by the name of the person it was sent to. If they really need to track them by number, they should use stickers with barcodes and electronic readers or something like that. If I worked there, I'm sure I'd get at least one number wrong and have to re-write the entire thing pretty much every time.

Well, look at that. Someone in town has a ton of muscovies wandering around on their front lawn.

OK, what in the world is the point of the dividers?

Grabbing breakfast in the McDonald's at the airport, I noticed the cashier was pre-making the orange juices to make it go faster, which was pretty smart of him. However, I had wanted a large, and he was only pre-making the smalls. I didn't want to mess with his system, so I just got a small instead.

A sharps container in the men's bathroom at the airport? I guess it's for razors, but still, it seems pretty out of place.

Four dollars to use a cart? They better give me something like $3.50 when I bring it back, and it better not be all in quarters.

Not even close. You get a measly 25 cents back when you return the cart, so it's $3.75 per cart rental. You have got to be kidding me. And the fact that they call it a "reward" irks me. It's like someone charging you $20 for a tiny hamburger and saying, "But the bun is free!" Oh, really? How nice of you!

Method #1 to determine if you're in Minnessota: look for tons of windmills.

I can always tell it's Minneapolis by this smokestack in the middle of the river.

Whoops, almost left my pharmacology notes on the plane. Yeah, that wouldn't be good. Those are on the level of "run out onto the tarmac and track the plane down to get them back."

$1.10. Honestly, why not just an even dollar?

Well, I guess I can use my 90 cents I got back to buy some 75-cent gum. Oh, wait; it's all out. That's just cruel.

One: why even have this sign? Do they seriously believe people are going to come up to the island, notice there's no hole on this side, and drop their trash onto the floor rather than looking on the other side without any prompting? And two: it's receptacle, a device that receives or holds, not adapted to or suitable for reception. Actually, it kind of makes sense and almost works, except that it's an adjective, not a noun.

Assorted, huh? I thought you needed more than one variety for that.

Oh, great, side-by-side slow walkers. I have to time it just right to whip around them in the space between the moving walkways to get in front of them so they can't hold me up any more.

This tunnel at the Minneapolis airport is rather neat with the color-changing wall and everything, but when you add in the blinking lights on the walkways, it's almost seizure-inducing.

Driving through the corn fields in search of deer.

Although then you have to pull the stalks out of the radiator afterward.

Going through the closet of a seemingly endless supply of boots and gloves and hats and snowpants and other clothing. It's like there's a secret portal to another dimension which stores it all because surely it can't all fit in that room.

The best food on Earth, Grandpa's jerky. I need to hide it in the back of the fridge somewhere so nobody else can find and eat it, though.

I've always been much better at drawing straight lines and mechanistic things than flowing, living artwork. I can't even tell what most of those animals are supposed to be, but I still like the big, nasty saw on the tree cutter.

I remember they let me out of class to go into the next class for a few minutes when someone taught them how to draw these guys.

I lost them out in a field one day. To Dad's surprise, I actually found them the next day. To my surprise, they weren't where I was absolutely sure they would be. Thankfully they were where I ended up walking again and not out in the middle of the field where there would have been practically no chance of finding them.

If you're going to up before sunrise on Thanksgiving morning, I'll take being in a nice warm pickup looking for deer over waiting outside freezing in line at an electronics store for something that's probably going to be gone by the time you get to it. Thankfully this year there was no sitting by a bale waiting for deer to come by in negative-degree weather with a 20mph wind.

One of the main reasons I refuse to live anywhere it snows: icy roads. It's surprisingly physically and mentally exhausting to drive on these for an extended period of time, although these were actually pretty good.

Anyone who hold signs and wave at drivers for store closings in warm climates should do it somewhere like this for a few days to let them know how good they have it. As the organizer said, though, he at least used smaller signs to make it easier to hold them in the freezing, gale-force winds.

Classy's in the mall at Pierre has some of the yummiest buffalo burgers ever.

This is my kind of flight: an entire row of seats all to myself. If only the stewardess didn't keep trying to bring drinks through; I could lay out along them all and get some sleep.

The jet bridge wasn't working for some reason. We tried to get the stewardess to let us simply walk down the steps, into the door 20 feet away, and into the airport, but she said that wasn't her decision to make. I was pretty close to calling the main Northwest phone number to ask them if they could get ahold of someone to let us do just that when they got it working.

It's hard to read the numbers on this bag of peanuts I found in the pocket of the seat in front of me (we were still taxiing when I took the picture, so it was a bit bumpy), but the stamp is 090207L3. I'm assuming the first part is the expiration date. If the format is YYMMDD and it's February 7th, 2009, that's fine, but if it's actually MMDDYY for September 2nd, 2007 (or maybe even February 9th, 2007 if it's a European system), then not so much. You'd think they would want to be a little less ambiguous on something like an expiration date for food. Or who knows; maybe it's something else entirely.