Monday, March 31, 2008

Wipe Hands on Pants

It's Monday, so I'm swimming pool blogging again. Today was the first day of free drinks at The Company, so I loaded up on Diet Mountain Dew. I had to pick HannahC up at a birthday party north of Ft. TomCollins and then bring her down here to Loverlyland for her swimming lesson. About 40 minutes from when I left work to when I got here. Despite me having completely emptying mysef of Diet Mountain Dew just prior to having left work, I was ready to explode again by the time I got here. This gave me a chance to make an interesting observation.

There are five sinks in the lobby lavatory, but no paper towel dispensers. This is one of those "blow dryer" places. The swim center is part of the public school system here, and thus they suffer from two main problems that affect school systems: 1) the bureaucracy can directly see expenditures on paper towels, but if you switch to electric dryers, you cannot distinguish the expense from the normal electric bill and thus it becomes "free", and 2) public school systems are dominated by Democrats who have, shall we say, poorly thought-out environmental understanding that leads them to believe that growing trees to make paper, then burying the paper in a landfill (thus permanently removing the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere) is somehow worse than burning high-sulfur coal to generate electricity to generate heat in the most inefficient way possible - through a resistive coil). I wonder what would happen if you proposed doubling the energy efficiency by burning the coal directly for hand heating, thereby removing the losses associated with converting heat into electricity and then transmitting the electricity thousands of miles over a lossy transmission grid. Imagine. Coal-fired hand dryers.

So anyways, there are five sinks, no paper towel dispensers, and only two hand dryers. It takes roughly five times as long to dry your hands with one of these hand dryers as it does to wash you hands (sometimes thinking of a blog subject motivates you to do strange things, like time yourself washing and drying your hands), so for proper efficiency there should be roughly five dryers for every sink. The only logical conclusion here is that the people who designed the restroom expected the majority of people to wipe their hands on their pants.

Not an unrealistic expectation, at least for men for whom the hand dryer can represent more time than the whole process leading up to that point. I wonder if the ratio remains the same in the ladies' room. A mystery to which I shall never know the answer. Unless I send Miss HannahC in there on a scouting expedition after her class...

So far, I am really enjoying my new GPS. There is a lot lacking from the documentation, so I've just been poking around in all the menu items to see what it does. I figured out how to submit map updates, so I marked the road on which The Company is located as "does not exist", as it does not. They plan to build the road when they get enough companies in the technology park so that access can no longer be made from the adjacent street, but we are the only ones thus far. In fact, we are the only building - the rest is a cornfield. My GPS shows me that they are even planning another cross-street in the middle, and it is already named. I didn't bother to mark that as "does not exist".

I kinda wish we had an address on a street that actually existed. We have an exit from the parking lot and a big The Company sign there at what is effectively a strip of scrub grass next to an irrigation ditch feeding the cornfield.

The swim teacher in the transpent pink bathing suit is not teaching this session. There is now only one dad in the mommy'n'me class. Odd.

I've been getting increasingly worried about the upcoming road trip to Barfalo. However, today I discovered it's only 300 miles farther than the route I drove when I moved from San Schmose to here, which I did in 1.5 days, so I am less worried. My main concern is arrival time at my brother's in Milwaukee given our departure time. We'll probably have to leave home a little earlier and cover more ground the first day in order to make it there before nightfall the next day. I'm wondering if I should take along my extra wireless router so that I can use my laptop at my parents' house. I'm pretty sure they don't have wireless, though a lot of cable modems have it built in by default these days. I wonder if there's a way for me to figure that out without looking at it myself.

I did manage to clear the vacation dates with my boss today. I did not ask permission, I simply showed her how I had marked myself absent on her calendar. She said, "OK."

She's a good boss.

Yesterday, I did a little vacuuming. I don't like to vacuum because that's completely 100% absolutely totally the job of The Mrs., and I don't like to give her the impression that if she starts slacking, I'll pick up the difference, but it just had to be done. One thing I can say, though, is that if next year the Easter Bunny again decides to deliver Easter baskets filled with cellophane "grass," then we'll be having fricasseed rabbit for dinner. Maybe paper "grass" would be a better idea. You know, something that isn't nearly invisible and that doesn't static cling to everything around so it can easily be transported all over the whole house by unsuspecting carriers.

It's like the Easter Bunny delivered a big basket full of thistles.

I bought some new sheets at Macy's yesterday. It was from their "Hotel Collection." When did "hotel" become synonymous with top-of-the-line? I've been to a lot of hotels, and the sheets have been unmemorable. When I handed the packages to The Mrs., though, she started gushing about how wonderfully luxurious they would be and how 600 thread count is something very special. They were quite nice, but mainly I was happy that the fitted sheet didn't pop off the mattress in the middle of the night like all our other sheets do.

Hee hee - a mom just waved to HannahC because she got her confused with her (grand)daughter. They're both wearing pink swimsuits with pink goggles, but I can tell them apart. HannahC is the one with the clear goggles strap, not the one with the dark pink goggles strap. Other than that, it's a tough call from this distance.


Anonymous said...

A solution could be not to wash yer hands at all........

Anonymous said...

The ratio is the same, unfortunately. In the building where I work, we have those timed faucets. The water never is hot and it runs out and you have the press the thing over and over.

Word verification: swucl

Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

Hey, this is Ellie's (not so) loyal reader. I was wondering what it is you do for Intel as I am graduating in the near future with a degree in Chemical Engineering with a concentration in molecular modeling. Basically I write computer code in fortran to simulation fluid mixtures. If you want you can email me at Thanks. BTW, I might have to start reading your blog for the insightful anecdotes.