Hand Dryers – The Dyson Airblade

An embarrassingly long time ago, I had my first encounter with a Dyson Airblade hand dryer. I don’t remember when, or where, but I do recall it being the only touchless, air dryer that actually friggin’ worked to get my hands dry.

The amazing Dyson AirbladInsert your hands past your wrists, and slowly withdraw, and BAM, your hands were dry. As dry or even drier than using 3 paper towels. Awesome.

Fast forward to today, and obviously, the patent has expired, because at every public bathroom on my recent trip overseas was a similar hand dryer. I was thinking to myself how cool this was that it had become mainstream.

Then I used one. First in the public bathroom in the Frankfurt airport. Wash my hands, and insert them into the faux-Airblade, and … Continue reading →

Recipes and Inaccuracies

I enjoy cooking. Always have, heck, I worked my way through college in a commercial kitchen as a chef. So, when I get a hankering for something, I just cook it. Either learn to cook it, or just dive in.

A few weeks ago, my sister was visiting, and I decided to make a Dutch Baby, and I found this recipe on the Epicurious web page.

The recipe is simple, the ingredients aren’t esoteric, and I had an appropriate cas-iron pan to make it. Continue reading →

Reflections of 2017, and looking to 2018

Ah, December 31, the year is about done, and there are some thoughts clanking around my head. Time to extract them before the temptation to eat myself into a coma wins the battle.

Number 1 – Work

It has been a good and busy year at work. I am currently in the certifications group at Cisco, and while it is product management, it is different from my prior roles. In many ways that is refreshing, as it brings new challenges, and opportunities.

I started the year as a contractor (or C-Worker, short for contingent worker), but in July I was converted into a full time employee, a pretty significant development. That reduced some (ok, a LOT) anxiety in my status. Being a contractor had some benefits (as in, 8 hours are done, turn off and unplug), but unpaid holidays and unsubsidized healthcare really made it touch and go. Continue reading →

Bicycle Dreams

Lately, I have been back in the saddle again. Riding, at least on weekends, it gets my heart rate up, and I enjoy putting the miles on. But, I begin to get ideas. Could I ride to work? What would make that more pleasant? This bike is old, I need something new.

Yeah, that is pretty much the discussion I have with myself. My roadbike, reviewed here (my most read blog post by far) is getting old. A 2002 vintage Lemond Buenos Aires, a reynolds steel frame, Shimano Ultegra equipped, road bike. Minor upgrades, the standard bottom bracket failed early (it was a cheap downmarket unit), and replacing the standard Bontrager wheels with much better Fulcrum Racing units. Continue reading →

The downside of Public Transportation

I am lucky. I get to ride public transport to the office. Heck, there is a tax break, so my employer even gives me a pass to ride for free. About a mile from my house to the train station, so I even get a little exercise. What’s not to love about it?

Well, I will tell you. I seem to share the air in the train with anywhere from 2 to 40 of my peers within the human race. That means that at any one time, somebody is sick on the train.

And many of them are probably contagious.

So, every bug that runs wild through the population is likely to come to my nose.

So far, this year, I have been sick 3 times, twice enough to miss a day or two of work. That is more in 5 months than in the prior 10 years. Ugh. I doubt it is because I have suddenly an impaired immune system. It is just the proximity with disease vectors.

This last week, I took a combination route twice, starting with the bus, which is about 2 blocks from my house. Turns out that a parcel of school kids gets on at Snell and Blossom Hill, and ride for about 5 stops. That was enough to give me a gnarly head cold. Congestion, sneezy, sore throat. Yep, I am miserable.

Thanks Obama.

Diet Update

Update – 1/15

Continuing on the thread of finally losing some of this weight I gained that I wrote about first on 1/8, today is the weekly update.

On 1/2, I kicked the effort off. That day, I stepped on the scale, and it was an eye-boggling 263.2 pounds.

I will be honest, I had been hiding from the scale, and this number shocked me, but I was not surprised.

While it isn’t a New Year’s resolution, as I know that would be doomed to failure, it was a wake up call.

Today, when I woke up and stepped on the scale, it read 254.4 pounds. Of course, in the first week, I lost about 5#’s of probable water weight, so that lead to a precipitous decline that wasn’t real. Now I am settling into a routine.

Continue reading →

On the Diet Train

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, we visited with my dad, who is increasingly slipping into the maw of Alzheimers. One of the exercises was to sort through his pictures of us as children, in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

My parents divorced in 1970 or so (my memory is hazy), but shared joint custody. So every other weekend, it was off to the father’s house, and since he was a bit of a shutterbug, we were constantly being photographed.

Most of these pictures were from this time. Apart from my awful hair, I was an ordinary adolescent, active, and skinny. Alas, that didn’t last, and I have done battle with my weight throughout my life. Continue reading →

The New Republican Healthcare Plan

The new republican plans for health care sure sounds like “just die quickly, and quietly” Well, as we expected, once the Republicans captured the White House (well, in 29 days now), their first order of business will be to repeal the ACA.

They have been talking about repealing it and replacing it for 6 years now, bloviating at every opportunity, and doing fuck-all in the House with 54 attempts to repeal or defund portions of the ACA (or the pejorative “Obamacare”) so this isn’t a surprise.

However, some of the rhetoric coming out of the Paul Ryan camp is interesting. Suddenly, instead of shutting it down on day 1, they are talking about repealing and delaying for 2 – 3 years until they can devise a “replacement” for it. Yeah, that sounds do-able. Continue reading →

Thoughts on Healthcare in the USA

Very few people believe that the USA’s healthcare system is good. Of course, the wealthy have access to the best diagnostics and care in the world, and most people get their healthcare as part of their benefits package from their employers (albeit with a lot more restrictions than the truly wealthy), and therein lies the problem.

This is the first in a series that I will write to describe the current state, and my humble thoughts on how to move forward.

We will begin with the rise of employer sponsored health insurance, as it is a significant factor in the problems. Continue reading →