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  • Your Mother and I are Proud of You, Son
    down there it s a regular eyeless feeding frenzy and things will crawl and squirm and conglobulate over there for miles just to get a piece of the action What s that son No I m not saying that you re a dead whale Maybe more like a beached whale Mobility is a definite possibility the next time the tide comes in Or maybe with some help from a crane or a forklift Heck even a bulldozer or a tug boat We ll have you out there swimming in that sea in no time You see it s like my father always said you ve got to have a couple of irons on the fire Some options open Of course in my father s day there was a lot more iron Iron pots iron pans nails were iron railings hinges hooks These days everything s made of plastic glue polycarbonate steel No iron s not so easy to come by any more But man can t expect to catch a whopper with every little nibble Sometimes the line isn t strong enough or the hook didn t catch Of course that s not what happened here she pretty much swallowed the hook It must have taken some serious bungling to screw up that one Take your mom for example Do you think I caught her on the first catch Not a chance It took years of catch and release catch and release to land a beauty like her Of course you won t have that luxury The most excitement you re likely to get is hooking the seat of your own pants Now don t cry you ve learned a lesson here which makes you a winner At least in a metaphorical sense Sure in every practical way you re

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/162 (2016-04-30)
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  • Hello, this is RSI. Nice to meet you.
    degree Without a job you ll have to move back in with your parents on whom you ll be a burden forever Romantic partners don t find that attractive either so you ll never have a family and you ll eventually die alone Wait what It might not be Carpal Tunnel Syndrome It s RSI What s RSI Oh That makes much more sense Repetitive Strain Injury or RSI represents a class of muscle and nerve problems often caused by repetitive motions and positions Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a specific type of RSI but most RSI sufferers don t have it If you re still reading this and haven t zoned out wandered away for some coffee or started skimming you re probably wondering why you should care Why should you spend any more time reading this than you spent on the keyboard s warning label I don t blame you I would have glossed over it too Until it happened to me I ve been in pain for almost a month I m lucky I caught it early and so far my RSI pain is relatively minor But I ve had to cut most of my nonessential computer use for a while giving me far more free time than I d like and forcing me to postpone my personal projects I had no idea that TV was this bad You know what s the most frustrating about this experience It s completely preventable And preventing RSI isn t even very difficult All I needed was the right information Now that I have that information I ve stopped worsening my condition I hope and I m slowly recovering It s 2005 There s no excuse for a lack of basic ergonomics training for every computer user I m going to

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/161 (2016-04-30)
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  • Amtrak (a second opinion)
    2 00 for each of them I recommend bringing your own food if you can Comfort I have a ridiculously large amount of legroom and next to many seats are standard AC outlets Good move Now we don t need to stretch our laptops 2 hour batteries to last for 10 hour rides The seat backs have trays like airplanes but the horizontal arm sections can expand to an impressive range to span the large legroom and reach you They re a bit too high for comfortable typing on a laptop but they re great for watching DVDs The seats are slightly wider than airline seats and arranged in pairs but there s no center armrest and the side armrests are too short with knobs protruding out of them This design is excellent for passengers with no arms My train is very bumpy at times mostly around Philadelphia often too bumpy to use my laptop Overall the ride is worse than a plane but better than a Miata on a Pennsylvania highway This probably isn t a testament to Amtrak s success but the train has been mostly empty for significant portions of the trip letting almost everyone have two seats to themselves Even when it s full the seats are big enough that you don t squish against the person next to you unless at least one of you is very large Bathroom The bathroom is like a very big Greyhound bus bathroom complete with the awful smell and gross metal toilet There s a real sink with running water not just some packets of moist towelettes Unfortunately it has the annoying faucet handles that need to be held constantly to keep water flowing I m sitting a fair distance from the bathroom but the smell still reached me

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/160 (2016-04-30)
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  • Freecycle
    and this hasn t happened yet Boo Some current examples from the Huntsville AL Freecycle list Offer Round Table and 5 chairs My girlfriend just sold her house and no longer has a need of her kitchen table so we are offering it to the first person that can come and get them WANTED Old Wooden Windows Looking for salvagable wood framed windows with or without glass Offer bread machine I have a Toastmaster Bread Box model 1154 with the recipe book to offer Worked wonderfully the last time I used it which was about a year ago just don t have room for it and we eat way too much bread when I use it we love the cheese bread OFFER 4 Matching Goodyear Tires 15 in They are a matching set and have a lot of life left in them The most popular items offered in my area seem to be pets furniture in less than peak condition and clothing with a healthy smattering of other random items thrown in The Test Aha I thought here is a good way to get rid of that landscaping fabric I still have sitting on my front porch I used half a roll while planting a flowerbed but the other half is still perfectly usable I got four responses within about two hours of posting and after I gave the first lady my address she picked the fabric up the next day She left me some beautiful hand made soap as a thank you too My front porch is now marginally less ugly The Next Test What do I need Well I lead a Girl Scout troop that is doing a sewing badge this month Maybe someone has some extra fabric scraps buttons ribbon or something Three responses so far saying

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/159 (2016-04-30)
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  • Flavia S350 office coffee machine
    a hint of caramel and spices gets you there Despite the stereotypical implication the Italian Roast tastes exactly like the French Roast French Roast A strong and intense full bodied coffee with a smoky flavor made from our darkest roast Arabica beans Neither strong nor intense I can t detect any smokiness in this bland flavor Espresso Roast Give yourself a kick with this strong yet smooth espresso Perfect with FLAVIA Creamy Topping for an authentic cappuccino or with Choco for heavenly mochaccinos Wow it tastes like coffee If you use this packet in an espresso you can slightly taste it Most people don t realize that espresso roast doesn t mean espresso it just means that this coffee has a slightly stronger taste than regular bland American coffee Espresso is a dense shot of coffee made from very strong darkly roasted beans Density is its significant feature not flavor Wikipedia offers this interesting sidenote Espresso is considered the default coffee in Southern Europe notably Italy and France Ordering a coffee un caffè in Italian means ordering an espresso this confuses foreigners in Italy and Italians abroad alike What is considered plain coffee in the United States is normally not brewed in Italy A similar alternative an espresso mixed with hot water is known as caffè americano It is rarely ordered by Italians Columbia Pure origin Colombia gives you full bodied richness with a unique nutty twist It s so unique that it tastes like coffee No nutty twist detected Costa Rica Try this single origin coffee from the lush Tarrazu region full bodied with an intense aroma and a rich smooth taste I think they choose three words at random from a list of meaningless adjectives when they can t think of any other distinguishing characteristics Try this rich bold full bodied strong smooth assertive coffee from country with a rich bold full bodied strong smooth assertive taste flavor aroma finish We haven t tried the Costa Rica variety yet but I bet it s just as rich smooth and nutty as the others Sidamo Gold A complex coffee with a wine like character and a deliciously exotic floral aroma Perfect for multifaceted personalities and palettes Look some new words Wine like Can coffee taste like wine Floral aroma Great for sufferers of dissociative identity disorder This is next on our list of coffees to try Who can resist the idea of drinking bitter brown flowers House Blend A medium bodied blend of Arabica beans from East Africa and South America carefully roasted for a rich smooth taste and slightly fruity flavor Tastes like weak coffee Breakfast Blend A light bodied mild blend of coffees from the Americas and East Africa distinguished by its delicate refreshing flavor Tastes like very weak coffee Roasted Safari Nut A unique blend of aromatic coffee with the rich and warming flavors of sweet almond and creamy vanilla Will have you humming Hakuna Matata Smells slightly like almonds otherwise tastes like coffee Failed to

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/158 (2016-04-30)
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  • Your city sucks
    out of your mind whenever you re sober whose situation is more pathetic Most people who have nothing to do simply don t have any hobbies or aren t looking very hard The weather sucks This is a valid complaint I challenge you however to find any city with perfect weather Most cities in most countries are in temperate zones so you re exposed to a wide variety of temperatures Sometimes it s too hot Sometimes it s too cold Rain falls Snow falls Clouds exist Of course there are extremes Iceland isn t a great place to live if you get depressed from winter weather And if you live near the southeastern US coast dangerous hurricanes are certainly a reasonable complaint But you probably live somewhere with average weather and Desirable City probably has a similar rate of bad weather Unless you currently live in Buffalo Erie or their surrounding areas These places are nature s testing ground for attempting to break snowfall records each year If you live there I apologize for the accusation Anywhere else is a huge improvement The people are all negative adjective or stereotype People in rural areas are stupid rednecks and people in big cities are rich snobs right The people in Desirable City are all nice smart open minded individuals who would welcome you with open arms Well maybe not Desirable City has a bunch of stupid rednecks too Stupid shallow snobby racist sexist liberal conservative ignorant evangelical cruel rich poor and annoying people are everywhere You can never escape them I just want to live in Desirable City You don t even need a reason why your city sucks you want to live in Desirable City anyway Desirable cities are great I d love to live in New York one of

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/157 (2016-04-30)
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  • Owning a car
    have to drive which is a big bonus And gas prices will only continue to increase Of course buses need gas planes need jetfuel and trains need some sort of energy so their costs will increase eventually too but for now a car that gets mediocre gas mileage is a worse deal Let s consider some options to see if I can get a better deal with a new or a different used car Buy a new car Better gas mileage and little or no maintenance costs but high down payment high monthly payments and increased insurance premiums Can eventually sell at a huge loss Lease a new car Better gas mileage almost zero maintenance small or no down payment and relatively low monthly payments but at the end you have no resale value to reduce the overall effective cost Buy a young used car Moderate gas mileage moderate maintenance still expensive for a reliable model since the reliable models hold their value well and at the end you can sell it for a big loss Only worthwhile if you expect to own it after you stop making payments but as time passes maintenance costs increase If you actually calculate the totals and averages of what you re paying with each option Excel is useful for this you discover the core truth that most people will never realize Behind every blanket statement I ve heard such as Leases are never worth it because you have nothing at the end You re buying someone else s problems with a used car and I got a great deal on my car there s a single nagging problem that most people would rather not admit You always lose money If it s not maintenance it s depreciation or payments You are losing money

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/156 (2016-04-30)
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  • Voice-recognition phone menus
    what it should be doing to please its customers I probably wouldn t be writing about it So what s the flaw If you ve used a voice recognition phone menu you already know Talking to a computer is strange Even if speech recognition becomes perfect don t worry it won t people will never feel comfortable talking to their computers It s unnatural We re accustomed to interacting with computers by using computer like means discrete unambiguous deterministic interactions such as pressing buttons That makes sense to us we interact with inorganic objects by inorganic means Speech is our mechanism for fluid two way conversations with other humans In conversation when we re given a choice between discrete options we expect the ability to explain our answer or choose something else Your honor my clients didn t do it Likewise it s unnatural to interact directly with a human by pressing buttons with discrete actions It would feel strange to walk up to your friend and press an Ask About Lunch button on the side of his head When presented with a touch tone number menu we know we re interacting with a computer so it isn t uncomfortable to be given a set of discrete options with numbers To track a package press 1 It doesn t even try to convince us that it s human and our mental model adjusts accordingly to view it as a discrete menu with buttons In a voice menu we re disoriented easily and less efficient Like all phone menus the item you want is rarely obvious the first time you hear it You might listen to all of the choices before selecting Customer Support because you know you re in for a 20 minute wait followed by a painful conversation with

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/155 (2016-04-30)
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