Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Appliance Warranty

Susan asked me if we had the spare parts information for the kitchen faucet.  Ugh!  Where do we put all that stuff.  Normally a good filing cabinet would have all that literature - user manuals, spare parts ordering forms, warranty cards, sales receipts etc.  Indeed, I do have that file (although it's just a big plastic portable container).

But it takes looking through all the material to find the single document.  To  give an example of how old the literature I have (as a confirmed pack rat) - I stumbled across the Radio Shack Stereo and Speakers I purchased ($422) in 1973 (and which I still have).  Also the first "car phone" (they were called that before cell phone) I purchased for $950 in 1986 with the agreement that minutes cost $0.35 per minute. 

How many of us really diligently fill out that warranty card?  Not me - I must have found 50 or more post cards not sent in.  It is so rare to get any benefit out of a warranty.  Just like the Insinkerator  Instant Hot Water dispensor that went out on us - I found the user manual;  I know it was installed within the warranty - but the manufacturer needed the sales receipt since the serial number indicated it was out of warranty.  UGH!

Technology and the internet have helped since most user manuals are available for downloading.  But that doesn't help for the sales receipt and warranty claim.  And what benefit is my file of all this stuff?  Just a walk down memory lane and the graveyard of my appliances.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Holiday Sunrise

The puppies have created a new experience for me - seeing a holiday morning sunrise.  Their routine doesn't change with holidays -  5:30 am is their breakfast and morning walk.  Something about a holiday morning is even quieter than a weekday - especially if you are out driving.  There are no cars on the road and everyone is on the mid morning schedule - probably after a late night family gathering or movie.

So this Memorial Day morning, I had the house to myself (since everyone else was snoozing).  After the puppies walk, I fired up the espresso machine and watched the sun continue to rise - sipping a coffee and listing to the chirping birds. Time to reflect on things to be grateful for and to remember those who paved the way for where we are today.

By 7:15am the early risers (Susan) began to appear.  The day now officially starts - the sun is up.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Time to Recharge

So my blogging has had low batteries of late.  My excuse is the month long sickness (almost feeling like walking pneumonia) and the resulting lethargy and tiredness that accompanies it.  Now on the up curve, I feel like my batteries have been recharged or replaced.

Battery life is one of my pet peeves.  The cell phone, TV remotes, flashlights, clocks, laptop computers the list goes on and on.  For certain devices there are indicators of low battery life (usually the rechargeable type)  but for many - they just stop working.  I always wonder for those devices with 6 batteries - is it just one battery of the six - or all six that are dead..  Or for the rechargeable (which we know only has so many recharges left), how much "lifetime juice" still exists.

 There was a time that  AA batteries had indicators on them of how much "power" still existed.  But this did not really satisfy my need to know how much power still remained.  I'll bet there are millions of batteries tossed with significant wasted capacity unused.

In my office is a small transistor world band radio powered by two AA batteries.  I take all the household AA "dead batteries" into my office and use the radio to drain them completely!  I'm amazed at the remaining power still available and the mystery of two battery combinations (example 1 dead battery with 1 strong battery vs two weak batteries).

I guess batteries are like our body - there is no good measurement device to show us when we need to recharge or replace.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Laugh until it Hurts

Originally Posted (and lost due to Blogger Technical Difficulties) - May 12, 2011

T.A.,  at Vistage today, said he saw Jay Leno in his seminar while in Vegas.  It reminded me of the first time Susan and I travelled to Vegas.  We saw Jay Leno (this was prior to his Tonight Show gig) for over 2 hours of stand up comedy.  We both laughed so hard that we were begging him to stop - that side piercing hurt as you laugh more and more.  And Jay Leno is one of those great comics that don't need off color jokes to get people to laugh - no curse words, no sexual innuendos, fart jokes, racial slurs etc.  Jay is one of my top 5 comedians including Bill Cosby, Bob Newhart, and Jerry Seinfeld.  I've only seen two in concert - Jay and Jerry.  The Riverbend concert with Newhart was unfortunately cancelled the year I had tickets.

And what a coincidence that Jenna mentioned that Jerry Seinfeld is coming again to Cincinnati in July.  You can bet we are going.

In the original draft of the SVP Cincinnati Business Plan one of the core principles I wrote about was Having Fun -  "Laughter is the lubricity of life".  My fellow partner reviewing the document laughed and thought the word lubricity was awkward.  So it was changed - "Laughter is the lubricant of life".  Either word works for me - when laughter occurs, life seems much more enjoyable, and people seem to be more amenable.

I believe the science of laughter has to do with generating certain chemicals in the brain or body.  So it's like a drug.  And with Leno that day in Vegas - Susan and I were overdosed.

Technical Postscript -  Blogger was able to recover afterall - a technical achievement.  They recovered the 5/12/11 post and placed it in a draft folder 5/17/11.  I 'm impressed.  Also in comparing that draft recovered to the entry  above I  posted  from my memory -I'm also impressed with my memory backup.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Backing Up

Well - Thursday's Blog on "Laugh til it Hurts" was lost in a Blogger technical problem.  But is it really worth backing up daily?   Only recently have I begun to back up my laptop to external hard drives (and then only sporadically).  And how about those on-line services - not for me the back-up risk taker.

At Accenture, I was clear to all my clients the mandatory back-up process with off site storage.  Yet the "cobbler's children go barefoot" - I never followed my own advice.  The irony of backing up is it is like insurance - right when you need it you discover it doesn't work.

So it will take my memory (the ultimate backup) to re-create Thursday's blog.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rainbow of Cards

The other day I received my Gold Starbucks Card - boy do I feel important.  Like American Express it has the member date (mine - since 2007).  I guess the color of cards used to have great importance.  Susan once told me she rang up someone with one of those prestigious BLACK American Express Cards.  So I decided to do an inventory of my own colors:

(1) American Express - Gold
(2) Fidelity American Express - Light Green
(3) Chase Freedom - Blue/Turquoise
(4) PNC Bank - Bright Orange
(5) Paypal MasterCards - Silver
(6) Cincinnati Public Library - Right Red
(7) Discover - Silver
(8) Sams Club - Blue and White
( 9) Kroger - Red, White and Blue
(10) Delta Silver Medallion - White

 If you buy enough or pay enough fees you get the good colors.  I guess my wallet is just a Heinz 57 variety.  One thing is for sure - I have too many cards in my wallet.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bloggers Block

It's either bloggers block or the summer cold/flu that knocked me out for the past week. 

Mom always said that the most important thing in life is having your health.  It is also the thing too many people take for granted. 

So for the last week I have been taking Mom's home remedy advice.  BRAT diet - Bananas, Rice, Apple Sauce and Green Tea. But when Mom said to drink Vinegar water (a teaspoon of Vinegar in water) - I drew the line.

The side benefit of sickness and the BRAT diet is I lost 5 pounds.  Now recovered I feel great with 5 less pounds - but it was a hard way to lose them. 


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Filed in Oblivion

One of the most frustrating things in life is knowing you filed an important document but can't access it.  This  is true of both manual files and computer files.  I have countless backups of data on media as far back as 5 1/4 inch floppy disks;  Jazz removable hard drives; memory sticks; and Seagate gigabit backups (which I have know idea how many versions are backed up).   I have all my laptops with duplicate copies of Outlook email archives; I have no organized naming of any of my old PC's (desktop or laptop).  I even have my old Accenture Lotus notes archives somewhere.

Think of the gazillions (that's a technical term) of stranded data sitting out there for a future archeologist   (or maybe there will be a different name for a data finder) to find.  Instead of the Dead Sea Scrolls - it will be the Dead Floppy Bytes. 

Maybe they will find an old blogger's data :)