I think whenever a person has had a job it leaves a small indelible mark on them. It pops up in different ways. When I was in high school I used to bean walk. To this day when I drive past bean fields I can’t help but scan them to see if there has been a weed infiltration that could use a skilled team of weed terminators to put the insurgency down.
I worked my previous job for way too many years. It left less of a mark and more of a scar. When I walk into a bathroom it bothers me when I see streaks left over on the wall from people using the wrong cleaning supplies. It bothers me when I see windows with streaks left in them because nobody taught the kid cleaning them the proper way to clean windows. Also troubling to me is that I know what the fecal matter of flies looks like. (I know this because to this day, the West Ames McDonald’s it still covered in fly poo) So if I am in a restaurant and there is any fly crap, I can see it. I can walk into almost any fast food restaurant and tell you why their service is slow and what they should do to fix it, but the troubling side of that is that I am actually thinking about it and I can’t stop that. The most troubling aspect of this scar is that I can walk into almost any McDonald’s and tell you approximately the era the store was built and how many years ago it was last remodeled.
I haven’t really had much of a mark from my current job. Other than people asking me computer advice and wanting me to fix their computers about the only things that have come to me uncontrollably is that once my friend Bill wrote his own “Geek” quiz and one of the questions was “How much RAM is enough RAM for your computer?” None of his answers was the proper answer. I can’t remember all of the answers, but the one that scored you the most “Geek Points” (which was considered a good thing for the sake of said quiz) was “You can never have enough RAM”. I think I started writing him an e-mail out of instinct telling him that the answers to this question were flawed, because in fact you can have too much RAM. The answer actually depends on a combination of your motherboard and your operating system. It is possible to have too much RAM and it is better to match your RAM, but all of that depends on your mother board and how much RAM and what kind of RAM slots it has and what types of RAM it will even accept. It is possible to slow down your computer by adding RAM. Plus, certain operating systems will only recognize so much RAM. You can put 2 GB of RAM in a Windows 98 Machine but you would be wasting your time, because the operating system is only going to recognize 388 MB of RAM or so.
However, I stopped short and just deleted the e-mail before sending it.
The only other thing that I instinctually do because of my current job is flip off the stack of Canon 1600s 1700s 0r 1800s that they have on display. It is my understanding that those things have absorber pad issues.
Last night I went to see the movie “A Mighty Heart” with Nader. There is a sequence in the movie where in the background of a scene at the Wall Street Journal there is a printer. That printer is the HP Laserjet 4250. I instantly knew this fact and lost a bit of my focus on the movie while I was checking to see if they had purchased the optional envelope and sheet feeders. They had purchased the optional sheet feeder, but not the envelope feeder. After a few moments I snapped out of it and returned to the movie.
For those of you that want to know, “A Mighty Heart” was a good but not great movie. The most remarkable aspects of the movie were the performance of Angeline Jolie and the way they handled the beheading. Going into the movie, you knew that Daniel Pearl was going to get his head cut off, but you didn’t know how they were going to handle it. They handled it very well, but I will not tell you how and I’ll leave that for you the reader to discover on your own. Incidentally, “A Mighty Heart” leaves Ames on Thursday, so if you are inclined, you will have to catch it somewhere else.
As for the performance of Angeline Jolie, she was incredible as Marianne Pearl. It was definitely a return to the form and potential she displayed in “Girl, Interrupted”. It was almost good enough to forgive her for making those Tomb Raider movies.
But what about Nader’s perspective? Those of you that have had the pleasure of meeting Nader know that he doesn’t like very many movies. When he has complete disdain for a film he will substitute profanity for a word in the movie title and leave that as his review. For example, “The Lord of the Rings” becomes “The Lord of the Crap”.
He did not change the title of “A Mighty Heart”, but he also did not like the movie. Nader said that he didn’t feel bad for Daniel Pearl. He was an American and a Jew. He shouldn’t have been trying to interview Islamic Jihadists. These are people that want to kill all Jews and all Americans. What did he think was going to happen?
I told Nader I thought he had a “defeatist attitude”, but I have never met an Islamic extremist in my life. So I don’t have a frame of reference to make such judgments. Nader spent 6 ½ years in an Iranian prison thanks to Islamic extremists, so he knows the type very well.
I asked him: “So you don’t want to go to Pakistan with me?”
“Screw Pakistan. You want to meet people that want to kill you, I’ll just take you to Iran.”
This lead to a discussion about how they named a street in Tehran after the assassin that killed the Egyptian Premiere that negotiated a peace accord with Israel. This is where we will start our tour of Iran.
So if anybody wants to sign up for a vacation in Iran with an American and an escaped Iranian political prisoner, we are taking reservations now.