Friday, September 28, 2007

This time tomorrow

Imagine Cow's surprise hearing a Kinks song from about 1970 during the preview to the Darjeeling Limited.

Cow likes and appreciates director Wes Anderson using Ray Davies' original track, rather than these crappy remakes of songs, tarted up with "modern" sound effects.

And, amazingly, he's used a couple more songs from that same Kinks album on the soundtrack.

(Cow making note to see this mooovie despite the reviewers).


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wants and Shoulds

Further from Bazerman, discussing the competition between the 'want' self and 'should' self:

"If the 'should' tries to control and dominate the 'want' self through rigid, restrictive or punitive decisions, the 'want' self can opt out by unilateral action. Do New Year's resolutions, failed savings plans and crazed slips from dieting ring a bell?"

Bazerman recommends treating the 'want' self as a legitimate negotiator and trying to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Big Muscles, cashing in on

Cow watched "The Bachelor" last night. Okay, okay, I know (insert snarky comments).

The Bach didn't seem like the sharpest stick in the woodpile, but he WAS smart enough to kick off the incoherently babbling drunk girl (hope she enjoyed watching herself over the credits) and the girl who was obsessed with showing off her toes. Hooray!

And film of The Bachelor showering, getting dressed, and making breakfast without his shirt on...oh my. Cow really must start working out. Around 6 am, where this guy is running.


Smart Money Decisions, by Bazerman

One interesting point in this book is how people tend to be optimistic, believing their futures will be better and brighter than others, and how as an investor, optimistic illusions, such as that you got a "good deal" on a car when you didn't, prevents any learning process occurring which would ordinarily promote learning from a mistake.

Another interesting point is that business books in foreign countries on negotiating with Americans stress how impatient we are, how unwilling to wait, and that to win with Americans you just need to stall.


Monday, September 24, 2007

Eastern Promises of Big Watches

Except for the sad absence of Topiary, and a little too much product placement of expensive watches, this was a good mooovie.

Cow knew it was going to be entertaining when, needing to defrost a body, Viggo Mortensen growls in a heavy Russian accent, "You havvvvve hairrrrrr drrrrryer?"


Friday, September 21, 2007

Ladies who Lunch

Cow just returned from a lunch with the charming and lovely Stacey and Baby Acey, the talented and stylish Super Mom and the dynamic and newly-promoted Christy.

After initial comments on the unity of reality, (into which Baby Acey interjected his original theories on wave structure and matter in space) a lively discussion ensued on the representation of physical reality by continuous fields and its interpretation in mathematical terms: the only good metaphysics.

After that, everyone enjoyed lunch, and Topiary was made to feel very welcome. Acey was denied pizza by his heartless mother, but told us he'll forgive her...maybe.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Who we are here, and who we are there

Rather than obsessively guard our online identities, at some point we're just going to have to become accustomed to a new era of personal transparency. And perhaps, this will usher in a new way of doing business: accepting others as whole people, and approaching them on that level. It may no longer be possible to erect divides between public and personal, between one's business life and one's private life.

I think people of my generation intuitively understand this, which may be the force behind our - occasionally somewhat misguided - impulse to reveal too much of ourselves online. We've already given up on the hope of privacy and accepted a sort of tedious street-level limelight. It may be that no one is paying attention to our actions, our words, or our interests at the moment - but they're all still on record. And should anyone seek to analyze them, they'll be there. Available. For many of us, it will be that way whether we like it or not.

Thoughts for a Thursday courtesy of crackingdes.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Oreo Cookies

Well, they're not healthy. At all. But they mooed across the aisle and before you could say stop-unhealthy! they were home.

As Cow was about to rip open the package, she was stopped by a warning on the side. It said: Stop! Don't open here! Open on the front.

And sure enough there is a strange elliptical opening on the front of the package letting you have great access to the center of the cookies.

The cookies down the side, though, are completely blocked off. THIS is a good marketing idea?


America, or, the search for bathrooms

Maybe it's only women who can tell you the exact location of the bathroom everywhere they've ever been. First, middle, or last thing they do: scope out the 'facilities.'

Maybe in Dubai, though, you'd skip it. "The public toilets in the king-of-bling Gold Souk district are holes in the ground with no toilet paper or soap. Hoses to rinse your nether regions, however, are provided. This results in a mass of water on the floor that you must stand in to pee. Try squatting without touching anything and keeping your pants from touching anything either. Oh yeah. It’s 120 degrees in there."

Thanks for this slice of life outside America.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Battle on the Home Front

There's a war on the home front. Cat fleas against Cow. The combatants: three house cats; one person, one house, and apparently indestructible, unkillable fleas.

The battle site: The house; the bed, where all cats sleep; the floors, carpets, chairs; and most importantly, the kitty fur where the fleas want to be.

It's been a three-week war so far. 3 kinds of bug bombs have been exploded in the house at a cost of $180.00 total. Mass casualties were expected, but so far a complete vanquishment of the enemy has not occurred. Apparently some of the walking wounded made a full recovery.

Cats were dosed with $55.00 a package Frontline Plus to no apparent avail. As a last-ditch effort, reinforcements were brought in to cover the carpets and upholstery with powdered flea insecticide.

After a terrible night spent coughing from the airborne dust, Cow will be wielding the vacuum tonight in hopes of removing not only all the flea powder but also the lifeless bodies of the enemy combatants.

Should this battle also prove inconclusive, the Treasury of the Land of the Topiary Cow will be going to the Chairman of the Topiary Reserve Fund to seek humanitarian aid, and also maybe appealing to Angelina for adoption.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Just for Laughs

Isn't it cool that you don't have to watch TV anymore to watch TV?

Just for Laughs is the funniest, silliest show Cow has laughed at in, like, forever.

The blind man asking passersby to show his guide dog the map, so he'll know how to get there, is priceless.


The World Needs Better Signage

Unlike a certain Miss Teen Contestant, Cow thinks the world needs not more maps, but more, better, bigger, and more specific signage.

Such as: don't take this pill, Christy, it will make you sick. Or, don't come in this restaurant, we don't clean the kitchen too well and our wait staff is incompetent and will ignore you. Or maybe, don't buy our stuff, it is a rip-off.

People, too, should come with signs, right across their foreheads. Warning labels, ingredient labels. "I am a jerk, through and through" would be a good one. "All I care about is making the sale" would be useful, though a tad redundant for all good salepeople.

When people drop off animals in parking lots, figuring someone will see them and take them home, the people should have signs saying "I am not only stupid, but also uncaring, cruel and heartless to animals." They should also put signs on the kittens or puppies saying "I've been dropped off here, am homeless, hungry, and will be run down and injured or killed unless you rescue me."


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Remember, remember

It's too bad nobody checked the research on how the brain processes words before this campaign "Don't Forget the Baby."

Research shows the brain doesn't process negative phrasing as well as positive phrasing. So, to the brain, the "don't" drops out and the brain hears "Forget the Baby." They should have had their campaign phrase be "Remember the Baby." It's also more optimistic and upbeat.

Cow, of course, always remembers the baby.


The House on the Hill

Cow spent some time living in Alhambra, just down the road from Phil Spector's house. There used to be huge parties there, you'd always know because hundreds of people would start trying to park on these vertical-hill streets, the police would be called--always---the parties only seemed to last a couple hours.

The trick was to get there early enough before the police made everyone leave. The whole place was not only on top of a very steep hill, but also surrounded by these adobe-type walls they use in Southern California a lot. They're solid, and tall, and there's no seeing over them. Pretty much any young girl would be admitted without question.

Cow is now glad she never met the man.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Home Invasions

Watched Dateline last night, on the murders by scumbags in Connecticut.

Topiary got up three times during the program to check the doors were locked.

When personal presence is no longer a deterrent to crime, there leaves only force, threats of force, evasion, or possibly turning to Topiary. Not good options.


Friday, September 07, 2007

There's No Problem with Pollution

Nah. No problem at all.

Just the ocean, miles and miles and miles of ocean, being transformed into...not sure what.

Photo courtesy of the Daily Mail.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Baby Giant Panda Videos

Topiary shamelessly watched every single video of Baby Panda at Atlanta Zoo.

Topiary is just a sucker for Baby Pandas.


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Roads more travelled

Spending a half-hour a day getting to work, (240 hours a year), plus an hour a week on errands, is a minimum 300 hours a year spent on roadways.

Cow is bored with it, and is ready for a cute system of Topiary-friendly trolleys, subways, trains and monorails, to and from her village and the town center.

What? No town center? No village? Hopes have been dashed.


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Was feeling nostalgic for the Hollywood Bowl experience. Built in a natural ampitheatre in the hills, when Cow lived in LA she had season tickets to their concerts, which offer an eclectic roster of jazz, classical, or rock.

When the Bowl was built in 1922, it was in the middle of nowhere, but now, surrounded by houses and steep hills, the hardy ones who try to drive and park there with the other 17,000 people attending the concerts must have nerves of steel.

For the others, the Bowl began offering buses from the Veteran's building in Westwood directly to the Bowl, an hour before showtime. So you'd park somewhere in the 80 acres of Veteran's parking, catch one of the special Bowl buses, filled with other concert-goers, and be delivered safely and quickly to the Bowl.

Once there, you'd hike up the steep hills and once inside, find a place to picnic. The breeze always comes up in the evening from Santa Monica; no matter how hot it is during the day it quickly drops 20 degrees at sunset. The stillness of the hills would be broken by the playing of the national anthem, then the concert would begin. Sitting in the moonlight, in the hills, with live music wafting over you, full from a nice picnic...what a joy for the senses.

Then, as soon as the concert was over, you'd run downhill to get back to your bus. They always threatened that they'd leave without anybody who was late, but I had a suspicion there was always one 'late' bus for people who stopped to listen to the buskers in the tunnel (great acoustics) or maybe got lost.

Photo courtesy of Grace.