Thursday, July 29, 2010

Waiting out a storm

I know it is hard to see in this photo but there is a torrential down pour happening outside. When I came into the gym the weather was clear and hot and this was waiting for me on the way out. I don't have anywhere to be right now but I was planning on going into the office so I am just waiting for the rain to let up so I can go in dry.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Stayin’ alive: That’s what friends are for

Stayin’ alive: That’s what friends are for

According to a study by researchers at Brigham Young University
social connections – friends, family, neighbors or colleagues – improve our odds
of survival by 50 percent. Here is how low social interaction compares to more
well-known risk factors:
- Equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day
- Equivalent to being an alcoholic
- More harmful than not exercising
- Twice as harmful as obesity

These comparisons are shocking. Not surprisingly pen pals and social networks don't count as "social connections".

An unrelated study that was in the news this week from the University of Chicago suggests similar things about feelings of loneliness as well.

Moral of the study: keep real friends around you, stay in touch with people, and reach out to others.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Violently friendly

There is a woman who I come into contact with from time to time. I often eat bean burritos with no onions from the Taco Bell near the University and this woman works there. Her customer service cannot be faulted: she is polite and could even called friendly. She mans (or would it be womans in this case) the first window at the Taco Bell drive through; it is her job to take my money and give me change. Each time I pull around to the first window after placing my order she greets me with a beaming smile. She is not an attractive woman. She is somewhat overweight nothing like the supermodels Taco Bell hires for its ridiculous commercials but very typical of the people that actually work in most fast food restaurants. That being said, I would like to add that she is also not an ugly woman; in fact, if it werent for just one thing I would say that she is a completely unremarkable person. The exception is in the way that she greets me. As I already stated, I can always expect her beaming smile but it becomes more than a greeting really, feeling almost like an assault. She always yells, Hello, there, Good morning, or Good afternoon, or whatever friendly thing she says that day. Why the yelling? She is so loud when she greets me that it makes me want to cringe. So violent are her hellos that I feel like I am being attacked every time indeed, I dont think that it would be all that different if I was actually being attacked by her. It is almost as though she is invading my privacy when she says anything to me at all. Your order is $2.16. What kind of sauce would you like? It crosses my mind Am I an animal to be barked at like this? as I shake my head no without saying a word. Have a nice day, she shoots the words out like a cannon firing missiles in my direction. I grimace and drive on no different than a person unpleasantly surprised by the popping of firecrackers unexpectedly going off nearby.
But, boy, do I like those bean burritos sans cebolla.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

the zoo

A few weeks ago I took Gabe to the zoo while Becky and a friend went spelunking in western Arkansas. Here is a tiny smattering of photos that I took while Gabe played in the fountains at the zoo.

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