Tag Archives: Useless information

I’m Sorry

Last week, my daughters were in town, and we stopped at Burger King then drove to a park to eat. When we got to the park, we realized that Sarah had not received the Impossible Burger she had ordered. So we went back. The guy at the counter offered to make us another, but I wanted to ask a manager how someone could put a beef burger in a green wrapper and not notice what was going on. The manager offered us a free medium Dr Pepper coupon and said he would speak to the cook. None of which answered my question. What had happened? It was inconvenient for us to have to go back and insist on getting what we had paid for.

The very next day we went to the lawyer. The receptionist said our lawyer was out of town, and someone should have called us. Then she went to see if someone else could help us. We waited. The lawyer’s assistant was able to help us. She started by apologizing, then halfway through our meeting she apologized again and then she closed the meeting with an apology. As I pulled up to work, I received a voice message from the lawyer herself, apologizing again. We had shown up on time, and waited about three minutes while they found someone who could do what we needed, and then had left satisfied. They apologized no fewer than four times, maybe five or six (more than the situation warranted for sure).

Then that night one daughter said something very unkind, in public, to my other daughter. Second daughter left in tears. An apology was deemed insincere. They didn’t speak at all the next day and the first daughter left town without having reconciled with her sister.

The guy at Burger King didn’t feel the need to apologize for someone on his end screwing up then offered a coupon that cost them 20 cents worth of product for having us drive across town twice to get the meal we ordered.

The lawyer who screwed up fixed the problem in less time than I would have expected to wait in the waiting room in the first place, then apologized to the point where it was almost uncomfortable.

And my daughters who love each other more than anyone else in the world were unable to reconcile in 20 hours, causing one to leave town in tears and the other to regret that her sister had left town early and without saying goodbye to her.

As you can see, everyone from fast food workers to lawyers makes mistakes. How we handle them makes a big difference. A simple, “Whoops, that should not have happened, let me fix it for you,” will go a long ways. A “I’m sorry you had to come back, here’s something of more than minimal value to make up for your inconvenience,” is also a classy move.

It’s difficult for most people to admit they were wrong. It hurts your pride and your sense that you are in control of yourself. But they are words, and as my kids on the speech team will tell you words have power. “I really screwed up, I wasn’t thinking and that was a very mean thing to say. I’m very sorry I hurt you that way. Can you forgive me?” Is it so difficult to say?

When someone you love hurts you, someone you know you will forgive, is it worth the heartache to hold a grudge? Maybe “I am still very upset with you, but I love you, and I expect you to do better, but I forgive you” would be good. I have never gotten apology flowers from a husband (the first was never wrong and the second hasn’t hurt me) but a grand gesture might not be a bad idea if it was an egregious wrong.

“I’m sorry you think I hurt your feelings” is not an apology, by the way.

So if you see me opening my meal to check while I am in the drive through at Jimmy John’s (it’s happened there too) or any other fast food place, this is why.

Four Things Quickly

January 20, 2008

Four jobs I have had in my life:
Salad bar queen at Wendy’s, Grad student grunt, (aka new and used grass collector), Chef/waitress/bottlewasher at The Rustic, Mom 

Four places I have lived:

Laramie, WY, Pavillion, WY, Lyman NE, Mullen, NE 
Four places I have been on vacation:
Black Hills, Harlingen TX, Yellowstone, Tennessee

Four of my favorite Foods:
Something I didn’t cook, Fresh seafood, Anything Mexican, a good avocado
 Four places I would rather be right now:
Somewhere in the Sandhills, Scubadiving somewhere, Skiing somewhere, In front of a crackling fire with a good book


January 14, 2008

  1. The Reader’s Digest published an issue on humor a while ago. I had to agree with a lot about the differences between men’s humor and women’s. It explained why my husband says, “you don’t have a sense of humor,” and why I reply, “you have the sense of humor of a 13 year-old-boy.” They pretty much used our words verbatim. I am not sure it is anything I can apply to life, but at least I know that I am not alone, and that I do have a sense of humor.
  2. I especially could relate to the part where they discussed what men and women call their friends. The article, which I no longer have (so this is paraphrased from memory), uses for example four guys meeting for lunch who call each other Fatboy, Red, Matter-o-Fact, and Schmidt Head. The four women called each other Helen, Meg, Annie and Jennifer. Husband calls both of his good friends nicknames, and not really nice ones. They have nicknames for him as well, and ones he deserves. I call all of my friends by their names, or a shortened form of that.
  3. Unfortunately the movie thing threw me a loop. I personally own two of the movies that were supposed to be men’s humor and none of those that were presumably for women. “Blazing Saddles” was my all time favorite movie to watch when I stayed home sick from work. I bought “Fletch” recently, and I still laugh all the way though it. I don’t believe it was on the list, which is a travesty, but surely it would have been on the men’s list.  We watched a Chevy Chase marathon while I was in labor with Lydia, he just slays me.  I saw Annie Hall (listed in the women’s favorites) sometime in the last 24 months, and I don’t remember even thinking it was funny. Maybe it was because I don’t have much in common with the world of Jewish New Yorkers.
  4. My Step dad, Bill, is hilarious. We play a board game called Balderdash. You and your friends have to make up fake definitions for words you probably haven’t heard of, then you get to guess which one is the real definition. My definition for the word “squallop” was something about a brief but violent storm at sea. Someone else came up with a shell fish. Bill’s response was, “An Indian maid with loose morals.” Last night he came up with a definition for “snurp.” My first thought was something to do with Smurfs, but I made up something lame about shoe tread. Bill came up with, “when a person with a cleft palate drinks from a glass.” Please understand my step dad is not someone who would make anyone feel uncomfortable, and he is not prejudiced, or mean spirited in any way, and most of his ideas don’t have anything derogatory in them, it just happens that the two funniest I remember do. (I used to work for Uncle Sam, so I feel the need to put a disclaimer so as not to offend anyone.)
  5. Before she started pre-school last year, I taught Lydia a couple of jokes. The teacher tracked me down and told me she had never heard a funny joke from a student before, or even one that made sense. So why did the chicken cross the playground? To get to the other slide.


December 22, 2007

Here are my answers to a questionnaire  I saw posted.  Most of my answers would have been pedestrian, so I edited some.  Ok, a lot.  It also involves some plagiarism, hope you don’t mind…

1. If your doctor told you TODAY that you were pregnant, what would you say?

I would leap off of the exam table, and bludgeon the Dr. with the knee thumper thing and then grab him by his tie and choke him to death. I would do this in the flimsy tissue paper gowns they give you for what they refer to as privacy, not even stopping to clothe myself. I would then shut myself up in the exam room, turn out the lights and cry.

12. What did the last text message you sent say?

Am I a grandmother?

15. What is a goal you would like to accomplish in the near future?

Getting Zach to sleep in his crib or bassinet, rather than in my bed
42. What do you like to listen to before you go to bed?
Nothing, I read.
43. What is the last movie you watched?
“Jerry Maguire”. Loved it.
44. What does your iPod have in it right now?
I don’t have an iPod
45. How many close friends do you have?
Not many. One or two
46. Are your nails painted?
No, I usually only polish my toenails and only in the summer.
47. Do you wear a lot of jewelry?
No, I wear my wedding ring everyday. That’s about it.
48. What are you drinking right now?
49. Do you get a full eight hours of sleep a night?
Are you kidding me?? HA!
50. How’s life treating you?
So far so good.

Questions they should have on the questionnaire.

51.  What weird quirk do you have?

I like to clean out my toothpaste lid a couple of times during the lifespan of a tube with a Q-tip. It makes it feel like a new tube again.  Funny, you would think the rest of my house would be clean…

52.  What fictional character would you like to be?

Anne Shirley

 53.  What makes you proud?

I learned to text message, a little.

My Secret Vice

December 13, 2007

I made a mistake a few months back and bought a cheese grater from Williams-Sonoma on the internet. Now they have my address and have been shipping me catalogs. I am about to go nuts. We have a modest amount of discretionary money, certainly not enough to peruse their catalog with credit card in hand. It is like putting Imelda Marcos in charge of the shoe department in Saks. I would love to get my hands on one of their knives…just one, not even a whole $3000 set.

I love to eat and cook as well, not so much the cleaning up though. I will try most anything once, even rattlesnake. When we went on our cruise in Feb, the waiter knew that when he wanted to push something weird, to ask me first. I have an adventurous palate, although I draw the line at organ meat.

I just read Garlic and Sapphires, by Ruth Reichl, and thoroughly enjoyed it, but I came away thinking that most New Yorkers eat liver and sweetbreads and brains on a regular basis. Otherwise I believe I would eat anywhere with her. She liked to eat in dives, and I have found some of the best food in dives, in fact, Andy’s Shrimp in Hawaii was basically a take out stand made from a decommissioned delivery van, and that was the best meal I have ever had. I was sad because we really weren’t hungry, and it only cost about $5 or $10. I actually found a friend who had eaten there, but another friend tried to find it recently, and it seems to have closed. What a loss.

On a recent trip to Colorado, someone took me to Whole Foods. I am considering moving closer, so I can shop there. The cheese selection alone boggles the mind. Once again, it is probably just as well. By the way, Williams-Sonoma has a cheese of the month club…Now I am not pregnant any more and I can enjoy it with wine too!

So now I get a catalog tempting me with all sorts of wonderful (and for Nebraska, unusual) things to taste, and cook with. I keep the catalog between the mattress and box springs on my side of the bed. It seems like the most appropriate place to store it

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

May 9, 2023

Did you take Latin in high school? Does the title of this column make any sense to you? I took Spanish, which developed from Latin, and I recognize the word “pain” (dolor). Otherwise it looks like gibberish to me. 

I recently ran into lorem ipsum when I was working on a website. Printers and website developers want to show people what a document or website would look like with text, so they use fake text. Somewhere along the line, a printer first used lorem ipsum to make a mockup of something and the idea caught on. Lorem ipsum has a variety of “word” lengths and looks like readable text at a glance. Since it doesn’t make sense to anyone, they look at the product as a whole, rather than reading the content.

Lorem ipsum is sometimes called fake Latin, so I used Google Translate to see what it meant. I understand that Google Translate has limitations, but I don’t know anyone who speaks Latin, so it was my only choice. I used an online lorem ipsum generator to come up with an example. This is the first sentence:

“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, ea eos viris ubique, eu vel vivendo maluisset, no sit ignota temporibus.”

Translation: “The pain itself is very important, it would have preferred them to men everywhere, football or living, it is not unknown to the times.”

It seems that Richard McClintock of Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia noticed an obscure word in the original text and researched it. He found that large parts of what we know as lorem ipsum came from “The Extremes of Good and Evil” by Cicero who wrote it in 45 BCE. Since then, online generators add bits to it, as inside jokes. I am confident Cicero wasn’t writing about football.

When I started researching this column, my first thought was to use Google to learn more about lorem ipsum. As a librarian, I want to be a good example, so I tried looking for “lorem ipsum” in an online encyclopedia the library subscribes to. I got some interesting results. There were no entries on the history of lorem ipsum itself, but you could see where some authors typed their entry online and didn’t erase the dummy text when they were done with their article.  Here’s an example taken from the Explora database:

Tory anger over police powers Lorem ipsum: PLANS to give police the most ‘draconian detention powers in modern British legal history’ for another six months have been condemned by Tory MPs. Published in: Sunday Telegraph (London), Mar 21, 2021, MasterFILE Complete”

I read the article, and it isn’t about lorem ipsum. Someone just forgot to erase the dummy text when they typed the title in, and nobody proofread it.

Here is the rest of the paragraph I generated online:

“No qui ipsum timeam graecis, soleat detracto salutandi usu no. Mea at tibique denique repudiandae, pri ut utroque invenire. Et est appareat maiestatis. Quo mundi conceptam te, an sea copiosae appareat interesset, te putant virtute quo. Vel verear prompta mandamus ne.”

Translated: “No, he who fears the Greeks himself, should be accustomed to withdraw from the custom of salutation. Mine, and yours, in fine, to be repudiated, in order to find both. And it is the appearance of majesty. Where the world conceives thee, whether the abundant sea appears, they think thee by virtue of what power. Or I fear that we may not send prompt orders.”

Lorem ipsum is pure gibberish. Next time you need some dummy text, search for a lorem ipsum generator online. You can easily find different versions, including “pirate” and “cheese” if you want to make it fun. Keep an eye out, you will run across lorem ipsum somewhere now that you know the story behind it.