Sunday, 23 January 2011
At the credit union where I bank…
–Hold it right there: is that correct? Is it possible to bank at a credit union, or is that a contradiction in terms? Should I say “at the credit union where I credit union”?–
…they are currently sponsoring a contest relating to the NFL. That stands for National Football League, in case you didn’t know. The contest goes like this: guess which team is going to win each week during the playoffs. The person with the most correct guesses wins a $50 gift card.
And guess what, I am currently in first place for most correct guesses. Yep, it’s true. During the first week of the playoffs, I was correct on two of my picks. This was enough to tie me (along with ~20 other people) for second place. A few people were tied at first place with 3 correct picks, and no one got all 4 correct.
During the second week of playoffs, I picked all four games correctly. That leap-frogged me into first place with 6 correct. I am the sole person in first place right now.
Unfortunately, while I’m still in first place, I’m almost certainly sharing that spot with other credit union members now. I picked the Steelers to win, and that was correct. But I picked the Bears to win over the Packers, and that is not what happened.
Monday, 24 January 2011
I think now would be a good opportunity to discuss something that’s bugged me for, oh, about 30 years: Calendars.
The problem with calendars occurs whenever the month begins on a Friday or Saturday (well, not EVERY time, but close enough). Calendar makers must’ve decided long ago that the convention for laying out a month with such a characteristic would be to shove the 30th and 31st of the month so that they have to share a box on the page with the 23rd and 24th, respectively. In case I’ve just confused you, just look at this picture:
This is the calendar hanging in my cube at work. Notice how the 23rd and 30th of the month are “sharing” a box. Likewise, the 24th and 31st.
What’s the big deal you say?
Two answers: first, if you’re like me, then you write stuff on your calendars. In fact, for several years, I wrote things on my calendar after the fact (as kind of a journal) and then I kept the calendar in a safe place. Now I keep track of events in my life on computer, but the point is: there’s not a whole lot of room on those four days. Additionally, if something spanned the whole week, it was tough to show how it affected one day, but not the other. For example, let’s say I wanted to block off the 27th – 31st…the sharing feature makes this confusing, especially on those really stupid calendars that split those boxes diagonally (or, worse, don’t even split them at all – some calendars will just write “24/31” in the box, and that’s supposed to be cool).
Second, counting the weeks can get confusing. Today, for instance, I was in the lab at my job, and one of my co-workers prepared a solution with a one week expiration date. She walked over to the calendar to verify the date (it’s the 24th), but then she flipped ahead to February, then back to January. “Doesn’t January have 31 days?” she asked me.
I know it might sound silly that an adult with a science degree is questioning the number of days in January, but look at what she saw:
Where the hell are the 30th and 31st? Look closer: in the case of this calendar, they apparently come a few days before January 1st. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
A better solution would be to put the 30th and 31st in their own boxes on the next page. An even better solution would be to just make a sixth row. I mean, look at that calendar: there is clearly enough space on the page for the 30th and 31st to have their own rows. In fact, I have yet to see a calendar that doesn’t have enough room. It’s just laziness and poor planning.
Anyway, if you want to buy me a 2012 calendar for Xmas, you know what I’d like…
Oh – special thanks to my co-worker Nick for taking these pictures and emailing them to me.