Sunday, August 26, 2012


Today is Saturday, but I worked at the book store.  I've skipped several days because of one thing and another so when Susan asked if I could work this afternoon so they could go to a book sale, I was thrilled to say yes.

Nothing monumental happened, but I did have some interesting experiences, primarily this very strange woman who came in and asked started looking at all the walls, looking for an electrical outlet so she could plug in her cell phone.   I noticed that the cash register was plugged into an outlet but pointed out that it only had one plug in the outlet.  She told me that was stupid and asked why they would have an outlet like that.  I told her I didn't know.  But then I found an outlet with an empty socket and plugged her phone in for her.

She started looking at the books at the front of the store.   While she was browsing a guy came up to buy a book about the 3rd Reich and I got into a conversation with him about our recent trip and how we had spent a day in Nuremberg.

He told me that his father was a scholar of German history and had recently read that Hitler didn't want his face to be printed on any coins because if he lost the war, he didn't want people to look at that and talk about his hubris.

After the guy left, the woman came over and said that she overheard us talking and that we had used the word "hubris" and wondered what it meant.

While I was explaining it to her, a girl came in to ask if we accepted donations.  I said that we did and she said she would get her books out of the car.  The hubris woman asked if she needed help, which she gratefully accepted.

When the books had been brought in the first woman told me I should give her a receipt.  I told her that we didn't do that (I had no way of knowing what the books were worth anyway).  The girl said she didn't need a receipt because she was moving back to Europe.

When she left, the first woman told me I should at least have offered her a book for her donation.  I was kind of flabbergasted and told her that we didn't do that.  She said that we should and told me to bring it up at the next staff meeting.  I told her we didn't have  staff meetings.  She seemed to think that was also dumb and started to argue with me about store policy.   I was getting a bit miffed with her by this point and was happy when she decided to leave.

A couple of minutes later, she was back to retrieve her cell phone, which she packed into her backpack, then asked if I wanted some fruit--an apple, perhaps, or a pear.  I thanked her but told her I didn't want any of her fruit and she finally left.

I was still shaking my head at the...uh...hubris...of arguing with me about the policies of the store and how we should change it because she thought she knew better how things should be run.

Late in the day, a guy came by with a stack of fruit boxes and asked if I wanted to buy strawberries.  I waved him away.

I also tried an experiment with my cell phone.  I just downloaded a high-def camera application on it and was thrilled that I had done so because when Scott Kelby talked about high def effects in PhotoShop, I knew what he was talking about, which I would not have if I had gone to the PhotoShop seminar two weeks ago instead of this week.

In a high-def photo, the camera takes three photos, one overexposed, one underexposed and one at the normal exposure.  It then magically combines the three so that you get one photo which has the best of all three, so that you theoretically don't have dark spots and you don't have light spots.

Here, for example, is a picture taken from the desk at the store with the regular cell phone camera

 2012-08-25_15-15-00_853.jpg (35574 bytes)

And here is the same picture, taken with the high-def function.

2012-08-25_15-14-38_HDR.jpg (34721 bytes)

Notice how the outside is still at the right exposure but how the shelves on the right and left are now also properly exposed?  This wouldn't work with moving subjects because you have to keep the camera steady for it to take 3 pictures, but I think it's a cool tool to have.

The plan after work had been to go to a local hamburger joint for dinner, since I had bought a Groupon for it that morning.  Walt, thus, did not go to the Irish pub for a beer before picking me up, because he knew he could get a beer at the restaurant.  Fortunately, I gave him the Groupon before we went into the restaurant because I had not noticed that it was not viable until tomorrow.  So we had to come home and I had to try to figure out what to fix for dinner, since I didn't have anything unfrozen.

It turned out that everything I decided to make was something that I usually would have made in the microwave, so I am realizing that I use the microwave much more than I thought I did!  Walt went microwave shopping while I was at work but didn't buy one because he didn't know if I wanted a microwave/convection oven or not.  At first I thought I did, but on further thought, I realized that it would just be a new technology to learn, and since I don't do all that much creative cooking, or entertaining any more, it was silly to spend $200+ more for a convection oven, when I've done very well with just the microwave.

And the TV is not back, so I came home and sat and read this evening.  Seemed strange. 

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