Rick's Ramblings

You have found Rick's Ramblings, a Web Log.

I have been writing in this space for a few years now. Visit the archives to get a feel for my style.

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More Rick Umali web sites at:

Yahoo! Geocities
Lycos Tripod
The World
My Own Domain

Email: rickumali@gmail.com

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Wednesday, August 28, 2002
In my Handspring Visor, I have 590 addresses in my address book. There is not one address or name that begins with the letter "X".

Tuesday, August 27, 2002
This week, the cashier at the cafeteria called me by my name.

I have worked at my present job for over a year. For almost that entire time, nearly without fail, I go to the cafeteria and pay seventy-five cents for a soda or an ice tea. Occasionally, I'll buy a lunch. I've given her my name once or twice when I didn't have money (the cafeteria allows us to keep a small "tab"). The folks with whom I eat lunch say my name, and she knows and uses their names. I must be filed away in her memory as "the guy who always pays for his soda with exact change." But this week, she used my name. I dropped the change in her hand, and mumble "Here you are, Sharon." She said "Thanks, Rick. Enjoy the lunch."

I think everyone enjoys being recognized.

Monday, August 26, 2002
"So, how was your weekend?"

It's the obligatory work question after a weekend. How was your weekend? As if people cared. And while some probably do care, I'm sure my answer ("Oh, it was fine.") leaves a lot to be desired. But maybe that's the point. It's like nodding hello, or asking "How are you?" ("Oh, I'm fine.").

So how would I really answer, about my weekend? Well, I spent it chasing around Mia. I spent a few hours on the computer learning PL/SQL. I read part of The Rainmaker. I went to church (but I didn't lector). Jenn and I ate take-out at our usual restaurants (Shanghai Village, Bertucci's, McDonalds).

I napped. I washed dishes. I took lazy swings with a golf club (my pitching wedge). I spent the evenings writing my Mia journal (a personal one). I wrote an entry for this BLOG. While I normally sustain myself on The Boston Globe during the week, the weekend is a feast with both the Globe and the NY Times. For TV, I caught some of the NEC Invitational. I chatted with my neighbors. Jenn, Mia and I all went to Toys R' Us to buy some Teletubbies.

Often, when someone asks about my weekend, it is usually an invitation to listen to that person's weekend. On a Monday, I'm not that interested to hear about someone else's weekend, no matter how good or how bad it was. So my weekend is always "fine". And I often have to remember to volley back the obligatory "And how was your weekend?"

I just want to respond "my weekend was the usual; now let's get to work."

Sunday, August 25, 2002
I'm strangely repulsed by the thought of huge pumpkins. The Boston Globe ran a feature on the growers of giant pumpkins here in Massachusetts, men who admit that there's a little "insanity" in them.

The article described a collegial atmosphere at the annual weigh-off in Topsfield, MA, but the craze is hardly local. I visited www.bigpumpkins.com, and prowled through a number of pictures of people growing their prized pumpkins. There are growers in Germany, England, to Manitoba, Canada, and everywhere in between.

Can you even eat a giant pumpkin? The leaves on these things are huge. In the article, Jim Kuhn has several 700 pound pumpkins in his pumpkin patch. When they're that big, I think they should use another word besides "patch".

Spooky though they may be to me, I am impressed at the record growth of the top growers (1262 pounds). But what do they do with them after the weigh-off? There's a video that I could order, showing giant pumpking growing techniques, but it comes with free giant pumpkin seeds. I'm too scared to place these seeds anywhere!