Why I Work from Home

The shadows were lengthening in the late afternoon sun. I looked up and saw a deer grazing in one of the pockets of sunlight, just beyond the edge of my yard. I carefully walked out onto the deck and saw a second deer calmly eating leaves from a small plant. A third deer moved and I spotted it. Two more deer came into view and caught up with the others, before all five continued on their way through the woods behind my house.

Gas Station Cuisine

My initial reaction to a gas station hawking their burgers and fries on a big roadside sign is to keep driving. But over the years I have encountered gas stations that are known for their food. From a rural station with great barbecue sandwiches to high quality deli based inside one convenient to a dense office park. And there’s even one of the top-rated barbecue joints in the country that got its start in a Kansas City gas station. It’s still there, but they have expanded to another location with a sit down restaurant.

Planning a Wedding Cake

You can learn a lot about a couple by how they plan their wedding. Tonight I overheard a couple ordering their wedding cake at Whole Foods. They were sitting with someone from the bakery, having just tasted some samples. The woman was totally dominating the conversation with the employee. My favorite question she asked was about avoiding the giant delivery fee for the multi-layer wedding cake. “Could a normal person transport the cake in a normal car or are there special skills required to deliver the cake?”

Canine Camp is a Thing

I took a tour of a camp for dogs, and besides being a little silly, it really was awesome. Rather than staying in a small space, each dog has their own side of a small cabin. There’s a window, skylight, access to outside area all day and a cozy bed for them to lie on. Classical music plays in their cabin to keep them calm. They can bring whatever toys, blankets, food, etc to make them comfortable during their stay. In addition to walks several times a day, there is also an outdoor play area, which is similar to a dog park. If I were a dog, this place would get my vote.

The Negative Space of Donuts

As cupcakes have fallen out of favor, donuts have become the new over-priced, artisanal baked goods that are popping up everywhere. I’m not going to get into the existential discussion of donuts regarding shape, or even the inclusion — or removal — of the donut hole, however I saw a donut bar that charges 30 cents more for donuts without a hole. Food service is a low margin business, but is this price distinction really something worth maintaining?

Does This Bag Make Me Look Fat?

I was forced to check my bag while boarding a plane. I put it in the sizing device and it seemed to fit. The agent saw it as too thick and made me check it. I had just gotten off a plane and the bag fit fine in the overhead bin. I wasn’t going to argue, but the thing making it too big was my winter coat. I packed it instead of shoving it in the overhead bin, and I could’ve easily taken it out to prevent checking my bag. One of my colleagues was also forced to check her bag because it was “too fat.”

New Boarding Procedure

American Airlines has revised their boarding procedure. Rather than calling out various levels of status, Groups 1-4 encompass the Priority boarding groups and 5-9 are regular boarding. On the positive side, this simplifies the announcements because it is easier to call out numbers versus descriptions. It also prevents the regular passengers from feeling discriminated against because they don’t have status. But there is a big negative for the passengers with status because they are no longer walking to the plane after the gate agent has just announced what they have achieved with their frequent flying.

Running in the Rain

Nearly every morning I wake up and run. It doesn’t matter the temperature. It doesn’t matter the location. It doesn’t even matter if it is raining. Today it was lightly raining when I went out to run. I don’t really mind if I get wet, but I was traveling later in the day and I was concerned that my shoes would be too wet to pack. I mostly avoided the puddles, but the mud was another story. There’s just no avoiding it when running along the side of the road.

That Sounds Made Up

I encountered a new term today and I can’t decide if it sounds made up or just ridiculous. A partner company is using an “ad-like object” for a focus group as a way to test new product ideas. So it looks like a print ad, but it is not meant to be viewed as an ad. It is just a way to convey the information to the people in the room. Why not just present the information? People will respond to the ad-like object as an ad, not a unique idea.