My #FirstWorldProblem

I was a pretty early adopter of Gmail, and I got the username ‘stantaylor.’ Over the years, however, I have discovered that at least 3 or 4 other people in the world who share my name also think they have the my Gmail address–or at least people who are sending email to them think that they have it: one in Australia, one in the UK and at least one in the US. The latest is the one who signed up for Publisher’s Clearing House (TIL that PCL still exists). Or, based on the large volume of email that PCH has sent to this person at my email address, maybe someone who hates him signed him up, mistakenly using my email address. (I’m pretty sure it wasn’t someone who hates me because the emails are addressed to a different first name that shortens to Stan than my full first name). Another Gmail feature–filters–is saving me from the spam.

Diet advice

This interview contains a lot of delightfully non-dogmatic advice on eating. Some examples:

Should I eat whole-grain bread?
There’s a big difference between white bread and whole-grain bread, and you certainly don’t need to eat bread to have an optimal diet. But an optimal diet leaves room for good bread — whole grain especially — and we think good bread is one of life’s great pleasures. Eat it for that reason.


What kinds of foods do you think will help support weight loss?
Wholesome, whole, unprocessed plant foods in particular. And, any food you eat while riding in the Tour de France.

Blast from the past

This morning, I ran across a blog post by a Harvard professor named Philip Greenspun, and I thought “Wait, I know that name.” A little clicking around, and sure enough: Travels with Samantha is still around–a pretty significant travel blog with photos in the late 1990s. From the FAQs, he shot analog slides and had them put on PhotoCD when developed. I hadn’t thought about his blog in literally decades.

Generation gap

A couple of months ago, we bought me a bright blue 2008 Toyota Matrix. I thought it would be funny to put a ‘Blue Pill’ bumper sticker next to the Matrix badge. I’ve subsequently discovered that while most younger people get the allusion, many older people immediately think of a different blue pill. One of my neighbors thinks it’s admirable that I can be so open and playful about my ED problems**. Oops.

Matrix: the blue pill

** NOTE OF CLARIFICATION: I intended the movie allusion. If I do have ED problems, it’s nobody’s fu***ing business.

Almost like our own world

World War Z by Max Brooks

World War Z by Max Brooks

I am currently listening to the audio version of World War Z. I’m really enjoying it, but one thing about it bugs me. None of the interviewees uses the word ‘zombie.’ I have to assume that the author made the same decision as the creators of other zombie stories: to place their story in a universe that is pretty much exactly like our own, but with one difference: the cultural concept of zombies does not exist in the story’s universe. I understand the narrative need for this choice, but still, it nags at me.

Update: OK, the? narrator and several interviewees have used the word ‘zombie,’ but there is still no indication that the concept existed before the war.

Common decency

My dad’s first cousin is a now semi-retired sheriff’s deputy in a rural county in Kansas. He emails out a weekly report of his work. I’ve written about him before.
This act of kindness was in his latest email:

I was dispatched to [Redacted], KS to check on a homeless woman. She had about worn out her welcome in [Redacted]. She told me that she was traveling to Huntsville, Alabama from Decatur, Alabama, but got side tracked . . . The woman was barefoot, was wearing warm up slacks with draw strings to hold it up. She had not bathed lately and the weather was hot. She told me she was waiting for a truck to come by that was going to Huntsville, Alabama so I told her about a bigger truck stop in [Redacted], KS. She danced across the hot concrete at the convenience store to get to my patrol truck. We stopped in [Redacted] at the Law Enforcement Center long enough for the Detention Officer to bring me out a pair of rubber shoes that are issued to prisoners. We then proceeded to the truck stop at [Redacted]. She really liked the rubber sandals. When we got to [Redacted], I pointed out McDonalds Restaurant and gave her a $5.00 bill. The woman thanked me and then took my hand and said a prayer for me and my safety. I drove away feeling like I might have transported an Angel unaware. It was quite a surprise.

Fast Food facts

Everything You Need to Know About Fast Food
Of all the interesting stats in this infographic, this one caught my attention the most (emphasis added): “Super heavy users,” [are] those customers who visit the store at least ten times a month, making up 75% of McDonald’s sales.”