Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Zeros and Fishnets

Today while I graded tests, I noticed one student crossed his zeros with a slash from about 1 o'clock to 7 o'clock.  In a mathmatics based test, where null set is always in the realm of possible answers, this does not seem like a very good habit. I assume the slash is in order to distinguish the zeros from the letter "o". Again on a math test, "o" is not likely a common answer. I pointed out this observation to the professor. 

A few problems later, my professor had the test and mentioned that there were a bunch of zeros on an answer he was grading. $15,000. You need to cross those zeros or else someone might think your answer is "isooo" all in caps. That is a common answer to many, many calculus problems.

Unrelatedly, I was walking on campus and noticed that people in shorts, sitting at park tables when the sun is high, creates an illusion that everyone sitting is wearing fishnet stockings. The tables are made of that material commonly found as playground equipment. It is hard plastic with small holes all over. It reminds me of small-link chain fences. 

Friday, April 17, 2009

Follow Up on Subway System

So today I told the guy three drops of ranch. He did perfectly. 

I think the more objective and measurable an instruction is, the more likely it will yield the desired result. This seems obvious but I think that I still use a lot of relative adjectives that are open to interpretation.

Funny note about lunch today. I saw an aquaintance in line and we started talking as we waited. I told him my sauce woes and he chuckled. I found out why when he requested "a lot of mayo --- I will tell you when to stop." There was a good eighth inch layer of mayonnaise by the time he said to stop.  

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Subway System


I like Subway. But I have some concerns. No matter how hard I try to emphasize how little I want, I always end up with way too much sauce. 

Today I got a Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki (I do not know why it is teriyaki) and I forgot to say "just a little" in response to if I want sauce and my sandwich was baptized in sweet onion sauce. It was not a Catholic baptism either. Even the times I do plead for as little mustard, mayo, vinegar or oil, I still end up with way too much. From a cost minimizing/utility maximizing approach this makes no sense to me.

I have a little fast food experience. In high school I worked for the famous In-N-Out Burger. I recall in a staff meeting we were instructed to give 3 ketchup packets by default and more only when requested. Most people never use very much kethup (just check the trash bags) and it saves money to only give extra to those who ask. The other thing I noticed in working fast food is you get into a rythym doing the task assigned to you. When something comes up to break the rythym, it is moderately frustrating (maybe I am the minority here.) Filling up empty ketchup containers, fetching more packets, replenishing the condiment holders or any other extra task completely although momentarily halted the assembly line.

So back to Subway. When the "Sandwich Artists" load the sauce on, not only is it costly to the franchise, but it empties out the sauce shooters faster than if they put on a paletable amount. I can only imagine gliding through sandwiches, getting faster and faster, feeling the groove and the worst thing happens -- you pick up the mustard bottle and its empty! Hold the line! Stop the process. Backup the sandwiches, gotta reload! How frustrating is that? So I see franchise and employee level incentives preventing sauce overload. 

Somehow these incentives just do not get the job done. Even my high pitched "tiny" only contains the damage at best. I am stumped. Next footlong I am going to try to walk them through the process, "Put 3 spots on there. If you feel the need to cover the entire sandwich with a thin layer, use the oversized butter knife thing." After that I will sound like the crazy guy who has VERY particular taste.

One last thing. If we take the word artist off the apron, will it help the line move any faster? Sometimes the condiment person is great. Sometimes you get Van Gogh back there placing the pickles symmetrically atop the tomatoes so you will get pickle in every bite. It is a great plan until you smother the thing in mustard so you cannot taste anything anyway. Then you wrap and roll the thing into paper only managing to fold it with the assistance of a machete. By the time that thing is unrolled on the table and on the way into my mouth half of the condiments have fallen out anyway.

I ate Subway for lunch today. I found a nice secluded table so I could compose this post in my mind as I ate. 

Pride Cycle

Check this out:

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Bunny

On old aquaintance of mine asked the other day what gender the Easter Bunny is.

I always imagined the Easter Bunny as a boy. After some online research I found that there are a variety of opinions on the matter. One pattern I did notice from my online sample is that those who asserted male gender did not justify their opinion. Those who asserted female gender provided  supporting evidence. 

This pattern could mean one of two things. People assume that the general belief is that the bunny is a man, and feel the need to justify their opposing stance. Either this is true or there is no evidence for thinking the bunny is male.

What do you think?

Some evidence is that because the bunny lays eggs, then it must be female. But does the bunny really lay eggs? Female bunnies may have eggs but do not lay them.  

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Bread Bag

I decided that I hate the twisty-do's the close the plastic bread bag. 

I love the square shaped open end plastic thingys that clip on. My only suggestion to the manufacturers of the plastic-do's is to make them a color that will not blend in with any counter top. Tie-dye, camo (ironically), neon green, yellow, bright pink, any of those would be hard to miss on the counter. The white ones are killer. They hit the counter and I give up on them. I usually find them a day or two later.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009