Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


My friend Sunflower's (not her real name) mom went into hospital, stroke, call the family, just horrible. Sunflower has been taking care of her mom, who lives with her, for a long time. Just to complicate matters, she is about buy a home and start law school. She amazes me in many ways but particularly now; she is obviously very sad but she still maintains a balanced attitude and forges forward with life.

HD Guy's older brother was diagnosed with the evil 'C'. Its a particularly nasty variety at an advanced stage. He has been spending a lot time flying back and forth to NYC to visit and support. I have to say HD Guy is handling everything very well. On top of the family crisis he is also finishing 2 tough courses, working full time, fixing up his condo for sale, interviewing and trying to still have a social life. I don't think I will be seeing a lot of HD Guy in the near term, considering.

Why is it that I, the lone life sciences major in a grad statistics class full of statistics PHD candidates, get the highest midterm grades? Just to make matters more odd, I skipped right over the two grad prerequisite statistics for this course. I'm happy about all that but I just find it curious.

4YA Guy was asking me a while back how much weight I lost on my F.I.T diet. So I told him I was down to 150. Then, jokingly, I added that at 150 he could almost bench press me. It was joke, he can obviously do more.

4YA Guy picked me like a barbell and carried me overhead around the living room.

'OK, I get it, you're strong, put me down.'

Up the stairs, down the stairs.

'Seriously, I get it!' LOL.

I've been a Netflix subscriber for 4 years. I loved them in the early years but in the last year they have been throttling me hard. For those that dont know what that means, it is 'special treatment' they give heavy renters like me. Basically, they delay your shipments by a few days then don't mark them as received for a few days. Net result is that they limit you despite their very clear advertisement of unlimited rental. They have been sued over this tactic and it was a PR nightmare for them. Another trick they have been pulling recently, on top of everything else, is to send cracked or unplayable DVD's. Again, this limits the number of movies you can watch in an advertised unlimited capacity.

I've been trying out Blockbuster's online rental service for the last week. No delays, no damaged discs. They have movies in circulation that Netflix doesn't. They give you two free in-store rentals on top of the mailouts. The price is the same as Netflix.

Yesterday I got my newest rounds of Netflix DVDs. All three were late and all three were cracked.

Goodbye Netflix, and good luck competing with Blockbuster! lol :)

I'm starting to really like this system of learning Spanish on the internet.

I'm sure I've mentioned it before but two fo the jobs I'm targeting would have me traveling to Latin America to manage clinical trials. I could either get Spanish on my transcript now or wait and take that hokey business Spanish. I decided on now.

Here's a link to the videos I watch every week. Destinos, its actually kinda fun. Destinos is a soap opera; a little dated (1992) but still well-done and the Spanish is very clear and slow (at least to start). There is also a book and CD's that come with the course, which you use both before and after each episode.

I've learned more from watching this show than I did in a more university setting. Sure, I might not be able to read and understand Tolstoy in Spanish but I can order drinks, count my change and ask for directions :)


Blogger suzy said...

Sounds like there is alot of stuff going on around you! whew.
I learned a lot of Portugese from watching the novellas. It is fun.
You are one very smart guy. and you apply yourself. That is not curious.

11:16 PM

Blogger Jim said...

Appreciate that, Suzy!

Isn't it funny how you can learn much more outside of a classroom environment!

10:28 AM

Blogger Sangroncito said...

You are such a busy bee! I wish I had half your energy.

2:37 PM

Blogger Jim said...

I wish I had half my energy Sangroncito :)

6:58 PM


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