Friday, May 26, 2006

Will the real Groucho please step forward...

We sat down at the counter of a coffee shop to have some dessert tonight following the Barry Manilow concert. My mother looked across the way and said, "You know those Halloween disguises with the nose, mustache and glasses that make you look like Groucho Marx?" And I replied, "Yeah?" And she pointed to the guy across from us and said, "He wouldn't even need to wear one." I looked across the counter and we both started laughing hysterically. So of course, I quickly grabbed the camera phone to snap a photo of our Groucho look-alike so that I could post it here and you could see for yourselves.

We have the real Groucho (who supposedly died in 1977) and our coffee shop friend, what do you think?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

How Do These Things Work?

We received light sticks at the Barry Manilow concert tonight and my mother asked me when leaving the bathroom hours later, "How do these things work?" I explained that it was a chemical reaction when the chemicals inside are broken and react with one another but that was enough of a solid explanation for my mother so upon returning to our room this evening I had to google the exact specifications and here is what I found just in case you ever wanted to know. (Courtesy of our friends at www.

What is a Lightstick and How Does it Operate?
Lightsticks or glowsticks are used by trick-or-treaters, divers, campers, and for decoration and fun! A lightstick is a plastic tube with a glass vial inside of it. In order to activate a lightstick, you bend the plastic stick, which breaks the glass vial. This allows the chemicals that were inside the glass to mix with the chemicals in the plastic tube. Once these substances contact each other, a reaction starts taking place. The reaction releases light, causing the stick to glow!

A Chemical Reaction Releases Energy
One form of energy is light. Some chemical reactions release energy; the chemical reaction in a lightstick releases energy in the form of light. The light produced by this chemical reaction is called chemiluminescence.

Although the light-producing reaction is not caused by heat and may not produce heat, the rate at which it occurs is affected by temperature. If you place a lightstick in a cold environment (like a freezer), then the chemical reaction will slow down. Less light will be released while the lightstick is cold, but the stick will last much longer. On the other hand, if you immerse a lightstick in hot water, the chemical reaction will speed up. The stick will glow much more brightly, but will wear out faster too.

What's Involved?
There are three components of a lightstick. There need to be two chemicals that interact to release energy and also a fluorescent dye to accept this energy and convert it into light. Although there is more than one recipe for a lightstick, a common commercial lightstick uses a solution of hydrogen peroxide that is kept separate from a solution of a phenyl oxalate ester together with a fluorescent dye. The color of the fluorescent dye is what determines the resulting color of the lightstick when the chemical solutions are mixed. The basic premise of the reaction is that the reaction between the two chemicals releases enough energy to excite the electrons in the fluorescent dye. This causes the electrons to jump to a higher energy level and then fall back down and release light.

Specifically, the chemical reaction works like this: The hydrogen peroxide oxidizes the phenyl oxalate ester, to form phenol and an unstable peroxyacid ester. The unstable peroxyacid ester decomposes, resulting in phenol and a cyclic peroxy compound. The cyclic peroxy compound decomposes to carbon dioxide. This decomposition reaction releases the energy that excites the dye.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Things I can't explain....

Why my hair looks so much darker... The coloring was only supposed to cover the gray with the exact same shade, yet with the grays gone, my hair looks much, much, much darker.

Why I order Ginger Ale on the airplane... Everytime I am on an airplane I drink Ginger Ale. I don't drink Ginger Ale anywhere but on airplanes.

Why hotel rooms don't have fitted bottom sheets... I have wondered about this my whole life.


Why everyone can wake-up just fine at home without the use of a wake-up call, but once they check into a hotel, they require a daily wake-up call... This is perplexing even more when I realize that the majority of hotels the I have frequented in the last few years have an alarm clock in the room.


Monday, May 22, 2006

Business Travel vs. Personal Travel

I used to travel primarily for personal reasons but now the majority of traveling that I do now is for business. When I became a business traveler I quickly learned the etiquette of business travelers.

I flew from Seattle to Las Vegas today for a business/pleasure trip and it very evident that I was surrounded by vacationers and not business professionals. The differences....

  • Business travelers can take the one square foot of space offered by a tray table and turn it into a full functional office. They can create proposals, reply to email, edit spreadsheets and function completely normally in this tiny space. Personal travelers require the use of multiple tray tables for their drinks and a deck of playing cards.
  • Business travelers are courteous to one another but don't engage in idle chit-chat. They have brought things along with them on the plane (book, newspaper, computer) to keep them fully occupied. Personal travelers see their time on the plane as the perfect excuses to chit-chat your ear off.
  • Business travelers don't make unnecessary noise. Personal travelers find unnecessary noise very entertaining. Their traveling companions think it's hysterical how they "woo-hoo" every time the stewardess announces the destination city. They talk about EVERYTHING they are going to see, do and experiences once they arrive. And they do it all in a disruptive and annoyingly loud volume.
  • Business travelers have often not chosen their destination cities so they are not *thrilled* to arrive, in fact they often don't remember where they are going, unless it's home. Personal travelers are so excited to get where they are going that they ooohhh and aaahhh every landmark out the windows including taking pictures that will never turn out, but their friends and families will be subjected to anyway.
  • When the plane arrives the business travelers in the back stay seated because they are well aware of the many minutes that will pass until they are able to gather their belongings and head towards the door. Personal travelers remove their seatbelts and jump out of their seats the minute that the plane arrives and then are completely annoyed when they have to wait for the passengers in front of them to clear out of the way.

With all that said, I have to admit that I love the routine and etiquette of the business traveler and wish that the personal travelers would pick up a few hints from us!

Happy Travelin'

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Office War - Weapon of Choice!

Office Wars

Office Wars Quiz

Your weapon of choice is

Exploding Post Its

Peel, Stick and Run!

Find your Office Wars Weapon of Choice at


Sneezing Spaz!

It's allergy season. I hate allergy season. I was sitting at my desk attempting to work about this morning when I had a sneezing fit totaling 11 sneezes in a row. Toward the end when I was thinking to myself, "This is ridiculous!" All of a sudden my left foot got away from me and hit the on-off switch on the power strip that controls everything electronic in my office and everything went dark. So not only did I have to deal with the congestion caused by sneezing 11 times in a row, but I had to restart my system and all the programs that I use all day long.

It's now been 40 minutes since my fit and I am happy to report that my system is back online and the medication that I took it finally working! Happy Spring!