Category Archives: Heard

Overheard legal action

Snippet from an overheard cell phone conversation on a sidewalk downtown:

“…well you know I’d much rather sue them than Washington…”

Making the world a better place, one lawsuit at a time. I wish I’d listened a little closer, because this guy just kept going.

Overheard on the bus

A girl loudly talking on her cell phone on the bus, about relationships and then school, and work:

“…and one of my friends even called me a genius. I don’t know about that, if I’m a genius I’m definitely not living up to my potentiality.”

Close, but not quite: potentiality. Actually, that might be correct. Less common, but more accurate than “potential“. Or I’m just confused now. Clearly not a genius here.

Irregardless is a Word

In a conversation at work the other day I was making a statement and for some reason my brain just decided to use the word “irregardless” instead of “regardless”. I know that “regardless” is more common, but the “ir-” just popped in there and I spit it out. Two coworkers immediately turned to me and said, “Um, irregardless is not a word, it’s ‘regardless’.” I shrugged and moved on, but it stuck in my head, and I suspected that there was more to the story. At the very least, I like to think that I don’t just make up gramatically incorrect words on the spot.

According to the Merriam-Webster Online entry for irregardless:

Irregardless originated in dialectal American speech in the early 20th century. Its fairly widespread use in speech called it to the attention of usage commentators as early as 1927. The most frequently repeated remark about it is that “there is no such word.” There is such a word, however. It is still used primarily in speech, although it can be found from time to time in edited prose. Its reputation has not risen over the years, and it is still a long way from general acceptance. Use regardless instead.

It is indeed a word. Sure, it’s messy, it’s “still a long way from general acceptance” but it’s one of those words that’s stuck around for whatever reason. I propose we further bastardize this word and add yet another negative prefix. I give you: nonirregardless

The Things Kids Say

After a little surprise snowstorm last night (more on that soon) all of the schools in the city were shut down today. One of my coworkers was taking care of his 5 year old daughter this afternoon at work, which provided some fun entertainment. On her way out around 4:00, she loudly proclaimed over her shoulder:

“See you later, alligator! After a while… allig- …gile!”

She nailed it. See you later, croco-gator!

Taxi Business Tidbit

In a conversation with the cab driver on my way home tonight, we both commented on the rain outside. I then said, “But it must be a good night for taxis.”
He replied, “Yeah, rain is good, but it’s the slow time of the year.”
“Oh really?”
“Yes, everybody spends too much during the holidays, so they stay in.”
“Good point.”
“It’s slow for the next month and a half.”

Seems logical now that I think about it. Even taxi cabs are seasonal.

Product Review – Shure E2c Earphones

Shure E2C I’ve been asked a half-dozen times in the past month how I like these earphones, and I always say how much I love them. The Shure E2C earphones are probably one of the best purchases I’ve made in the past year. I’ve ended up convincing two co-workers to get a pair and they both love them as well. So, this might be more of a product plug than a review, but I’ve told so many people these things, I might as well write it down.

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The Lamest Generation

A while ago, riding the bus up from downtown I heard a male voice in a conversation from the back of the bus say, “I thought my generation was going to change the world. It turns out we were just a bunch of slackers.”

I’m not sure why it struck such a chord, but it seemed like an incredibly sad thing to say, no matter what age you are. I next wondered what generation this person might belong to, which would elicit such a claim. The voice was a pretty non-descript male sound, and as I turned around, I half-expected (with my bus-riding stereotypes in full-effect) to see a younger, disheveled, bitter, homeless guy mumbling to himself. I then heard someone else ask, “How old are you?”
“I’m 55.”
The older gentleman looked perfectly normal, clean-cut, and nicely dressed. It looked like a younger guy in his mid-20’s had asked his age. I couldn’t tell if the conversation continued after that, but I’m sure it would have been interesting.

I’m sure most of it was frustration with his own life and what he’s accomplished, which is too bad. I’m sure there are a few Vietnam veterans who would have smacked this guy right away for the “slackers” comment. And there are plenty of other Baby Boomers who have definitely changed the world as we know it. You gotta have a little respect.

All Heard in a Day

Yesterday, between watching usability tests and helping out with the interview process for a candidate at work, as well as walking around downtown, I heard quite a few interesting phrases throughout the day. Here are a few.

Numerous times, all from one individual:
“I just wind ’em up and let ’em go.”
“Y’know, set ’em up, and knock ’em down.”
“I try to deal with the loggerhead…”
“It’s just a gas when things go right.”

“If I’m gonna list myself on online, I might as well go whole-hog.”

“Well, it didn’t jump out at me and shake my hand.”

Q: “What do you think the term ‘Partner supplied listing’ means?”
A: “Information that was supplied by someone’s wife or husband?”

Q: “What did you think the lock icons meant?”
A: “That it’s, y’know… locked. But I don’t usually lock things.”

“So, when you execute an acquisition, do you generally do the scouting yourself?”

“What? No. I can barely hear you, I’m on the elevator right now.”

An Odd Scene

I returned home from work yesterday to see the apartment manager standing outside the elevator door. The scene went something like this…

MGR (shouting into the elevator): Don’t worry, I called the repair man and he’ll be here in about a half hour! If you start panicking, I’ll call 911.
ME: Oh no, someone’s stuck?
MGR: Don’t worry it’s just Tim (the other apartment manager, her boyfriend).
TIM (muffled shout from inside): OK! I’ll just lie down and take a nap.

Jason Trachtenburg on Blimp vs. Zeppelin

Went and saw the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players tonight and they were amazing.

After the show I asked Jason Trachtenburg the question that'd been bugging us all night long: “What's the difference between a blimp and a zeppelin?”

Long pause/ignoring the question…

Jason Trachtenburg: “Well the blimp has got Goodyear written on the side of it, and Zeppelin has got… Led Zeppelin and all of rock and roll behind it, so I'd say Zeppelin.”

Didn't quite answer the question, but I'll give him some credit.

Also, there's nothing quite like hearing a 10 9(!) year old girl say, “Hey, could I get more bass on the drum!?”

Great show.

Carnivorous contest?

Snippet from a cell phone conversation I overheard today:

“This isn't going to be a carnivorous contest… No, don't you know that elephants can live on grass…”

I am so confused. Any theories on what this could possibly have been about? Is somebody pitting two elephants against each other in an eating contest? A vegetarian-only eating contest, as opposed to a carnivorous contest? When is it going to be on Fox?

In the Battle Zone

That's the subtitle they currently have up on MSNBC. A live broadcast from a reporter who's on the frontlines with some marines trying to take a bridge, just south of Baghdad. Some snippets I couldn't resist sharing:

The news anchor asks the reporter if they're on the offensive or defensive and he responds, “The Iraqi's are in buildings, so they have an advantage. We're in vehicles out in the open.”

The news anchor asks, “How much danger are you in?” He responds, “Well, if I'm hit with a shell, I'm dead.”

When talking about the protection on the vehicles, “These troop transports have incredibly thick armor, just as it says in the Tom Clancy book.”

A marine shouts over to the reporter, “We're gonna move forward to protect your photographer!”

The “real world”

I completely sympathize with all of you out there in the “real world.” Yes, people are considerably less intelligent out there(here), and there is very little “real” about any of it. “Surreal” is a much better word, I think. Most of the time I feel like I'm living in a Dilbert cartoon. Straight from the workplace…

One trainer to another: “First job out of college? Whatta ya say, Bob, he'll probably end up retiring from here.”

It is SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) that if one mistakenly writes the wrong date while signing and dating a paper, they must cross out the date (with a single line), write the correct date, and then sign and date your correction.

After sitting through at least a dozen different training sessions, the trainer says:
“Now we get to the one that explains how training sessions work.”

We had an entire training session devoted to acronyms. We learned everything from OSHA, to FDA, to SOP, to PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), to cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Procedure), to MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet). And last but not least, CHO, which stands for Chinese Hamster Ovary (no joke).

After being asked to get a logo to animate and move across a Powerpoint slide, I show the individual the completed slide with said logo moving across it. Individual: “Oh, great, can you do that?”