Sometimes I think about the hard-working farmers hundreds of years ago, constantly working the land to feed the family and earn enough money to survive. I think about people working all day, sweating in mills or factories to make a decent wage. I think about explorers, facing harsh conditions, hunting for food and making discoveries to further our civilization.
And then I fast-forward to today and realize that there’s a Finnish guy on YouTube making money by posting videos smashing various objects with a hydraulic press. And he has over 1.7 million followers.
I had to look up my doctor’s name to get a prescription filled yesterday so I went to my local clinic’s webpage to find a list of doctors. I got a hilarious surprise when I discovered that the webpage had been recently updated.
Anytime I have to go to this place it’s crawling with infected zombie patients and irritated doctors who seem like they would enjoy their job a lot better if it weren’t for all the sick people.
Let’s take the opening photo on the website. I’m guessing this is a picture of the waiting room.
First of all, this is NOT the waiting room at our local clinic. How do I know this? Because the waiting room at our clinic has NO WINDOWS!
Also, who are these bright, healthy-looking women? And one of them is smiling! This is not anywhere near the type of people I see when I go to the waiting room. They look more like this:
And then when I click on the page describing doctors, I’m met with this, which I assume is a stock photo as I don’t remember ever seeing any of these (happy?) faces around our clinic:
Who are these fresh-faced, energetic, clean-cut doctors? They certainly aren’t the people who work at our clinic. They look more like this:
But thanks anyway, local clinic website, for giving me a laugh this morning. Maybe next time I’m feeling sick, I’ll just look at these ridiculous photos instead of submitting myself to the depressing, infection-filled cesspool of irritated doctors down at the clinic. Half the time, it might even be more effective.
Here in Sweden, advertising rules are fairly strict. No advertising to children. No cigarette or alcoholic beverage ads on tv. And no false claims, such as “Dr.Pepper is the best drink in the world!” They also took L’Oreal to court for claiming one of their products removed wrinkles, since that’s not actually possible.
I realize this is strict, but other things are more open than you would think. However, some people tend the stretch the definition of false advertising and I can only imagine how many complaints the agency maintaining these rules receives.
One such complaint was in the opinion section of the local “Metro” paper on Friday. A woman complained that a milk company had violated false advertising laws in their tv commercial because the woman in the commercial walks around a farm with the cows and says, “These are my co-workers.”
The complainer then went on to state that in no way could those cows be employees because they don’t get vacation time, pay or holidays off. Therefore the commercial should be removed from the air.
I don’t think there are any plans for that but her letter certainly made my day.
Employee benefits for cows!
In Stockholm, there are laws about how close apartments can be built to a highway because of noise pollution. Buildings with apartments from before the law that are already too close are protected by special walls to help diffuse the noise from the street. Some areas in the city close off streets in the summer to reduce traffic and noise.
Then we turn to the other side of the globe, to China, where I saw this picture today. Honestly, it reminds me of when I went to Disneyworld in the late 1980s and there was a monorail that went through a hotel. I thought it was super cool. As an adult, I’d rather not have a train going through my building (the teenager upstairs with bad taste in music is enough noise for me), but I was glad to read in the article that at least there’s a stop for the train IN the building. So you get something good out of it if you live there.
Can you imagine stepping out of your apartment door, walking across the hall to open another door and getting on your train to work? Could be interesting, could be depressing. At least with the monorail in the Orlando hotel, your destination is always “the happiest place in the world” and not a cubicle with 50 other depressed workers.
More photos and article here.
I do a few lessons each day on the Rosetta Stone program in Italian. Today, my problem is not necessarily with the language, but with this situation:
- A man comes in to buy a new TV.
- The salesman asks why he needs a new TV. This is the first indication that something is wrong. A salesman would never ask WHY you need a new TV. He would ask WHICH KIND you want.
- The man says he needs a new TV because his old one is broken. Where do I start? Do I start with the fact that this guy is holding a TV with 2 knobs made in the 1980s, while there are obviously flat screens behind him, which would mean he has been using this 1980s TV for about 30 years? Also, I don’t even think those type of TVs have worked for several years now that everything is digital.
But what troubles me most of all is….. WHO BRINGS THEIR BROKEN TV TO THE STORE TO BUY A NEW TV?! Why would you bring that in the store??!!!
I’m very much hoping that as I get further along in the program, this story will continue. Is he a time traveler? Did he escape from a mental institution? Does the salesman call security? Guess I’ll have to keep learning Italian to get the whole story.
Sometimes my husband and I wonder what our kids might say to a therapist when they get older. Last week, we got a little preview from our 9-year old.
We assign the kids at least 2 chores each week. Last week, when I mentioned that I might ask one of our kids to vacuum, our youngest son said, “Vacuuming shattered my view on life!”
“Because one time, you guys told me to vacuum, and then when I got to your room, it turns out you were both lying in bed watching the Simpsons while I had to work!”
Oh well. Life lessons.
Some friends of mine are going to Nice in April and asked if I had any tips. I decided to make them this handy 1-minute travel video. I think I may have a career in professional video making (in the 80s). What do you think?
This one sounds exhausting. A whole country?!
With all the government news lately, I’m starting to feel that we might be losing focus on what’s happening in other fields. On CNN today, there was a list of stories all having to do with governmental issues, except for one buried right in the middle. Do they expect us to glance over this, because it’s the only one that really caught my eye.
You see it too, right?
After reading the article, I understand that it’s about growing specific human organs in pigs for organ transplant and not, as this avid Doctor Who viewer originally thought, a race of pig slaves. That was a relief. I wasn’t ready for a Dalek invasion right now.
I have a feeling my kids snuck this article into “The Local.”
Because when I read ads like this,
all I can think of is this…
CNN, front page.
- It’s not a real person, though maybe now Linda Carter can take over the UN if she wants.
- Why doesn’t the UN just have the Justice League solve all our problems then?
- Is this our future, when one of the most powerful organizations in the world start naming fictional characters as ambassadors? Can we vote for Papa Smurf for President of the U.S. now?
I’m going back to bed.
This headline was on CNN this weekend. “Boy sells enough lemonade to buy pony.”
Does this kid only get to read and watch books and shows from the 1950s? This is great!
Number 1: How quaint is it for a kid to sell lemonade these days?
Number 2: How many kids ask for a pony? Not a PlayStation or phone, but a pony. It’s like a storybook!
This kid is great. Every kid should be like this.
Today I had a one-sided video interview scheduled for a customer service position with a billing invoice company. I spent 15 minutes on makeup and hair, 30 minutes researching the company and taking notes and 15 min going over my resume to get ready for questions about my qualifications and background. I set up an account to reach the video interview, pressed start and the first question appeared:
“How would you make a perfect sandwich?”
Noooooooo! Interview over!
I’ve been working for 25 years, I have skills, qualifications and self respect. I’m not answering the sandwich question. This isn’t some hipster Google company, it’s a customer service job at, frankly, a really boring company.
How about focusing on why I’m qualified for the job instead of playing games with these 1990s personality questions?
Back to the job hunt …
You think maybe they had a falling out with their advertising illustrator?
My youngest son got a tick in his head this weekend. It was removed by a camp doctor but unfortunately, the head broke off and is stuck. So my son has a tick head in his own head.
He said, “It’s a good thing it’s not like that cartoon I watched where these creatures enter your head and take over your brain.”
“Yeah, I’m glad you’re not controlled by some evil creature,” I replied.
He looked up at me with a creepy smile and said, “Or am I?”
So he’s taking this quite well.
Anyway, the school nurse also tried to get it out with no luck and recommended we visit the “närakuten” which is like a mild form of emergency room. It’s not like a ‘your leg is falling off’ emergency room, but more like a ‘you got the flu after 3pm and couldn’t make a normal doctor appointment’ kind of emergency room.
After a 30 minute wait for our number, we were foiled by the evil receptionist. When I told her my son had a tick head that broke off and we needed it removed, she snapped, “Just go home and do it yourself!”
Gee, it never occured to me to simply not subject myself to 30 minutes in a disease filled waiting room and just do it myself!
I told her that both a camp doctor and a school nurse had advised us to go to the doctor. She said, “Ugh, fine let me see it.” My son showed her. “Nope. Just go home and figure it out. NEXT!”
I tried to explain what happened to my husband, but felt I wasn’t getting the story across properly, so I was inspired to illustrate our experience. I think I captured it pretty accurately. What do you think?
I’ve been doing some translating work on beauty products this week and thought I would share with you how tricky it can be at times.
This particular company has a translating system that already uses a program with a few mistakes I have to correct. Sometimes it’s close and sometimes I get things like this:
“This perfume has scents of lavender, daffodil and fox.”
“Nike Butt roll-on for the active man!”
Honestly, it says ‘But roll-on’ because “men” in Swedish is “but,” however, it’s hard not to read the product as a roll-on for butts every time I see it. New idea for a product? You heard it here first!
One of my favorite Saturday Night Live sketches is “Theodoric of York: Medieval Barber” with Steve Martin. In this sketch, Theodoric gives his medical expertise to the people of his village, mostly involving bloodletting, which seems to be the cure for everything, including mass bleeding.
But the part of the sketch that always stays with me is when a mother brings her very sick daughter for medical advice, and Theodoric says:
– You know, medicine is not an exact science, but we are learning all the time. Why, just fifty years ago, they thought a disease like your daughter’s was caused by demonic possession or witchcraft. But nowadays we know that Isabelle is suffering from an imbalance of bodily humors, perhaps caused by a toad or a small dwarf living in her stomach.
Every time I get sick, I can’t help but think of those lines as I run through the causes of what might be wrong with me. For example, last week my back was in terrible pain and after a few days I got a bad cold. Today I woke up with a swollen, infected eye.
To me, the toad or dwarf theory is sounding pretty plausible at the moment. I think the creature moves around to different spots. It’s certainly not a slipped disc, virus or contaminated make-up problem. And it couldn’t possibly have anything to do with aging, so I’m with Theodoric on the toad/small dwarf theory.
I wonder if anyone in the Old Town still performs bloodletting?