Yeninko of the Umlaut

Monday, June 23, 2008

In Memoriam: Steve Wolkoff

As many of you know know Steve and Cindy were in a horrific car crash this Saturday resulting in Steve's death and Cindy being airlifted in critical condition to Stanford medical center. The most recent news I've heard is that she will make a full physical recovery. I can only imagine the emotional trauma she, and both Cindy and Steve's family are going through. A comment board has been posted by his employer if you would like to leave a message.

For me, I will always remember the frigid Saturdays in Pacifica where he demonstrated what it meant to really play Ultimate Frisbee and the Tuesday night dinners at Pakwan in the mission. That and his infinite smile and wry sense of humor. Thanks for knowing me Steve.

(Updates on Cindy's condition.)


Friday, June 13, 2008


I talk on the phone a fair deal, and a lot of the people that talk with me call me because they have to not because they want to. Somewhere along the line I found a tip for good customer service that said you should always answer the phone with a smile on your face.

It actually really works. I don’t know if people can hear it or if by smiling you are changing your own perception of the conversation but it really seems to have an effect. A more friendly conversation seems to ensue and people seem happy when they get off the phone with me (though people seem generally happy to get off the phone with me anyway).

I dunno, just a thought for the day.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

How rich are you?


Monday, June 09, 2008

Stella Barks

I've set up a Google alert that sends me an email once a week if my name turns up as a search result. Lately it's been this one over and over. Which reminded me of a posting about Stella I wrote in September of 2006 when I was going through dog withdrawals but which I never published. It seems awfully deep and moody which probably is why I never published it.

Stella is a good dog. She’s not a great dog, I’ve met some great dogs, but she is pretty awesome just the same. I mean, god knows, I’ve known worse dogs. I’m sure everyone has their stories. But I get along with dogs and I got along great with Stella. She was smart for the average dog and had a lot of good qualities above and beyond most dogs. But Stella’s real failing was that she barks. A lot. Which is ironic because when we picked her up at animal control she was the only dog not barking. She was just sitting there, doing the opposite of barking. That was the quality that initially drew me to her, her not barking-ness

But Stella does bark, it’s in her genes. She’s half Shepard, half Akita and all guard dog, and those dogs bark. So complaining about Stella barking is like complaining about the sun being bright or the night being dark. It is what it is. I could teach her a million tricks. I could place a bowl of barbecued steaks in front of that dog and she wouldn’t touch it, for hours on end, until I told her to go for it.

But as soon as someone knocked at the door there was nothing I could do. Nothing I could do. Because Stella barks. I didn’t know that when I first met her in that cage, perhaps she knew what it would taken to be let out of there and to come home. But that is they way it, she, is. I suspect she can’t change it anymore than I can, so really I just hope she has found someone who doesn’t mind the barking and I think she has, which is great. Which is really what we all want, someone who doesn’t mind when we do the things we can’t help but do, and someone who we, in turn, don’t notice doing such things.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Fake bus stop keeps Alzheimer's patients from wandering off

With my crappy memory this totally seems like something that would work for me.

"They know the green and yellow bus sign and remember that waiting there means they will go home."

The result is that errant patients now wait for their trip home at the bus stop, before quickly forgetting why they were there in the first place.


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