I think I’m going to have an organism.

Ok, there are some obvious spelling and reproductive difficulties here.  However, I was struck by the innocent charm of the young girl who chose this choice turn of phrase to show her joy of stats.  Specifics of the incident and dubious meanings aside, it did pose an internal question for me: what could you ‘have’ that’s not an organism?  Uterus stones?  Some other form of ejecta? People of science, the world wonders…

I want to go to China!

So, in an unceasing search to find myself cheap airline tickets for May of 08, I have been visiting one of my favorite sites, Kayak. To those of you unfamiliar with this wonderful tool, I want you to think back to the early days of online discount airfare. The common TV viewer was bombarded with ads for priceline, travelocity, orbitz, and other related sites. And while most of them were pretty good at finding you the best price, there were drawbacks.  There were always associated fees that didn’t register until you actually purchased the tickets.  Plus a certain ticket price was never locked in, and thus that low price could be lost as tickets are sold out from moment to moment.  In addition, the multiple day features were often unwieldy to use.

Kayak trumps and avoids all of that.  Fees are included in the prices they list, and even international travel allows  options to search prices for a range of dates.  In addition, kayak will automatically search other discount travel sites for the same travel times, so you get multiple searches in different windows just by entering it once.  Other features make it much more operable as well.  The chart tab allows you to view the rates of a 31 day range of departure dates, listing both the average lowest fare found, and the absolute best fare found.  That way I can find the best travel time not only within a week’s time, but also across a span of weeks.  Sliders and checkboxes along the left also allow specific airlines to be included and a specific and narrow departure or arrival time to be searched for.

Not that there aren’t drawbacks.  Kayak doesn’t directly sell the tickets, so a sell-out of a certain price is still possible.  In addition, some airlines don’t ally kayak to list their flights, most notably Southwest and JetBlue.  But to me and my pocketbook, that’s a small price to pay – if I’m going somewhere southwest, I can always search their site directly.  Same goes for jet blue.  In fact, it’s almost worth all the pandas in China.

Ultimately, however, even Kayak was not able to find me a fare to the southern portion of China in May.  I am hastily searching for other times now, possibly in early March.  Be advised – I may be coming to an airport near you!

I love Hersheys kiss cordials!

Somebody in Pennsylvania is a marketing genius.  True, early endeavors in spicing up the ol’ kiss were breif flashes in the pan only – take the ‘hugs’ line for instance.  For awhile, everyone was buying them.  then they realized something – ‘hugs’ are gross.  But poor taste aside, the innovation did boost sales for awhile – why not go with it?  As a result, today there are nine versions of the original available on an ongoing basis – Milk Choc, Milk Choc. with Almonds, Special Dark, HUGS, Filled with Caramel, Filled with Peanut Butter, Filled with Chocolate Truffle, Dulce de Leche, and Pink Kisses.

Then there’s the ‘Special Editions’.  I guess this is the equivalent of those minty holiday m&ms, which are also pretty addictive.  M&ms didn’t need so many flavors to keep current – just plain, peanut, almond, and peanut butter, with the seasonal mint – but I guess they had a more delicious candy to start with.  Anyway,  the current limited editions are cherry cordial and coconut creme.  I’m not so big on coconut, but the cordials are delicious.  I’ve already had four and there’s no sign of me slowing down…

iPod Plus.

Living with an avid Mac supporter has been an interesting experience, growing up as I have in the PC world.  While there have been some lame attempts to convert me to the other side, none have yet succeeded.  I guess I just don’t see the supposed benefits of switching.  Perhaps someday I’ll be converted – who knows?  I don’t have much vested interest in either side.  Just so far the supposed claims that Macs run better and are more user-friendly haven’t panned out for me.  Oh well.

Take the iPod, arguably the best mini music player out there.   I would even say it is the best, even including alternative forms of music minis like satellite radio.  However, ‘best’ does not necessarily translate to ‘good’.  Take, for example, the lovely compilation of songs that Mike had installed on the iPod for me when he gave it to me.  Of course, as soon as I stick my iPod into my PC, it has to reformat and wipe out all that thoughtfulness.  Why?  Copyright protection?  Possible viruses?  No.  Simply because Macs and PCs can’t seem to get along.  Why not?  Aren’t we all here for the same reasons?  C’mon people!  I’m talking about togetherness!

Also, let’s note the CD he burned me for Christmas.  1) It’s about a quarter of the volume of all the other songs on my iTunes 2) Because I am dumb and never remember the names of songs or singers, I have no idea what I’m listening to, since my iTunes doesn’t like his iTunes and can’t read the song titles and singers from the disc.  What is this?  Have we not moved beyond this petty ridiculousness?  I mean, I know in the past with some Word versions there have been document conversion problems, but i thought we’d moved beyond that technologically.  If I write a love note in Word on my computers, he can still read it in Word on his.

Lastly, the iPhone.  Supposedly the wonder of wonders technologically,  it is pretty cool.  I’ve played games on it, and used it to look things up or get directions.  SO that’s nice and good.  but alot of the ‘fun stuff’ I’ve played with is only even there since Mike has hacked his iPhone.  Dude.  If this is ‘the thing’ for those nerdy types, you know someone is going to be able to hack the thing – why not allow people to install applications as they like instead of coming up with new and better ways to beat the hacks.  I just don’t get it.