February 23, 2005

Wednesday - midweek hump

Hopefully today's blog can give you a lift in starting your day past the mid-week hump. Lot's to say, lot's to say.

I just emailed my folks and for a small joke, signed the email with the tag I use for my business work. It goes like this:

Ken D.
Investor
Addis Ababa
Ethiopia

What's your impression of that? I'm guessing you think it looks fairly impressive. All parts of the tag are true. I am a resident of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and I am also a registered investor. However, investor exists on a long-scale. Bill Gates could be considered as an investor (maybe not in Ethiopia, unless he had the permit). My point is, while I am technically an "investor," I exist on the low-end of the scale, somewhere down around small children and/or penny jars.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is that it has gotten me unwarranted reactions from some of the suppliers I've been contacting. I send out an inquiry about a product and in the last two instances, I've received excited emails, seemingly eager to have relations with me at that point. Now, I'm not being deceptive about it and, as a matter of fact, this latest reaction may prompt me to change how I sign my emails.

I was looking for water-proof paper to use as a cover for plywood, so I emailed a number of paper manufacturing companies. One responded, in an almost elated tone (see above), asking for further information in order to process my request. I supplied the requested information, one detail of which was the size of order I wanted to place. I specified that I wanted to know costs for a roll 100 meters long and a 1.2 meters wide.

Well, I got an email back from the lady shortly thereafter and she seemed a little bit less enthusiastic. Still very polite - she was British after all, but some of the spunk seemed to have been taken out of her communication. The lady informed me that the company she represents only manufactures papers in quantities of a minimum of 10 tons. I told her my business probably wasn't going to reach that stage, but that you never know, and requested that she send me the sample papers we'd discussed previously. There's advice in here somewhere - be careful how you identify yourself or something like that.

In other news, our car, bad engine and all, was grazed by the wheel of a passing dump truck last night. The dump truck driver tried to shoot the gap on an all two narrow portion of the road (he was going slowly - by "shoot the gap", I mean trying to pass through a really narrow space). Well, he didn't make it, and his tire took some of the paint of my rear bumper. We left it after a few minutes of discussion and blocking traffic. I didn't really know how to proceed and the damage was pretty small. In my view, engine issues notwithstanding, I plan to drive that thing for 10-15 years, as long as it will go. To be an effective driver here in Addis, you honestly have to plan for a few scrapes and indentations, the latter of which I'm sure will follow.

By the way, I kept myself up late last night to watch one of my all-time favorite movies, "L.A. Confidential". In all of cinema, is there a cooler scene than when Kevin Spacey mouths the words "Rolo Tomassi" to the corrupt police captain as he's dying. And then when Ecksley is asked by the Captain to run a check on a Rolo Tomassi. If you haven't seen the film, I'll go no further. It's truly an exceptional piece, but definitely NOT for those who don't like violence. This is definitely a violent movie, but very smart.

That's funny, the first time I saw "L.A. Confidential" was with my cousin Matt and his friend as I was housesitting. The movie is confusing enough for the first time viewer, with all sorts of interupptions in the narrative to switch to another part. Matters were made worse for me by the few bottles of MGD I'd consumed. I remember waking up the next morning and having little idea what the movie was about. Matt and his friend were no help either.

Also reflecting back on my Alaskan youth, a friend asked me yesterday if I'd ever swim competitively again. I gave him a black-and-white "no", but then I was thinking about it last night before going to sleep. The best part about swimming was the high school season, no question about it. I liked club swimming, too, as it seemed like the hard work you'd put in for the reward of high school swimming. Maybe I'd swim high school again - the workouts weren't that bad and everyone that was in the pool wanted to be there.

College, on the other hand, I would never do again. I think college swimming drained some of my love for the sport. Granted, I got way better, but I thik I lost the love. I don't know why. Certainly, the demands were higher - more yardage, more intensity. As I went through my college career, I became less and less nervous every time I raced because practices were always such competitive showcases. Maybe also, it's because I reached most of the goals I wanted while I was in college and after that, didn't have much more to go. When I do entertain the thought of entering the pool again (a non-reality here), I imagine a high-school type purity where I was just seeking to swim as fast as I could. Getting super fit, tapering and shaving, and getting those great nerves right before jumping in the water. That wouldn't be so bad.

Well, I'm off to start my day. Have a good one all and talk to you tomorrow.

Ken

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