Donuts are part of the magic that makes life so sweet. I founded the Level 3 Friday Donut Club in 2004 and ran it until my departure in 2015. It had a three year run at Windstream and is now virtual, but at its peak, we had a rotation of 50+ folks who brought donuts every Friday. We had three simple rules: (1) five dozen (2) boutique shop donuts (3) by 8:00 am. This blog memorializes these e-mails to share my thoughts (and, once upon a time, announce the donut arrival). Have a happy Friday!
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To Emoji or not to Emoji 🍩
In this era of digital communication, the growing cast of available emoji seems a convenient and fun way to enrich your message. The plethora of colorful options lends your communication a palette unavailable to classic writers. Use them to reduce your keystrokes (a lion image instead of the word "lion"), add emphasis (balloons, streamers and a cake after "happy birthday" ), or convey emotion (choose a happy face among the dozens of options ). Lately I've been pondering the hidden pitfalls behind these seemingly harmless characters. I loften use humor when communicating and tend to be liberal with the range of meanings I ascribe to any given icon. I assume people will get my drift and, if they don't, no harm done. Right? Maybe. Maybe my lack of guile and hipness blinds me to inadvertent double entendre (or, worse, insult). What if there is a secret thesaurus people use to decrypt the hidden meaning in these pictures? Is one smiley face more appropriate than another for a given circumstance 🤨🧐? Does the color of the heart I chose to signal appreciation mean something specific ️? Does replacing a heart with a peach send the wrong message ?
(this heart shaped fruit was in my recently used emoji due to my año viejo effigy, and I may have subsequently used them interchangeably).
I suppose that's a chance you take, particularly when delving into humor. There is only so much mind reading you can expect from your audience. We all have our own background, perspective and baggage. Hopefully you know me well enough to see through any miscommunication and know I meant well. Then again, maybe I should refrain from their use altogether. I have mixed emotions over emoticons and my cognitive dissonance makes me feel like I have a double-standard. On one hand I have convinced myself I'm clever and my emoji use is hilarious. On the other hand, I find a response with three teary-eyed smiley faces both irking and loathsome (whoever designed that emoji should be summarily shot ). Maybe I should stick to safe emoji like the donut. It's sweet, simple and leaves no room for misinterpretation. Or not.
Friends, Happy new year (and, technically, still Friday). As many of you know, my household has a peculiar way of ringing-in the new year. We build effigies representing the old year and burn them at midnight. This year, although we made the tough call of canceling the accompanying annual party, I felt it was important to go ahead with the burning. The theme, of course, was CoVid. My kids and I developed a dozen mutations of the virus and staged them in our backyard. Then, at a quarter ‘till midnight, we proceeded to read the old year’s last will and testament (or, as might be expected for a year like this, an un-will and un-testament). Shortly thereafter they were summarily burned. We then proceeded to stay up way past my bedtime (which in part helps explain the unusual tardiness of my weekly note). In any event a couple of donuts and a day of rest have got me back to my old self. By the way, I’ve posted a public video of the Facebook live stream event on Facebook. Key markers on
Friends, The book Ready Player One sent me down memory lane this week. The journey was not triggered by the author’s excessive references to the 1980s, which border on obsessive. Rather, it was the name of the massive virtual reality simulation used by characters in this dystopian future to escape their grim surroundings: The OASIS. You see, that was also the name of my grandfather’s country estate, the setting where a disproportionate share of my treasured childhood memories were created. La Quinta Oasis was a bucolic old whitewashed house with a massive stone staircase, three foot thick adobe walls and wooden window shutters that, when closed at night, would submerge the residence in pitch darkness. With no running water, electricity, phone or indoor plumbing, the only modern convenience was the battery transistor radio on which my uncles would listen to “Chucho el Roto”, a radio soap opera. The Spanish fighting roosters crowed long before sunrise, making it difficult to fall back
Friends, Have you ever inadvertently fermented spaghetti sauce? Yeah, me neither… until yesterday, that is! Imagine my surprise when the half-full bottle, sitting in the fridge from time immemorial, made a sound akin to opening a beer bottle, instantly filling the glass container with a hazy smoke. As the carbonation dissipated, I grabbed a spoon to conduct the obligatory taste test. How was it? I’m glad you asked! Let’s just say chunky carbonated tomato beer is not my thing (although I must admit that if I had been expecting it, my reaction might have been a little more… composed). Now, if you forgo the fermentation and switch the tomato paste with spicy salsa… that might be the next million dollar idea! Sparkling sriracha anyone? How about Carbonated Cholula? Bubbly Habanero? Fizzy Jalapeño?? I could go on, but I have a feeling Gassy Guac might not fly off the shelves. Now, if only I could stumble on a way to improve donuts. Carbonated Jelly filling… yeah, maybe not. I think I’ll